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29 January 2014

Review: Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare

Author: Tessa Dare
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Find It: GoodreadsAmazonB&N
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

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.

Isolde (Izzy) Ophelia Goodnight is twenty-six, plain and penniless. The daughter of a well-known children's book author, Izzy grew up dreaming of knights, romance and a life of adventure. However, after years of disappointment, Izzy no longer believes in fairy tales. Orphaned and homeless, she suddenly receives word that she has inherited a castle in Northumberland. Thinking that perhaps her luck has changed, Izzy uses everything she has to travel to the castle and claim her inheritance. Unfortunately she finds the castle still occupied by its former owner, a very irate and brooding Duke of Rothbury (Ransom). Nearly blind from a recent duel, Ransom has been hiding out in his castle and claims that it was never sold. It's a standoff now as neither Ransom nor Izzy is willing to give up the castle. They decide to work together to unravel the mystery and end up finding more than either of them bargained for.

I am fairly new to Tessa Dare's writing but have become a fast fan. Her stories are charming and sweet with a lot of humor. Romancing the Duke is the first book in a new series, each with a heroine who inherits a castle. Izzy is the heroine of this book and I really liked her. She's been disappointed a lot in life but she isn't jaded or mean. I liked her curious mind and the fact that she didn't let Ransom scare her away. She's tenacious, loyal and more than a match for the Duke.

The Duke is a difficult character to love - at first. He's moody, mean and gruff and does everything in his power to get rid of Izzy. His scars, inside and out, have made him a hardened man who pushes people away. But as Izzy chips away at his rough exterior, we find a man who is romantic and charming (though still rough around the edges).

Both of them have grown up believing that they weren't good enough - Ransom because of his jackass of a father who blamed him for his mother's death, and Izzy because she she thinks herself plain and isn't able to live up to the legend of The Goodnight Tales. It broke my heart to see how neither of them really knew their own value. But, as their relationship grows, they do as well and both start to see each themselves in a different light.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. While it's not my favorite Tessa Dare book (I still prefer the Spindle Cove series a bit more), I had a lot of fun reading it and will definitely be re-reading it in the near future. I am excited to see what is going to happen in the next book in the series. Romancing the Duke is another great romance to add to my growing Tessa Dare collection.

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Visit the author online at tessadare.com, Facebook and follow her on Twitter @tessadare

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