Fall in Love with Fool Me Once: A Review of Ashley Winstead’s Novel

Xoraslibrary- fool me once book review

Table of Contents

Fool me once Book by Ashley Winstead info

Title: Fool me Once

Author: Ashley Winstead Find more of her here

Genre: Romance Fiction

Pages: 355

Publisher: Graydon House Books

Fool Me Once book summary:

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.

Who should read Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead?

You should read Fool Me once if you love enemies to lovers, closed proximity romance tropes. 

Or if you’re a fan of second-chance romances. The main character gets back together with her old college boyfriend.

And Office Romances

Fool me once by Ashley Winstead is a new adult romance story that follows Lee Stone. 

About Ashley Winstead

Ashley Winstead is an author who writes contemporary literature. So far she has written 5 books and has another on the way coming in 2025. 

One of the books I reviewed here on the blog is In My Dreams I Hold a Knife. 

I really enjoyed that book so naturally I wanted to read more of her work and I’m glad I did. 

Here are interviews of the process/headspace she gets into when she writes her books 

And an interview she did explaining how she went from her thriller novel to a romance one

Is fool me once a series?

At first, I believed it was a series because there’s a second book called The Boyfriend Candidate that follows Lee’s younger sister. 

But no, the fool me once book by Ashley Winstead is a standalone, not a duology. 

What is the theme of Fool Me Once book by Ashley Winstead?

The theme of the Fool me once book by Ashley Winstead is fear of being loved and what it means. Letting your guard down and take advantage of your second chance. 

Fool me once Characters list 

Lee Stone- 

the main character. She is a communications director. She doesn’t have relationships and doesn’t allow her to get close enough to the men she sleeps with. 

When she was younger, she and her dad had a great relationship until she found out that he cheated on her mom. She found out through email. She immediately cut him off and never talked to him again after that. 

Ever since that happened she was paranoid of her boyfriends cheating on her so she was always looking for proof that they were. Even if they weren’t. 

She dated a guy named Ben in college and because of her paranoia, she suspected him of cheating. So she cheated back, with Ben’s college competitor. Only to find out years later that he never cheated at all. 

Alexis aka Lex-

Lex is Lee’s younger sister. She’s dating a douche bag


One of Lee’s best friends 


Another one of Lee’s best friends. Claire is a lawyer and she has kids. 

Annie and Zoey-

Annie is Lee’s best friend and she is dating Zoey. 

Ben Laderman-

Ben is back in town for a job that Lee is part of. 

He has a girlfriend named Sarah

Why did Lee think Ben cheated on her?

She was constantly checking for signs of cheating in all her relationships. So when she saw Ben’s phone and that he was messaging another girl, she took that as her confirmation that she was right. 

So she, instead of asking him, went and cheated with someone Ben hated in college. 

Right before Ben had his big test that would’ve solidified his future. But on the day, he couldn’t even focus and came in second place to his college enemy. 

After that Ben left the school. 

Ben comes back to town to work on a campaign for a green energy bill that Lee’s company is a part of. 

And they’re forced to work together. 

The whole time Lee thinks Ben is going to ruin this for her because she has worked her whole life to get to where she is, to where her boss trusts her and she’s in charge of getting the bill passed. 

And she feels like Ben holds a grudge for what she did and is looking to get revenge by trying to take her job. 

My review:  

I really enjoyed the writing and the pacing of this book, there were times I just wanted Lee to be honest with herself and her feelings and apologize to Ben. 

It always felt like once we took one step forward we took two steps back with these characters. 

In the end, I was unsure if they were both going to end up together because of how hot and cold everything was. 

Would I recommend Fool me once by Ashley Winstead?

Yes, I would recommend this lighthearted romance story where the main character Lee Stone goes on a journey to finally opening her heart to love again. And trusting again.

Fool me once by Ashley Winstead is like a rom com in a book.

Other Books I reviewed from Ashley Winstead is in my dreams I hold a Knife, check it out!

Xoraslibrary image sitting reading a book

Xora's Library

Bookish Blogger

*This post may contain affiliate links, which mean I will receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra. cost to you. 

Also as a amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Verified by MonsterInsights