Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance
Publication Date: April 7, 2020 by Atria Books
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Source: Publisher via E-mail
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.
A couple months ago I kept seeing To Have and to Hoax all over Instagram. It sounded like such a fun fast paced book, that I was excited when I was able to read an early copy of the book. I don’t know if it’s just me in a weird quarantine mood, but this book was just an okay read for me.
I really enjoyed Violet as a character. I love how she’s willing to speak up and stand up for herself and does what she wants. Usually when characters have an instant connection I roll my eyes, but I actually enjoyed it here and thought it was done realistically.
My biggest complaint with this book is the whole faking an illness aspect. After reading about James freaking out about Violet being sick, I realized how cruel it was of her to play with his emotions like that, even if their marriage isn’t doing so well. I felt a little eh about the illness aspect of the book when I read the synopsis, but I didn’t let that stop me from reading it.
The faking and tricks on each other went back and forth a little too long for me, and made this book longer than it should’ve been. Violet and James kept making progress with their relationship, but something would set them back and they’d have to start over again. Towards the end it was frustrating seeing the same thing happen over and over again.
I really enjoyed James as a character. He had a lot of growing up to do throughout the book. At the beginning he couldn’t acknowledge his feelings and wouldn’t talk to anyone about anything of substance. To Have and To Hoax was him learning to open up to his wife, his friends, his brother, and himself.
While reading, I felt like there were quite a few setups for future books in a series, and I hope that’s real and we get more books set in this world. Even though this book was just an okay read for me, I definitely want to read more from this author.