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To Have and to Hoax

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  120 ratings  ·  76 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 368 pages
Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by Atria Books
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  120 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This one is fun, entertaining, quick, hilarious, feel-good reading!

I know so well that:

The characters were so obnoxious, immature, spoiled brats acting like underage, sabotaging their relationship over and over and at least hundred times, I want to bang their heads into each other and scream their faces to kiss and make up! But I loved their story, the hot chemistry, witty dialogues, intriguing pacing. So their childish manners can be tolerable!

The couple’s silent treatment ends with faking
jess ✨
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
To Have and to Hoax would be the kind of book that in normal circumstances would annoy me beyond reason. Main characters acting in a very childish way, refusing to sit down and talk even though this would solve things so quickly (but there would also not be a book to read, of course) but this was not the case.

The main reason I enjoyed and had such a good time with this book was that was incredibly self-aware. Both main characters were extremely immature, especially once they started their
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
I liked the story but the game playing really got to be too much. Plus I hated that James had to be groveling when she was waaaay more involved in the crap than he.
This book sounded like a great deal of fun and I was excited to get into it. It started out in a fabulous way and I just loved the two of them together. I was sure they were going to be a wonderful pair!

However, sooner than later, it turned into a grudge fest and the games began. In many aspects this book frustrated
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1812, In Regency England Lady Violet Grey is 18 years old “with a respectable fortune and unimpeachable bloodline” and quite curious in nature. Warned by her mother that her curiosity would only ruin her.

It seems as her ruining process starts with Jeremy Overington, Marquess of Willingham and “notorious rakehell.” Before she knows, his mouth is covering hers. Then over the Marquess’ shoulder, she sees the most handsome man she’d ever seen. In “a shaft of light,” she recognizes the handsome face
Arielle ⭐ Cursebreaker ⭐
And to think I almost didn't read this book. I have rarely ever had a publisher reach out to me via e-mail with a widget for a book that I didn't already request or show interest in. As I was going through my g-mail last night I stumbled across an e-mail from a person in marketing from Atria and saw they were giving me the chance to read this book. I kind of grumbled to myself at first because well, I'm always in way over my head with ARCs to read but THANK GOD I decided to read the blurb. This ...more
Kari | Books For The Living
Overall, I enjoyed this one. I really liked the world Waters created with these cheeky and charming characters. This was a unique twist on a married romance as the couple has only been married for one year before a massive argument results in their 4-year estrangement. Some of the argument has to do with a miscommunication (heads up there if those sorts of things bother you in romances), but a lot of the estrangement was a result of personal obstacles the characters needed to overcome in order ...more
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
I thought for sure that I would love this one, but while the premise is excellent, the execution left me frustrated. If you don't like books where the two main characters cannot communicate and could resolve the issue with an honest conversation, you'll likely be frustrated too.
Violet and James met, fell in love, and married very quickly. After a blissful first year of marriage, they get into a quite stupid argument where James believed that Violet had manipulated him into marriage and Violet
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Started off my fall beach week vacation by reading a book written by a friend, and super-excited to be able to recommend it to all and sundry. Regency romance with sexy tension, lots of humor, and room for sequels. Loved it.
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
THIS REVIEW & MORE Paws and Paperbacks

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Had the publisher not reached out to me about this book, it probably would have missed my radar altogether. I haven’t seen the title on any upcoming lists, I hadn’t hear of this debut author, and in all honesty, one look at that cover and I would have skipped right over this (please can it get a makeover?). That being said, I am extremely thankful that I received that email about this upcoming rom-com,
Davina Herondale
The thing is, I liked this story. I don't think I would ever reread it, but it was cute.

I do hope we see more stories set in this world because some of the side characters deserve their own story and I would be first in line to get a copy should this ever happen.

(view spoiler)
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You know that feeling you get when you finish a new book and then immediately think, “Well, damn, now I need to go yell about this to everyone”? I’m at that stage right now with the super delightful TO HAVE AND TO HOAX despite the fact that I barely finished less than ten minutes ago. Comparisons to THE HATING GAME are often overused and have lost all meaning at this point, but it’s an apt comparison to make here. Think Sally Thorne, but set in the Regency era with more pettiness and a pair who ...more
Meredith Schorr
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
In full disclosure, I probably wouldn't have picked this one up if the publisher hadn't reached out to me. This is because I typically read only contemporary romance. But the description of a history romcom with a Hating Game vibe won me over.

This was a really fun read with characters who could have easily been on the pages of a modern-day romance and characters I think would be so much fun to hang out with. Although the main conflict could have been resolved with an honest conversation, usually
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a tender, gratifying, hilarious romance! I loved the smart teasing that was never mean, and always made me giggle. I loved that their friends were a constant source of gentle but wise reminders to just talk it out, for heaven's sake, and all of their various entanglements hinting at more potential novels to come. I loved their ridiculous stubbornness and plots that were absurd enough to be funny but not so absurd that they lost me. I thought James's character especially was really ...more
A husband and wife that have been forced into a marriage after being discovered on a balcony alone engage in a one up battle with each other after an argument. After once being truly in love early on in their marriage, they have spent four year barely acknowledging each others existence. It all comes to a head as they try to out-do each other in a battle of making the other person regret their actions.

I had such high hopes for To Have and To Hoax, but unfortunately it missed the mark for me. I
Jessica C
To Have and to Hoax sounds a little out of the norm from a typical rom-com style book. I was initially skeptical of Lady Violet Grey’s story, but I’m so glad I gave it a chance! This novel follows Lady Violet Gray and her husband Lord James Audley. Married five years ago following an initial whirlwind romance full of love and lust, they are now four years into an estranged marriage. Barely speaking, hurling insults and sleeping in separate bedrooms both Violet and James are miserable. This novel ...more
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some people will enjoy this book and other won’t have the patience for it. That is ok. I enjoyed it, but was also frequently asking myself why I kept on going. I was an addict that couldn’t stop. I think that shows some talent of the story. It’s about a married couple that basically just won’t talk to each other about what really is going on so shenanigans ensue. The characters were likable, but I also felt the need to shake them frequently. Secondary characters were on par. I would definitely ...more
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
Thank you Edelweiss for the eARC!

