Fool Me Once

Fool Me Once

by Catherine Bybee


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From Weekday Brides to First Wives, a dazzling series about four women and their alliance of newfound friendship, unexpected love, and second chances.

Cynical divorce attorney Lori Cumberland lives by one motto: Love is grand, but divorce is a hundred grand. With one failed marriage under her own personal belt, Lori had fallen hard and early—and it isn’t something she plans on repeating. She’s content focusing on the temporary marriages of her rich and famous clients. When she joins some of her recent divorcées on a celebratory cruise, her only vow is fun, sun, and new friends. But Lori finds herself tempted by a jury of one.

For Reed Barlow, falling into the world of private investigation was easy. He knows the law and knows how to avoid breaking it—all while doing his job. His rule to live by? No emotion, no involvement…until Lori. His charming smile and cocky attitude distracts Lori and lowers her guard, which is exactly what Reed desires.

But what appears as a one-time-only flirtation may be a plot orchestrated by Reed. As he’s taking his investigation to a dangerous level, it’s Lori who could end up in jeopardy. Reed has only one shot for Lori to grant him a second chance. But if he comes clean with her, he blows his cover. And that just might cost him the opportunity for an alliance of family…and of love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612185071
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 09/19/2017
Series: First Wives Series , #1
Pages: 348
Sales rank: 322,531
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee has written twenty-seven books that have collectively sold more than three million copies and have been translated into twelve languages. Raised in Washington State, Bybee moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Not Quite series, the Weekday Brides series, the Most Likely To series, and the First Wives series.

