by Tessa Dare
Series: Castles Ever After #1
Published by: HarperCollins
Genres: Historical Romance
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.
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