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Fool Me Twice

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  • Posted March 25, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    A wonderful romance, full of secrets, betrayals, and emotions. F

    A wonderful romance, full of secrets, betrayals, and emotions. Fool Me Twice was a fantastic read. I really liked this book. It definitely managed to take me by surprise.

    Olivia was a good heroine. She was very strong and survived in a difficult situation. And, when she cared about someone, she was fiercely loyal. I had a few issues with her, though. She was a bit shrewish at times, and came off as self-righteous more than once. It bothered me a little, but it was more of an annoyance that a deal-breaker. I still really liked her character.

    Alastair was a wonderful hero. After being repeatedly betrayed by his wife, he shut himself away and became a hermit. He fell from his position of power in Parliament and stepped out of the public light. But, don't let that fool you. He was still strong-willed, clever, perceptive, and a force to be reckoned with. I had a couple of issues with him. Mainly that he could really be an ass sometimes. But, for the most part, I thought he was great and I adored him.

    The romance was complicated, to say the least. In between how Olivia and Alastair felt for each other were lies, secrets, betrayals, and it definitely didn't make things easy. But, I thought it was sweet how, despite all that, they still fell for each other. And the sparks were flying between them constantly, whether they were arguing (again) or...something else...

    The plot was well paced. I wasn't completely hooked, because there were a few parts where the plot slowed down, but I was kept interested the entire way through. There were tons of secrets that blew me away. They definitely took me by surprise and kept things interesting. I really enjoyed the story and the ending was great.

    Fool Me Twice was a lovely historical romance. It wasn't perfect, but I really liked it. From the romance, to the secrets, this book was wonderful. Romance lovers, this is a book worth checking out.

    *I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2014

    Great book

    This is an author who knows how to build intelligent dialogue and mature relationships. I love all her books but this was my favorite

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    I really enjoyed the book. I actually bought it myself (not a g

    I really enjoyed the book. I actually bought it myself (not a give-away) because I enjoyed Duran's previous book in the series. This one does not disappoint; Alastair is a worthy hero brought low by his scheming wife. The story starts shortly after her death with the hero in a deep depression due to her actions. Enter Olivia. A breath of fresh air and a dose of humility for our hero. Good plotting and character development with enough hotness to make it interesting. You will not be disappointed with this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This is book 2 in the Rules for the Reckless series. Olivia mus

    This is book 2 in the Rules for the Reckless series.

    Olivia must find evidence against the man that is trying to kill her. The only way to get a hold of it is to infiltrate the Duke of Marwick's home. What better way than as a housemaid? When she arrives to interview for the position, she finds the household in need of a housekeeper and since that position will allow her access to the whole house she accepts the position.

    Alastair de Grey, the Duke of Marwick, has been holed up inside his bedroom since the secrets of his dead wife came out. Those secrets have turned Alastair into a very angry and unhappy man. When the new housekeeper keeps butting in where she doesn't belong, he doesn't know what to think.

    Olivia keeps goading Alastair so that she can finally get access to his papers, but he never leaves his room. All the time that Olivia spends with Alastair is having an unwanted side effect for both of them. 

    Can the Duke fight his attraction for his new housekeeper? Will Olivia find the evidence she needs to save her life?

    I absolutely loved this story. I liked Olivia when I was introduced to her in That Scandalous Summer. Her sarcasm just struck a chord with me. I really like how the author had us learn how much this couple had in common while Olivia was trying to annoy the Duke enough to get him out of his rooms. Olivia (and the reader) had heard some things about the Duke from her former employer (in the previous book), but it wasn't until she forced herself into his life that the real image of the Duke came to life.

    I've not read any other of this author's books except those in these series, but they were enough for me to go seek out her other novels. I can't wait to see what else she has in store for this series.

    Thanks go out to Pocket Books via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    One redheaded housekeeper in disguise, a Duke who is broken &

    One redheaded housekeeper in disguise, a Duke who is broken & a staff of silliness make this romance a HOOT a minute! Come crack it open,I DOUBLE DARE YOU!

    Olivia Holladay is a woman on the run from her past & the man trying to eliminate her at any cost. She at the house of the Duke of Marwick to apply as a maid, so she can search thru his "Naughty" files. If she has damaging info on Baron Bertram, she might be able to flee with her life to live in a quiet cottage. Olivia knows the Duke has this files because she stole letters from her last employer, Elizabeth, who is his new sister-in-law. All she has to do is search he house, as she cleans. That should be easy, right?

    Alastair de Grey, the Duke of Marwick, is living self imposed HADES & hasn't cut his hair, shaved or even left his bedroom. He is nursing a broken soul & crushed heart, after he read all the letters from his cheating, evil, cruel & opium crazed whore of a wife. He would kill her, but she is already dead from opium. Alastair will not let anyone in his bedroom, as he drinks himself into a coma, to forget all the betrayal & pain.

