To Have And To Hate by R.S. Grey

booksofthemuggleborn_tohaveandtohate
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Marry a man I barely know to save my family from ruin.

It might’ve been simple, if my betrothed were anybody else.

On our wedding day, my husband-to-be arrived at the courthouse like a black cloud rolling over Manhattan. Walt didn’t crack smiles or pepper in pleasantries as we exchanged hollow vows in front of the judge.

His disdain for me was so palpable I assumed we’d walk out of that ceremony and resume our regularly scheduled programming. But then fate was like, Hold my beer. I got this.

In desperate need of help and with nowhere else to turn, I had no choice but to ignore a crucial rule in our contract: I shall only contact Mr. Jennings II in case of emergency. But hey, what’s a little fine print between husband and wife?

Turns out, Walt’s a stickler for legalese—I think it might be his love language. Oh, and his attitude at the courthouse wasn’t a put-on. My so-called husband is a jerk. He takes what he wants without giving any consideration to other people—specifically ME, his blushing, contractually-obligated bride!

I knew life with Walt would be no honeymoon, but a marriage of any sort should still come with a few standard guarantees:

To have and to hold.

For richer or poorer.

In sickness and in health.

But after experiencing Walt’s version of wedded bliss, I say let’s forget about all that lovey-dovey crap and just take me straight to death do us part.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

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Well now… I stand corrected. Guys named “Walt” can be someone very hot, very appealing, and very dreamy! *fans self* 😉😅

When I first read the blurb I was expecting a full-blown hate-to-love/ enemies-to-lovers romance story weaved through an arranged marriage. What I ended up getting was actually a miscommunication between two self-conscious individuals who don’t know what to do with their developing feelings. I found it adorable to see play out that I’m not even in the slightest bit disappointed that there was hardly any witty banter. Because I tell ya… seeing bumbling characters trying to not get in each other’s way was too entertaining to put down. Hehe.

Grey never seems to fail at lifting my mood up with her light-hearted, good natured plotlines and quirky characters! A very chick-lit, romantic comedy atmosphere that’ll have you smiling from beginning to end. Although in my case with this book, there were a couple of times I did get teary-eyed. It’s so easy to get invested in Grey’s characters. They’re always full of hilarious inner monologues that give you such insight to their lives and the type of people they are. Their mannerisms, personality traits, and reactions to things are so relatable and at times eerily realistic that you can’t help but LOL. As the oh-so wise Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory once said, “It’s funny because it’s true!” —and it is soooo friggin’ true when it comes to Elizabeth and Walt and their unusual arrangement! 

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Grey also has a knack for getting her readers to fall for her secondary characters too, and I was no exception. There were a couple of prominent characters in this story who had me perking up. This is a standalone book, but I do wish one guy in particular would get his own story. I’m not going to lie, I was a little bummed to see that by the epilogue a few things were left unanswered (at least in my opinion). Whilst I adored seeing where Elizabeth and Walt’s life had ended up, some things were not mentioned at all—for example; the current status of certain relationships, situations regarding their careers, things like that. It just felt like whilst some things wrapped up beautifully, there were certain aspects (that were strongly focused on in the storyline) that were left up in the air by the end.

Nevertheless, I love the gradual development between Elizabeth and Walt. From complete strangers, to an odd sort-of friendship, to finally being intimate—all whilst trying to navigate through their arrangement, of course. Although it’s a bit of a slow burn, so be aware. 

The world-building took off with a bang right from the get-go putting you right alongside Elizabeth and the situation she’s gotten herself into with Walt. From there it gradually grew as the characters and their new life together developed. It’s a character-driven storyline. They don’t stray too far away from one another so the majority of the world-building is within Elizabeth and Walt’s little bubble. But this is not some sappy fluff read, there’s some hearty moments included, accompanied by a range of personalities to really give the overall story some depth.

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Without giving too much away, I have a love/ hate relationship with the families included. Seeing how they interact with our protagonists was quite a sight. Elizabeth and Walt are likable characters, but I do wish at times that Elizabeth didn’t back down so easily. But there is an overall sense of balance between these two leads. They’re complete opposites yet they complement each other’s personalities so well and it’s evident throughout. 

What started out as duty that needed to be carried out, became one full of growth, independence, love, acceptance, and such heart. You can bet there’s always a good ol’ life lesson to be learned from one of Grey’s books! 😊 

Overall, such a quality read! *chef’s kiss* Perfect for hopeless romantics and contemporary romance fans. Great escapism that’ll have you happy sighing by the end. It’s well-paced storytelling, told solely from Elizabeth’s (first person) point of view. It’s a New Adult/ Adult romance book with some saucy scenes. Nothing too raunchy but it brings some heat! 🔥

If you love the whole arranged marriage trope in your reads, then I highly recommend this to you. Bonus! Elizabeth and Walt have a bit of an age gap, so if you also like an older man/ younger woman trope, then you definitely need to grab this book!   

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RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Rachel and Inkslinger PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💗


•••

Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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