What’s a Monday morning without secrets, betrayals, and a steamy historical romance? (And coffee. Definitely coffee.) Get your fill this morning with an exclusive excerpt from FOOL ME TWICE by award-winning author Meredith Duran.
If this excerpt leave you wanting more, don’t delay–the eBook edition is available for less than a cup of joe ($1.99!) until March 25.
Say you’re on the run. You’ve been hunted for years. Just when you’ve lost all hope, a possible solution appears.
It’s risky. It might lead to nothing. But it’s your only hope.
So you take a deep breath (or several) and set aside everything that has kept you safe till now: caution; a low profile; careful planning.
The key, the possible solution, lies in the household of a man you don’t know. So you infiltrate his house in the guise of a maid.
(You’ve never so much as mopped before.)
By the way, the man who owns that house? He happens to be the most powerful duke in England. And he’s recently gone insane…
My name is Olivia. On sleepless nights, when loneliness has kept me up long after the fire has burned out in the hearth, I wonder why I’ve never had a nickname. ‘Olive’ sounds so much friendlier than Olivia. ‘Ollie’ sounds as brash and enthusiastic as a boy. That’s all right—I’m nearly as tall as one, aren’t I? But ‘Liv’ is my favorite. ‘Liv’ sounds like a girl who likes to laugh.
I could be a Liv, for I like to laugh more than anything. I simply haven’t had a chance for it lately. It’s far easier to keep secrets when one’s face is straight, one’s attitude serious.
Anyway, in this household, laughter seems out of place. The staff creep about, the footmen jumpy, the maids primed to gasp. We all feel the weight of him, upstairs—the Duke of Marwick, master of the palace, who sits brooding in the darkness like some mythical dragon.
Dragons devour maidens, don’t they?
I should not think of his grace. I should not have let him kiss me.
Some still call Marwick the most powerful man in the realm. Others dismiss him as insane. As for me…on sleepless nights, when I try not to think of him, I end up thinking only of him. He should not be so beautiful. He looks like a fallen angel, but we know what happens when angels fall. They turn into devils.
This much I know: the duke is not mad. A mind so fine as his cannot be broken. He is simply…hibernating. Awaiting his opportunity. Like any wicked and brilliant creature, he knows that revenge is best conducted at his leisure.
I am not supposed to know that revenge drives him. I am only a servant in his household; his tragedies are not mine to share.
But of all the secrets I keep, only some of them are my own. When he watches me with those piercing blue eyes—when he calls me in that low, husky voice, and his lips twist into that cruel, alluring smile—he has no idea that he is addressing a woman who knows his secret.
He does not know he is speaking with an enemy.
For deplore it though I might, I have not joined the Duke of Marwick’s household in good faith. I am no Olive, no Ollie or Liv. I have not come in friendship, or with enthusiasm, and I have not come to laugh.
I have come to steal from him the key to my freedom. I only pray he does not destroy me first.
There are so many ways for a man to destroy a woman. With his lips and teeth and tongue, he has shown me so.
I should not think of him as I lie in bed at night, but I do. And what is worse, I know that somewhere upstairs, he thinks of me as well. And together, we burn…