Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: To Love and To Loathe, by Martha Waters {ends 4/13}

"Is this about Jeremy?" Violet asked.

Diana sighed, nodding. "We came to our current arrangement under the understanding that it was to be temporary, mutually beneficial, and that we would go our separate ways when it ceased to please us both. But ..."

She trailed off, at a loss to explain the complex whirlwind of emotions that had taken up residence within her without her consent. That was the trouble with feelings—they so rarely appeared when it was convenient, and even more rarely did they appear in a desirable configuration.

I haven't read a fun romance novel in a while, and this fit the bill. It was also rather unusual, because novels set in this time period are usually about marrying or finding a wife/husband; this one had elements of that in there, but the main character is a widower and intent on being single for the rest of her life.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: To Love and To Loathe, by Martha Waters {ends 4/13}
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.

This was a fun book to read. I forget exactly what year it takes place in but I believe it was in the early 1800s sometime, in England, where it's not exactly appropriate to sleep with many men before marriage! However, Diana is now a widow, and therefore has the luxury of her dearly departed husband's money and wealth. She and Jeremy Willingham have been friends forever, and there's always been something bubbling under the surface there, as well. 

I didn't realize until writing this that Martha Waters (the author) also wrote To Have and To Hoax, which my guest reviewer Becki reviewed in Sept. 2019 here. It sounds like based on the synopsis for that one that it takes place within the same world as To Love and To Loathe, which would make sense based on the titles, so I may have to read that one at some point too; I don't believe it's a follow-up novel, though, because this one was fine as a standalone read.

Overall, I would give To Love and To Loathe 3.5/5 stars—you can probably predict the ending, but it's fun getting there. 

To Love and To Loathe is on sale today, April 6, 2021, and can be purchased here


One of my lucky winners will win a copy of To Love and to Loathe!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Tuesday, April 13th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified via email the next day and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

To Love and To Loathe, by Martha Waters


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