Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: To Have and To Hoax, by Martha Waters {ends 9/1}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

“What the devil do you think you’re about?” Jeremy continued, sitting up straighter behind his desk. His own glass of brandy was sitting untouched before him—a sure sign of how deadly serious he was. “Fawning all over Sophie like that—and in front of Violet, no less?”

“I was under the impression—from you yourself—that you and Lady Fitzwilliam were ending your liaison,” James murmured.

“That’s not the bloody point,” Jeremy replied, which was his standard response in any situation in which he didn’t want to acknowledge the truth of someone else’s words. “I still want to know what the deuce you thought you were doing."

James shoved his chair back and stood, suddenly unable to bear the thought of sitting still a moment longer. He’d been filled with a sort of frenzied energy ever since he and Violet had left the park. He’d been unable to settle to any single task at home, despite the numerous ones that demanded his attention, and hadn’t waited long before seizing his hat and gloves to visit Jeremy. Instead of calling for his horse or carriage, he’d walked to Jeremy’s house in Fitzroy Square, the exercise doing little to calm the jangle of his nerves.

Besting one’s wife, it seemed, was highly invigorating.

A "hoax" is defined as a humorous or malicious deception. Neither description fully fit the tricks these characters played on each other. They were just grasping for attention.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: To Have and To Hoax, by Martha Waters {ends 9/1}
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?

While the period vernacular and costumes were amusing, the main characters were mostly just annoying. That would have been okay, if they’d learned their lessons and moved on. Instead, this book felt like it was ending at least four times before it actually did. It sounded like even their friends were getting tired of pointing out the obvious to them—“Did you try talking to him/her?”

Overall, the writing was good and the characters could have been redeemed, but the plot started feeling too loose to just wrap up. The best part of this was that they got steamy every time they almost made up, and those scenes were well done. A few of the characters also hinted at future conflicts—will there be a follow-up? I’d give this book 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for those who enjoy period fiction and romantic comedies.

{click here to purchase}

Becki Bayley likes reading and enjoying fresh air. If she had any pull with a divine power, she’d hope for the continued good health and happiness of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Betty White. See what she’s reading and ranting about at SweetlyBSquared.com.

GIVEAWAY:

Three of my lucky readers will win a copy of To Have and To Hoax!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Tuesday, September 1st, at 11:59pm EST, and winners will be contacted the next day via email, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner(s) will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

To Have and To Hoax, by Martha Waters

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