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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 El 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.


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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 El 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.

30 review for To Love and to Loathe

  1. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    this is cute and i think i would have loved it more if i hadnt already read ‘a rogue of ones own,’ because i just couldnt help but compare the similarities. i liked the idea of the plot, the setting, the writing and dialogue - all help make this a quick and entertaining read. but i honestly dont have much to say other than its decent. nothing really stood out to me other than just the basic pleasantness of it all. this is definitely a fun and enjoyable story, perfect if you are looking for a easy this is cute and i think i would have loved it more if i hadnt already read ‘a rogue of ones own,’ because i just couldnt help but compare the similarities. i liked the idea of the plot, the setting, the writing and dialogue - all help make this a quick and entertaining read. but i honestly dont have much to say other than its decent. nothing really stood out to me other than just the basic pleasantness of it all. this is definitely a fun and enjoyable story, perfect if you are looking for a easy going historical romance as it can be read as a standalone, but it just happens that ive already read another book that does this kind of story slightly better. thanks so much to atria books for the ARC! ↠ 3.5 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    This is cure to my bleeding soul and dark, sulking mood! It’s not chicken soup but it’s definitely quite lovely, refreshing, brightening vaccine to rejuvenate me! All we need is now to read this kind of sweet, swoon, smart, entertaining books to energize us, putting genuine smile to our faces, motivating us to get through our moody, grumpy natures ( grumpy already became my first name after surviving through 2020 and I’m counting my days to get rid of that bitch! ) A brief introduction to the s This is cure to my bleeding soul and dark, sulking mood! It’s not chicken soup but it’s definitely quite lovely, refreshing, brightening vaccine to rejuvenate me! All we need is now to read this kind of sweet, swoon, smart, entertaining books to energize us, putting genuine smile to our faces, motivating us to get through our moody, grumpy natures ( grumpy already became my first name after surviving through 2020 and I’m counting my days to get rid of that bitch! ) A brief introduction to the story: Widowed Lady Templeton cannot help her nonstop banters with Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham. He always knows how to push her buttons which results with more fiery arguments, throwing meaningful insults, sizzling growing intimacy. Both of their reputations at the stake. They’re already infamous among English high society. Considering they’re living in the 19th century, they have less freedom and live under more pressure of their inner circle! Jeremy’s grandmother wants him elope in one year but Jeremy already lost his confidence at unfortunate attempt with her mistress who relentlessly criticizes his skills on bed. He needs some practice, actually he needs someone who can be straightforward, telling him the ugly truth about his sexual talent. That should be only Lady Templeton who can be honest to his face! So he suggests her with offer ( frenemies with benefits kind of valuable one) which could help with both of their love life problems. He offers her no strings attached- very tempting encounter to test his skills. And in return when the gossip wheels start spinning, Lady Templeton could signal the charming gentlemen her openness to take a lover. It starts like a game they both win till their hearts, souls and minds are at stake! There are some unexpected twists that truly surprise you and some unnecessary angst boils your blood. So far I enjoyed both of the characters. Their nonstop, laugh out loud bickering, pant melting chemistry in bed, their intimacy stole my heart. I can honestly say I loved this book more than the first installment and I highly recommend the readers who need urgent recovery from darkening moods. This book checked all the boxes for my ideal historical romance and enjoyable romcom criterions! So I proudly recommend this book to all die-hard romance fans! Special thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for sending me this review copy of this lovely book in exchange my honest opinions.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    tw: death of a sibling As someone who hasn't read a lot of historically, I'm not sure if this was meant to be more over-the-top than most of them are but it definitely had that tongue in cheek feel to it. This is a bantering almost rivals to lovers, including a fake (but actually real) tryst meant to help out the both of them. While there is a lot of what feels like over the top behavior from some of the characters, it was overall enjoyable. There is a side character who is a lesbian and it is u tw: death of a sibling As someone who hasn't read a lot of historically, I'm not sure if this was meant to be more over-the-top than most of them are but it definitely had that tongue in cheek feel to it. This is a bantering almost rivals to lovers, including a fake (but actually real) tryst meant to help out the both of them. While there is a lot of what feels like over the top behavior from some of the characters, it was overall enjoyable. There is a side character who is a lesbian and it is used a bit as a twist but overall I think the character is handled fairly well for the time period the story is set in. Cute but surface level for sure.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

    Sigh. It seems that I shall never fall in love with Martha Water’s novels and that’s because *throws up my hands* they’re so aggravating. I, for one, do not enjoy shouting “but why would you do that?” but alas, somehow it always comes to that, and I’m tired, okay? On how conflict is badly manufactured For a moment there, I thought that I’d enjoy this one more than To Have and to Hoax, because I genuinely liked Diana and Jeremy’s dynamics at first. It’s a shame, really, because there are ma Sigh. It seems that I shall never fall in love with Martha Water’s novels and that’s because *throws up my hands* they’re so aggravating. I, for one, do not enjoy shouting “but why would you do that?” but alas, somehow it always comes to that, and I’m tired, okay? On how conflict is badly manufactured For a moment there, I thought that I’d enjoy this one more than To Have and to Hoax, because I genuinely liked Diana and Jeremy’s dynamics at first. It’s a shame, really, because there are many things this book almost does well : Diana is independent and funny, for the most part. Jeremy is charming, he listens. The discussion on sex and pleasure is good. They have chemistry together. But why, why must everyone in this be so damn set on dragging situations that don’t deserve to go on more than half a page, so much that I wanted to stop reading? I have a confession to make : I had to skim parts because I just – I couldn’t stand them. Diana’s antics regarding Jeremy’s marriage made no sense, her deception went for far too long, and irritated the hell out of me. Why put so much effort in complicating one own life? WHY? I’m begging to understand! I’m so mad at them for ruining such a great chemistry. So mad. There’s nothing more frustrating than characters systematically choosing the worst option available – worst than that, even: too many times it felt like Diana and Jeremy would look at the choices available, stare at the worst one, and then twist it to create a new situation so idiotic and unnecessarily cruel that you reader can’t even begin to comprehend how the thought was even allowed to form in their mind. Honestly, reading To Love and to Loathe feels like gaslighting at times : you’re sure you’re not the one overreacting but the characters keep trying to convince you that their reactions are perfectly fine, when it’s clear they’re not. To keep the plot going, these characters do a 180 and take decisions that just don’t make any sense at all, and as it’s something I found really infuriating in To Have and to Hoax too, I’m sorry but I’m starting to think that it comes from bad craft. Other things I didn’t like: a non-exhaustive list ▪ Jeremy’s emphasis on Diana’s breast : we get it!!!! ▪ The tone is all over the place, and it feels like the book doesn’t know what it wants to be ; ▪ Too much time spent on secondary characters I could never manage to care about. I feel ashamed because I usually love friendship between women but here I just found their conversations very grating ; ▪ At some point Violet (!!!) of all people gives relationship advice and excuse me? The audacity of that woman, I can’t even. ▪ One character isn’t who they appear to be and that was obvious from the start, yet Diana and Jeremy, those fools, are so wrapped in themselves that they don’t even realize. ▪ So many of Diana’s decisions – especially in regards to Jeremy’s marriage – seem to come out of spite and having read The Day of the Duchess recently, the comparison is inevitable, and not in Diana’s favor. But the most infuriating part was when Violet outed a lesbian character to her friends and to Jeremy, for no reasons at all. The fuck? I couldn’t believe she’d be so self-centered that she’d go there but apparently she wanted to crush any leftover sympathy I had for her. Again, it was so unnecessarily cruel and selfish! – Bottom line – I’ve said I’d give Martha Waters’ novels another chance. Sadly, it’s a miss, and we’ll have to part ways. I shall stay firmly in the minority on this. For real, though? I need to stop writing now or I’ll remove another star *slowly takes a step back*. For more of my reviews, please visit :