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Fool Me Once 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
MaimeosAngelsEL More than 1 year ago
5.0 Star Review Fool Me Once (First Wives #1) by Catherine Bybee Firstly let me start of by saying that although I have read Catherine Bybee before, I had not read her Weekday Brides series prior to reading Fool Me Once, book one in her new series the First Wives. This in no way detracted from my enjoyment of this book, although I will say I have now gone out and purchased that series just so I can see where is all began so to speak. This is divorce attorney Lori Cumberland and private eye Reed Barlow’s story. Not only did I like Lori and Reed, but the secondary characters were just as entertaining. Reed is so protective and caring, he melted my heart. This book and in fact the series was an interesting premise and I was intrigued to see where Ms.Bybee would go with it and Fool Me Once did not disappoint. “Accidentally” bumping into Lori and her friends is part of the job Reed has been hired to do, however he doesn’t count on not only his emerging attraction for Lori but his genuine liking of all the women, complicating his life. Can he tell Lori the truth or will he risk losing her once they return home, that is Reed’s dilemma? After reading Fool Me Once, I cannot wait to read more in the series and I do believe that Ms.Bybee has another winning series on her hands.
SmutCrazy More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed this story, as I do with anything that Catherine Bybee writes. Lori is a divorce attorney and works with Alliance. Alliance is a company that arranges marriages for men or women that need to be married for a short period of time. Usually it involves a prenup and lots of money. When her client, Trina, loses her husband to suicide, Lori is there to take her away on a Mediterranean Cruise, to get her away from the news media. Before they leave port in Spain, she meets handsome Reed. Unbeknownst to Lori, Reed is there to follow one of the women she came with, Shannon. However, when their chemistry can’t be denied, Lori decides a shipboard romance is what she needs. What follows is short of a Tom Clancy novel, including the Russian mob, a mysterious woman following them, oh and did I mention, lots of sex.
Rhonda-Runner1 More than 1 year ago
I stepped out of my usual comfort zone to read this mystery romance book and I really loved it. It had a great plot and I liked all of the characters. I can't wait for the next book in this series to come out.
PennieM More than 1 year ago
This one was so good I read it in nearly one sitting! First off, you do not have to have read the Weekday Brides to read this even though this is a spin off from that series. Lori is a divorce attorney from Alliance and being divorced herself she is in need of some fun. She decides on a cruise and it is well deserved. There she meets Reed who is a PI. The chemistry between these two is unmistakable and really what happens on a cruise stays on a cruise, right? Fun, flirty, sexy, definitely a well-written story with spectacular characters which is always what we expect with a Catherine Bybee novel. I am definitely looking forward to more in this series and I highly recommend this one! **Received this ARC from the publisher via NetGalley**
Lit_Litehosue More than 1 year ago
What a great way to spend the day, wrapped up with a glass of wine and an outstanding book. Reed and Loris story grabbed my attention from the very beginning and kept me engaged throughout the book. This is a great story and I have to admit that the bond the characters formed in this story was one of my favorite parts.
WhatsBeyondForks More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a pretty unique idea, and the things that happen as a result of these arrangements definitely kept the reading interesting throughout the story. Fool Me Once is a little bit of mystery mixed with a little goofy-ness and tossed into some smoldery romance. Fool Me Once by Catherine Bybee was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.
MsChris1161 More than 1 year ago
Catherine Bybee's books always amaze me they are just so good. Every single time. FOOL ME ONCE, the first book in her new series, First Wives, goes beyond that. I was completely enthralled right from the beginning. I was eager to know more about Lori and her group of friends, Trina, Avery, and Shannon. It helped that they had ties to the familiar and much loved Weekday Brides characters. Reed was just enough of a mystery to make his charm even sexier without me seriously thinking he'd end up being the bad guy. Because let's face it, there are always some very evil men intending the heroine or one of her friends harm in all of Bybee's books. That's how she hooks you. Or me at least. I get all caught up in the building friendships and romance, and then OMG! Someone she's already managed to have me adore is threatened... And that's when it truly becomes the book you can't possibly put down. Not until your girl is safe. Not until you're rewarded for your lost sleep by reading about the steaming hot sex that comes after the rescue! Fool Me Once is one of Bybee's best. I'm leaving out details, because I'm not giving up spoilers, but I highly recommend you buy and read soon. The writing is incredible! You don't want to miss this one!! 5 stars ~Complimentary copy downloaded from NetGalley. All opinions about how much I loved this book are all mine!
Vicki101370 More than 1 year ago
In book one of the First Wives Club, Catherine Bybee's spin off series to the amazing Weekday Brides, Alliance owner Sam and Divorce attorney Lori rush to the side of one of their clients when tragedy strikes, and they realize they may not be doing enough for their clients after the dust settles on their divorces. When Lori and Sam decide they should help to ease the transition for some of their more high profile clients, Lori plans a Mediterranean cruise, far from prying eyes and media scrutiny. While attorney Lori is there to help build connections between the three women with her on the cruise and act the mother hen to the women she's with, she can't deny the instant attraction she feels to Reed, a fellow passenger they meet at the welcome party. Reed definitely has some ulterior motives for joining up with their group, and his attraction to Lori is a complication he neither expected or needed. After returning to California, Reed and Lori find their lives continuing to intertwine. The deeper Reed falls and realizes the depth of his feelings for Lori, he realizes he can't sell her or her clients out to his boss. But now he's dug himself in so deep, will he be able to pull himself out of the web of lies he's built? And when it all comes crashing down, will Lori ever be able to forgive him? Like all of Bybee's books, Fool Me Once is filled with romance and intrigue. Both Lori and Reed are realistic characters, the types of people you would know and connect with. Lori's reluctance to let any man in is so believable for a divorce attorney that's been through a failed marriage of her own as well. But despite the intrigue around the start of their relationship, they are both easy to like and well worth rooting for. Book 1 also introduces us to the women that make up the rest of the First Wives Club, and I look forward to each of their stories. Fool me once is a must read...and its a nice bonus for fans of the weekday brides to "visit" with some old friends.
Guitarmomma19 More than 1 year ago
What a great idea for a series! And what a way to start it off. It was great seeing old favorites and meeting new ones. From the first moment they meet eyes, Lori and Reed are bound together and almost inseperable. Little did they expect this crazy ride of passion, deception and danger. Lori was an attorney by trade. And working with friend Samantha Harris and her company Alliance really is a match made in heaven. Handling all the legal for persons divorcing after contracted marriage has made her wealthy. But also made her friends and she's come to care for a few of the women affected by the divorces. Now after a horror no one should have to live through, she takes the girls on a cruise. Just to be who they are away from the out lic and to regroup. Little does she expect to meet her match in Reed. Reed is a P.I. hired to find dirt on one of the women on the cruise ship. Little did he k ow she would be surrounded by friends, or that one in particular would catch his eye. Now he wants to know all about Lori but something changes with the women aboard ship and things become dangerous. Wanting to keep up the relationship, he finds out they both live in Cali and goes from there. But after she finds out his real job things won't be easy on him. As real danger surrounds Lori and her friends, Alliance brings in security and with Reed having an unknown contact helping them they forge a union that will bring everything to a head. And hopefully keep everyone safe. But will Lori and Reed be able to keep their hearts safe or will they be shattered with all the lies and deception?
