Publisher: Avon Books
Series: Castles Ever After #1
Edition: Mass Market Paperback, 370 Pages
Genre: Historical Romance
Purchase: Amazon/ Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
In the first in Tessa Dare’s captivating Castles Ever After series, a mysterious fortress is the setting for an unlikely love . . .
As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities.
And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one.
Ugly duckling turned swan?
Abducted by handsome highwayman?
Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?
No, no, and… Heh.
Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?
Romancing the Duke was a chance purchase on my part. I happened to have some actual spending money and it was just there, tempting me with the promise of a different main character. Then I remembered Kimba’s review (found here: Review) and I took the chance because it’s rare we disagree on books. This was money well spent!
Isolde Ophelia Goodnight, or Izzy, is a woman who has grown up surrounded by fairy tale expectations thanks to the stories that bare her name the Goodnight Tales. They are extremely popular and everyone sees her as the young Izzy who dreams of dashing heroes, sleeps under painted stairs, and is full of innocence. However she is not just some character in a fairy tale and she yearns for something more, a more substantial life than the one that her father left her with…or should I say didn’t leave her. She’s witty, smart, and not afraid to be bold when she needs to be. I loved how she wasn’t afraid to face problems head on or dig in her heels and stand her ground. However when she inherits a dilapidated castle she runs in to a rather prickly (and handsome) problem. The Duke of Rothbury, Ransom. Ransom is blind and has some very obvious reservations about women and trusting people, and has become a recluse who most people think is dead. He has a crude mouth and doesn’t use the normal civil niceties. Having these two together was amazing! They had some much normal tension to work around that definitely flowed over into sexual tension that it was great seeing these two try to tiptoe around each other and fail. Their banter was hilarious and definitely unique. Izzy can paint a picture with her words and Ransom is more likely to melt the ears off a priest with his, so it was nice to see them try to cross into each other’s territory. Duncan, Ransom’s valet, is equally hilarious as he tries his hardest to do his job but is thwarted by Ransom’s strict desire to have none of it.
The romance is unconventional, full of passion, and even surprisingly tenderness. I loved seeing how the relationship went from a very physical attraction to something more sweet as they learn about themselves and each other. I also liked how the book didn’t use an troupe I’m familiar with but actually made fun of how over-romanticized some of them are.
Overall I found Romancing the Duke to be highly enjoyable and I look forward to reading the next book when it comes out later this year! This is my first Tessa Dare book and I loved the way she weaved the fairy tale romance with outright passion, so I’m definitely going to read more from her.