6 Nov 2018

Fool Me Twice by Philippa Jane Keyworth

236 Pages, December 1st 2016, Madison Street Publishing 
Ebook, Print and Audio

In the gaming hells of eighteenth century London, orphan Caro Worth is leading a double life. By day she plays a proper gentlewoman on the lookout for a wealthy husband. By night she plays the infamous Angelica, her fictional half-sister with a talent for cards and an ability to finance the life her respectable self has built. An introduction to a rich Marquis brings marriage and security within Caro’s grasp…until the arrival of the unpredictable and totally ineligible Mr. Tobias Felton.

Dismayed by Felton’s persistent appearances, shocking frankness, and enigmatic green eyes, Caro watches helplessly as he comes closer than anyone to guessing her secret, but when complete and utter ruin threatens, she finds that Felton’s suspicions just might become her salvation. As the walls she has built to protect herself crumble down around her, Caro learns that no matter how careful your plans, life and love have a habit of falling quite spectacularly out of control!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book was a great, fun Regency read! Its about a young noblewoman Caroline/Angelica Worth, who left penniless after her father's death, assumes and altar-ego as a gamester and makes her money through gambling at some of London's most notorious clubs, that were literally called Gaming Hells.

When she wins thousands from the Duke she has set her cap at to marry, things begin to spiral out of control as he demands the money back from her- or worse. Enter Tobias Felton, the younger son of a Viscount who seems like an irresponsible ne-er do well but has a good heart in spite of it all and sees something in the fascinating young woman he meets across the gaming table.

Now lest this review makes Caroline sound like a helpless damsel in distress, be certain she is not. Caroline has had to make her own way and is strong, but her choices ultimately place her in an untenable situation which is exploited by the schemes of the devious Duke. 

Readers may note that there is no explicitly religious content in this novel. I think the characters show their developing faith more in what they do, or how they deal with certain things. Its clean though, although there is one scene involving an attempted assault, its not really graphic.

Overall, the story is told well, with a helping of the wit and humour which has marked other books by this author. I really Caroline's straight talking friend Rebecca 'blunt as a butter knife', and her Aunt.

If you want a relatively short, immersive Regency story that's a bit different from the rest Fool Me Twice is a great choice. What's more, its by a British author and the e-book is only $1.

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