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To Swoon and To Spar

Martha Waters fourth book in the Regency Vows series is a fun addition!

Viscount Penvale's uncle offers him an opportunity. Penbale may purchase the family estate his father lost, but there's a catch. He must marry his uncle's ward, the headstrong and less-than-friendly Jane. Jane isn't impressed either and chafes against men making all the decisions in her life, but she does love the estate. So, Jane and the staff hatch a plan to make Penvale think the home is haunted, hoping he will stay in London and leave her be.

With faux hauntings and hijinx at a gothic estate intended to run off an unwanted husband, I loved this premise. Jane's attempts to stay a step ahead of Penvale while trying to scare him off, yet finding he wasn't the worst, made for some funny scenes! And this marriage of convenience went from enemies to lovers in a slow-burn fashion and led to some witty banter between the two MCs. Like all the female MCs across this series, Jane is a woman ahead of her time, intelligent and strong, and chafing at the constraints of Regency society. The couples we love from the three previous books make cameos, and there are several mentions of Jane Austen and the pleasures of reading, all adding up to a charming, delightful romp! And I always love the covers in this series!

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for the opportunity to review this ARC. I enjoyed it!

My steep was Violet Black Tea from Simpson & Vail. One of my springtime favorites- a blend of black tea and malva blossoms with violet flavoring.


The Regency Vows series that is “sure to delight Bridgerton fans” (USA TODAY) returns with this story about a viscount and his irascible new wife who hopes to chase her husband from their shared home so that she can finally get some peace and quiet—only to find that his company is not as onerous as she thought.

Viscount Penvale has been working for years to buy back his ancestral home, Trethwick Abbey, from his estranged uncle. And so he’s thrilled when his uncle announces that he is ready to sell but with one major caveat—Penvale must marry his uncle’s ward, Jane Spencer.

When the two meet in London, neither is terribly impressed. Penvale finds Jane headstrong and sharp-tongued. Jane finds him cold and aloof. Nevertheless, they agree to a marriage in name only and return to the estate. There, Jane enlists her housekeeper for a scheme: to stage a haunting so that Penvale will return to London, leaving her to do as she pleases at Trethwick Abbey. But Penvale is not as easily scared as his uncle and as their time together increases, Jane realizes that she might not mind her husband’s company all that much.

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