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To Have and to Hoax

(The Regency Vows #1)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  5,227 ratings  ·  1,242 reviews
Librarian Note: Older cover of 9781982136116.

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
Paperback, 361 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by Atria Books
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Martha The prologue is in 1812, and the main action of the book is in 1817! :)
Martha A companion book about Diana and Jeremy is called To Love and to Loathe and is coming in spring 2021!

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Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,227 ratings  ·  1,242 reviews

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Right off the bat, this looks like it would be really cute and funny!


The title, the description, and the cover ALL really sucked me in. Oh, haha! These two are going to badger each other with old-timey pranks, and won't that be so different and hilarious?!
I was ready to fall in love with these guys.


And maybe that's why I was disappointed.
The expectations were a little too high?
Regardless, this one was just ok for me. It wasn't funny. There wasn't any snappy dialogue or witty back and forth.
chan ☆
maybe it's because i'm reading both books for a video, but this is a less funny and less interesting historical version of You Deserve Each Other.

i love that there are more romances lately that focus on married couples, because it's a slightly fresh take for the genre. but this didn't work for me. i can get past miscommunication when it's a build of misunderstanding someone's feelings but this was just one poorly communicated encounter that led to the characters not talking for 4 years.

and the
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

TO HAVE AND TO HOAX gave me a veritable rollercoaster ride of reactions. When I picked this book up, I was like, "Wow, this is so witty and well-written, I can't believe it has such a low rating!" And then I was like, "Okay, this pranking is a little silly and I'm really curious what they were fighting about, and it's more witty than ha ha funny, but I'm still feeling it." And then I was like, "Okay, FINALLY! A kiss!" And then I was like
Nilufer Ozmekik
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 s
Éimhear (A Little Haze)
This book was such a LOL from start to finish! I’ve never read a full historical romance novel before this so I don’t know if that is exactly what this is... but whatever it is is a whole lot of fun!

I’m used to contemporary romances. And I’m used to Austen. And this was a glorious mash up of the two!

It’s like taking the best traits and tropes of a contemporary romantic comedy; so great big dollops of sass and witty banter between two fabulously funny leads.
And then transporting all of that con
Aoife - Bookish_Babbling

No thanks to the MCs tho, gosh could I not stand those two spoiled, pompous ridiculous babies!
Having somehow forgotten to reread the synopsis before my trigger-finger slipped on the one-click-buy option after seeing it was just over $2 in the kindle store - I missed the glaring hiccup highlighting one of my least favourite romcom tropes right there in the blurb...LYING 🤮
Okay, so I know the clue is in the title "Hoax" and I should have known better. I guess I was just uncomfortable with the
Alexis Hall
This fucking delighted me – and served as a much needed antidote for 2020.

It’s a self-consciously frivolous (but still depthy) Regency an absurd plot and an archness of tone that really worked for me. There’s something slightly Wildean about it: artful silliness.

The basic deal is that the hero and heroine married in haste, after being caught on a balcony together in the dark. But it was still—against all the odds—a love match. Flash forward four years, though, and Something Has Gone Very Wrong T
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
dumbass couples in 1800s hitting different
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Welcome, welcome, right this way! Step right up to witness endless, inane bickering between adult characters with the emotional maturity of middle schoolers.

Violet and James Auden were happily married until they weren’t. After an argument about a year into their marriage (that goes unexplained until about halfway through the book), they barely speak to one another for the next four years.

That’s where our story truly begins, and what follows is an endless game of emotional chess between the spo
Rayne ♥
Diana sagged. “Morals,” she said simply. “So tiresome.”

To Have and to Hoax is witty, smart and charming as a whole, filled to the brim with revenge schemes and intriguing characters that made this a page-turner for me. The premise is intriguing, it’s about a married couple who are plagued by misunderstandings, which eventually leads to a cruel (and hilarious) game that threatens to tear them apart.

This book is filled with wonderful writing that flows perfectly, and characters that feel so r
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, ebook-owned
Oh man, I'm so excited to see more books from this author come out! The writing in this book is truly a joy- grade A banter, lovely turns of phrase, wonderful little observations throughout. I also just loved the characters, and I appreciate that this has almost a YA type theme underlying it-- separation from parents' and their expectations to forge their own identities & sense of self. I offer this comparison with trepidation, but this book gave me very strong Tessa Dare vibes- I will be eager ...more
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-releases
ive never wanted to knock two people's head against each other more than in this book (in a loving way) ...more
Some smooth writing and likeable secondary characters couldn't save this book from itself, and that's even while I smiled every time I encountered the nostalgic reference to the Friends' episode, "he knew that she knew that he knew." The premise here of a young married couple pranking and one-upping each other in an effort to get even for perceived neglect was initially amusing but grew very tiresome, and pretty quickly. I went into this one open-minded having just had an unexpected blast readin ...more
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
Apr 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-releases
I am a huge historical romance fan and this cover definitely caught my eye. This sounded like it was going to be an adorable romance between a bickering married couple and I was excited to read their story.

