To Love and To Loathe
Atria Books, Book Review, Enemies to Lovers, Historical, Romance, Series

To Love and To Loathe (The Regency Vows #2) by Martha Waters


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.


It started with a wager between two frenemies.  As you know, I love enemies-to-lovers tropes and as a first-time reader of Martha Waters’ works, I am a new fan. Her characters are smart, playful, and honest.

Widowed Lady Diana Templeton secretly enjoys her banters with long-time frenemy and rakehell Jeremy Overington, Marquess of Willingham, but he knows how to push her buttons. She is determined to find a woman for him to marry as she takes him up on his proposition to work with him on his skills as a lover. But the more time they spend with each other, the more they reveal their true selves making the attraction all the more difficult to deny.

The dynamic between Diana and Jeremy is volatile, frustrating, and very hot. Their vulnerability and honesty with each other is very refreshing.  Watching them pretend to hate each other while trying to keep their hands off each other is what makes a good romance for me.  The supporting characters are a great addition that brings that cozy family-like feel to the whole story.  I can’t wait to read more of this series.

I recommend this engaging Regency romance to those readers who love quick repartee, complex characters, and an enjoyable stay at a beautiful estate.

Thank you to Ms. Waters, Netgalley, and Atria Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


To Love and To Loathe Cover

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Martha WatersMartha Waters was born and raised in sunny South Florida, where she spent her childhood reading lots of British children’s books and scribbling away in notebooks. Wishing for the novelty of seasons, she headed north (relatively speaking) and studied history and international studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also obtained her master’s degree in library science. Her lifelong love of England and romantic comedies inspired the writing of her debut novel To Have and to Hoax, which received three starred reviews. By day, she works as a children’s librarian, and loves sundresses, gin cocktails, and traveling.

Follow Martha on her website, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.


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