Book Review: Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead

Posted March 25, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 33 Comments

Fool Me Once
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

One FlameOne FlameOne FlameHalf a Flame

by Ashley Winstead
Publication Date April 5, 2022
Published by Harlequin
Purchase Here Buy on Amazon US - Buy on Apple - Buy on Kobo - Buy on Google - Buy at Barnes and Noble - Buy on Audible - Buy on Amazon UK
Genres: Fiction / Feminist, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy, Fiction / Romance / Workplace, Fiction / Women
Pages: 362
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

“A simmering slow burn bursting with banter… This is a romance for anyone who’s ever felt too messy to be loved.”

—ROSIE DANAN, author of The Roommate

In this fierce and funny battle of the exes, Ashley Winstead's Fool Me Once explores the chaos of wanting something you used to have.

Lee Stone is a twenty-first-century woman: she kicks butt at her job as a communications director at a women-run electric car company (that’s better than Tesla, thank you), and after work she is “Stoner,” drinking guys under the table and never letting any of them get too comfortable in her bed…

That’s because Lee’s learned one big lesson: never trust love. Four major heartbreaks set her straight, from her father cheating on her mom all the way to Ben Laderman in grad school—who wasn’t actually cheating, but she could have sworn he was, so she reciprocated in kind.

Then Ben shows up five years later, working as a policy expert for the most liberal governor in Texas history, just as Lee is trying to get a clean energy bill rolling. Things get complicated—and competitive—as Lee and Ben are forced to work together. Tension builds just as old sparks reignite, fanning the flames for a romantic dustup the size of Texas.

Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead is a second chance romance where the romance sizzles and delivers a lively story laced with environmental concerns.  I loved these characters and was rooting for their happily ever after throughout the entire book.

Lee Stone is a communications director at a woman-owned electric car company similar to Tesla (but better!).   She loves her job and is working on an energy initiative for the state of Texas to replace all the state-owned vehicles with all-electric vehicles, manufactured by her company.  This would be a boon to her company, and also to the environment and help the state be less dependent on fossil fuels.  Lee has always been unlucky in love and has decided to only have short-term affairs with men and never again let her heart be broken.  

When she is tasked to meet the Texas Governor, she learns the Governor’s new policy expert is her old boyfriend, Ben Laderman, who she hasn’t seen in five years.  Can Lee and Ben work together on the policy without re-igniting the old flames?  

Lee is brash, ambitious, and sometimes crass, but I loved how the author showed us her vulnerable side, and how she hides her emotions behind that bold exterior.  And Ben is equally ambitious and so reluctant to allow himself to be hurt again.  His pain in facing his old girlfriend was realistic and heartbreaking.  You could see him warring with himself over his present feelings for Lee, and his need to defend himself from heartbreak.  

 I was immediately drawn into the story and enjoyed the journey with Ben and Lee.  Although it was a political story, I didn’t feel like the author beat me over the head with politics.  

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a steamy, contemporary romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Ashley Winstead

Ashley Winstead holds a Ph.D. in contemporary American literature from Southern Methodist University and a B.A. in English and Art History from Vanderbilt University. She lives in Houston, TX, where she drinks red wine and dreams up novels.

33 responses to “Book Review: Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead

  1. Book Review: Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead – The Self Taught Book Fixer from Chicago who was an Intern at a Top Real Estate Firm in NYC as an MBA student! Read at My site, mybookreviews. Click here! And follow me on Instagram
    The title of this book is one I had heard at least two of the several times it was brought up as someone recommended it to someone else but after reading the blurb and knowing nothing about this author and her work I couldn’t help but put the book down with more thoughts than could be articulated to be able to read it properly myself at any given time for that reason the above is what I can write about this book to share thoughts about this book.
    Now the story starts about six minutes into the beginning of the audiobook it was mentioned by the writer that the first two chapters of Ashley Winstead’s first novel was written for about seven days when she started writing it was seven days it just felt like they put so much thought to how a good book is structured you know how to take a break between paragraphs that makes reading enjoyable you can read about how much effort her novel took and not like in another book about her writing and reading process is about one hour and…

  2. I like the sound of the characters, especially a brainy female lead. The story itself also sounds interesting, but it might have a bit too much steam for me. Great review Wendy.

  3. I enjoyed your review, Wendy. Not too sure about the steamy angle, less is more for me with regards to sex and violence in books… and films for that matter.

  4. Thanks for the heads up on the steam. I’m shaking my head over her decision “to only have short-term affairs with men.” That sounds like a recipe for disaster.😂

  5. I like that the heroine is the a higher up at an electric car company conscious of environmental issues. I think that’s so important! I’m a big fan of second chance romances, too. Glad to hear it was a hit!

  6. I don’t generally read steamy fiction, but this does sound good!

    Also, I read your about page. I think it’s cool that you’ve decided to review so many books as your retirement hobby. I want to do that when I retire someday, too. :}

  7. I read romances once in a while but usually the women’s fiction or small town contemporary type. However this one appeals to me! I like that the female character is a smart, independent woman and the environment angle is a bit different in romances. Good review!

  8. This sounds like an interesting read if you enjoy second chance romances. I don’t tend to like them so I’m a little hesitant to pick them up, but the characters sound great!