  5. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    3.5 stars To Love and to Loathe is the second book in The Regency Vows series but worked very well as a stand-alone book for me. The widowed Diana Templeton and Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham, members of the English High Society are both notorious for their bickering and flirting. One evening, at a ball, they enter a wager that Jeremy will marry within the year or Diana will give him 100 pounds. What is a little wager between frenemies? So, Diana is naturally shocked with Jeremy visits her at her 3.5 stars To Love and to Loathe is the second book in The Regency Vows series but worked very well as a stand-alone book for me. The widowed Diana Templeton and Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham, members of the English High Society are both notorious for their bickering and flirting. One evening, at a ball, they enter a wager that Jeremy will marry within the year or Diana will give him 100 pounds. What is a little wager between frenemies? So, Diana is naturally shocked with Jeremy visits her at her home and proposes an altogether different wager - a mutually beneficial one. Jeremy recently had his manhood questioned by a recent lover who had criticism about his prowess in the bedroom. Jeremy wants Diana to help him soothe his ego, test his skills in the bedroom and Diana gets well, a lover with no strings attached. But what happens when feelings get in the way? What happens if Jeremy's marriage-minded grandmother, the formidable Dowager Marchioness of Willingham, finds a future wife for him? This is a fun book with both characters engaging in witty repartee. They are the perfect frenemies - they bicker, have chemistry and are likeable. There is also a few twists and drama along the way. Both characters are engaging and there is more to both Diana and Jeremy than meets the eye. Will you be rooting for them to connect? Will you be hearing Marvin Gaye singing” Let’s Get it on” while reading this book as I did? Will their arrangement work? Will feelings get in the way? You will need to read and find out! Another enjoyable fast read which is a perfect choice you want to escape the world and be entertained. I will admit I had some doubt going forward - a Romcom set in the past.... will it work for me???? Yes, yes it did! Quite nicely in fact. I will be on the lookout for book three in the series. I just hope it is as amusing, witty, and fun as this one. Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lily Herman

    I don't know about y'all, but between the pandemic and the upcoming U.S. election, I just can't emotionally handle anything other than romance novels that make me feel a bit emo. And lucky for me, Martha Waters' upcoming release To Love and to Loathe is cuuuuute AF and easily satisfies my never-ending quest for tension-filled enemies-to-lovers stories. I thoroughly enjoyed Martha Waters' debut novel To Have and to Hoax (such excellent dialogue!), and I feel like To Love and to Loathe really built I don't know about y'all, but between the pandemic and the upcoming U.S. election, I just can't emotionally handle anything other than romance novels that make me feel a bit emo. And lucky for me, Martha Waters' upcoming release To Love and to Loathe is cuuuuute AF and easily satisfies my never-ending quest for tension-filled enemies-to-lovers stories. I thoroughly enjoyed Martha Waters' debut novel To Have and to Hoax (such excellent dialogue!), and I feel like To Love and to Loathe really built on that momentum. This novel was crisper and cleaner, and both Diana and Jeremy were such wonderfully complex characters with truly complicated struggles. Their agitation and banter was just so well done, and this book also had a few fun twists I didn't see coming. I've! got! the! feels! There was touch of slightly absurd messiness with some of the inevitable conflicts towards the end of the book, but overall, this one was a fun ride. I can't wait to see what Martha Waters publishes next. (PLEASE TELL ME THAT IT'S EMILY AND BELFRY, DEAR GOD.)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mara

    Updated rating to 4 stars upon reflection of the issue outlined below re:sapphic characters While I enjoyed the first book, my main issue with it was that the trope combo felt a little too YA for an adult romance. This book does not have that issue but at all... we've got best friend's little sister. We've got "bang it out of our systems." We've got "teach me how to bang." We've got reformed rake and the world weary widow. So a lot of trope candy that works really well for me. Then we've also got Updated rating to 4 stars upon reflection of the issue outlined below re:sapphic characters While I enjoyed the first book, my main issue with it was that the trope combo felt a little too YA for an adult romance. This book does not have that issue but at all... we've got best friend's little sister. We've got "bang it out of our systems." We've got "teach me how to bang." We've got reformed rake and the world weary widow. So a lot of trope candy that works really well for me. Then we've also got A+ banter, a great group of found family, and a lady artist in the Regency. So... yeah, overall this just hit the spot for me overall. The only thing that makes me hesitate a bit is the portrayal of a sapphic side character in this book. I am not a part of the community being represented, so I can't say for sure, but there was just something about the way that character was portrayed that felt rather off to me. I'll defer to own voices reviewers for their take on that one (Updated to add: own voices reviewers have pointed out that this character is outed, which was not how I'd processed that plot point previously. However, they are 100% correct and I agree that this is the "off" element I was trying to put my finger on in my initial read) Hoping we get Emily & Belfry's book next!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    To Love and to Loathe has a great setup and I thought I would really enjoy it, but it does some things I find irritating and it very poorly handles the existence of a queer side character, including the heroine privately outing them to people SHE finds trustworthy without the consent of the person in question. Outing someone to your friends, especially in a time when things were incredibly dangerous for queer people is NOT okay and I'm not sure how this made it through the editing process. The he To Love and to Loathe has a great setup and I thought I would really enjoy it, but it does some things I find irritating and it very poorly handles the existence of a queer side character, including the heroine privately outing them to people SHE finds trustworthy without the consent of the person in question. Outing someone to your friends, especially in a time when things were incredibly dangerous for queer people is NOT okay and I'm not sure how this made it through the editing process. The heroine is a widow who is determined to maintain her freedom and financial independence, but is interested in casual affairs though she's not sure how to show she's "open for business" so to speak. The hero is her childhood friend and a notorious rake, but after ending things with his last mistress who gave him a bad review of his bedroom skills, he's seeking affirmation that he's as good as he thinks he is before moving on to a new mistress. And so they decide to conduct a brief affair during a house party for both their sakes. Not realizing they have actual feelings simmering beneath the surface. The setup for this is fantastic and I thought I would love it, but I ended up finding the characters and their actual romance a bit lackluster, wasn't convinced the ending made sense given the personality and concerns of the heroine, and really disliked everything surrounding the treatment of this queer side character. I think the author was trying to say something about how LGBT people found ways to exist during that time, but it was very poorly handled. Others will likely enjoy this more than I did, but ultimately I just couldn't get on board with several elements of it. I received an advance copy for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Caz

