Saturday, December 13, 2014

New Review: Meredith Duran’s FOOL ME TWICE – Unusual Victorian Romance with a Deranged Duke

If, like me, you discovered Meredith Duran with her first novel, DUKE OF SHADOWS, and loved it and gobbled up her next ones, just know this one, book 2 in the Rules for the Reckless series (and perhaps the entire series) is quite different. Not so much historical, and not even a good glimpse of London.

Set in 1885, much of the story takes place in the home of Alastair de Grey, Duke of Marwick where the heroine, Olivia Mather takes the position as housekeeper to surreptitiously search through the duke’s papers for information on her family. (You don’t find out until near the end why.)

Alastair is bitter (some say deranged) because his wife betrayed him with four other men before dying of an opium overdose. He has forgone his role as a leader in Parliament to sulk in his bedchamber and focus on his revenge. While he seems bent on self-destruction and revenge, his new housekeeper seems intent on saving him from himself.

Duran’s writing is superb as always and her dialog witty. She is simply a great writer. The heroine has a lot of spunk and I liked her, though her mission was often vague. The hero, however, was just odd. I suppose an unfaithful wife could send a man into a tailspin but total self-destruction and planned murder of four peers? That seemed a bit over the top. Of course, he backs off of that, but still…

I found the beginning hard to get into and the setting in one house a bit confining. (Olivia doesn’t even get out of the house until after the first 150 pages.) When the duke finally comes out of his cave and Olivia is gone from his house, things get interesting. The action is exciting, the sexual tension intense and the story unfolds.

I recommend it but it’s not for everyone.

Rules for the Reckless series (the novels):



  1. Thanks for your review, Regan. I bought this book well over a year ago because I, too, liked some of her previous historicals. I haven't read this book yet, however, as I got tied up with other "street team" pursuits. :-) I did notice something striking on the Amazon website for this book: whereas most of her books had 40-50 reviews, this one had 98 and it was the highest reviewed book of hers on the website. Interesting, no?

    1. Janice, you'll have to let me know what you think when you read it. I like her earlier historicals better but some might prefer the angst here. It was interesting but I liked best the last third. She is clearly a talented writer.