Monday, November 7, 2022

Review: A Game of Hearts by Joanna Barker

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


If you can't join them... beat them.

Marigold Cartwell has only one goal: to defeat her long-time rival on the archery field. She knows she can outshoot irritating, cynical Tristan Gates, but the local bowmen’s society—the one he belongs to—refuses to allow women to compete. Spurred on by their rejection, Marigold decides to start a new society. Naturally, it has only one rule: no men.

Tristan Gates is used to Marigold Cartwell always getting her way, so he is far from surprised when she forms her own society. He knows how relentless she can be, something he learned firsthand facing her at the targets. But Tristan has enough worries of his own, what with his bachelor uncle falling in love with a fortune hunter. He has no time to entertain Marigold’s ambitions.

However, after a visit to the seashore ends in disaster—and scandal—Marigold and Tristan soon realize how little they know about each other. The strained tension between them quickly turns to simmering attraction, but an important archery competition looms ahead. Lines are drawn all around them, with Marigold and Tristan on opposite sides, and neither can afford to lose. Yet winning might be the very thing to tear them apart.

My Review

My goodness, the rivalry between these two is intense! Especially on Marigold's side, perhaps because she feels she has more to prove. Tristan's demeanor is more annoyed and dismissive, which of course is infuriating to Marigold. I wondered how they would ever overcome it, but sure enough, the author skillfully maneuvered them into situations where their true personalities behind the walls are revealed, and they share moments of connection full of wit, humor, and emotion. Such a fun read! I loved the ladies of the neighborhood banding together with Marigold, and the lessons both she and Tristan learn about themselves and each other. The chemistry between them grows steadily stronger, and I loved their romance! It's one of my favorites of the year for sure, and one I will definitely be reading again for the sheer pleasure of it!

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

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