Published by Atria on April 7, 2020
Genres: adult, Historical Romance, Romantic Comedy
Source: eARC from Publisher
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.
To Have and to Hoax is an adult historical romantic comedy by Martha Waters. I love romantic comedies, but I have not read to many historical rom coms, so when I saw this one on netgalley, I was intrigued to say the least. And I have to say, To Have and to Hoax was a lot of fun, and it was really very funny! It is a big game of one upping each other between a husband and wife that had me laughing several times while reading. I did have some minor annoyances, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading To Have and to Hoax.
In To Have and to Hoax, we meet our married couple, Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley. They have been married for 5 years, but we soon learn that they have not had a great marriage for most of that time. But that all changes when Violet thinks her husband has fallen off a horse and was badly injured. When she finds out that is not true, she decides to get even and tell him that she is sick. And from there the games begin. They keep trying to one up each other. It kind of reminded me of a historical version of the Friends episode where Rachel and Phoebe find out about Monica and Chandler dating, and they decide to play pranks on Monica and Chandler stating “they don’t know we know”. And then Joey gets involved and Monica finds out that they are pranking them and that they “know” so they decide to prank them back, stating “they don’t know we know, they know!” and the whole thing spirals out of control…in a funny way. That is exactly this book. It is a lot of fun, but I do feel like it went a bit too far at times. I liked their interactions and their flirting, and I really liked the two of them, but I kind of wish the grew up a bit and each apologized to each other. But they are both so stubborn that I understand why it didn’t happen that way, I just wish it did.
Which brings me to my other little annoyance. It felt like James took the brunt of apologies, when I firmly believe that the fault lay squarely on both of their shoulders. But other than those minor issues, I really did have a lot of fun while reading To Have and to Hoax. I think there are so many funny scenes that will have you giggling and laughing out loud, and rooting for our couple to just admit that they do care about each other. All in all, this book was a total good time! If you are a fan of historical romances and of Romantic comedies, I think you will enjoy To Have and to Hoax.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 New Release Challenge
- ARCtober 2020
- Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2020
- Romanceopoly 2020