    Olivia walks in to apply for maid & is hired as the housekeeper because the Duke threw a shoe at the last one. She takes the job because a housekeeper can search more without raising the alarm. Alastair meets his mew housekeeper by chucking a bottle at her head & she is determined to get him out of his room, not because she cares, but because she needs to search it. The Duke has an interesting collection of remaining servants, a butler, Jones, lives in fear in the butler's pantry, a valet that chases all the maids, maids Polly & Muriel who just avoid work & the handsy valet & Cook who is missing a lot of truffles. Alastair is invading by this redhead uppity housekeeper left & right as Olivia & he start this endless game of tug of war. Olivia is making sure the house is clean, not because she cares, but these lazy people must work. SHE DOESN'T CARE!

    Slowly over time, Alastair begins to reenters the world with her help with no alcohol, haircut & then he begins to make an effort with dressing, living in his sitting room & he even went down the stairs. He begins to trust her & crave her as he never craved his wife, but he will not become like his father & abuse his staff. Olivia thinks the files are in a locked footlocker in his room, but if she opens it he will know that she is also betraying him. Alastair gets frisky in his library with Olivia's back against the bookshelves & unleashed his passions & she loves every minute of it & maybe so does her heart. The next day he tells her to look elsewhere for a position, she panicked, breaks into his locker & he catches her. Alastair can't believe he has been betrayed again, she is talking about a common enemy, the Baron Bertram, his heart starts to fold in on itself & she flees. When she leaves, she takes his hope & his heart with her. Will Baron Bertram get to her first & destroy her? Can he find her in the endless London? Will they realize they are stronger together before it's to late? Can these 2 crazy kids learn that LOVE can only heal & not cause pain?

    Ms. Duran created a crazy world for her characters to live in & gave me a ridiculously romance that I loved. This hilarious tale is at the core a story of a strong willed woman who can only love & care. Olivia has dealt a crappy hand in live, but she is ruled by her gooey heart & that makes her one spectacular heroine! Alastair's wife wounded & betrayed his heart, but he just needed a kick in the a$$ to get his brain to function again. He played the Poor Duke for too long & Olivia had the boot for the job. I love a story with a cast of quirky individuals who make a story flow with silliness & Ms. Duran deliver a butler who hides in he butler's pantry! Olivia & Alastair showed no hold bars when it came to their unchecked desires & my Kindle pop & the battery died during a hottie scene, but batteries can charge & so did Olivia & Alastair again & again. I am thinking Bunny, y'all can use your imagination on that one. Ms. Duran can weave a tale of playful dialogue with 2 uniquely flawed characters & she reveals many secrets that might shock you as they did me. I give this romance of silliness a score of 4 fingers up & 7 toes & I THANK Ms. Duran for sharing her COSMOS with me!

    NetGalley ARC given for my honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2014

    Excellent read. Highly recommended

    I recommended this book. It has a clever plot, the characters are believable, and the story flows nicely. I enjoyed it very much, and I do admire the authors talent and ingenuity. I will be buying more books written by Meredith Duran.

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  • Posted July 4, 2014

    This book was...different. I enjoyed the premise - a young woma

    This book was...different. I enjoyed the premise - a young woman enters an estranged nobleman's house posing as a housekeeper in order to steal certain papers of importance. It's been done before, but Olivia's stubborn refusal to back down in the face of Alastair's angry outbursts coupled with her quick wrangling of the house's unruly servants made for a somewhat entertaining dynamic.

    Olivia is a very matter-of-fact, tell-it-like-it-is kind of woman. Smart, intelligent, and resilient, she has faced her share of painful obstacles and it has only served to make her a stronger person. Alastair is lost in the bitter memories of a failed and duplicitous marriage. He is perceptive, but battling a deep depression after the humiliation he suffered from his former, dead wife. Alastair has withdrawn from society, but Olivia desperately needs some of the papers hidden deep within the recesses of Alastair's bedchamber. In order to get those papers, she must first convince Alastair to leave his rooms.

    All of the elements to a good story are present - a hero and heroine with conflicting goals, a dash of mystery and suspense, sassy banter between the couple - but I just felt like something was missing. While I grew to like Olivia's character, I did not like Alastair. I found him to be too brooding and that he was too possessive to Olivia as a person. He spoke of "mastering" her at one point, which really turned me further away from his character. Now, I enjoy good BDSM erotica novels, but this was being passed off as a straight romance book which meant that those characteristics of Alastair's character came off as chauvinistic and unhealthy. I also didn't believe Olivia and Alastair were actually falling in love. For me, it seemed to come from nowhere and just be an accepted part of the story. Where was the romantic and sensual buildup? Not in this book, that's for sure. And as for the main mystery part of the novel, I felt the solution was too obvious; I correctly guessed the solution by the halfway point of the book, so by the time the characters figured it out I was frustrated that it took them so long to understand what was happening. Finally, the redemption of the villain felt flat and forced, as if only to serve as a means to wrap up the book.

