Duped by Dee Dawning introduces Maximilian E. Randle III and his estranged wife Jeannette. Three years of marriage and six months of being separated, Jeanette does the unthinkable and hires a private investigator. Max is a man of many talents which consist of bigamy and conning women. After Jeanette finds out the details of her husband’s so call business trips, she contacts Jamilla Turner who has been married to Max for four months. At this point my curiosity is peaked.
Duped does not come highly recommended. The writing is overshadowed with more than enough sex scenes, which takes away from the struggling plot. Characters are introduced one after the other and never get fully developed. The novel starts off about betrayal, then transitions to supernatural and lastly romance. I was thrilled and ready to read about Max’s character as a bigamist, but that was short lived. There was no real interaction between him and Jamilla, the heroine. The storyline changes when the hero, Antonio Castanza, also known as Tony is presented. Tony dated Jamilla’s deceased twin sister, Shana, in college whom she never met. At this point I was mystified and the story continues downhill. I can understand Jamilla wanting to know more about her sister but to question her sexual preference was a shocker.
Two scenes in particular and the constant reference of the departed sister became too much to bear. Scene one, Jamilla models a nightgown she assumed Tony gave to her; but when he stated it was purchased eight years ago for Shana, the nightgown vanishes from her body. Scene two, Jamilla wants to mimic and experience the same pleasures Tony did with her sister; “I want to see what it’s like to be tied up and helpless in your four post bed, like you used to do with my sister.” One character I enjoyed was Letta Storm, Jamilla’s lawyer; who is every bit of a storm. Letta is a strong, direct, no nonsense, and prying individual that brings a different element to the story.
Although Duped is not receiving high rankings, I am not discrediting the author’s skills and would consider reading other work by Dee Dawning.
-Reviewed by LaMona