To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters
The Regency Vows # 2
Steam Level: It’s Getting Warmer
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.Goodreads
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To Love and to Loathe is hard to describe, I suppose it’s enemies to lovers, but more like frenemies to lovers.
Diana and Jeremey were fun to read. The two of them had some great banter, and I enjoyed seeing their interactions. I did feel like their relationship took a little longer than I would like to progress, especially given the arrangement. I did like Diana’s feminism and her taking charge of her sexual needs. Jeremey was, of course, meant to be charming, but I enjoyed that the author showed signs of him being more than a rake. I honestly wish that was something that was brought to light.
As I said, I felt like the pacing was a little off, and I wish the story had progressed a little faster than it did. There were also a lot of side characters in this book. Many of them were also in To Have and to Hoax, which was fun to see. However, there were so many of them I did have a hard time keeping them straight. I also would have like to see more time spent on Diana and Jeremey.
I enjoyed this story and the characters, and I hope the next book is about Emily and Julian, cause I have all sorts of questions about them!
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