Publication Date: April 6, 2021
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Dates Read: May 29- June 2, 2021
Format: ebook from Publisher via NetGalley
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.
I enjoyed reading this one, but it wasn’t my favorite. Just like her debut novel To Have and To Hoax (you can read my review of that one here) It had things I liked and things I didn’t like. It had my favorite trope which is a plus. The characters were great, the storyline is good, I just felt that the story really focused a lot more on the lustful aspects of the relationship more than the actual romance.
The actual romance was maybe the last… 50ish pages? Maybe not even that many, that may be generous. I wish that Martha Waters would have written this so that these characters would have understood their feelings a lot sooner, and we could have explored their character growth and relationship more.
Overall, the story’s premise is good, I like the writing style, and the overall story works well. Just wish that the romance would have been longer or we had seen more in that aspect.
Special Thanks to Atria Books who gifted me an eARC through NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
MARTHA WATERS is the author of To Have and To Hoax and To Love and To Loathe. She was born and raised in sunny South Florida and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. By day she works as a children’s librarian, and loves sundresses, gin cocktails, and traveling.
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