When I went to the Chicago-North Romance Writers of America Spring Fling Conference I was lucky enough to be graced with Meredith Duran's presence. I'd never heard of her prior to attending the conference but after chatting with her a bit and then hearing her speech about how she got started writing romance was incredibly inspiring. All attendees received a free copy of her book which is how I ended up with Fool Me Twice.
Blurb: 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 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.
Review: It was perfection. Fool Me Twice had a real Beauty and the Beast vibe to it... if Beauty was a thief and the Beast cursed himself. It was an exciting and mysterious and totally delicious story.
Olivia was everything you want from a romance heroine. She was vivacious and intelligent and ballsy. But my favorite part was the fact that she had total disregard for other people's boundaries. Olivia is so far from your typical historical heroine that she might as well be in her own category. She was absolutely fabulous. I wanted to high-five her every time she refused to let that old coot Alastair be an intolerable recluse.
Alastair was my perfect hero. I love brooding weirdos who spend all their time reading books in their bedrooms and refusing to see the light of day. But while he was strange he was also a man who could be counted on when it really mattered. I loved watching him bow to Olivia's influence and later help Olivia save herself.
Olivia didn't need a man to help her out of her shell or to help her become brave or tough or unladylike. She was already the sort of heroine who would do what it took to take down the bad guys and make herself a home. Alastair just sped up the process.
This book was downright hilarious. I was laughing and squealing with delight throughout. The push and pull of Alastair and Olivia's relationship created just the right amount of amusing tension and their secret trysts tied everything together in an incredibly sexy way. Meredith Duran writes some hella good historical romance and anyone who loves the subgenre should scoop up her books ASAP.
Fool Me Twice can be scooped up if you would only click here.