Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare

February 28th, 2014 kimbacaffeinate Review 60 Comments

28th Feb
Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare
Romancing the Duke
by Tessa Dare
Series: Castles Ever After #1
Published by: HarperCollins
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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? This one..

Romancing the Duke the first book in Tessa Dare’s new series Castles Ever After was such a fun romp. With colorful characters, a magical feel and its swoon-worthy troubled hero. I gobbled this up in a single evening. Izzy our heroine is a character that will forever be dear to me. Mini review: Delightful, romantic, hot and magical.

I decided to take Romancing the Duke on a date and it was divine!

First Date: From the first few lines I could feel the magic of this tale. I immediately slipped in and connect with our heroine Isolde Ophelia Goodnight. Isolde or Izzy is an optimist who tried to look on the bright side. With her father’s passing, she has been left destitute but a letter announcing she is a benefactor of an estate has her taking her last few shillings and traveling to Gostley Castle. Izzy is a celebrity of sorts since her father’s weekly fantasy serial “The Goodnight Tales”, featured her as a young girl. At twenty-six Izzy has given up completely on fairy tales. Her father’s stories were magical and I wanted more. You have to suspend belief as is necessary for all fairytales but I swallowed the pill and enjoyed it.

Second date: Izzy arrived at Gostley Castle! In the garden, she spies Ransom William Dacre Vane, the eleventh Duke of Rothbury and his wolf . At which time she promptly faints! Ransom’s estate is in complete disrepair and so is the man, but gads is he smexy and brooding. But wait the letter about being a benefactor? Oh, this was an interesting thread and created some tension and a little mystery. I loved the banter between these two; Izzy clearly annoys him, and the reasons were delicious. The whole story has a fairy tale feel that satisfied both the little girl inside me and the woman. We get heat with just enough details to curl my toes. It all felt genuine, and I loved how they interacted. Izzy is such a colorful, whimsical, lovable character. She made me laugh, cheer for her and believe. Izzy is quickly becoming one of my favorite historical heroines.

Third date: Knights, Queens, fair maidens what is all this? It is wonderful that is what it is! Something is foul at Gostley Castle, and Izzy intends to sort it out. While Ransom continues to push Izzy away his arguments are getting weaker. The man is such a romantic and it is so endearing. What makes it so swoon-worthy is that he doesn’t even realize he is being romantic with his gestures. As the tension builds towards the climax, I could not help but root for them. Wait, is the date coming to an end? I had such a good time and cannot wait for the next book in this series!

Romancing the Duke gave me a whirlwind romance, and I closed this story with a smile. I absolutely enjoyed the fairytale elements in this tale. I would love to read the serials about Moranglia. There was a lose thread that wasn’t answered and I am not sure why. It didn’t impact the overall tale but left me curious. Izzy and Ransom were such a fun couple. I laughed, sighed and rooted for them. The next book in the series, Say Yes to the Marquess, will release later this year.

 

About Tessa Dare

Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twelve historical romance novels and four novellas. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award and multiple RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Awards. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance,” and her books have been contracted for translation in a dozen languages. A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a pair of cosmic kitties.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat... Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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60 Responses to “Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare”

  1. Melliane

    I love to read historical romances more and more. I confess I don”t think I’ve tried this author yet but I know the name and with your review I know I need to try her! The story sounds so nice, I’m curious about it. I’ll receive some romances soon, I’m happy about that because you make me want to go back to them.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hope you get a chance to read this Melliane!

  2. Jessica

    I only started reading Historical Romance a couple of years ago, so I’m a noob when it comes to who the good authors are in the genre. With all of the great reviews for this book that I’ve seen over the past week(ish), I HAD to check it out. And I totally agree with you–it’s great. HOWEVER, I have an irrational fear of . . . can you guess what . . . B-A-T-S! *shudder*

    • kimbacaffeinate

      hehehe..yeah I am right there flailing my arms and screaming with you Jessica!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ooo enjoy it..it is the perfect book to fall back into this genre!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was delightful from beginning to end..I hope you do! I am excited about your upcoming reviews!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I did Nick and I think this is one you would get a kick out of.

