Book Review – Romancing the Duke

Posted January 12, 2015 by Kathy in 4.5 Stars, Book Review / 4 Comments

Book Review – Romancing the DukeRomancing the Duke Series: Castles Ever After #1
by Tessa Dare
Published by Avon Books on January 28, 2014
Genres: Adult Historical Romance
Pages: 370
Format: Ebook
Source: Purchased
Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble

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.

My Review 4

Romancing the Duke is a story about love, passion and devotion.  This is a great start to a new series!


I love Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series but it has been a while since I have read any of her books.  But as soon as I read the first paragraphs of chapter one I knew I was going to love this story.  Author Tessa Dare writing is elegant and timeless.  The details of the world she creates are precise and beautiful that I am transported back in time and enjoy every minute I am there.


In Romancing the Duke we meet Isolde (Izzy) Ophelia Goodnight who is penniless and has accepted her fate to become a spinster.  Her luck is about to change and it brings her hope for a better future. But there is only one thing to spoil it and that is the Duke of Rothbury, Ransom Vane.  The two clash when they first meet but they have no choice but to work together (I’m not going to spoil why and how!).  I really liked these characters because despite the difference in their social classes they have something in common:  they are both misunderstood and alone.   Ransom takes on the role as “the beast” in this story.  He is handsome but he is a tyrant, it is his way to keep people away.  But Izzy works her way into his heart and gradually we see a kinder side of him.  Izzy has grown up most of her life in the shadows of her famous writer father, whom she is a beloved character in his books.  She has always been expected to live as that character and so she puts on an act in front of everyone. Ransom is the one person who actually sees the real Izzy and accepts her.  He is the only one that Izzy stands up to. I understand that for this time period women were not vocal but it still did bother me that Izzy continues a charade in front of everyone except Ransom.


Romancing the Duke has steamy romance, fun supporting characters and a heartwarming story.  Tessa Dare created a story that I really enjoyed and I can’t wait to read more in this series.


Overall 3


Rating Report
Overall: four-half-stars


About Tessa Dare

Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twelve historical romance novels and four novellas. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award and multiple RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Awards. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance," and her books have been contracted for translation in a dozen languages.

A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a pair of cosmic kitties.

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4 responses to “Book Review – Romancing the Duke

    • Kathy

      Tessa Dare was one of the first authors I discovered when I got my first Nook and I fell in love with her Spindle Cove series. I hope you read more from her. Thanks Katherine!