    I've given this a B+ at AAR, so 4.5 stars To Love and To Loathe is the follow-up to Martha Waters’ 2020 début historical romance, To Have and to Hoax AAR's reviewer was less than impressed with it, citing problems with the premise and immaturity of the leads, and overall, reviews were mixed. With so many other books to review on my plate, I didn’t get around to reading it, so I can’t offer an opinion.  But I wanted to give the author a try, so I picked up this second book in The Regency Vows I've given this a B+ at AAR, so 4.5 stars To Love and To Loathe is the follow-up to Martha Waters’ 2020 début historical romance, To Have and to Hoax AAR's reviewer was less than impressed with it, citing problems with the premise and immaturity of the leads, and overall, reviews were mixed. With so many other books to review on my plate, I didn’t get around to reading it, so I can’t offer an opinion.  But I wanted to give the author a try, so I picked up this second book in The Regency Vows series, because I am a sucker for that whole Beatrice and Benedick sparring-couple-who-are-desperately-in-love-but-would-deny-it-to-the-death thing.  And I’m glad I did, because To Love and To Loathe is funny, clever and sexy, featuring complex, well-rounded characters and incorporating pertinent observations about the nature of privilege and the unfairness of the patriarchal norms and laws that deprived women of autonomy. At the age of eighteen, the Honourable Diana Bourne is well aware that most men are fools, but a man doesn’t need to be clever to be possessed of a hefty fortune, which is exactly what she’s looking for.  Since the death of their parents, she and her brother have lived with relatives who have seen her as nothing but a burden and who resent the expense her presence incurs.  So Diana is determined to snare a wealthy husband so she will never have to worry about something as vulgar as money ever again. The one tiny glitch in her plan is her brother’s best friend, Jeremy Overington, Marquess of Willingham, who while just as much of a fool as every other man, is nonetheless a massively enticing fool who has only to walk into a room to turn the head of every woman in it – and set Diana’s heart beating just a bit faster than she would like.  But no matter how handsome and charming Jeremy is (or how strongly she’s attracted to him), he’s irresponsible,  overly fond of drink and women, and – most importantly – almost broke, so he won’t suit Diana’s purposes at all. A few years later, Diana is a wealthy widow and Jeremy is still cutting a swathe through the beds of the bored wives and widows of the ton.  Their inability to agree on anything is widely known throughout society, as is the fact they’re engaged in a game of one-upmanship involving a constant barrage of well-aimed barbs and cleverly chosen put-downs.  On one particular evening when Willingham again scoffs at the idea of matrimony, Diana impulsively wagers him that he’ll be married within the year – or she’ll pay him the sum of one hundred pounds.  Of course, Willingham accepts – and only afterwards does Diana realise it was perhaps not the wisest thing she’s ever done, because honestly, she can’t see him marrying in the next twelve months, either. Shortly after the wager is made – and just before Diana is to travel to Jeremy’s country estate for his annual house party – he comes to her seeking her help on a very delicate matter.  His most recent mistress implied he couldn’t satisfy her in bed – and Jeremy can’t get her accusations out of his mind.  Looking for reassurance, he turns to the only woman he knows he can rely on to tell him the absolute truth – and suggests to Diana that they embark on a brief affair during the house party.  Diana isn’t inclined to agree to this – until he points out that a discreet affair with him will send the right signals to other gentlemen that she is interested in taking a lover. “I’m not certain that the signal I’m looking to send is that I’ve joined the legion of women who’ve lifted their skirts for the Marquess of Willingham.  I’m surprised they haven’t formed a society. With matching hats.” She’s still not convinced – until Jeremy points out: “If nothing else, it would finally dispel whatever this is between us,” he added, waving his hand at the space between them… “And don’t tell me you don’t know what I mean… Because I know you do.” Of course as any romance reader knows, the old let’s-do-it-once-to-get-it-out-of-our-systems chestnut never works the way the participants intend it to.  Diana and Jeremy are obviously head-over-heels for each other from the get-go and have been that way for years, but there are obstacles preventing both of them from fully acknowledging the truth of their feelings for one another – obstacles that feel authentic to who these two people are; flawed but immensely likeable characters who learn about themselves as they gradually reveal more of their true selves to each other. I really liked that Diana and Jeremy were so clear-sighted about each other, even as they had things to learn about one another.  Jeremy viewed the younger Diana’s eagerness to marry as somewhat mercenary, but didn’t know the reasons behind it; Diana suspects Jeremy is hiding his intelligence behind the wastrel he presents to society, but hasn’t fully understood the depth of his grief and anger over the death of the older brother who left him with a title and responsibilities he’d not been brought up to and didn’t want.  They’re both perspicacious and fully up to each other’s weight when it comes to their ‘merry war’, and their chemistry as they snark and flirt their way towards their HEA is terrific. I liked them individually and together.  Diana is clever and funny and her status as a widow means she’s allowed more freedom to do as she wants than an unmarried woman would be, so her reluctance to consider giving up her independence in another marriage is understandable. And I loved Jeremy, a decent, considerate, generous man who has spent years making certain no-one would ever expect anything of him or take him too seriously because of his deep sense of unworthiness.  Their inner conflicts are very well articulated and I loved watching them come to a greater understanding of one another. I really enjoyed the book, but there are a few things that keep it just out of DIK territory.   Part of Diana’s plan to win the wager involves her trying to find someone else to get Jeremy married off to – and she decides to throw him together with Lady Helen, a young woman known to be desperate to find a husband and who is widely disliked.  Hints are dropped that Lady Helen is not what she seems, but Diana doesn’t know this and her determination to marry the man she loves (even if she isn’t ready to admit to it) to a young woman who is so patently wrong for him and would make him utterly miserable just didn’t sit right with me.  I get that it was a mark of Diana’s desperation not to admit to how she felt about Jeremy, but it felt childish and petty. The Big Mis that occurs near the end is a misfire, and I wasn’t wild about the amount of time given to setting up a future book in the series, which interrupted the flow of the main narrative. It’s well done and skilfully integrated into conversation and multi-character scenes, but I could still have done with a bit less of it. All in all however, To Love and To Loathe is great fun. The writing is crisp and clever, the characters are engaging and the dialogue sparkles.  For those of you who – like me –  have been struggling to find really good historical romance lately, I’m happy to say that it’s well worth a look.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    Ummmm so YES, I think I want this