3.5 stars. TO HAVE AND TO HOAX is a hilarious, lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers, historical romance, with lots of hijinks and chemistry. While the ending dragged on a little long, I really enjoyed the criss-crossing revenge plots and banter between the two main characters. Crossing my fingers for a follow-up with West and Sophie!
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
So fun.
Carol lowkey.bookish
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was such a fun and quick read! I loved the humor and romance in this book

Books described as Regency rom com don’t come around very often so when I had the opportunity to read this I jumped at the chance. This whole book hinges on a huge communication issue between Lord James and Lady Violet. Because of this, I wanted to give them both a good shake to break them out of their spell of childish pranks and pretending. In fact, one of their friends asks if they think they are “overdue for a
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Based on the description, I expected to love this book. Instead, I nearly DNF'd it about a third of the way through. I got to the halfway mark and skimmed the next several hundred pages and tuned back in for the last twenty and don't feel like I missed anything. This could have been a farce. This should have been a farce. Instead, it was a predictable, boring, frustrating slog that could have been shorter and should have involved a conversation between the protagonists long before one actually ...more
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“All is fair in love and war.” Whoever came up with that idea never met Lady Violet Grey and Lord John Audley To Have and To Hoax is a hysterically entertaining historical Rom-Com that proves that while the course of true love never did run smooth, it makes for one hell of ride.

What’s more romantic then the Regency era? Violet and James are your typical Austen style characters. The willful Elizabeth and broody Darcy if you want a comparison. But instead of a drawn out annoyed to love
Sue Trowbridge
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an email from the publisher inviting me to download an advance copy of this book, despite the fact that I have only ever reviewed contemporary romances; I am by no means an expert on Regencies, so I went with the assumption that this meant "To Have and to Hoax" is not just going to be aimed at readers who are already big Regency fans. And indeed, the book & the characters in "To Have and to Hoax" do feel quite contemporary, despite the 19th century setting. That was fine with me; ...more
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
**I received a copy of this via the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley met, fell in love and got married very quickly. Now, five years into their marriage, the pair haven't spoken since having an argument to end all arguments four years earlier. Their once passionate marriage is now full of cold silences and colder shoulders. But when Violet receives a letter stating that James had been thrown from his horse and rendered unconscious, she drops
Judy Beetem
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a fun book to read! I was fortunate to read an ARC and devoured it on a long snowy evening. The story takes place in Regency England. Young Lady Violet Grey finds herself in a compromising position with a much older and experienced cad during the first party of her season. Fortunately Lord James Audley steps in to her rescue and ends up proposing marriage. Lady Violet, smitten with the dashing Lord James accepts and they begin a whirlwind courtship and a happy, romantic marriage. ...more
Kaitlyn Joy
I received a reviewer copy of To Have an to Hoax by Martha Waters from the publisher Atria Books in exchange for an honest review.

What It’s About: Violet and James are a love match in there regency England community and they were madly in love but after an all consuming fight, four years later there marriage is in serious danger. To get her husband's attention, Violet fakes an illness.

What I Loved: This book is really light and biting. I particularly liked the parts where the couple got along
The Suburban Eclectic
Nietzsche said, “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” To Have and to Hoax does not lack for friendship, alas it is not between the marriage between Violet and James. However, the camaraderie between Violet and James' gaggle of friends are perfect examples of squad goals. But, the star of this tome is the back and forth between the main characters. The banter is quick and light, but with enough zip that will have you tucking a few zingers away for ...more
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was almost an enemies to lovers trope. Maybe lovers to enemies to lovers is more descriptive. Violet and James met and were married relatively quickly and had a wonderful first year. Then there was the Argument and four years of chilly silences and avoidance. And then James fell off his horse and was knocked unconscious. Violet rushed to his side- to discover he wasn't quite as injured as she thought. This interaction sparked new rules of engagement that led to events that were both ...more
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every once in a while I like to delve into historical romance. There is something to be said for societal impropriety. Add in some humor, a second chance romance and you have To Have and to Hoax.

18 and at her first season, Violet is nearly ruined with her friends brother, Jeremy. Alone on a balcony is everything her mother warned her about. Before their lips could connect Lord James Audley happens upon them and warns them of the implications of being found together. Only now, Violet is not
Jacquie Hamilton
James and Violet meet during her first Season and are caught talking on a balcony without a chaperone. It's not an issue as it's love at first sight for both of them. They marry and live happily for the first year. James finds out that his father and Violet's mother engineered the whole scene and believes that Violet was in on it after he overhears a conversation between her and his father. Fast forward four years and they have been living in an armed state since then. Violet receives a note ...more
Feb 13, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5 stars

I loved the idea of To Have and to Hoax, the debut from Martha Waters, but the actual execution of the story left me somewhat bored in the end.

There are some wonderful moments in the book. I laughed out loud on more than one occasion and I appreciated all of Waters' characters. As a whole, the cast of To Have and To Hoax is absolutely delightful. Their witty banter was perfect and I appreciated how interlaced the group was and how their dynamic helped move the story forward when it
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Martha Waters was born and raised in sunny South Florida and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She works as a children’s librarian in North Carolina and spends much of her free time traveling. To Have and to Hoax is her first novel. Sign up for her newsletter for periodic book news and reading & travel recs: