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I’m really liking the unconventional heroines the author gives us, and that’s true for Isolde (Izzy) Ophelia Goodnight, who despite having to endure plenty never gives up. Izzy is stubborn, funny and wilful in a delightful way (all of which makes the hero in this very lucky). The hero in this is Ransom who was a magnificent Rake, prior to being blinded and scarred, now he is a rather grumpy ass - but a rather endearing ass. I love how Izzy never lets him scare her off, and her reason for being there in the morning when he wakes will having you smiling.
I did wish Ransom hadn’t been positioned as a once being a man-whore, could have done without that, and that Izzy would have stopped referring to herself as being super plain. Plus, I wanted there to have been a scene where we saw Izzy’s odious cousin get some of what he deserves, but these are small niggles in the scheme of things – this book was a lovely read.
This book was a lovely combination of fun, humour, charm and some smut, and had a nice dash of silliness to it to, defo going in my re-read pile.
Ransom the blind Duke is not a very pleasant man his has hidden away from society in London and removed himself to his Castle in Scotland. This is the life he has now chosen, Miss Goodnight is a 26 year old spinster who has now been left on her own since the death of her father, her cousin who has inherited everything has thrown her out. She received a letter informing her she has been left something in a will from her godfather, she must travel to a castle in Scotland to find out what it is. I WILL NOT SPOIL THIS BY GOING FURTHER. Needless to say it's the same castle.owned by Ransom. let the fun begins. I LOVED this the interaction between Miss Goodnight a d Ransom is brilliant. Tessa Dare Rapidly becoming one of my favourite.I
I downloaded a free novella by this writer and found it unusual and amusing. I was intrigued and wanted to read more from Ms Dare. I am so glad I went on to purchase this. Such a readable book: funny, heartwarming and I suppose rather silly, but I loved it from start to finish - and WHAT a hero. Handsome Ransom - a reclusive Duke, a rake, scarred and blinded in a duel. He is grumpy, funny, sexy, endearing, just everything a hero should be. I adored him. The heroine, Izzy Goodnight, the subject of her fathers fairy tales, except she is not the pretty green-eyed girl everyone thinks she is. She is a plain, frizzy haired 26 year old who has never been kissed. Throw in a crumbling castle, a pet stoat, a kind elderly valet and pretend knights and handmaidens and the result is a wonderfully entertaining book perfect for a relaxing evenings read. If her other books are anywhere near as good, I have found another author to add to my favourites.
The author is exploiting a genre that goes back to the Mysteries of Udolpho. The story is set in a mouldering, underlit castle complete with bats, secret passages and skeletons. The owner of this is a beastlike Duke with a facial scar, a churlish manner and a drinking habit. The heroine Issie is well-accustomed to all the flummery of high chivalry and fairy tales, her father made his from such tales of high romance. She even has a pet ermine (weasel) called Snowdrop! There is much bodice-ripping and swooning as well as sex but the author is quite ambivalent about exploiting the story for its comic value. Some of the characters have behaved in a wicked melodramatic way, but she points out the pitfalls and impracticalities of such conventions. I couldn't really take such a saga seriously, but the element of farce was underplayed and I could not engage with the story.
Originally I confused Tessa Dare with Tessa Bailey… Don’t ask me why. It just never clicked in my mind (I realised my mistake a little way in to the book though). Anyway, I thought “Oh she writes historical romances as well?” and decided to check it out because I was long overdue a historical romance read. The blurb convinced me to read the book though I was charmed by the quirkiness that came through.
I love how the starting chapter or two of Romancing The Duke was almost a parallel of the books historical romance heroines are seen reading/referencing throughout the novel… You know the ones with titles like Lady Fiona & the Dashing Duke of Drummond Hill or something like that. If you’ve read Eloisa James then you’ll know what I’m talking about. It wasn’t referenced in a parody-esque way though in fact I think it was almost unintentional on behalf of the author but even so the parallels just kind of jumped out at me.
Oh how handsome was Ransom?! I just had to use that line ROFL… That’s not why I mentioned him though. Don’t get me wrong he was handsome (how could he not be?) but that’s not why I absolutely adored him. I just LOVED his personality, his wit, and his one-liners. He had me laughing out loud almost the whole way through the book. In fact, I wouldn’t hesitate to call him my favourite historical romance hero of all time. Before I go on to talk about other aspects of the book I just have to mention his full name I mean Ransom William Dacre Vane. Now there’s a name fit for a duke! This is the first time I’ve “seen” a historical romance hero with a name like that – just another reason why I enjoyed this book so much.
This book had me smiling whenever I opened it up and left me smiling until the end. Let me try and explain how I felt… Okay, you imagine if somebody took you to your favourite bookshop and gave you free reign – on them. Oh but it doesn’t end there, take that feeling and multiply it 10 times over. That, ladies and gents is how I felt whenever I read Romancing The Duke.
I have to say I’m so happy Ransom didn’t miraculously get his sight back at the end of the book and start professing just how beautiful he found Izzy. Tessa avoided that cliché and I’m glad because this book was anything but a cliché.
This book was the best way to start the New Year and this is certainly not the last time I read this authors work.
A New Year, A new favourite author what more could I ask for?
I loved this book. It’s ridiculous and fun, warm and witty, sweet in all the right places, a teeny bit emotional in others, it knows how to laugh at itself and it plays on every Gothic romantic fantasy out there, not to mention the over-the-top nature of die-hard fandom. In short, it was the perfect pick me up when I was feeling sick.
So onto this romping tale of mischief and mayhem, with a blind duke, a plain miss and more tin-tray knights than you can swing a damsel at. I loved Izzy and the way she handles all the twists this tale throws her way. She’s strong and firm with Ransom, sweet and kind to the Moranglians, not to mention determined to make the castle a home, despite her own fears and Ransom’s stratagems. I loved how she crept under the troubled duke’s guard, and how he in turn snuck into her heart. She’s kind, funny, sarcastic and a bit snippy, but always, always fun to read about.
Then there was Ransom, the miserable duke, who’s shut himself up in his castle to die. Until he finds out that his castle might not even be his own anymore. Then he can’t quite decide whether to get rid of Izzy or use her to figure things out. Yes, he’s surly and grumpy and says some horrible things, but he’s also wounded and broken and longing for things he doesn’t understand. The little things he does to take care of Izzy – all the while telling himself (and her) that it’s just to get rid of her faster – were so sweet. And the doubt not speech was just glorious.
On top of all that this book has my new favourite battle cry – "Release the ermine!" It’s bonkers and batty (er, literally at one point), imaginative and witty, pokes gentle fun at fandom while also revelling in the joy of it, and was just a wonderful read. If you want something light and fluffy that will make you smile and possibly giggle, chortle, chuckle and laugh out loud, with surprises and sweetness and moments to sigh over, and you also like a bit of romance in your historical setting, then give this a try. I found it a real treat.
Was it silly? Yes! Was it implausible? Yes. Was it naive? Yes. But it was also sexy and hilarious and somewhat original. In a word one of the best romances, I have read lately! I enjoyed more than any of the Spindle Cove installments, and almost as much as "It Happened One Autumn" by Lisa Kleypas, which is my all-time favorite!
Huge fan of TESSA DARE but was expecting so much more from this novel which it didn't deliver!!! It was a good story but for some reason it did not have Tessa's usual sensual, sensitive, passionate story telling style?
I'm not sure if I am just jaded from reading one too may historical romance novels or that I'm expecting ground breaking romance from every read but surely it can't be too much to expect one of your favourite authors to deliver what she is known for!!! I find myself looking for new authors out there that I have not discovered yet in the hope that maybe I find that elusive novel that is a KEEPER!
Round up, it is a good read but I have read ALL of Tessa's books so I know this is not her best but still a great read. I cross my fingers for the next one!