  11. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    ↠ 3 stars A regency romance perfect for fans of Bridgerton and historical fiction alike. When the widowed Diana, the Lady Templeton, finds herself in need of a change, she strikes a wager with Jeremy, the Marquess of Willingham that he will be married within the year. Unfortunately for Diana, she gets herself into far more than she initially bargained for. Jeremy has something completely different in mind for the deal, suggesting they include a friends-with-benefits situation that will last the d ↠ 3 stars A regency romance perfect for fans of Bridgerton and historical fiction alike. When the widowed Diana, the Lady Templeton, finds herself in need of a change, she strikes a wager with Jeremy, the Marquess of Willingham that he will be married within the year. Unfortunately for Diana, she gets herself into far more than she initially bargained for. Jeremy has something completely different in mind for the deal, suggesting they include a friends-with-benefits situation that will last the duration of a house party he is hosting at one of his many estates. Diana really doesn't want to lose the wager, so in the interest of the one hundred pounds she stands to lose, agrees to the arrangement. Unbeknownst to the two of them, their connection is far stronger than the measly wager that threatens to drive a wedge between them. Having not read the previous book in the Regency Vows trilogy, I was prepared to dive head first into its second book To Love and to Loathe. For the most part, this was a fun lighthearted romance that I would recommend to anyone looking for a quick read to space out more content heavy books. The characters encompassed within are witty, and the plot not overly complicated to keep up with. Most of what drew me to this initially was the betting concept and two people that reluctantly fall in love with one another. I am happy to say on that aspect the book did not disappoint. Jeremy and Diana had such a frenemies to lovers vibe going on it was kind of impossible to not enjoy the development of their relationship. Where this diverges, is in the way that the book tackled too many plot points at once. There was really just far too much going on, from Diana’s artistic talents to the side characters problems that were weirdly focused on and then promptly abandoned. All this did was repeatedly take me out of the story until I found I could no longer focus on it. Clearly some of the side plots are important, like the one that is going on in the background to set up the next book, but most others were unnecessary to what was going on. Other than that, the whole book seemed a bit rushed to me, especially in regards to the romantic relationship between the two main characters. I think there could have either been more background given to them and their history, or more time spent drawing out the conflict that was occurring between the two of them. While there were many moments during this where I was enjoying myself, it is evident that more time needed to be spent on it. I have heard amazing things about the book one though, so I may get around to reading that at some point. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this arc in exchange for an honest review Trigger warnings: death, grief

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Liese

    Thank you to Atria and NetGalley for this advance review copy; all opinions are my own! Full review with quotes included to come closer to Pub Day but for now... Everything I liked about To Have and to Hoax was even stronger in To Love and to Loathe. Sharp banter, dynamic characters, fast-paced and deliciously domestic setting. There's something cozy about Waters' writing--while she keeps the narrative moving and engages you with the plot, you know you can rest easy in her hands, that happily eve Thank you to Atria and NetGalley for this advance review copy; all opinions are my own! Full review with quotes included to come closer to Pub Day but for now... Everything I liked about To Have and to Hoax was even stronger in To Love and to Loathe. Sharp banter, dynamic characters, fast-paced and deliciously domestic setting. There's something cozy about Waters' writing--while she keeps the narrative moving and engages you with the plot, you know you can rest easy in her hands, that happily ever after is coming, with plenty of laughs along the way along with the satisfying journey through both main characters' growth toward their realization of their true-love-feelings. I'll also say how deeply I appreciated the self-awareness infused in the dialogue--be that about the privilege of heteronormative relationships, the unfairness of patriarchal norms, the despicable misogynist laws that wiped away a woman's autonomy, finances, and independence. Historical romances often gloss over this, and I really valued seeing it included. I also really enjoyed there being open communication about pleasure, personal preference for how it's achieved, and the degree of vulnerability both Jeremy and Diana were open to in the bedroom. Love to see sex-positivity and intimate communication normalized in romance!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Rogers

