Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Title:       Fool Me Twice [Rules for the Reckless, book 2]
Author:   Meredith Duran
Rating:   ★★★
Availability: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Sony
*ARC from Pocket Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

It's been a while since I read a historical romance book, and I'm so glad I read Meredith Duran's Fool Me Twice. This is the third book I've read from the author, and so far I have always been enthralled by her stories!


Running for her life, exhausted and out of options, Olivia Holladay wants nothing more than the chance to make a home for herself. So when she realizes that the infamous Duke of Marwick might hold the key to her freedom, she boldly disguises herself as the newest and bravest in a long line of the duke’s notoriously temperamental housekeepers. Little does she know that the wickedly handsome Alastair de Grey has very different plans for her. . . .


As his new employee, Olivia is a fearless upstart. As a woman, the daring redhead is just what Alastair needs to rouse him from darkness to the siren call of revenge. He has suffered a betrayal so deep that he will use whatever means necessary to destroy his enemies—even his brazen and beautiful domestic. But his vengeful plan fails to account for his single weakness: an irresistible and growing passion for the enigmatic Olivia.

Fool Me Twice's plot is not an original, but I didn't think about tropes, or overused plots, or whatnots while reading. Meredith Duran has managed to make me care for the Duke of Marwick and want him for myself in 384 pages. The Duke of Marwick was alpha without overbearing, or protective without being dangerous, possessive without being creepy. He was full of self-loathing, and I liked the line of reasoning why he did so, and how a man such as he, he who prided himself on his accomplishments, found out that all along he was dancing to the strings of an expert, devious puppeteer. If I was in his shoes, I would have been in despair as well.

Although I'm not totally able to relate to Olivia, I liked her. I empathize with strong female characters, and I liked that even though she became vulnerable due to her love for the duke, she was still strong and firm in her decisions and actions without being irritating. I also admired her tenacity and courage, and for being truly kind. She was the underdog, but one that you need not have pitied. And I like that she wasn't shy about the passion between them.

Some historical romance books err on the side of being too hot or being all of romance, or even bland, but Meredith found the right balance between romance and stoking the embers for passionate scenes. The plot was nothing new but the story was exciting, and the twists and turns about the story kept me engaged. Fool Me Twice was written so well, I stayed way past my bedtime just to finish it.

On the side of being historical, well there wasn't much reference to the history of England or the nobilities, actually, so if you like your historical romance to have, well, much historical info, you might be dissatisfied with this one. There wasn't even much allusion to fashion of that times. But with this story, I didn't mind, and it didn't feel lacking anyway.

Honestly, I erased almost all regency romance books in my tablet one day because I was getting tired of the genre, but Fool Me Twice has managed to revive my interest.

Can you recommend new, good regency romance books? :)