To Swoon and To Spar Review

Hello, all!

If you've been following me for awhile, you'd know that one of my favorite historical romance series is the Regency Vows by Martha Waters (you can find my review for the last book here.) So big thanks to the publisher for the copy of the latest installment, To Swoon and To Spar.  

Pub Date: 4-11-23
Adult - Historical Romance

Viscount Penvale has had only one goal in mind for most of his adult years: buying back his ancestral home, Trethwick Abbey, from his estranged uncle. When his uncle finally agrees to sell, Penvale is excited but wary since the deal comes with a catch-- Penvale must marry his uncle's ward. When Penvale and Jane Spencer meet, it's clear they couldn't be more different, but Jane will do anything to stay at Trethwick Abbey, so she agrees to wed Penvale in name only.

When the newlyweds arrive back at their estate, Jane concocts a plan to stage hauntings around the manor hoping that Penvale will be so frightened he'll run back to London, leaving her at Trethwick Abbey to do as she pleases. But it seems Penvale is made of sterner stuff than Jane was anticipating, and the more time they spend investigating these so-called hauntings, the more real feelings start to grow.

As mentioned, I love this series a lot, so I hate to say that this was a bit of a letdown. It had such a fun premise-- who doesn't love a bit of Gothic flare and a supposed ghost haunting a manor on the moors? It was mainly the characters that didn't work for me. I liked Penvale right away and thought he had that dry sense of humor that I'm always a fan of. But it was Jane that ruined it for me. She was constantly described as shy, but instead of endearing me to her, she spent the whole book being defensive and downright rude. Normally, I like a bit of a prickly character, but she took it too far. Her plan of faking a haunting so she could live alone was also a little bananas. Had the chemistry between her and Penvale been better, I could've overlooked it, but even that was shaky. I still think Waters' writing is charming and entertaining, but unfortunately, this is my least favorite in the series.

Rating: 3/5


Popular Posts