    Series: The Regency Vows #2 Publication Date: 4/6/21 Number of Pages: 384 Barbara’s Rating: ** 2.5 ** Stars I have just finished reading four outstanding, exciting, thrilling, edge-of-your-seat, 5-star historical mysteries and I wanted something light, humorous, entertaining, and romantic to read next. From the description in the book blurb, I decided this would be the perfect book to read next. Unfortunately, for me, it fell far, far, far short of being light, humorous, entertaining, or romantic. I Series: The Regency Vows #2 Publication Date: 4/6/21 Number of Pages: 384 Barbara’s Rating: ** 2.5 ** Stars I have just finished reading four outstanding, exciting, thrilling, edge-of-your-seat, 5-star historical mysteries and I wanted something light, humorous, entertaining, and romantic to read next. From the description in the book blurb, I decided this would be the perfect book to read next. Unfortunately, for me, it fell far, far, far short of being light, humorous, entertaining, or romantic. I was okay with the male lead, Jeremy – I didn’t love him, but I didn’t dislike him either. The female lead, on the other hand, is one of the most despicable, conniving, and sly mean-girls I’ve ever read – and I’ve been reading a very long time. If you took this same story and made it about bullies in school who were picking on and conniving against someone who couldn’t really fight back because they didn’t know what was happening behind their back – you wouldn’t find it the least bit funny. To me, Diana is that lead bully and she does some very despicable things to Jeremy. I absolutely cannot believe he could come to love her. I really struggled with how to rate the book. I was confident in my 2.5-star rating, but since I could only go with a 2 or a 3 on Goodreads, my conundrum was whether to round up or down. The only way I could convince myself to round up to 3 was because of the last 15% of the book and I just didn’t feel as if that made up for the first 85%. Diana was one person during the first 85% of the book and a totally different one during the last 15% of the book. The author tries to convince us that the person we met in the first 85% of the book was just a mask that Diana wore in order to ‘protect’ the real person. I could have almost bought some of that if she hadn’t done such hateful things to people who were not harming her in any way at all. It wasn’t only that she did hateful things – it was that she was gleeful and thoroughly enjoyed what she did and gave absolutely no care whatsoever about the life she was trying to sentence two innocent people to. I’m sorry – I couldn’t find even a little bit of liking for her. Her reason for needing to protect herself with a ‘mask’? She and her brother were orphaned and then raised by an aunt and uncle. Diana and her brother had no money, but they were well-clothed, well-fed, warm, and lived in a comfortable home where friends were welcome to visit. However, she felt ‘unwelcome’ though nobody ever actually said so – they did comment, however, on how expensive it was to raise her. She must have been a really insecure individual to have developed such complete trauma over being raised that way. One of the despicable things she did was to try to trap Jeremy with a vile woman and force a marriage. Why would anybody want to do that to another person? Yet, not only was Diana slyly and gleefully trying to do that, her friends were going along with it – even Jeremy’s friends weren’t calling her on it. Another despicable thing was that Lady Helen discussed a very, very private and dangerous secret with Diana – because Diana intimated she already knew the secret (she didn’t). This secret was one that could get Lady Helen hanged in that period. So, what does Diana do? Why she heads right in to share it with her friends – after swearing them to secrecy of course. Later, she tells Jeremy – though he already knew. Another thing I disliked about Diana (and her friends) was their total disrespect and disregard for males. There are many, many, many mentions of how stupid and useless the males of the species are. It just goes against my grain because I think there are very intelligent females and very intelligent males – and I think there are also very unintelligent females and males as well. Why does it always have to be winners and losers rather than respect for each other? Why did I think Diana was gleeful in the harm she was trying to cause? Here are only a couple of quotes, but keep in mind I had an ARC, so these may not all make it into the final cut of the book. There are LOTS of them, but here is a couple. “Diana, being a naturally devious person by nature, occasionally took advantage of this fact in her conversations with Emily…” “Lady Helen seemed to be just as odious as she appeared. Which, in turn, begged the question: how was Diana possibly going to convince Willingham to marry the lady?” “Diana thought that it was a great shame she had been born female, for she would have made an admirable general. All the people around her were players on a chessboard, moving about the board according to her plans.” I really, really wanted to love this book because I was in need of a lighthearted, humorous, happy, and romantic read. I just couldn’t get there no matter how hard I tried. I definitely wouldn’t read this book a second time – and even though Emily seems like an interesting character, I won’t be reading her book either. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chris C - A Midlife Wife

    The mighty fall. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I think it will be tough for this author to follow up on her first book but this story is a wonderful addition to her series. With delightful characters that seem to come alive, they capitulate you right into the story. Do you know those personalities that just love to pick on and annoy each other? Regardless if it’s a love or hate situation you know those types of people. In this story, the title speaks for itself. Delightful banter, teasing, and manipulation to the The mighty fall. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I think it will be tough for this author to follow up on her first book but this story is a wonderful addition to her series. With delightful characters that seem to come alive, they capitulate you right into the story. Do you know those personalities that just love to pick on and annoy each other? Regardless if it’s a love or hate situation you know those types of people. In this story, the title speaks for itself. Delightful banter, teasing, and manipulation to the extreme, (at one point Diana was even ticking me off), to the heated sexy realization that maybe they are right for each other. This book has everything packed into it with the emotional highs that you will love which carry you throughout the story. Waters has created another awesome story that just touches your soul. With fabulous supporting characters, which we know from the first book, there’s got to be more books to come and I just can’t wait to see what else she dishes. Witty, fun, sexy, and passionate, just a feel-good story all together. * copy received for review consideration Full Review - https://amidlifewife.com/to-love-and-...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Arielle ⭐ Cursebreaker ⭐

    Out today! --- THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD I'M OBSESSEDDDDDD. Okay....As you may remember, I had been sent a link to an e-galley for To Have and To Hoax late last year and almost passed it up because I had never read a historical romance before. Long story short I picked it up on a whim, devoured it in a day and have since went back to read different passages over and over again. When I found out that this book was being written, I prowled the author's social media pages and NetGalley/Edelweiss for the da Out today! --- THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD I'M OBSESSEDDDDDD. Okay....As you may remember, I had been sent a link to an e-galley for To Have and To Hoax late last year and almost passed it up because I had never read a historical romance before. Long story short I picked it up on a whim, devoured it in a day and have since went back to read different passages over and over again. When I found out that this book was being written, I prowled the author's social media pages and NetGalley/Edelweiss for the day that I would be able to request this baby. BY SOME MAGIC I was approved right away and got down to business. What I found was that I now completely swear by Martha Waters. I will read literally anything she puts out and you can quote me on that. I mean come on. Not only do I love her writing and characters and stories but she is ALSO a librarian. At this point we're basically kindred spirits, lol. But in all honesty, this book was just.....so, so good. I really thought that not much could top her first book but this one truly did. While that one featured a second chance romance where the couple basically played a game with one another to get the other to notice again, and that sort of thing can be really appealing....it can also be kind of frustrating. We as the reader are getting both sides of their stories so we KNOW that they love each other still and we KNOW that what they're doing is so silly and pointless but until they both come to terms with that, we're just at the mercy of them getting their heads out of their asses. THIS ONE THOUGH.....ahhhhh...."enemies" to lovers. This trope will forever hold a special place in my heart. As we saw in To Have and to Hoax, Diana, the young widow who is close friends with Violet, has bet Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham, and James's good friend 100 pounds that he will get married within a year. The two have forever been "at odds," always at each others throats with a quick witticism or jab to be thrown into what could easily have been a civil conversation. One day, Jeremy comes to call on Diana with a most embarrassing issue. After sleeping with a married man's wife, he had been accused of certain shortcomings within the bedroom and proposes that Diana with her no-bullshit attitude (and the fact that she's a widow) might help him figure out if there was any truth to the woman's angry words. She reluctantly agrees seeing as that might open the door for her to future lovers (and maybe partly because she MAY have always thought him to be extremely attractive). It all goes down during a country house party that Jeremy has every year. Between their STEAMY AS HELL encounters, Diana trying to set him up with one Lady Helen (who seems deplorable but also....maybe isn't?), us learning more about the "true" Jeremy and Diana...there was no lacking in ANYTHING. It was funny, it was emotional, it was hot, it gave me butterflies. I loved every single page, sentence, and paragraph, of this book and am now pining for more, more, more. Martha, please tell me that we get an EmilyxBelfry book, a SophiexWest book, and maybe even one for Penvale??? I'll all eyes and ears, lol. :) 100% would recommend. Huge thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for a change to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review. For more of my reviews, please visit:

