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To Have and to Hoax

A Novel

Named a Best Romance of April by Goodreads, Popsugar, Bustle, and more!

In this fresh and hilarious historical rom-com, an estranged husband and wife in Regency England feign accidents and illness in an attempt to gain attention—and maybe just win each other back in the process.

Five years ago, Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley met, fell in love, and got married. Four years ago, they had a fight to end all fights, and have barely spoken since.

Their once-passionate love match has been reduced to one of cold, detached politeness. But when Violet receives a letter that James has been thrown from his horse and rendered unconscious at their country estate, she races to be by his side—only to discover him alive and well at a tavern, and completely unaware of her concern. She’s outraged. He’s confused. And the distance between them has never been more apparent.

Wanting to teach her estranged husband a lesson, Violet decides to feign an illness of her own. James quickly sees through it, but he decides to play along in an ever-escalating game of manipulation, featuring actors masquerading as doctors, threats of Swiss sanitariums, faux mistresses—and a lot of flirtation between a husband and wife who might not hate each other as much as they thought. Will the two be able to overcome four years of hurt or will they continue to deny the spark between them?

With charm, wit, and heart in spades, To Have and to Hoax is a fresh and eminently entertaining romantic comedy—perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory and Julia Quinn.

Photograph by Ryan Chamberlain

Martha Waters is the author of To Have and to Hoax. She was born and raised in sunny South Florida, and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She works as a children’s librarian in North Carolina, and spends much of her free time traveling.  

"Narrators Anais Chase and Joel Froomkin enliven a prank-riddled historical romance with snarky energy that listeners will enjoy. Violet and James have been married for five years, four of them spent apart after a fight that resulted in an estranged relationship. But now their feelings have changed, and they fake injuries, illnesses, and affairs in order to get each other's attention and fall in love all over again. Chase is the star of this performance as she provides a variety of identifiable characters and a soft tone that conveys emotions across the spectrum. Froomkin offers a strong masculine counterpoint that highlights both the haughtiness of the upper crust and the more vulnerable emotions of other characters."

– AudioFile Magazine