Diana, Lady Templeton and Jeremy, the Marquess of Willingham have known each other forever. He’s a school friend of her brother’s and has been tormenting her for years. Their constant bickering hiding a mutual attraction that neither has acted on since Jeremy’s half-hearted proposal during her first season. Diana, turned him down and married not long after. Now that she is widowed his quick wit and biting sarcasm and directed her way again. One day Jeremy calls on her at an indecent hour and proposes a union of a different sort. He has recently ended a relationship with another lady who gave him bad reviews and he wants to ease his mind by having a brief affair with Diana during his two week house party, knowing she’ll tell him the truth. Having her own motives, Diana agree’s and finds that she might feel more than she bargained for.
I will admit that I wasn’t a big fan of this author’s first novel in this series, To Have and to Hoax. I am, however, thankful for having read it because her friends, including Violet the heroine from that novel, are again a big part of the plot in To Love and to Loathe. Unlike the fake illness Violet undertook to reel her husband back into their marriage, in this story Diana, is carrying on an affair while trying to win a bet by marrying him off before the year is done. You know how that’s going to turn out! I did really like the sense of humor written into these characters. They were a lot more fun to read about and I found myself a little bit more invested in the outcome. Of course, I wasn’t afraid the book would end without their falling in love, but the story was engaging and the antics of the house guests kept me turning the pages.
One of the more interesting side notes to this story were the societal mores that the ladies and gents of this time lived. Jeremy was known as a cad for all of his affairs. As a Marquess, and even in his younger days, the son of a Marquess, things came easily to him. Women threw themselves at him and when he was rated poorly by his previous lady love it was Diana who pointed out that women may have been faking it all along just because of who and what he was. An opinion that was eye opening and fun to read. Diana, as a widow could reveal to someone that she might be willing to have a liaison and in fact hoped that having one with Jeremy would go towards helping her gain more experience in that endeavor. However, if she became talked about then despite her being a “Lady” her reputation wouldn’t recover. It wasn’t a huge part of the story but a scene that stuck with me.
I wouldn’t call this novel a historical romance rom-com but it was more spirited than I expected and I did laugh a couple of times. If you are looking for a historical romance with a small twist give this one a try. I think you can read it without reading the previous novel so never fear! Purchase away! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
I receive a copy of this novel through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest.
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