Named a Best Romance of April by Goodreads, Popsugar, Bustle, and more!
“A laugh out loud Regency romp—if you loved the Bridgertons, you’ll adore To Have and to Hoax!” —Lauren Willig, New York Times bestselling author
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.
Waters's debut Regency rom-com delights with hilarious, high-concept romantic schemes that call to mind Shakespeare's comedies. Lady Violet Grey's first meeting with Lord James Audley, second son of a duke, was a comedy of errors. Despite an unlikely start and constant bickering, the pair fell in love and married. The first year was bliss for these sparring hearts, but one argument too many turned their passionate romance sour, and an icy distance has persisted between them for the past four years. They're reunited when Violet learns that James has fallen from his horse in a riding accident. She rushes to his side only to discover him totally fine and seemingly indifferent to her concern. To recapture his attention, Violet enlists her two closest friends to help her fake a health crisis of her own. What follows is a series of riotously funny mishaps, pranks, and misunderstandings as the feuding couple weaponize Regency manners for their own ends. Waters gently lampoons genre tropes without sacrificing genuine feeling. Self-aware and brimming with well-timed epiphanies, this joyful, elegant romp is sure to enchant.
To have and to hoax Martha Waters
Wow! It isn’t every day that you find a gem such as this book. I loved this book and just couldn’t put it down. Very well written. The characters are wonderful. A must read for anybody who loves the Regency period.
Excellent Banter, Funny and Charming
I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters is her debut book. Lady Violet Gray and Lord James Audley met on a moonlit terrace, and less than 20 minutes later, she was declared compromised, and he did the honourable thing, and they married. Their marriage worked delightfully for the first year because they were very attracted to each other, but when they found out that they’d been set up James not one to trust people decided that Violet must have been in on it and so they’ve spent the last four years estranged and not speaking. When Violet is notified that James has been injured, she rushes to his side broken-hearted that perhaps she waited too long to let him know she still loved him, only to find that he’s fine and wondering why she would bother. Violet decides to make James understand how she felt by pretending to be ill, a plan it is noted her friends thought would inevitably fail, and of course, it does leading to a situation where she knows that he knows that she knows that he knows and much laughter. The story is funny and charming with excellent banter and a Happy Ever After that can only be achieved by letting go of the past, learning to trust and opening your heart. Medium Steam. Publishing Date April 7, 2020. #NetGalley #ToHaveAndToHoax #MarthaWaters #AtriaBooks #HistoricalRomance #HistoricalFiction #bookstagram