Skip to content

New Release Review! TO LOVE AND TO LOATHE by Martha Waters (The Regency Vows #2)

To Love and to Loathe cover

The widowed Diana, Lady Templeton and Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham are infamous among English high society as much for their sharp-tongued bickering as their flirtation. One evening, an argument at a ball turns into a serious wager: Jeremy will marry within the year or Diana will forfeit one hundred pounds. So shortly after, just before a fortnight-long house party at Elderwild, Jeremy’s country estate, Diana is shocked when Jeremy appears at her home with a very different kind of proposition.

After his latest mistress unfavorably criticized his skills in the bedroom, Jeremy is looking for reassurance, so he has gone to the only woman he trusts to be totally truthful. He suggests that they embark on a brief affair while at the house party—Jeremy can receive an honest critique of his bedroom skills and widowed Diana can use the gossip to signal to other gentlemen that she is interested in taking a lover.

Diana thinks taking him up on his counter-proposal can only help her win her wager. With her in the bedroom and Jeremy’s marriage-minded grandmother, the formidable Dowager Marchioness of Willingham, helping to find suitable matches among the eligible ladies at Elderwild, Diana is confident her victory is assured. But while they’re focused on winning wagers, they stand to lose their own hearts.

add to Goodreads button


Loved this!

To Love and to Loathe is a frienemies-to-lovers story, and so much fun to read. Diana and Jeremy were just wonderful together, whether they were sniping at a ball or making really bad propositions in the bedroom (we’re just going to sleep together and not catch feelings? Does anyone think that would ever work in real life? Yet I can’t stop reading…or watching…the trope. Friends with Benefits, I’m looking at you! Yep, I’m a sucker for rom-coms, whatever century or country they’re set in.)

I liked that Diana was the only one who saw through Jeremy’s rakish persona, and that he was the one person who really understood how important her art was to her. They both knew so much about each other, yet still managed to miscommunicate when it really counted–something which usually drives me crazy, but somehow it was a bit more believable than not here. And that black moment! Even as I was shaking my head at their stupidity, my heart was breaking for them.

Fortunately, there was a grand gesture coming, and it was lovely…

I haven’t read the first book in the series yet ( To Have and to Hoax ) and though they really do tease you with details of Violet and James’s rocky road to reconciliation, it was fine starting here. I absolutely will pick up their story, though, as well as whatever book(s) Ms Waters wants to add to the series in the future.

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Published in4 starsA-Book reviewsBOOKS!new releasespotlight