To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters
The Regency Vows #2
Published April 6, 2021 by Atria Books
Goodreads Summary: 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.
With Martha Waters’s signature “cheeky charm and wonderfully wry wit” (Booklist, starred review), To Love and to Loathe is another clever and delightful historical rom-com that is perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Evie Dunmore.
Review: I adore regency period romances so I knew that this one would be right up my alley. I hadn’t read the first book yet when I requested it on NetGalley but wanted to read that first before reading this one. I wouldn’t say that it is 100% necessary for you to read the first book in this series to be able to read this book but there is some continuity. The focus of the first book is on Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley and the second book focuses on Lady Diana Templeton and Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham. Diana is a widow who has no desire to marry again because she enjoys her freedom too much so when Jeremy comes to her with his proposition, she decides to take him up on it. Diana and Jeremy soon realize that there may be more to their relationship than what they had planned. While the story is a tad predictable, it was still a fun read. I really loved Diana and Jeremy’s banter. They were such fun characters. I definitely liked them and their story more than Violet and James from the first book. Their story felt more petty and ridiculous whereas this one was fun, witty, and cute. I am hoping that the third book will be about Emily and Julian. If you’re looking for a flirty historical romance, I recommend checking this book out.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.