First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words.
What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?
- Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
- Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
- Finally… reveal the book!
“Lady Violet Grey, eighteen years old, fair of face and figure, with a respectable fortune and unimpeachable bloodline, had every advantage a young lady of good society could possibly desire – except, according to her mother, one tragically absent trait: a suitably ladylike sense of meekness.”
Do you recognize the lines?
Hint: This is the first novel in a regency historical romance series.
Hint 2: It was published in April 2020 and its sequel was published in April 2021.
This week’s book is:
To Have and to Hoax (The Regency Vows #1) by Martha Waters!
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?
I enjoyed the second novel, To Love and to Loathe, and I am interested in continuing with the third, To Marry and to Meddle, in 2022, so I am thinking about reading the first novel to complete the series. As a fan of different romance stories, I like to try and mix up my reading between stories about single people coming together and couples trying to start again. After finishing Jenn Reinvented with a married couple trying to work through issues, I figured now would be a good time to continue the trend and read about another couple trying to work through everything in this story.
- Have you read To Have and to Hoax or is it on your TBR?
- What did you think of the first lines?