To Have and to Hoax

I was invited to read the ARC of Martha Waters’ book, To Have and to Hoax, by the publisher Atria Books of Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review. It’s a historical rom-com that is funny and sometimes sexy, but simultaneously sad and maddening.

Violet and James married for love, completely clueless they were set up by their parents. As the parents continue to manipulate them, they begin to distrust each other. James begins spending more and more time away from home working with his horses, and is determined to convince his domineering father he is a good manager of their estate.

When Violet receives a note saying James has been thrown from a horse, she panics and rushes to be at this side. His friend forgets to send another note that James is unhurt. When Violet stops at a tavern to change horses, who does she see but James and his friends?

Thinking he doesn’t care that she was so frightened, she becomes more distrustful, and hatches a scheme to teach James a lesson by faking consumption. He, of course, sees through her charade, and plays it for all it’s worth.

This is a fun, easy read and, if you’re like me, you will find yourself wanting to yell at both of them to stop being stupid, and tell each other the truth. If you want a good laugh, and a lesson on how not to conduct a marriage, To Have and to Hoax is one you will definitely enjoy.

What made The Grumpy Book Reviewer grumpy?
Granted, this was an uncorrected proof copy, but most of these things should have been caught earlier:

  • Non-English words not italicized;
  • Excessive unnecessary use of “that”;
  • Referring to people as “that” instead of “who”;
  • Multiple missing commas;
  • Incorrect verb usage: wasn’t vs. weren’t, come vs. go, bring vs. taking, come vs. go, wasn’t vs. weren’t;
  • Multiple split infinitives;
  • An occasional typo.

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