Book Review

ARC Book Review: A Game of Hearts by Joanna Barker

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Regency Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Joanna Barker
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: October 18, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


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.

Thank you to the author for an eARC.



That should be this review: NO NOTES.

I’ll drop a bit more though. I could not get enough of Marigold and Tristan. Marigold has some of the best type of character development that had me easily won over to her side as the book progressed. Add in a broody grump with a cinnamon roll soul in Tristan and these two reluctant lovers ARE A MATCH.

There were so many good moments. I would love to list them, but I also think you should go into reading this without those hints. Tristan and Marigold end up in some dicey situations that lead to their own consequences. And while not their initial choice, learning to communicate was something they both needed that really made my heart soar.

Also, the family????? On BOTH sides were loving and kind. Supportive and compassionate. I loved the parents, the siblings, the uncle. All of them. It was very refreshing to have this kind of support and it made the whole book.

All of the archery stuff was super cool to learn about too. I love archery and it was a unique dynamic to add into a regency romance. It’s the kind of thing I love about Barker’s books. They feel inventive to the genre and this is without a doubt my new favorite of hers.

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: low
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of parents (recounted), misogyny

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