Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)
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?
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
I didn’t think anything could possibly match Tessa Dare’s fabulous Spindle Cove series but her new series, Castles Ever After, promises to be just as wonderful. The first book, ROMANCING THE DUKE is enchanting, romantic, sexy and funny and I was totally captivated from the first page to the last!
I love Tessa Dare’s writing… so rich in warmth, emotion, and humour. She brings each scene to life with such vivid imagery. This is one of my favourite descriptions:
It started to rain. Fat, heavy drops of summer rain— the kind that always struck her as vaguely lewd and debauched. Little potbellied drunkards, those summer raindrops, chortling on their way to earth and crashing open with glee.
“I’m no one’s hero, Miss Goodnight. You’d do well to remember that.”
Ransom is certainly my hero but then I do have a soft spot for scarred, emotionally wounded heroes. I just knew that under that gruff exterior beats a vulnerable heart and it just needs the right woman to break down his defences. Izzy is just perfect for him with her warmth, passion and gentle heart.
I adore Izzy. Tired of being treated like the wide-eyed girl of her father’s stories, she longs to be seen as a grown woman with her own dreams and desires. It is Ransom who is able to see the real Izzy – ‘a beautiful temptress of a woman, with interesting ideas and sensual wit.
I enjoyed the initial sparks and tension between Izzy and Ransome. They were such a delightful couple and watching their romance unfold was a joy. I loved sharing their…
Charmingly wicked banter:
He leaned one shoulder against the archway. “Aren’t we going to continue?”
“This game.” His voice was so low it seemed to crawl to her over the flagstones, then shiver up through the soles of her feet. “Am I a Russian prince? No. Is my favorite color yellow? No. Would I object if you were to come inside and remove every stitch of your damp clothing?” His voice did the impossible. It sank lower. “No.”
Izzy didn’t know if these gentle sweeps of her fingertips could erase his pain— but they were dismantling the safeguards around her heart.
She soothed her touch over his brow and scalp, making shushing noises and whispering what she hoped were comforting words.
It was oneness, and it was glorious, and it was perfect, and it was her. All her.
God, he loved her.
…since she was there . . . he couldn’t deny that a scarred, neglected part of him craved that softness.
Hell, he ached for it, straight to his bones.
Hot sexy moments:
“Oh, I mean to do this everywhere. I plan to have you in every room of this castle. And why stop there? On the ramparts, beneath the stars. In the park, on a blanket spread amid waving grasses.” He pushed her skirts to her waist. “But we start right here, right now. I’ve been dreaming of taking you on this table for weeks.”
There are some rather delightful but unusual secondary characters…
The Knights and ladies of Moranglia who offer their loyal support when it is most needed (all will become clear when you read the book).
I loved Ransom’s devoted valet, Duncan, especially in the scene where he douses Ransom with freezing cold water!
Tessa Dare continues to wow me with her beautiful writing, heart-warming stories and loveable characters and ROMANCING THE DUKE will definitely be one of my favourite books of 2014. Now I just have to wait for book 2, SAY YES TO THE MARQUESS!
REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS
SENSUALITY RATING: HOT
Read January 2014
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.