NOTE TO AUTHOR: Please Tessa bring a novel back like, THREE NIGHTS WITH A SCOUNDREL love love love that book! I have read it more times than I can remember, I think I shall read it again now just to remember how good you really are! Thank you.
Who cares if this story is a little unrealistic? It was a lovely read; imagine a cross between Jane Eyre, I Capture the Castle and The Princess Bride with an ermine and some hot sex scenes thrown in for good measure. Save this one for when you need some fluffy escapism, you won't regret it...
I want to start off by saying that I have enjoyed every Tessa Dare book I've ever read (5, to be precise). As an avid fan of historical Regency type romances, I find her stories well written and unfailingly romantic. However, this book didn't quite do it for me.
After reading the description, I expected to utterly adore this book. Scarred and blinded hot hero with an attitude problem; check. Sweet but spunky heroine who shows him the power of L-O-V-E and makes him change for the better; check again. Throw in a decrepit old castle and this is my personal recipe for a perfect book. I think if this had been my first Tessa Dare I probably wouldn't have felt that slightly dissatisfied feeling that came over me having finished 'Romancing the Duke', but having experienced the awesomeness that is 'A Lady by Midnight' my expectations were likely too high.
A side note: a lot of reviewers seem to laud 'A Week to be Wicked' as the best Dare book - I thought it was romantic and funny, but I've never re-read it, unlike ALBM which I never tire of. But I digress.
This book reminded me of the Mills and Boon romances I sometimes read when I want something mindless and simple; entertaining but easily forgettable. Even though I enjoyed the characters and their love story it lacked that element of passion that I've come to expect from this author. There were frequent occurrences where the author told us things had happened instead of showing us, something that never fails to annoy me in a novel. The setting was confined entirely to the castle, which I felt limited the scope of the story. Perhaps my subconscious mind was on her previous series set in a village of interesting eccentrics, but the troupe of knights and ladies along with the butler and vicar's daughter were not interesting enough side characters in comparison. I know each book will be set in a different castle & presumably in a different part of the country, so there was clearly less of a need to expand these characters' lives, but it made the book less compelling IMO.
There was also much less sexiness than in her previous series. This doesn't bother me, but I felt it these characters could've done with a bit more passion to liven them up a little. I liked Ransom, and Izzy was a lovely person, yet for some reason I felt irrational dislike towards her for a large part of the book and desperately wanted her to be kicked out of the castle. Her constant affirmations of "This is MY castle now, and MY home, and I shall make it so" got on my nerves, & although it was made clear that the sale to her was illegal she still carried on in that vein. Indeed, we were never told exactly who owned it in the end (I know it didn't matter but with so much drama over it I wanted to know...) Izzy subscribed to the model of perfect sweet heroine who everyone loves and can do no wrong, a characterisation I've noticed in every Dare novel I've read. I find it kind of sexist actually (and I'm a woman) - the man is almost always in the wrong and has to win back the female's affections, after which they live HEA with him counting his blessings every day that she bestowed her love upon him. It's a problem I've noticed with many female romance writers, and it is beginning to grate on me somewhat - why can't the woman go grovelling to the man at the climax? Surely that's true feminism - a woman can mess up just as much as a dude can.
I agree with another reviewer that the troupe of knights and ladies were a little ridiculous. Tessa Dare seems to favour a little farce at the end of her novels but this one was a bit too far removed from the tone at the start and reminded me again of the flimsier M&B stories. The twist concerning Izzy's father and his famous stories "The Goodnight Tales" was pretty obvious from early on and I felt it could've been revealed earlier to allow for more explanation on the particulars of how it worked.
But despite my slight disappointment, I would recommend this book for it's sparkling dialogue and entertaining story. In a genre with so much rubbish Dare is near the top in the quality of her writing and I'll continue to keep an eye out anytime she releases a new book.
P.S. If you liked this but wanted something a little deeper and more emotional, I'd recommend "A Lady by Midnight" by the same author. Anyone who likes the good old scarred hero plotline but prefers their romances to be somewhat racier would greatly enjoy "When She Said I Do" by Celeste Bradley.