Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare
Book One of the Castles Ever After series
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
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?
What I Liked:
Well, here it is! My last read of 2013. And what a read it was! I finished with a historical romance novel that is sure to be a fan-favorite. I've read a few other novels by Tessa Dare, and enjoyed them immensely, so I knew I would be in good hands. I can definitely see this book becoming extremely popular within the historical romance community.
There's a castle. There's a man living in the castle. And now, there is a woman who will be living in the castle, because the castle has fallen to her hands, much to the surprise of the man. But no matter. The man is determined to figure out the legal mess, and get his castle back. The woman is determined to have her castle, since she is poor and has just about nothing left.
The man is the Duke of Rothbury - named Ransom, and the woman is Isolde, "Izzy". I'm quite sure that this story is based off Beauty and the Beast, in a sense. Except, Izzy is NOT beautiful. But she is a dreamer, a storyteller of sorts. Ransom isn't exactly a beast, though he does have a disfigurement. There is no curse though - only a strange financial and legal matter that must be fixed. But everyone LOVES Izzy - just like everyone loved Beauty.
I really, really liked Ransom the most. He's the perfect amount of brooding, surly, handsome, gentlemanly... I don't care about his disfigurement/disability. He is perfect - probably one of my favorite historical romance heroes. Not probably - DEFINITELY. For me, this book was all him, and I loved it.
I didn't love Izzy (see below), but I thought the romance was awesome. The chemistry is powerful, right from the start, and it never stops. This is a very chemistry-filled and steamy historical romance novel - just saying! I loved how Dare infused chemistry and romance and somehow pulled it off without making the romance seem rushed or forced.
Overall, this book was GREAT. I hope the next books in this series are as lovely as this one! This is definitely a historical romance novel you do not want to miss!
What I Did Not Like:
There was really only one thing that bothered me, and to sum it up, it was Izzy. She was so annoying at times, and I feel like her character did not change AT ALL, from start to finish. She's so bothersome and pushy and doesn't know when to stop. Sometimes, Ransom needed to be pushed. But other times, he did not.
Also, Izzy was stuck in her head ALL THE TIME. And this was one of the things that was not "fixed" in this book. She never had to give up anything for Ransom - her childishness, her stories, her fantasies. She never had to grow up, or give anything up, but Ransom had to give up or concede or yield. I hate that.
Would I Recommend It:
This is one historical romance novel that I would highly recommend. It's like, the perfect package for a historical romance read. One thing that is totally different is that there is basically no interaction in society or with the ton - but I like this. Everything takes place in the castle, which I like!t
4 stars. Definitely a cute and enjoyable story! I'll be following this series for sure.
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