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    For those of us that need a little bit of romance to satisfy our Regency cravings, Martha Waters has the perfect cure to indulge and satisfy. What starts out as a game, then a dare, the widowed Lady Templeton cannot help herself with Jeremy, the Marquess of Willingham, most especially when Jeremy asks for help to save his reputation. I enjoyed the witty and cheeky banter, flirtations, and their sizzling chemistry. Diana and Jeremy got more than what they bargained for in this wonderful English h For those of us that need a little bit of romance to satisfy our Regency cravings, Martha Waters has the perfect cure to indulge and satisfy. What starts out as a game, then a dare, the widowed Lady Templeton cannot help herself with Jeremy, the Marquess of Willingham, most especially when Jeremy asks for help to save his reputation. I enjoyed the witty and cheeky banter, flirtations, and their sizzling chemistry. Diana and Jeremy got more than what they bargained for in this wonderful English high society wagers and proposition your hearts will swoon over. I really enjoyed this one and read well as a stand alone.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Cook

    Diana, Lady Templeton is a widow known for her filrtation and banter with Jeremy the Marques of Wilingha. When they're at a ball one evening they're ribbing hits new levels when they make a wager, Jeremy will marry within the year or Diana owes him 100 pounds. A few days after Jeremy secretly approaches Diana for another proposition, one a bit more exciting. After having his bedroom performance critiqued by his latest lover Jeremy is looking for reassurance that he actually knows how to pleasure Diana, Lady Templeton is a widow known for her filrtation and banter with Jeremy the Marques of Wilingha. When they're at a ball one evening they're ribbing hits new levels when they make a wager, Jeremy will marry within the year or Diana owes him 100 pounds. A few days after Jeremy secretly approaches Diana for another proposition, one a bit more exciting. After having his bedroom performance critiqued by his latest lover Jeremy is looking for reassurance that he actually knows how to pleasure a woman. He offers to enter into an affair with Diana so he can get critiqued on his lovemaking skills while she will become known among the ton gentleman that she's looking to take a new lover. This was a fast paced read in parts but slow in others, overall it was very fun, lighthearted and I've heard it described as cheeky and I'd say that's very accurate. But the writing style really rubbed me the wrong way. It felt like it was trying too hard to be a "modern" historical romance and a lot of the banter and dialog just felt over the top to me. It leaned heavily into the rom com side but it didn't quite pull it off in my opinion. Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    PlotTrysts

    We loved this book. The setup sounds hilarious: Jeremy is a typical HistRom rake who recently got some not-so-stellar feedback on his performance. To reassure himself that he's actually not all that bad in bed AND to take advantage of the persistent attraction between him and one of his longtime acquaintances, Diana, he proposes a friends with benefits situation. Diana decides that the benefits do sound enticing, so she agrees that they can start their FWB sitch at Jeremy's annual house party. ( We loved this book. The setup sounds hilarious: Jeremy is a typical HistRom rake who recently got some not-so-stellar feedback on his performance. To reassure himself that he's actually not all that bad in bed AND to take advantage of the persistent attraction between him and one of his longtime acquaintances, Diana, he proposes a friends with benefits situation. Diana decides that the benefits do sound enticing, so she agrees that they can start their FWB sitch at Jeremy's annual house party. (Side note: don't house parties sound great? It's like a vacation home with all your buddies except you're so rich you can pay for people to make your food and clean the rental.) What really sets this book apart, though, is the critical eye Martha Waters casts on male privilege and communication skills in relationships. Of course we are reading this through a historical lens, but sometimes using that lens can allow us to see our own era more clearly. Great emphasis is placed on the facades women assume to succeed in their one lifepath (marriage), with a similar focus on the veneer of masculinity. This is exactly what we want out of Historical Romance: a fun story, a real romantic connection between the main characters, with a nuanced exploration of social issues that can be applied to the "real world" as well. We were entertained, impressed, and completely satisfied with the conclusion. 14-Word Summaries: Laine: Jeremy was too poor for Diana in her first season, but she's widowed now.⁠ ⁠ Meg: After some not-so-stellar feedback on his “performance,” rake asks his crush/enemy for “advice.”⁠ This objective review is based on a complimentary advanced reader copy of the novel.

  19. 5 out of 5

    ABookwormWithWine

    To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters is book 2 of the Regency Vows series, and just like book 1 (To Have and to Hoax), I simply adored it! It is full of snark, humor, romance, and just enough steam to get you going. I usually don't read historical romance, but this is a series I love coming back to, and I really liked the way Waters brought back characters we have already had the pleasure of meeting in the first book. I am such a huge fan of the way this author writes, and even though I tend t To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters is book 2 of the Regency Vows series, and just like book 1 (To Have and to Hoax), I simply adored it! It is full of snark, humor, romance, and just enough steam to get you going. I usually don't read historical romance, but this is a series I love coming back to, and I really liked the way Waters brought back characters we have already had the pleasure of meeting in the first book. I am such a huge fan of the way this author writes, and even though I tend to read this series slower than I normally read, I still love every minute of it. I snickered and laughed out loud more times than I can count, and I loved our lead characters, Diana and Jeremy. The book is told from both of their perspectives and I wouldn't have had it any other way. I do want to say a quick word about the audiobook since I decided to check that out for the last part of the book. Anais Inara Chase & Joel Froomkin narrate it and I thought it was so fantastically done. They were the perfect narrators for Diana and Jeremy and even though I always love when there is more than one narrator, I especially loved it for To Love and to Loathe. I think the audio is a great option if you like listening to books, and I can tell you that you definitely won't be disappointed by Chase and Froomkin. This is such a refreshing series and I always love the banter between all of the characters. Diana is one of my favorites by far, and I was so happy to get her story through this book. If you like romcoms in any form, I highly recommend both of the books in this series! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  20. 5 out of 5

