At a Glance
Title: To Have and to Hoax
Author: Martha Waters
Expected Publication: April 7, 2020 by Atria
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Chick-Lit
Goodreads Rating: 3.8 out of 5
My Rating: ★★★★
“In this fresh and hilarious historical rom-com, an estranged husband and wife in Regency England feign accidents and illness in an attempt to gain attention—and maybe just win each other back in the process.
Five years ago, Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley met, fell in love, and got married. Four years ago, they had a fight to end all fights, and have barely spoken since.
Their once-passionate love match has been reduced to one of cold, detached politeness. But when Violet receives a letter that James has been thrown from his horse and rendered unconscious at their country estate, she races to be by his side—only to discover him alive and well at a tavern, and completely unaware of her concern. She’s outraged. He’s confused. And the distance between them has never been more apparent.
Wanting to teach her estranged husband a lesson, Violet decides to feign an illness of her own. James quickly sees through it, but he decides to play along in an ever-escalating game of manipulation, featuring actors masquerading as doctors, threats of Swiss sanitariums, faux mistresses—and a lot of flirtation between a husband and wife who might not hate each other as much as they thought. Will the two be able to overcome four years of hurt or will they continue to deny the spark between them?
With charm, wit, and heart in spades, To Have and To Hoax is a fresh and eminently entertaining romantic comedy—perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory and Julia Quinn.”
I’m not much of a romance reader, but I do love a good chick-lit! This one is no exception. To Have and to Hoax is an adorable read and kept me grinning from ear to ear.
Our story starts with Lady Violet Grey meeting her soon to be husband Lord James Audley. It was love at first sight for them, but less than 5 years into their marriage they barely speak to on another. When Violet thinks that James has a life threatening injury from being thrown off the back of a horse, she rushes to be by his side. No matter they no longer talk to one another, she still finds that she is in love with the man. When she arrives, she finds James to be completely find. Enraged at finding that her husband cares so little about her, that he would not think to inform her he is fine, Violet schemes to get his attention and teach him a lesson.
Of course, as in all rom-com type stories, Violet’s schemes go awry. What she didn’t expect is for James to decide to play along with her schemes, and add in a few of his own. Between the immature pranks and the constant miscommunication, hilarity ensures, I assure you.
All of the characters, not just Violet and James, are wonderful. They have just the right amount of depth for a light hearted story but it’s really the witty dialogue that draws the reader in.
I’ve always been a sucker for a fiction books set during the English Regency period. I love thoughts of ladies and gentlemen going to balls and imagining the aristocrats of the day. This book was no different. Water’s does a fabulous job of world building and intertwining the story into the local gossip. Her writing is also completely on point and I cannot believe this is a debut. I will most definitely be on the lookout for her next book. Maybe we’ll even get another story about Violet and James.
Overall I loved this book and would recommend it for anyone who enjoys or needs a light-hearted book. Also if you enjoyed Bringing Down the Duke you will certainly enjoy this gem.
This book is out now! If you think you’d like to read this book, get your copy HERE!
I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on To Have and to Hoax. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof_books. Huge thank you to the Netgallery and Atria Books for my copy.
About the Author
Martha Waters was born and raised in sunny South Florida and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She works as a childrens librarian in North Carolina and spends much of her free time traveling. To Have and to Hoax is her first novel.
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