To Swoon and to Spar: The Regency Vows (Book 4), by Martha Waters — A Review

From the desk of Char Jones: 

The Regency Vows series, “sure to delight Bridgerton fans,” returns with this story about a viscount and his feisty new wife, who hopes to chase her husband from their home—only to find his company is not as onerous as she once thought.                        


Viscount Penvale has been working for years to buy back his ancestral home, Trethwick Abbey, from his estranged uncle. And so he’s thrilled when his uncle announces that he is ready to sell but with one major caveat—Penvale must marry his uncle’s ward, Jane Spencer.

When the two meet in London, neither is terribly impressed. Penvale finds Jane headstrong and sharp-tongued. Jane finds him cold and aloof. Nevertheless, they agree to a marriage in name only and return to the estate. 

There, Jane enlists her housekeeper for a scheme: to stage a haunting so that Penvale will return to London, leaving her to do as she pleases at Trethwick Abbey. But Penvale is not as easily scared as his uncle and as their time together increases, Jane realizes that she might not mind her husband’s company all that much.


Heart & Steam & Smarts

I swooned when I read this charming, wonderfully executed histfic romance. The author knows how to capture the heart, make you guffaw, and give you a steamy story with characters you’ll cheer for, especially the cross-purposes couple Jane and Penvale. And, her writing is scrumptious!

And she certainly liked everything about the way he kissed her, with his other hand at the nape of her neck, the warmth of his palm on her bare skin sending sparks coursing up her spine. His fingers slid into the silky mass of her hair, pinned back in a windswept knot, and she heard the faint plink of a hairpin falling to the floor.” (155)

The Chemistry of Love

I was full into To Swoon and to Spar as the troubled couple finds their way to each other with chemistry that just can’t be denied. No, sir. No ma’am. No how! Because this is intelligent swoon, perfect for readers who long for romance between equally matched partners of the body and mind. 

Penvale paused. “You truly read books about that?” He recalled that she had mentioned as much that day in the library, when they’d kissed in the armchair, but he had not stopped to fully consider all the implications. 

“Penvale.” Jane’s voice had slid into outright exasperation. “Do you see how much time I spend reading? Don’t you think I would find something else to do if the books weren’t about something interesting?” (186)

More, Martha, More …

I’m hoping that this will not be the last of The Regency Vows adventures, so enamored am I of the series. And I predict that Waters’ high-spirited heroines and hunky gentlemen will capture your heart too. All together now: Swoon!                            

5 out of 5 Stars  


❤️ Julia Quinn & Harper St. George

❤️ Steamy Regency Romances

❤️ Enemies to Lovers Tropes

❤️ Hauntings & Guffaws 

❤️ Series That Leave You Breathless


  • To Swoon and to Spar, The Regency Vows (Book 4), by Martha Waters
  • Atria Books (April 11, 2023)
  • Trade Paperback, eBook, & Audiobook (336) pages 
  • ISBN: ‎978-1668007907
  • Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance


 We received a review copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Cover image courtesy of Atria Books, © 2023; text Char Jones, Literary Redhead, © 2023,, an Amazon affiliate.

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3 thoughts on “To Swoon and to Spar: The Regency Vows (Book 4), by Martha Waters — A Review

Add yours

  1. This does seem like a light and flirty series. I’ll get to it at some point. Enjoyable review, Char!


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