    Overall, a different sort of love story, but one I won't be picking up again. I did, however, love Ms. Duran's use of imagery and language, so I will try another of her books from a different series.

    Originally posted at Plot Twist Reviews

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  • Posted June 14, 2014

    Good HR with Spunky Characters My Initial Reaction...  I really

    Good HR with Spunky Characters
    My Initial Reaction... 
    I really enjoyed Fool Me Twice - it had a few twists that I wasn't expecting. And it fulfilled my craving for a good historical romance!

    The Narration... 
    Alison Larkin was the narrator for Fool Me Twice and she was a good fit. I don't know if she normally reads with a British accent or if it's her native accent, but it never felt like work. The accent - which she used in varying ways for men and women - was pretty necessary since Fool Me Twice takes place in England, and she successfully transported me there. As is normal for many female narrators, some of her male voices sounded a little off, but for the most part even they sounded great. I quickly got lost in the story and forgot I was being read to. 

    The Characters... 
    I was worried when I started Fool Me Twice that I might feel disconnected from the characters, since it's the second book in the series and I never read the first. However, I never felt any disconnect and the only character (I suspect) that really overlaps between the two books is Olivia, the main character. 

    Overall I liked Olivia. It takes a lot of spunk to decide your going to pose as a housekeeper and steal the Lord of the house's private documents to blackmail a member of the government. And as you get to know Olivia's past, it's not surprising that she has this kind of backbone. She has not had an easy life and is stronger for it. The only thing that really bothered me was that Olivia has so many contradictions. As the housekeeper she constantly makes a big deal about propriety and how the staff are behaving - even though she doesn't actually care about the household. She just feels it's so wrong. But then she makes these statements (which she follows through on) that she isn't a woman who believes only in relations after marriage. The contradiction really bothered me, but other than that, I liked her. 

    Fool Me Twice includes the point of view of Alastair (The Duke of Marwick, who she works for) and I think this was essential to my liking him from the get-go. Seen only from Olivia's point of view, I might not have liked him because he was so mean to her! But he really is a man dealing with incredible anger after the death of his wife, who he learned had been betraying him their entire marriage. This knowledge made his angry moments rather hot, actually. He was just a very Alpha male - which I love. And the connection between him and Olivia was particularly great. Some of their banter was great for fans of sexual tension and when it escalated it delights those who want a bit more ;)

    The Story... 
    The story for Fool Me Twice was a solid one, with several twists that I did not expect. I figured them out literally AS they were being revealed. I love a story like that and I only wonder if reading book one might have made me have better guesses. I'm definitely planning to go back and read it to find out. But I never felt like I was missing any important information, so it does work on its own. 

    The premise is that Olivia's been chased, since her mother's death, by the henchmen of Lord Burtrum (I'm unsure of the spelling - audiobook problems lol). But she's learned that Alastair has some documents that could blackmail him - so she goes to work for Alastair to steal the documents. This becomes a greater challenge than she anticipated because Alastair refuses to leave his rooms (where the documents seem most likely to be). So Olivia has to work on "fixing him" to get him out of his rooms - thus creating fun moments where they get to know each other and antagonize each other. 

    One other element I really loved about Fool Me Twice was the passing between realms of the house. Olivia is staff, Alastair is the Duke. It had this Downton Abbey feel that I absolutely loved - and Meredith Duran did an excellent job capturing the historical world she wrote her characters into. 

    Concluding Sentiments... 
    A fun mystery with a sexy romance, Fool Me Twice was a thoroughly enjoyable historical and I plan to read more from this series. 

    This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2014

    Funny, romantic excellent

    Will add to my favs list. Loved it..... Okivia is a riot and Alistair. So brooding... very enjiyabke and hot too!

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  • Posted May 15, 2014

    A good story with a couple of twists

    I've really enjoyed all the books in the series, they all had something a little different to offer which kept me interested until the very end!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    very good book/series

    entertaining and romantic

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2014

    Just OK

    Started off really well and had great potential Unfortunately the ending was wrapped up too quickly and too neat expected more after the great buildup

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  • Posted April 10, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I¿m in an admitted historic romance kick ¿ and while I have some

    I’m in an admitted historic romance kick – and while I have some favorite authors already in the genre, Meredith Duran is a new author for me.  Fool Me Twice is the second in a series, but I found that it stood alone quite well, with enough background given for recurring characters to make any questions moot, but stirring a desire to read their stories. 




    I enjoyed Duran’s writing, she manages to present the period giving the reader a sense of the time and the setting, and giving characters a touch of modernity to appeal to contemporary readers.  Olivia is clever, determined and in more than her fair share of difficulty.  Her intention is to pose as a housekeeper to gain access to letters that will remove the threats against her person, held in the keeping of Alastair, Duke of Marwick. 




