Author: Meredith Duran
Original Title: Fool Me Twice
Release Year: 2014
Literary Genre: Romance
Setting: England, Victorian era
Series: 2° of Rules for the Reckless
THIS NOVEL WILL BE RELEASED THE 25th MARCH 2014
Wow, this romance is intense, strikingly so!
Fool me twice absorbed me so much that I couldn't put it down until I read the last line.
However this novel strength, in my opinion, is not given only by the force and power of the plot; what truly hit me is how controversially, unusually and magnificently portrayed is the hero. He gave me the most contrasting sensations; some of his actions, feelings and attitudes are everything but what you would expect from a classical hero, sometimes they are peculiar to the point that they could be considered infamous.
I'm pretty sure that someone will affirm that he is irritating, way too stubborn and cruel, but his character didn't bother me at all, and the reason is that when, before reading a romance, I go through the plot and find out that the hero is supposed to be tormented, scarred and rough, THIS is what I want and expect. I want the kind of character that makes you feel the affliction he feels, I want his behaviours not to be all romantic and noble, I want to see and read, and not just imagine because the plot or the prologue pictured him as an afflicted grumpy man.
Olivia Mather is a sensible and lonely young woman, her childhood wasn't easy and now she lives under the strict policy of avoiding troubles. She wants the chance to finally make a home for herself. So when she realises that the Duke of Marwick might hold the secrets of her family's past, the key to her freedom, she decides to infiltrate his household as a maid.
Alastair de Grey lives for vengeance. More beautiful than Lucifer, feared, sharp and tormented, he'll use any weapon to punish those who fooled and betrayed him, even his new maid, who's demonstrating to be too bold and has to remember her place.
Unfortunately the beautiful girl is irresistibly charming and fascinating to be avoided, she is the one who can push him over the edge making him feel alive again...but he can't survive being fooled again.
There are two scenes in particular I found splendid: the first for its ambiguity, Alastair's actions are really vehement and in a certain way, sinister; it's when he finds out about Olivia's “betrayal”. It gave me shivers.
The other one, paradoxically, hit me for its sweetness; when Alastair and Olivia, in a very emotional and touching situation, reflect about how their lives would have been different if they were not the duke and the low-born girl.
This is my first Meredith Duran's novel and I must say, she has affected me with her style and her story, I'm definitely going to read her other romances!
Rules for the Reckless series: 0,5. Your Wicked Heart (Amanda, Spencer)
1. The Scandalous Summer (Michael, Elizabeth)
2. Fool Me Twice (Alastair, Olivia)
** I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books in exchange for an honest review, thank you for the opportunity