    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

    Being called an idiot by Diana was better than any of Lady Helen's flattery—or, indeed, any other compliment he'd ever received. On my blog. Rep: lesbian character There’s nothing quite like picking up a book you know you’re going to love, for whatever reason. I knew, going into To Love and To Loathe, that I was going to enjoy it, given how much I loved To Have and To Hoax. It follows two of the characters I desperately wanted to see more of after the first book, and develops their relation Being called an idiot by Diana was better than any of Lady Helen's flattery—or, indeed, any other compliment he'd ever received. On my blog. Rep: lesbian character There’s nothing quite like picking up a book you know you’re going to love, for whatever reason. I knew, going into To Love and To Loathe, that I was going to enjoy it, given how much I loved To Have and To Hoax. It follows two of the characters I desperately wanted to see more of after the first book, and develops their relationship excellently. As with the first book, Martha Waters is adept at showing you two, admittedly flawed, individuals overcoming their pride and starting a relationship. Diana and Jeremy ostensibly hate each other, although most of that hate is more like banter and a desire to provoke the other. When Jeremy is informed that his sexual prowess, let’s say, is leaving something to be desired, he makes a deal with Diana: they embark on an affair to give Jeremy the reassurance he is not bad in bed, and to give Diana a certain desirability among other gentlemen. However, there is the added complication of a wager made beforehand, regarding the chances of Jeremy marrying before the year is out. The best thing about this book is the dynamic between Diana and Jeremy. They spend a lot of the book just snarking at each other, trying to convince themselves they do actually hate the other, but the tension between them is tangible. And that’s what makes this a great romance novel. Genuinely, I think the only part that I didn’t enjoy was the third act break-up, which was so stupid. I still don’t quite understand exactly how it came about, and how I was supposed to believe in it. Honestly, if it hadn’t happened, I would have rated this book higher, because who really needs a misunderstanding-based break-up that only barely fits with the characterisations of the individuals involved? (Okay, that sounds harsh. But it’s a pet peeve.) But, if you enjoyed To Have and to Hoax, or if you’re just looking for a good histrom novel, then I would highly recommend this one.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rayne ♥

    AHHHH I GOT AN ARC! //// I am ready to sell my kidney for this beauty. The first book was amazing and how a romance novel should be done and I can't wait for this! #1 [ To Have and to Hoax ] ★★★★☆ Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own. instagram | goodreads AHHHH I GOT AN ARC! //// I am ready to sell my kidney for this beauty. The first book was amazing and how a romance novel should be done and I can't wait for this! #1 [ To Have and to Hoax ] ★★★★☆ Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own. instagram | goodreads

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review. I've haven't read this author, but the book blurb made this book sound like a fun HR. It's been a while since I tried a new author. I would describe this book as a historical rom-com story set primarily at a two week house party hosted by the Hero. I personally did not like this book as much as I was hoping I would. It was entertaining enough and I can see shades of Jane Austin Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review. I've haven't read this author, but the book blurb made this book sound like a fun HR. It's been a while since I tried a new author. I would describe this book as a historical rom-com story set primarily at a two week house party hosted by the Hero. I personally did not like this book as much as I was hoping I would. It was entertaining enough and I can see shades of Jane Austin in the witty banter between the Hero and the Heroine. The whole plot hinges on how these two, neither of whom want to fall in love, fall in love. Diana, Lady Templeton, is a 23 year old widow and loves the freedom that state affords her. She selected her husband at 18 based on several requirements and love wasn't one of them. She was fortunate that he died after only two years of marriage. His money has allowed her to live as she choses. Jeremy, Marquees of Willingham, is the second son who wasn't supposed to inherit. His parents had a typical ton marriage and he has no desire for any of that. He has known Diana since she was a child and they have matched wits in an ongoing, sharp-tongued, bantering flirtation for years. A wager is made by Diana that Jeremy will wed within one year. Jeremy has a different proposition for Diana and since neither likes to lose, the game will be played out at a house party at Elderwild, Jeremy's country estate. With one hundred pounds on the line, as well as bragging rights, may the best man or woman win.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    This was the very first book that I have read from this author and I'm so glad that I took a chance on her and the series because this really was just so much fun. The banter between these two was definitely tension filled in all the very best ways and the enemies to lovers trope has always been a favorite of mine. Through in some hijinks, things not always going as planned and some deep seeded passion and you had one heck of a read all set in a time of place that was magical. Such a fun read that This was the very first book that I have read from this author and I'm so glad that I took a chance on her and the series because this really was just so much fun. The banter between these two was definitely tension filled in all the very best ways and the enemies to lovers trope has always been a favorite of mine. Through in some hijinks, things not always going as planned and some deep seeded passion and you had one heck of a read all set in a time of place that was magical. Such a fun read that lets you get away for a few hours and be transported somewhere else, into a much simpler time and into a steamy romance that anyone is sure to love. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  24. 5 out of 5

    Iris

    I wasn't thrilled with how long the "hoax" lasted in book 1 - To Have And To Hoax, but the veneer of decency—in particular that of the heroine Diana and her friends (though hero wasn't far behind) began to crack even earlier in this one. By the time Diana promised to keep another woman's very serious secret and then almost instantly blabbed about it to her friends I was done. No amount of (very)mildly amusing banter was enough to save the book. These just aren't very nice people. I wasn't thrilled with how long the "hoax" lasted in book 1 - To Have And To Hoax, but the veneer of decency—in particular that of the heroine Diana and her friends (though hero wasn't far behind) began to crack even earlier in this one. By the time Diana promised to keep another woman's very serious secret and then almost instantly blabbed about it to her friends I was done. No amount of (very)mildly amusing banter was enough to save the book. These just aren't very nice people.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ilhaam

    enemies-to-lovers. violet and audley. jeremy being soft. his grandma🤠. everyone being funny. is there another reason for anyone to want to read this? (now gimme Emily and Julian’s book😈) read as an arc provided by the publisher. this has no effect on my rating or review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    JP

    Historical romance about two long time acquaintances trying to figure each other out. There was always something there between them and they’ve spent their lives denying it. Diana’s a widow now and Jeremy is basically a rake. The main part of this happens during a house party. I love house parties. But this thing went round and round. They almost got together a million times. Well if felt like a million. Anyway, it had a lot of potential but never delivered in a heartfelt happy experience for me Historical romance about two long time acquaintances trying to figure each other out. There was always something there between them and they’ve spent their lives denying it. Diana’s a widow now and Jeremy is basically a rake. The main part of this happens during a house party. I love house parties. But this thing went round and round. They almost got together a million times. Well if felt like a million. Anyway, it had a lot of potential but never delivered in a heartfelt happy experience for me. I really wanted to like this but it just fell flat for me. And it did feel like a historical Romance to me. Thanks Atria Books via Netgalley.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ashlee Bree