carvanz More than 1 year ago
What an exceptional read this was! I loved this storyline with Reed’s secret always in danger of being revealed as well as the unusual side business Lori has with her best friend. Add in the excitement of someone trailing her and Reed’s desperate need to protect and the story just kept getting better and better. The secondary characters were so much fun and I just know they’ll be getting their own stories eventually. Fast paced, filled with mystery and suspense where you never really knew who the bad guy was because they seem to be everywhere, and the perfect couple falling in love makes this a definite must read. Advanced reader copy provided by NetGalley for an honest review Dual POV Safety issues – no mention of OW/OM; no discussion or use of birth control Possible trigger – woman’s drink is drugged but her friends intervene and nothing happens to her Epilogue gives us a HEA but no mention of babies
PegGlover More than 1 year ago
Fool Me Once is a fun and unique fictional read. Catherine Bybee is a talented writer and great storyteller. I thoroughly enjoyed this well-written, suspenseful and captivating novel. Attorney Lori Cumberland wasn’t the average run-of-the-mill divorce lawyer. She represented only the rich and the famous. Wealthy men and women who desired a short-term marriage, with an uncomplicated divorce, sought out Lori Cumberland. The reasons why people wanted a fake marriage varied considerably. Some temporarily wanted arm candy, others, needed a sophisticated image, to further their career, and some, sought to soothe, a family member’s worries before they died. Whatever the reasons, all clients were required to sign an Alliance agreement. This contract included among other things, a prenuptial agreement and a marriage expiration date. Although Attorney Lori Cumberland appeared to have a posh job, it was not without risks. Some wealthy people, are powerful, and become dangerously lethal when crossed; something that Lori, unfortunately, would experience, firsthand. Although the Alliance was heavily guarded, with security, bodyguards, private jets, and safe houses, unexpected occurrences can and do happen. Private Investigator Reed Barlow was hired to dig dirt up on Shannon, a Senator’s ex-wife. Reed didn’t know before becoming romantically involved, with attorney Lori Cumberland, that Shannon had once signed an Alliance contract. The information he discovered unethically, would not only smear Shannon but Lori as well. Reed didn’t want to confess to Lori his initial reason for following and flirting with her but did so, anyway. And, as expected, his betrayal cut Lori, deeply. Reed wanted Lori in his life and was willing to go to any lengths to win her back, even if that meant putting himself in danger. Fool Me Once is a suspenseful, romantic, fictional story; which is highly entertaining and enjoyable. Thank you, Montlake Romance and NetGalley for my advanced review copy.
sbart84 More than 1 year ago
A great start to a new series with a spin off from the Weekday Brides. Lori, is an attorney for Alliance, where women marry for convenience and divorce for money. She has now taken three of her clients (friends), on a cruise for healing where she meets Reed. What's wrong with a little vacation fling. Reed has his own secrets, which will soon bring in plenty of romance and action. Loved this story, packed with glitz and glamour on the cruise. Lots of secrets and lies which will lead you on plenty of adventure. Oh, and did I say plenty of romance between Lori and Reed!! Can't wait to read more in this series. I highly recommend this book.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Fool Me Once is the first in a new spin 0ff series from this author. In the Weekday Brides series we saw the women of Alliance marry for convenience. Now we see the other side. Life after the divorce. Lori Cumberland is the divorce attorney that handled many of the divorces for Alliance. She is passionate about her work and cares about the women she helps. After all she's been there done that, never wants to repeat that mistake. She's due a little fun though and what better way than a fun flirty fling on a cruise. Reed Barlow is exactly what she needs. However there is much more to Reed than Lori realizes and she suddenly finds herself and her heart in a whole lot of trouble. A fantastic read and one I definitely recommend to everyone.
MBurton More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! I've not read the Weekday Brides series and it's not necessary to read before this book, but I did a little research when I thought maybe these characters were tied to it and they are. That makes me a very happy woman because this book was so good! I know the Weekday Brides series has to be as well and I can't wait to read them. Honestly, I loved everything about this book. I have no complaints. The main characters were likeable. Reed was a great Hero. He was very protective without being overbearing. Lori was strong and independent, but didn't push away too much. The side characters were likeable and brought a lot to the story. Even the bodyguards brought something more. The action/suspense was exciting to read and the author kept me guessing with some of the more anonymous characters and their motives. It's safe to say I highly recommend this. ARC provided by NetGalley.
BrandyJ More than 1 year ago
**Advanced copy provided by NetGalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review** In the first installment in the Weekday Bride series spinoff, First Wives series, we get a glimpse of some of our past faves and meet some new characters! We got a glimpse of Lori in the first series as she's the attorney for Alliance. She has been asked to help out the brides who are transitioning out of their contracts and the end of their “arranged marriages”. She herself is a divorcee and that left her feeling very bitter about love and any new relationship. The last things she expects when she and the other ladies head out on a cruise is to find herself attracted to a man but that's exactly what happens when she meets Reed Barlow (a PI that may have ulterior motives). Was their meeting a coincidence? This book has everything the first series had: friendships, strong women, romance, suspense, and more. It sucks you right in from the very beginning! A terrific start to the new series and I cant' wait to see what lies ahead!
heater_28 More than 1 year ago
**Advanced copy provided by NetGalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review** Many have asked for the continuation of the Weekday Bride's series and while unfortunately there are only seven days in the week, Catherine Bybee figured out a way to carry on the world that she created in that ever popular series. In this first installment in the First Wives series, we get a glimpse of some of our past favorites and we get to meet a whole new group of people as well! Lori Cumberland is a divorce attorney and to say she's bitter about love is an understatement. She has been through her own divorce and she never plans to fall in love and put herself in that position again. She's content to focus on her work and as a part of that, she and a few of the women she has recently seen through divorce's head out on a cruise to celebrate their newly found freedom. When Lori meets Reed Barlow on the boat, she's more intrigued than she'd like to be. The last thing she wants is any kind of entanglement. He's smooth, charismatic, and definitely easy on the eyes and so she decides that maybe what happens on the boat stays on the boat and a week-long fling won't be a bad thing. What Lori doesn't know is that meeting Reed might not be as organic as she thinks it is. Does his being a private investigator have something to do with it? This book was wonderful and it has a little bit of everything. There are secrets, strong women, friendships that turn into great support systems, some intrigue and as always romance. It's one that will suck you right in from the very beginning! This was a great start to this new series and I'm very much looking forward to the next one!