by Fern Michaels

August 2006
ISBN: 0-7582-1630-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Kensington Publishing

Fool Me Once by Fern Michaels is the story of dog photographer Olivia Lowell, and the surprising path her life takes when she discovers that her mother didnít die giving birth to her, but instead gave her up hours after her birth by divorcing her father and going on to build a multimillion dollar mail order business.

Allison Matthews was a young college coed who had huge dreams of being rich. In order to achieve her dream she coerced her two college friends into a scheme that would affect all their lives. For forty years the women lived lives based on decisions that Allison forced them into.

Now Allison, who abandoned her newborn daughter, and divorced her husband is deceased. She has changed her name to Adrian Ames, and has created a multimillion dollar mail order business. When Olivia reached the age of sixteen Adrian started to keep tabs on her, and thus upon her death named her daughter as the one to inherit her estate, and her very questionable legacy.

Trying to decide how and what to do about Adrianís estate will take Olivia on a long and convoluted journey. The journey is not easy, and what she discovers along the way will affect many lives. Olivia finds that she holds all the cards to deciding how these lives will change. The decisions she is faced with are not easy, and take a good portion of the book for her to come to terms with.

Ms. Michaels crafted a story that while not nail-biting suspense will keep readers turning pages. The story flowed smoothly, and the characters were believable. Ms. Michaels a dog lover, included a number of dogs in the story, and in fact featured one as a secondary story to Oliviaís inheritance, but yet the dogs while fun to read about did not overtake the book.

In the end almost all the storylines were resolved to my complete satisfaction. There was one question I still had when I turned the last page, but Iíll leave that to you to figure out, and see if we have the same uncertain feel as the last page turns.

While Fool Me Once wonít keep you awake with nightmares, it will certainly keep you reading late into the night.

Reviewed in December 2006 by Sandi.

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