    Only a fool could find anything to loathe about this book. What we have here is droll and scrumptious. It's pure chocolate-y goodness for the soul. It's full of all the fluffy, scintillating, one-two jabs you need from a historical romance featuring two bantering idiots who have been at odds; who have been dancing around each other on tiptoes, pecking at each other like two teasing mules, "facing off" in society's trenches for years and years! I am telling you that you will not regret a single mo Only a fool could find anything to loathe about this book. What we have here is droll and scrumptious. It's pure chocolate-y goodness for the soul. It's full of all the fluffy, scintillating, one-two jabs you need from a historical romance featuring two bantering idiots who have been at odds; who have been dancing around each other on tiptoes, pecking at each other like two teasing mules, "facing off" in society's trenches for years and years! I am telling you that you will not regret a single moment you spend sparring or swooning with Diana and Jeremy. Together, they crackle. Together, they vibrate with Darcy and Elizabeth enemies-to-lovers energy. They fire witticisms at each other's heads from the get-go: scandalizing their family and friends, appalling innocent onlookers, embroiling themselves deeper and deeper into a ring of unmistakable attraction the longer they know each other. The plot kicks off when they cross paths at a society event and Diana, the widowed Lady Templeton, makes a one hundred pound wager that Jeremy, the Marquess of Willingham, will be married within a year. Naturally "sparks" of disagreement fly between them. She says he will be caught and shackled by a wife soon. He, ever content to indulge in rakish whims and bachelorhood, says never, not in a million years. Not long after this, however, Jeremy receives an unflattering critique of his prowess in the bedroom from a married lady with whom he had been having an affair. Troubled, unmoored by this, he proposes a liaison to Diana, knowing her to be unscrupulous in honesty, figuring it to be the best way to get at the root of said critique's validity. He needs practice as well as reassurance, and she agrees in the hopes that an affair with a well-known rake will open the throughway to her for future lovers. (The fact that they find each other attractive is notwithstanding.) So they shake hands. Declare their "arrangement" will last for the duration of his house party in the country, which just so happens to be two weeks. But what starts out as a No Strings (Frenemies) With Benefits arrangement soon heavies once they realize they might actually like each other...and for a lot more than their sharp tongues. Simply put: their romance is steamy, well-developed, AND entertaining! Though this book technically falls under a historical romance header, there's also a contemporary sensibility about it that makes it feel fresh. Fun. Familiar. Hell, even a little risqué. And I cannot get over how well it all works. Inside, there's a mishmash of period/romcom tropes with a twist. There are situations so ribald you'll be clapping a hand over your mouth to swallow back your giggles. There's ribbing as well as revelation, expectation as well as surprise. And there's an ensemble of wonderful characters around the main pairing who add to the plot tapestry: like The Dowager Marchioness of Willingham, who is admired and feared almost in equal measure. Like Lady Helen, a desperate husband hunter who may be much more than she seems. Like Violet, James, Emily, Penvale, and Belfry, many of whom still have their own stories to tell. (Or so I'm hoping. *fingers crossed*) There's so much to love here, so much to trill about, that I'm zipping myself up in my Mia Thermopolis alter-ego to drown you all in "shut up, shut UP" exclamations until you heed the words coming out of my mouth and dash - I mean immediately - to procure yourself a to-read copy so you can prostrate yourself amid this delectable, uproariously amusing story as soon as it comes out. I'm serious, you need it in your lives. Shelve it now, I said! Right now, right now! Many thanks to Atria Books, Isabel DaSilva, and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my review! BOOK BLOG

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kylie

    DNF @ 47% The premise of this book was fun but I felt that there just wasn't enough plot to sustain it. The banter was almost too much and there was a lot of inner monologue and not nearly enough actual dialogue. I found myself skimming a lot and tried to force myself to finish reading it but just couldn't. DNF @ 47% The premise of this book was fun but I felt that there just wasn't enough plot to sustain it. The banter was almost too much and there was a lot of inner monologue and not nearly enough actual dialogue. I found myself skimming a lot and tried to force myself to finish reading it but just couldn't.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sahitya

    Definitely more of a 3.5. Now that I think a bit after finishing this book, I realize that I haven’t actually read a romance novel in almost four months. And it has mostly been because I seem to have totally lost interest in reading anything contemporary. But today, I was just in the mood for some love and decided it was better to choose a historical romance instead and it was definitely a better decision. I haven’t read the previous book by the author and I have no idea if the two are companion Definitely more of a 3.5. Now that I think a bit after finishing this book, I realize that I haven’t actually read a romance novel in almost four months. And it has mostly been because I seem to have totally lost interest in reading anything contemporary. But today, I was just in the mood for some love and decided it was better to choose a historical romance instead and it was definitely a better decision. I haven’t read the previous book by the author and I have no idea if the two are companion pieces, but I had no trouble understanding the world this was set in and all the important players. The author is good at writing banter full of tension and humor, and I was really looking forward to the conversations, not just between Diana and Jeremy, but between the side characters as well. I liked how both of them were not afraid to go toe to toe with each other, whether verbally or in bed and it made for an interesting dynamic. The author also has written good female friendships, and I particularly was pleased to see her avoid pitting two women against each other. Jeremy’s grandma was another colorful character and I was truly hoping she had more of a role to play coz she was loads of fun. This was an overall fun and entertaining romance and probably just the right thing I needed to take my mind off other things in my life. It’s always nice to see intelligent and independent thinking women characters in historical romances and I think this couple are well matched in that sense. While the sexual tension was there, I just wish there was more to convince that they were actually in love. As a very rare reader of this genre, I would probably keep a lookout for the author’s next work, because it just might be the perfect one based on my mood.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Debby*BabyDee

    To Love and to Loathe is a first time read by author, Martha Waters. I do love a historical romance with a bit of comedy and this story was right up there. Although I haven't had the privilege of reading the first in this series, I'm quite sure that it was going to be entertaining also. Well, it did not fail. The book centers around Lady Templeton and the Marquess of Willingham after making a wager that the Marquess, a well-know rake among the ton will marry within the year. Hmm, this story seeme To Love and to Loathe is a first time read by author, Martha Waters. I do love a historical romance with a bit of comedy and this story was right up there. Although I haven't had the privilege of reading the first in this series, I'm quite sure that it was going to be entertaining also. Well, it did not fail. The book centers around Lady Templeton and the Marquess of Willingham after making a wager that the Marquess, a well-know rake among the ton will marry within the year. Hmm, this story seemed quite familiar to another book I had just read by Ameilia Gray, however it was equal in entertaining my senses. Although the main characters are not smitten...well really loathe one another, their bantor and what transpired from a frenamy relationship to hot and intimate lovers was comical yet lovely. Once I started reading this book, it was very hard for me to put it down as it was quite hilarious in some parts. This is the kind of historical rom-com that you kind of love to see the H/h shed the pettiness and loathing and coming to a truce. Their characters are developed into mature individuals who honestly find themselves attracted to one another and subsequently loving each other. This story was delightful and well-written with the HEA I anticipated. As for me, Ms. Waters as an author that has garnished a place on my "new author" list. Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by Atria Books via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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