When this started, I thought the romance was so cute. Something had happened four years ago, one year into their marriage, that caused Violet and James to hate each other and barely speak to each other. When Violet gets a letter that James is hurt and might never wake up, she freaks out and ju
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

Well, that was rather ridiculous. I don't understand these people. I have no clue why they argued over nothing again at the end. Literally no clue. I love lovers to enemies to lovers, especially with estranged spouses but when you're seeking arguments this much, for YEARS, over bloody nothing, you have no business being a couple. I'm serious. Do everyone a favor and let it go already.

In my opinion this particular trope works if :
- the main characters separated because of a real, inextricable is
Ahhhhhhrrrrrrrrgggggg, damn publishers. I never thought I'd think longingly of the days when romance novels mostly sported bare chested men and well-endowed women but at least you knew you were getting a trashy romance novel.
This year I just keep falling for wonderful covers and delightful premises only to discover halfway through that I've landed myself in yet another novel with explicit sex scenes. (And honestly, maybe even that wouldn't be so bad if the sex scenes weren't all so predictable.
jess ✨
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 "duel"
Song/s the book brought to mind: Dreams by The Cranberries

If you are looking for a lighthearted historical romance that reads like a romcom, then To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters is the debut novel for you!

This is my first foray into historical romance and I quite enjoyed it! The bickering between our couple, James and Violet, was very entertaining and this book is laugh out loud funny. I loved Violet's sarcasm and quick wit, and I was laughing before page 8. I was having a hard time concent
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
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 believes that Violet had manipulated him into marriage and Violet ge
Lily Herman
May 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Me: *has a million books to read in like 27 different genres*
Also me: *picks up 83rd historical romance this week*

I definitely need to broaden my horizons here, but that can wait for another day. Martha Waters' To Have and to Hoax was a super cute and breezy historical rom-com, and I really enjoyed every second of it. I'm a huge fan of second-chance love, particularly with married couples, so obviously this book was the perfect pick.

I'm not exactly sure if I believe that a relatively simple argu
Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
3.5 stars, rounded up.

I can see everyone falling all over themselves to love this book: it's witty and polished, quite highly entertaining - Austenesque without reaching the dizzyingly humorous heights of Heyer - and, to my astonishment, there wasn't A SINGLE HISTORICAL INACCURACY I COULD SPOT. Yes, indeed. I'm a stickler for the accuracy, and Martha Waters clearly knows her stuff.

The plot, though, is kind of stupid. It's all about two characters who married young and still love each other,
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
I’d rather spend my days arguing with you than in calm conversation with anyone else in the world.

On my blog.

Actual rating 4.5

CWs: child neglect

Galley provided by publisher

Romance is one of those genres where I can sit and devour a good book within a few hours, and that was definitely what I did with To Have and To Hoax. It’s a second chance romance (of sorts), full of the right amounts of angst and frustration and pining that you want from one of those.

The story follows an estranged mar
Katie Lumsden
More like 3.5. I enjoyed this –it was good fun, well written and engaging. I'm not sure I was always fully convinced by the main relationship, and there were a few subplots set up which led nowhere which seemed strange, but it was funny and silly in a good way and highly enjoyable nonetheless. ...more
shre ♡
Apr 08, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
omg another second chance romance with the mc’s manipulating and pranking each other? we are feasting this month.
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
'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
Entertaining and witty. Martha Waters as written an engaging laugh out loud historical romcom. Lately I’ve been all about the romcom and this one had the unique twist of also being a regency romance. Lord James and Lady Violet are in an unhappy marriage that they cannot get out of. When the couple met there was such a spark between them, but they have not spoken a word to one another for the past two years. When Violet receives news that James has been thrown from a horse she rushes to his side, ...more
Rachel McMillan
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a freaking delight this book is. Every little typical Regency prototype move from the billions of other books I have read in this time period is turned on its ear. We meet James and Violet when she is caught in a compromising position at one of the ton's balls during her first season. Their chemistry is instantaneous but the circumstances of their meet-cute are not...

But more on that...

Madly in love (lust) they marry in haste--- for one year of this marriage they were blissfully happy ....
Chloe Liese
This was fun as well as full of really strong character interiority and growth. From a hoax/prank war type deal it was a bit more tame and conversation-heavy than action-oriented which to me didn’t raise the stakes quite like I expected, but I still found this very enjoyable. I got really invested in the friend circle, and I’m totally wanting West’s book. Just sayin’
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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. Sign up for her newsletter for periodic book news and reading & travel recs: ...more

Other books in the series

The Regency Vows (2 books)
  • To Love and to Loathe (The Regency Vows, #2)

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