To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters

Monday, April 20, 2020

by Martha Waters
Genres: Historical, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Atria
Publication Date: April 7th 2020
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷

To Have and to Hoax was so delightful! I've been eagerly waiting to read the book since I first heard about it, but wanted to wait for the right time. I guess my brain thought that a pandemic was the best time to read it. And it was because for the few hours I spent with To Have and to Hoax, it helped me laugh, swoon, and momentarily escape the real world. If like me you enjoy historical romances, I would add this to your TBRs.

Violet and James had one blissful and happy year of marriage before everything went awry. Despite living in the same house, their relationship is not that of a happy husband and wife duo. There is a ton of bitterness and frustration in their relationship but these knuckleheads don't want to talk through their issues. When Violet receives the message that James has been critically injured following a horse riding incident, she rushes back to their country estate, only to find him thriving at a tavern. Undeniably, she is upset at this and decides that she will get back at her estranged husband by feigning to be ill. And so begins a series of devious games between husband and wife as they try to outplay each other.

Though this concept may seem a bit over the top to some, I found myself enjoying every minute of Violet and James' shenanigans. Yes, they certainly could have saved themselves a lot of heartache by sitting down and having an open conversation, but where is the fun in that for us readers? There's a lot of witty banter and in between all the pranks and you'll find moments where their undeniable chemistry just shines. I had a blast with them and though yes, I did want to smack some senses into both Violet and James at times, I was also attached to these characters. They sure were bull-headed, but also quite lovable. The revenge plans and pranks bring them closer together and we begin to see their emotions and feelings unravel. I found the journey to their reconciliation to be extremely gratifying and so swoony! You'll also find an excellent secondary cast here. I especially loved Diana and Sophie, two of Violet's closest friends, and all the hints at their potential future romance arcs.

If you're looking for an escape in these trying times, I would highly recommend To Have and to Hoax. It's funny, delivers on the swoon, and is utterly charming.

What are some books you've been reading while you're stuck at home?
Let me know in the comments below!

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