by Tessa Dare
Series: Castles Ever After #1
Genres: Historical Romance
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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.
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.
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 🙂
This sounds like a fun tale. Maybe the loose thread is an opening for the next book?
I don’t think so Pamela, it really wasn’t important I was just curious.
oh my.. I am drooling a little. I think I would totally love this! So glad to hear there is a hint of magic and amazing romance!
This was so much fun to read Lily…Dare is wonderful 🙂
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 🙂
thanks Lindy they are fun to write and this was such a fun read!
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! 🙂
I hope you try it Keertana!
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!
I am excited to Cyn!
Ooo I do want this one Kimba, it sounds delightful. Thanks for the review.
I think you will love it Aurian!
I have this book on my TBR stack. It sounds so good! Can’t wait to read it!
Melissa (Books and Things)
I really do enjoy Dare’s books and this one sounds so delightful! I love the way the characters sound and I also love your speed date review. Oh you know I’m going to have to read this one!
This was such fun and I cannot wait for book two!
You just wanted to go on a date with a Duke. 😉 It does sound like a lot of fun, though.
I want this one 😀
Yes you do!
This sounds like a charming story with a swoonworthy romance! I love that there is a fairy tale feel to this one. I really must read this! Lovely review, glad you had a fun time on your date!
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 🙂
Ooo, the new Tessa book! Romance and castles and girls in pretty dresses with handsome dukes, how can you go wrong? I’m so glad to see that you enjoyed this, I can’t wait to read it, too. 🙂 Anything that puts a smile on your face is a good thing.
Wendy @ The Midnight Garden
Agreed, thanks Wendy!
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 >.>
I love when time travel is mixed in..Devereaux writes good stuff.
Michele-A Belle's Tales
What a clever review! I love how you describe Ransom — and he has a wolf? Count me in! Thank you for letting me tag along on your date — this book sounds wonderful! Have a fantastic weekend, my friend 🙂
He was so adorable, and grumpy and sweet.
I love that this feels like a fairy tale for grown ups with a good healthy mystery thrown in.
Great review Kim!
this was a fun romp Ali 🙂
OOh Kimba I need me some hot and magical 🙂 especially after our weekend into Monday forecast LOL
We are in an arctic freeze with sleet, hail, snow and yep I plan to read, read, read!
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!
Enjoy Alexa, Dare is delightful!
Felicia the Geeky Blogger
FLAILS! YES YES YES YES YES!!!!
I loved it, was swept up in it, and giggle with it. I love a book that can make a girl giggle and swoon.
Your review of it rocks! I was so at a loss for words but you said it perfectly!
No your review was wonderful too!
Angel (Spare Reads)
I love a good modern day princess story which this one seems to be just that and so much more. I think I’m already falling in love a bit with Ransom just from your review, so I will have to sought this one out in the library for sure 😀 Nice review Kim!
He is swoon-worthy and I hope you enjoy this one Angel!
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… 🙂
Agreed and it just made me grin from ear to ear.
I love Tessa Dare and heard some great things about this one so I must have a copy..lol. 🙂
Enjoy Stormi, I look forward to your take on it 🙂
Lupdilup (Loupe Duffy)
Wonderful review! I loved this one too 🙂 You’d loved the audio Kimba, the narrator was perfect. Keep that in mind for the next book 🙂
I’m so glad I found a new HR author to love, and if all her book are as good as this one, she’ll quickly join my favorites’ list.
So glad to hear the audio was good.
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 🙁
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.
I am a total Tessa Dare fangirl. Seriously, she can do no wrong and this latest release proves it definitively!! I loved the characters and the premise and the Order and, well, the whole thing.
*smiles* Yes Dare rocked this one!
Izzy and Ransom sound adorable. You seem like you had a lot of fun with this, Kim!
Great review. 🙂
I did Nick and I think this is one you would get a kick out of.
Yes, yes, and yes. I have been reading so much historical romance lately. You will be seeing a lot of those reviews soon. I am totally looking for more historical romances because I just can’t get enough of them. I might grab this one.
This was delightful from beginning to end..I hope you do! I am excited about your upcoming reviews!
This sounds so cute and fun! I haven’t read a historical romance in so long I’m starting to miss it. I’m adding this to my library list immediately!
Ooo enjoy it..it is the perfect book to fall back into this genre!
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*
hehehe..yeah I am right there flailing my arms and screaming with you Jessica!
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.
I hope you get a chance to read this Melliane!