“To Have and to Hate” released last month, and I (finally!) have my ARC review to share with you all! I really enjoyed this book — if y’all read it, I’d love to know your thoughts!
About “To Have and to Hate”:
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.
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Rachel is back with another fun book! The witty banter that I talk about for all of her books — it’s back, and it’s better than ever. Another common theme in her books are age gap romance, and this one is no different. I think Elizabeth is in her early/mid twenties, and Walt is somewhere in his thirties.
I thought this book dealt with consent really well — well, aside from their first kiss and when Walt says that he can do whatever he wants because she’s his wife. That was a big red flag. But the other times, Rachel made sure to tell the reader that consent was being asked for/given which isn’t always shown in books, so I think that’s a big step in the right direction! (I just wrote a paper on sexual consent portrayal in media, so it’s been on my mind.)
When I first started reading, the love interests name being Walt was really distracting. My family has been watching Breaking Bad, so that’s who I associate with the name, and that’s not what I would picture as a love interest…but at least she didn’t call him Walter, so there’s that. This book, like many of Rachel’s, is an age gap romance, even though it’s only mentioned once of twice. (Walt’s comment about his secretary being young but not in the way that Elizabeth is was also kinda problematic though, ngl.)
Matthew, Walt’s younger brother, had me in the first half, ngl. I definitely thought something might happen between the two of them, but I’ll let y’all read the book yourselves to see how that plays out.
Elizabeth’s art seemed so amazing, and I loved how her story arc played out with her career.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one! Elizabeth and Walt ended up having a really cute relationship — they had a lot in common, and once he actually showed a personality that wasn’t like a robot, he was pretty cool.