24 September 2018

Fool Me Forever // Overthrowing Governments With A Healthy Side Of Romance (I Might Have That The Wrong Way)

Fool Me Forever

Published: 24th September 2018

Source: Author

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

My Rating:
Lenore Bradshaw's charity is mixed up in a world-class scandal with donations gone missing. Handsome con artist Halsey Sherwood suggests they work together to get the money back. But there's no way she can trust a proven liar and thief, right? Even if his generous and sweet nature is stealing her heart.

The beautiful Lenore is the only woman in the world Halsey Sherwood can be honest with. It's just his luck she despises his profession—conning the rich and evil and donating the proceeds to charity. To win her heart and aid her cause, he makes her an offer she can't refuse. He'll get her money back from the bad guys and help her rebuild her reputation. And if things go sideways, he'll do whatever it takes to protect her.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ainslie Paton strikes once more with an absolutely wonderful read I could not get enough of. I really enjoyed One Night Wife with the Sherwood family taking from the rich and giving to the poor (or to well researched charitable organisations who they know will do the most good and don’t get enough contributions from those damn 1 percenters). I knew I wanted to read the next book revolving around the Sherwood's, Fool Me Forever, and Ainslie was nice enough to send me across an ARC so I could get reading ASAP.

Fool Me Forever starts in the aftermath of the events of One Night Wife (so be warned I might spoil some details). Lenore Bradshaw, or Lenny to her friends, is struggling to keep her charity organisation, Dollars for Daughters, afloat. Her best friend Fin (who was the star of One Night Wife) was the woman bringing in money for the charity after Lenny’s father had been arrested for running a Ponzi scheme she left Fin to get the investments as the Bradshaw name was a little ruined. Well, she was left sorting things out after learning how Fin was getting so many donations in (read the first book for that story) and now Lenny is really pushing to keep D4D legit and not have anything to do with cons or the Sherwood family. Until in walks Halsey Sherwood there at his brother, Cal’s, behest to make sure the money Fin stole from him and pumped into D4D would pass an audit and stay looking legit since a big influx of cash from one donor is always going to look dodgy. Lenny is all set to boot Halsey out but the pair are as stubborn as each other and it gets worse when Halsey discovers Lenny has been duped into donating to a charity he and his family know is a front for a president who is duping his citizens and using government money so he can live a lavish lifestyle. That’s where things get good because Halsey wants to go all knight in shining armour for Lenny whilst also taking down the bad guy and Lenny is not up for anyone rescuing her and wants to help in the taking down without getting caught up in things.

I loved this book because it’s all about getting one over on rich idiots who think they are above the law and common decency and you know I was going to be cheering when the big con of the book is all about conning Sonny Ozols (fondly known as Cookie Jar) out of his money and overthrowing him from power so the good guys can run the country he is bleeding dry and running into the ground. I am all for overthrowing a corrupt government and when it’ Lenny and Halsey doing the overthrowing even better!

So yeah, my favourite part was the overthrowing the jackass that was Cookie Jar but this is also a romance and let me tell you I fell head over heels for Halsey Sherwood. He was awkward and did not like prolonged social interaction and small talk. He was Excel Boy for a very good reason, numbers were easier and made sense, people were harder. He could read body language and plan with the best of them but he was never going to be as slick and his brother’s Cal and Zeke. He was cool with that. He was a man who embraced a tattoo he got on impulse and could recite facts about unicorns and entertain small children but also could cook and wasn’t stingy when it came to sex either. He was not an alpha male but he wasn’t a doormat. He was a guy who was comfortable with who he was and didn’t feel the need to pretend otherwise (which makes it a little more difficult being a con artist). I fell for him as soon as he didn’t want to leave Lenny alone with her overbearing brother and I fell for him more as the book progressed. I didn’t know how he was going to win Lenny over but I was rooting for him the entire time.

And Lenny Bradshaw is not to be overlooked either. She was a strong female who most certainly didn’t need rescuing or to be told what to do by the likes of Halsey Sherwood. She had no time for folks trying to tell her what was best for her because she knew what was best for her, after all, she came out of the scandal of her father’s arrest and families downfall with her head held high and she wasn’t going to let anyone dictate her life. She had a mother who didn’t grasp the fact they were not rich and a sister who was angry at the world and she didn’t know how to get through. She had a business she was struggling to keep going considering she wasn’t talking to her best friend and the folks she wanted to get donations were snubbing her after her father’s arrest. She had a lot on her plate ad she had no time for Halsey Sherwood but she also had no patience for a  dirty president taking her hard earned money she thought she was giving to charity and using it for his own gain instead. She is a woman willing to get her hands a little dirty, or at least assist in another getting his hands dirty for her so she knows someone will get their comeuppance for their crimes. Like, she was kickass and had a soft spot for chocolates, she is my kind of woman.

When Halsey and Lenny were together on a page there were sparks and I was so ready for them getting together. I mean, Lenny was already half in love with him and Paul Newman good looks and she would have been all over him if she didn’t know about his con artist family. And Halsey was more than half in love with Lenny simply for the fact she brought out another side of him. He had been hiding behind his desk with his spreadsheets and numbers in nice neat boxes and she drives him to step out from behind that desk and do things he had convinced himself he couldn’t do. He was not the smooth slick con artist of Ocean’s 11 fame but he was smart and he had a strength where he would stand up to bullies. I know I said Lenny didn’t need rescuing (and honestly, for the most part, she doesn’t, she needs a helping hand to keep moving forward and she could do the work) but Halsey does have moments of swooping in and having her back and rescuing her that one time. They were such a great time as they balanced one another out. Lenny had the people skills and knows the right thing to say when it was needed and Halsey had the smarts, he could read people and situations and he knows what people want. So Lenny and Halsey make a kickass team and oh boy when they do get together? Sparks and sexual chemistry and all that good stuff. They were so so good together and I was so there for that. Let’s just say the sex is good, those two just needed to overcome all the other problems to do with their relationship.

Basically, I cannot say enough positive things about this book. I liked all of it. I mean, I could have rambled on for a whole lot more words with this book. I adored it and I am in love with the main characters. I was cheering on the crimes and lamenting when the romance fell off track. It was a great ride and this is exactly the kind of book you need to read when you’re getting angrier than usual from watching the news. Fed up of seeing rich white guys get away with all their crimes and also a fan of romance? Yeah, you need to get reading this along with a big old glass of wine and maybe a box of chocolates. You’ll feel a whole lot better for it.

Have you read this or anything else by Ainslie Paton yet? Isn’t she awesome? And which author’s do you find always reward with you the most satisfying of reads with every release?

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