Title: Fool Me Twice
Author: Meredith Duran
Series: Rules for the Reckless, book 2
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Pocket Books (March 25th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
“Sensible and lonely, Olivia Mather survives by her wits—and her strict policy of avoiding trouble. But when she realizes that the Duke of Marwick might hold the secrets of her family’s past, she does the unthinkable, infiltrating his household as a maid. She’ll clean his study and rifle through his papers looking for information.
Alastair de Grey has a single reason to live: vengeance. More beautiful than Lucifer, twice as feared, and thrice as cunning, he’ll use any weapon to punish those who fooled and betrayed him—even an impertinent maid who doesn’t know her place. But the more fascinated he becomes with the uppity redhead, the more dangerous his carefully designed plot becomes. For the one contingency he forgot to plan for was falling in love…and he cannot survive being fooled again.”
Fool Me Twice is the second book in the Rules for the Reckless series by Meredith Duran.
I’ve been intrigued by Olivia’s story since the moment I met her in That Scandalous Summer (first book in the series), it was obvious she was hiding something and was more than what she appear to be.
In That Scandalous Summer Olivia learned about Alastair’s wife betrayal, she also learned he kept documents with delicate information about his peers; documents she needs to get her hands on. With that in mind she applies for a maid position in his household. What Olivia wasn’t expecting was finding the house in complete disarray, so much that instead of the maid position, she is offered that of a housekeeper. Without another option Olivia accepts and while looking for the documents she starts to put to rights Alastair’s domain.
After days of looking Olivia realizes the documents she’s looking for must be in Alastair’s rooms. The only problem is he hasn’t leaved his rooms in months and doesn’t let anybody in, not even the maids are allowed to come in to clean. Actually, all of his staff is afraid of him. He seems as if he has lost his mind and threatens anybody that approaches him. Olivia knows she needs to bring Alastair out of his cave and with that in mind she approaches him.
Alastair has tried hard to get rid of Olivia, he has even fired her but she still persists and if he’s honest he finds her amusing. After months of not feeling anything but hatred and self-pity, Olivia is making him want to live again, something he doesn’t know if he’s ready for. Especially because he has the feeling that Olivia is hiding something. She’s too well spoken and well educated to be a simple housekeeper, and after being already made a fool by his wife he’s afraid he will be made a fool again by Olivia.
I really liked Olivia, she’s smart, strong-willed and has a good heart. I felt bad for her because she didn’t want to go behind Alastair’s back and steal his papers, but at the same time she didn’t have an option, she needed them to be safe. Safe from what? You need to read the book, I won’t give spoilers away, let’s just say it was a sad story, one that show her inner-strength and made me like her even more.
Alastair is the epitome of tortured hero. He was deeply betrayed by the woman he loved and thought loved him. His pain was so intense he became a hermit and forsook the world around him. He was consumed by thoughts of revenge and hatred.
When Olivia came to his life she brought light and hope for a different future, she made him dream and believe in second chances.
Even though they found something intriguing in each other their relationship was built slowly and through exchanges. They are both afraid of the risks a relationship between them will imply, and after being hurt they are afraid to being hurt again.
I really liked how their relationship was developed, it made it sweet, realistic and all around believable.
In this installment we also see how Alastair’s brother, Michael and his wife Elizabeth are doing (main characters from first book). I can’t say much about their role in this book, I can only say I liked the part they played in this installment.
There are a couple of small mysteries in the story. One of them is in regards to Olivia’s safety. I love when an author surprises me and Mrs. Duran really surprised me with the culprit behind this mystery. Well-done Mrs. Duran, well done.
Fool Me Twice is a smart, well written, fun and highly entertaining read, one I recommend to all historical romance fans. Fool Me Twice can be easily read as a stand-alone.
I’m looking forward to more books in the series and more books written by Mrs. Duran.
My Verdict: 4 Paws
Other books in the series
Your Wicked Heart (prequel novella)
That Scandalous Summer
Fool Me Twice (March 25th)
Other reviews Goodreads