Release Date: March 18th, 2021
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.
One thing you can be guaranteed to find in R.S Grey books is a set of undeniably amazing characters. And in To Have and to Hate, it’s no different. Elizabeth and Walt are two very different kind of people and yet, you are drawn into their lives and their romance and their slow burn marriage of convenience and you love every minute of it.
As is the case with almost every marriage of convenience romance, the slow burn is excruciating. I wanted so much to happen so much earlier, but I knew I had to be patient. But every interaction, every moment the two of them are in the same room, it felt like I was being set on fire. But also, this is a classic case of grump and sunshine. Sure, it’s a predictable kind of relationship since Walt is the rich and wealthy gentleman who has everything he could ever want and Elizabeth is the one who needs him to make sense of her life. Of course the problem is much bigger than that since their families are already intertwined, but it’s a well done and well executed formula.
R.S Grey just takes it and makes it better!
I absolutely loved Elizabeth and how strong she was. She’s determined and driven and she’s not going to let some rich businessman tell her what to do with her life. Even more than that, she’s giving up so much to help her family who rarely does anything to help her in return. Elizabeth is talented, funny, charming and obviously beautiful, but she’s so much more than all of that. And I loved watching her drift into her own little world and paint and get excited about the little things that the rest of us might overlook constantly.
The reason my review is lacking one star – because I truly did enjoy this book – is because I really wanted to see Walt’s side of things. He was such a complex character and what we got of him was completely from Elizabeth’s point of view. I felt like there was so much more to uncover and so many more layers to peel away to fully understand this man. And we didn’t get that. I really liked all the secondary characters that were introduced via Walt, because they brought a little something more to the person that he was.
The slow burn was incredible. You know what we need more of in romance? When one character is going off on a tirade and the other character is just staring at them till they kiss them to shut them up? We need more of that. You know why? Because it changes the tone of the relationship and it’s absolutely brilliant from there on in. And with Walt and Elizabeth, we get that and it was such a treat to watch how that one kiss led to so many jokes and teasing and just a really good relationship forming between the two characters.
This book was a warm blanket that I needed and a very good time and an interesting story to read. I hope everyone else enjoys it as much as I did!
Thanks to R.S. Grey and Inkslinger PR for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.