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To Have and to Hoax

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  3,438 ratings  ·  925 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 si
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by Headline Eternal
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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 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,438 ratings  ·  925 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.
Olive Fellows (abookolive)
Check out my review on booktube: ...more
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
Emer (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
rayne ♥ [ IG: rayne.reads ]
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
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
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
dumbass couples in 1800s hitting different
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
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook-owned, arc
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
Apr 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: published-2020, arc
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
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
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.
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 believes that Violet had manipulated him into marriage and Violet ge
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
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 "duel"
Lily Herman
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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’
Susan's Reviews
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Back I went to Regency England in this enjoyable romp, where Violet and James, with the help of their friends, find their way back to each other after 4 years of estrangement. James believes Violet plotted to trap him into marriage, along with her mother and his father, in order to secure an heir for the Dukedom, should his older brother West fail to do so.

Violet is a headstrong, intelli
Rachel McMillan
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ....
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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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

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Are you worried you've missed your perfect match? Your perfect romance novel match, that is. Don't worry; we're here for you. We've got ice cream,...
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“...if you are going to insist on losing faith in someone the moment you see the slightest possibility that they have wronged you, you are going to have a very frustrating life. --VIOLET, LADY AUDLEY, to husband LORD JAMES” 0 likes
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