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Monday, January 11, 2021

Book Review: To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters

To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters
Genre: Adult Fiction (Historical Fiction / Romance)
Expected Publication: April 6, 2021
Publisher: Atria Books

The author of the “hilarious...joyful, elegant” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) To Have and to Hoax returns with an effervescent, charming, and swoon-worthy novel about a man and woman who never agree on anything—until they agree to a no-strings-attached affair in this Regency-era romp.

The widowed Diana, Lady Templeton and Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham are infamous among English high society as much for their sharp-tongued bickering as their flirtation. One evening, an argument at a ball turns into a serious wager: Jeremy will marry within the year or Diana will forfeit one hundred pounds. So shortly after, just before a fortnight-long house party at Elderwild, Jeremy’s country estate, Diana is shocked when Jeremy appears at her home with a very different kind of proposition.

After his latest mistress unfavorably criticized his skills in the bedroom, Jeremy is looking for reassurance, so he has gone to the only woman he trusts to be totally truthful. He suggests that they embark on a brief affair while at the house party—Jeremy can receive an honest critique of his bedroom skills and widowed Diana can use the gossip to signal to other gentlemen that she is interested in taking a lover.

Diana thinks taking him up on his counter-proposal can only help her win her wager. With her in the bedroom and Jeremy’s marriage-minded grandmother, the formidable Dowager Marchioness of Willingham, helping to find suitable matches among the eligible ladies at Elderwild, Diana is confident her victory is assured. But while they’re focused on winning wagers, they stand to lose their own hearts.

With Martha Waters’s signature “cheeky charm and wonderfully wry wit” (Booklist, starred review), To Love and to Loathe is another clever and delightful historical rom-com that is perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Evie Dunmore..
To Love and to Loathe is a sequel to To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters. While this is a stand alone story, I'm glad I read it second because I already know the story of Violet and James. You see quite a bit of them in this story, so it was nice getting to re-visit them and catch up. As for Diana and Jeremy? I don't know. I'm not as sold on them. I feel like Diana is just not an overly nice person. Sure, she's nice to her two closest friends, but there were things she said or did that really took away from her character. Jeremy came into this story an immature man whore, but as you get to know him he grows on you quite a bit. He also grows as a person as he realizes things about himself. I love the overall frenemies to lovers theme.

The ARC of To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters was kindly provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley for review. The opinions are my own.

Check out my review of the first book in this series!
Martha Waters was born and raised in sunny South Florida and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her lifelong love of England and romantic comedies inspired the writing of To Have and to Hoax, which is her first novel. She is a children’s librarian in North Carolina, and loves sundresses, gin cocktails, and traveling.

To learn more about Martha Waters and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsInstagram, and Twitter.
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