    Alastair, for his part, is the consummate political animal: controlled and with a long memory for slights and little patience for questions.  He has serious issues with trust, his late wife betrayed his trust and broke his heart with her unfaithfulness, and he is seeking to wield his not inconsiderable power to gain vengeance against those who have wronged him.  




    These two are an interesting pairing: while Alastair is intrigued by the clever redhead, he is often put out by her seeming nosiness and inability to ‘stay in her place”.  These two are so damaged with bone-deep secrets that they strive to bury in the past; yet the issues from those secrets are reenacted repeatedly in act and deed with one another, particularly in terms of their attraction. 




    Part of the intrigue in Historic romance is the power imbalance that is structured into the position of women of the age not having a value in society’s eyes: yet most often this imbalance is more than remedied with the heroine being strong willed, sharp and so utterly beguiling and entrancing to the male who wants her that his character gives way and sees her more of an equal than a possession.  Sadly, in this story, the power imbalance led to several scenes of a more sexual nature that were borderline dubious consent, with less of the “missish’ reluctance/conflicted emotional and physical reaction to the acts: those actually make more sense to me in a historical setting, because of the societal constraints and the devastating blow to the woman’s life should her reputation for chastity and proper decorum be tarnished. 




    The distinct disadvantage in finding Alastair’s continual need to assert his mastery over everyone and thing made him highly difficult to empathize with, it isn’t until further into the story that the true pain of the betrayals provide a sense of the good man that he could become.  Olivia isn’t immune to her own failings either:  her initial plans to steal away with the letters that will prove to be her salvation and her lack of familiarity with being in service, and her decided inability to cope with acting the part almost unmask her as a fraud before Alastair’s interest takes hold.  There is a decided dark streak that runs through this story, not all is hearts and flowers and sweet words, but the two do reach an accord, and find a way to trust in one another for their mutual gain.  




    Durand writes beautifully, and with the few issues I had where there were moments of discomfort or the characters didn’t seem to ring true to their development, I was engaged and couldn’t wait to see where things would end up.   It isn’t until Olivia and her determination and will, and ability to withstand more than she originally thought possible take center stage that the story falls into place piece by piece and ends with a most satisfactory conclusion.  




    I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. 

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  • Posted April 4, 2014

    Loved this book! Loved the hero and the heroine and I loved the

    Loved this book! Loved the hero and the heroine and I loved the plot! The story was so engaging it was hard to put down. It was such a smart unraveling that I completely believed the events in this story could happen. Olivia Mather is up to no good. She is on a mission and is not going to let anything or anyone get in her way. Olivia needs to find information on her sworn enemy and the only person that might have that information is none other than our hero- Alastair de Grey.
    Alastair de Grey once London’s golden boy is locked up in his room on the brink of lunacy. Alastair is driven mad by his past. He hides out in his room and his staff is terrified of him. Everyone thinks that he has lost his mine and fears him. Alastair is enraged/heart-broken/disappointed in himself and in his past. He discovers the numerous affairs of his now deceased wife. He is very handsome, very rich and also very lost.
    Olivia is hired as a maid in Alastair’s home. She finds herself in a home run amuck by servants and a master that doesn’t care if he or anyone else lives or dies. She realizes that the information she is looking for is in Alastair’s room. However, he never leaves his room and she is terrified of how far along he is in his lunacy. Through many tense, and at times funny encounters, she is finally able to reason with him. Because Alastair’s has already been deceived he is infuriated when he finds out Olivia’s true intentions for infiltrating his home and turning his life upside down. Olivia for her part is struggling with her deception and her justification, together with Alastair she has to figure out how far she will go to get the revenge she has been after for years. Alastair has to decide who he will become. He can no longer go back to the man he was but he is not sure of who he will become. Luckily for him Olivia is not only a force to reckon with but courageous enough to give Alastair a piece of her mind.
    To say that this is a fantastic story is an understatement. Both the hero and heroine were very flawed. They both had to internally struggle with their choices and together they have to decide what they will do with their future. They had such great chemistry from their first interaction that I was hooked. Olivia is very smart and witty and is not afraid to speak up for herself. A trait that gets her into some peculiar situations. Alastair is such a damaged and broken hero that it is through the author’s great creativity that he unfolds right before our eyes. Although he is discarded by much of society for his “mental capacity” he is not going to be made a fool of again, least of all by Olivia. Watching them struggle against each other made for a great plot but watching them work together was equally as gratifying. I loved how the author unfolded this fantastic tale. I found it to be very clever just like the main characters. Excellent story! Full of dynamic and entertaining characters! I definitely recommend it and look forward to reading the first part of the series, That Scandalous Summer (Rules for the Reckless, #1). I’m hooked!

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