      • Lupdilup

        Well, I started to listen right after I read your review, unfortunately the narrator was terrible (for me) I lasted until chapter 5. I always give them time, sometimes it takes a little before your hearing can adjust, but I just couldn’t do it anymore. I have to read instead 🙁
        Lupdilup recently posted…Dirty Magic Audiobook by Jaye Wells (review)My Profile

        • kimbacaffeinate

          Ooo darn, I have been sticking to UF, mystery, thrillers etc. I listened to one contemporary and it was ok, but prefer other genres. I am struggling with the narrator for Winner’s Curse.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Stormi, I look forward to your take on it 🙂

  3. Jenny

    Yaaaaaay! I absolutely adored this one too Kim!!!! Yes, we of course have to suspend disbelief a bit, but I just had so much fun reading this story, and I can’t wait to see what the other books in the series are going to have in store for us. Just when I think I can’t love Tessa Dare any more… 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Agreed and it just made me grin from ear to ear.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      He is swoon-worthy and I hope you enjoy this one Angel!

  4. Alexa

    I really like this author and her other books so I have no clue why I haven’t picked this one up yet. It sounds like a great book and similar to a book by another author that I really liked.

    Thanks for the great review!
    Alexa recently posted…JaggedMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      We are in an arctic freeze with sleet, hail, snow and yep I plan to read, read, read!

  5. Faye

    I really need to get a head start on historical romances. I think the last one that I truly read and enjoyed was Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devereaux (have you read that one? Historical + Time travel!! what more could you possible want? :P) Your date with this book sounded absolutely magical and I want a piece of that. Yep, getting this book as soon as I can. I may have to order it online as my bookstore doesn’t really stock on these too much >.>
    Faye recently posted…Review: Murder of Crows (The Others #2) by Anne Bishop – Hell to the YES!!My Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love when time travel is mixed in..Devereaux writes good stuff.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was such a fun read Lauren and I love when I start a book, blink and realize I have been completely lost in it and almost done 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was such fun and I cannot wait for book two!

  6. Sharlene Wegner

    I have this book on my TBR stack. It sounds so good! Can’t wait to read it!

  7. Cyn

    I’m glad you enjoyed it! I love the fairy-tale feel too (: Definitely a fan of the banter between them, they’re just so cute together! I’m really excited for the next book, I hope there’s more info on it soon. Lovely review Kim!
    Cyn recently posted…Review: Hard As You Can by Laura KayeMy Profile

  8. Keertana

    Tessa Dare was my first romance author and I loved her novel about the Midnight Duke…I forget the name. I wasn’t a fan of the rest of that series, though, and when I sampled her other novels, I couldn’t get into them for some reason. This one, though, seems REALLY promising. I’ve seen nothing but positive reviews for this around the blogosphere and your thoughts have only cemented the fact that I need to pick this up soon. Wonderful review! 🙂
    Keertana recently posted…ARC Review: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. JensenMy Profile

  9. Lindy

    Yay! I love these book date reviews! They’re so fun! This sounds great! I love swoon-worthy books, with a whirlwind romance! The sexy, troubled, and brooding leading man sounds yummy! I’m glad you enjoyed this one so much Kim!!! Excellent Review 🙂
    Lindy recently posted…Book Review: Fire and Flood by Victoria ScottMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Lindy they are fun to write and this was such a fun read!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was so much fun to read Lily…Dare is wonderful 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I don’t think so Pamela, it really wasn’t important I was just curious.

  10. sherry fundin

    Looking at the cover, I would probably pass on this book. Then, by your rave review, this sounds like it would be well worth the time. Thanks for sharing! I am still having problems with my email program but hope my guy can have it up soon.
    sherry fundin recently posted…Dragonfly has taken flight!My Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I will try commenting again today Sherry. It just hasn’t allowed me too previously. Dare writes a fun tale with colorful characters and I quite enjoyed this 🙂