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Romancing the Duke: Castles Ever After Kindle Edition

286 customer reviews

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Length: 417 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Please let it be money! That is the one thought Isolde Goodnight has when she receives the news that her recently deceased godfather, the Earl of Lynforth, has mentioned her in his will. Izzy desperately hopes that she has inherited at least £200. Even £100 would help because after her father’s death, Izzy is nearly penniless and without a home to call her own. Instead, Izzy discovers that she is now the proud owner of Gostley Castle, a rapidly crumbling pile of stones deep in the wilds of Northumberland. Much to Izzy’s surprise, she also discovers that the castle comes complete with one unmentioned, additional feature: its previous owner, Ransome William Dacre Vane, the Duke of Rothbury. Splendidly talented Dare (Any Duchess Will Do, 2013) creates cleverly written dialogue, exceptionally appealing characters, and an engaging plot that gives a wink toward Beauty and the Beast and a nod to fandom, all key components in this wickedly funny and soul-satisfyingly romantic novel, the perfect launch to Dare’s new Castles Ever After series. --John Charles


"Wickedly funny and soul-satisfyingly romantic" -Starred review, Booklist

"A unique twist to a fairy tale, complete with an ancient castle, a damsel in distress, and a wounded hero. ...  A romance to be savored." -Starred review, Publisher's Weekly

"Adorable," "funny," "charming" and "clever" are a few words used to describe Dare's novels, and the first of her Castles Ever After series is no exception. -RT Book Reviews, Top Pick!

Product Details

  • File Size: 2597 KB
  • Print Length: 417 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (January 28, 2014)
  • Publication Date: January 28, 2014
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DB36D5E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,789 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Letitia on January 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Rating: A ... Heat: Hot

Izzy Goodnight has been forced to spend her entire life acting like life is a fairytale when, for her, it has been anything but. Losing her father a year ago left her alone and near penniless. She’s been living on the kindness of her author father’s rabid fans. Even though Izzy knows there are no Prince Charmings, no knights in shining armor, and no happily ever afters, she can't help but have hope when a solicitor informs her that her godfather left her something in his will.

Which is how she ends up at Gostley Castle, home to the reclusive former rake, the Duke of Rothbury—Ransom William Dacre Vane. Who is not at all happy to have some temptress of a woman on his land, ruining his plans. His plans to molder and slowly fade away. Scarred and blinded, Ransom’s not looking for help. Or pity. He just wants to be left alone. And when the solicitor tells izzy that Gostley castle is hers, not his, he knows getting rid of her won't be easy.

Izzy and Ransom start out as two reluctant roommates. Neither one is willing to back down and concede defeat. While they try to figure out who the rightful owner is, they're forced to cohabitate. And things quickly become complicated and... filled with sexual tension. Izzy and Ransom were magical together. There was something so enthralling and almost fairytale like about their romance. How Izzy sees herself as plain, while Ransom thinks she's a temptress. How Ransom thinks he's beastly, while Izzy knows he’s roguishly handsome. I love how they each have these vulnerabilities that they reluctantly let each other see.

Ransom was such a swoon-worthy hero. Prickly and moody, surly and grumpy. Always using his blindness to keep people at a distance. Izzy was not going to let that stand.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Bellini on January 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sometimes Tessa Dare can be a little hit and miss for me, and this one was somewhere in between for me.

I went in expecting to really like it as the scarred, angry, alpha trope is one of my favorites. Ransom does not disappoint, he rages and growls and demands and I found Izzy refreshing in her response to him. She stood up for herself and gave as good as she got without seeming over the top. Sometimes in attempting to craft spunky heroines with backbone authors end up creating somebody who is irrationally stubborn and just plain annoying. Ransom and Izzy were believable and their chemistry was definitely hot, I loved that despite being a virgin Izzy had desires and wasn't absurdly innocent despite her backstory. There was a little bit of the instant intense lust of True Love that I did think was a bit silly.

Unfortunately, the backstory is where things fell flat for me. The story of Ransom's scar seemed lack-luster and rather contrived and Izzy's troupe of play acting knights and ladies was farcical. The conclusion to what was for the most part a warm, satisfying romance seemed slap-stick silly and left me crafting alternatives in my mind. I enjoyed the romance but sort of didn't buy their histories or the conclusion to the big problem which seemed more like a plot device than anything else.

Like I said, the was a fun read but it was lacking that little something extra that makes a novel excellent.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Judge Tabor TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Our sweetheart of a heroine, Ophelia Goodnight (Izzy), has been left penniless by her thoughtless father. She does, however, have a dubious legacy in that the heroine of some very well-known books are based on her persona. That would be the heroine of "The Goodnight Tales" written by her father about happenings in the fanciful Kingdom of Moranglia replete with a handsome hero, knights and beautiful ladies. Alas, when her father passes, her mean cousin inherited all her father's possessions including all rights and monies from the books. This leaves Izzy with nothing except a huge fan base - known as Moranglians - and wherever she goes, she is recognized as the heroine of the Kingdom of Moranglia.

When Izzy is down to her last few shillings, she receives a letter stating she has been left an inheritance by her godfather and she must travel to Gostley Castle in Northumberland to meet up with Lord Archer who will reveal to her just what she has inherited. Arriving at Gostley Castle, she is dismayed at the huge, rundown castle which appears to be abandoned. Then, she sees a rough looking handsome man standing in the shadow of one of the entrances to the Castle. Thinking he is Lord Archer, she begins asking him questions. This is where you first begin to get a hint of the marvelous dialogue to come.

The man she has encountered is none other than the Duke of Rothbury - Ransom William Dacre Vane. It seems that Gostley Castle is his home and she has intruded on his solitary life. He has been hiding out at the castle for several months due to suffering an injury which has left him scarred and wounded. Once Lord Archer arrives and tells both Izzy and Rothbury that Izzy's inheritance is indeed Gostley Castle, the battle between Izzy and Rothbury takes off.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Clio Reads on February 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Tessa Dare is one of my favorite authors, but I'm not sure what to make of this first book in her new Castles Ever After series. I couldn't tell while reading it if Dare meant for this to be a gothic romance. It certainly has gothic elements -- penniless ingenue in desperate straits at the mercy of bitter, scarred, misanthropic (but tall, dark, and handsome) man, set in a creepy, crumbling, isolated old castle that might well be haunted -- but if Dare was aiming for gothic, she missed her mark. Despite the creepy ambience, this book doesn't have the dark, spooky, suspenseful tone of a gothic novel. Instead, I think (hope?) Dare was spoofing the old gothics, and if that was her intent, she hit the nail on the head, because the gothic tropes seem not so much eerie as entertaining (example: the story is set at Gostley Castle, and the heroine's solicitor asks whether that rhymes with "ghostly" or "ghastly.")

The heroine, Izzy Goodnight, finds herself destitute after her father fails to provide for her in his will. She's down to her last shillings when she learns she's inherited a crumbling castle in Northumberland. Unfortunately, the castle isn't empty: Ransom, the Duke of Rothbury, has been convalescing (read: hiding) there since being gravely injured in a duel with his ex-fiancee's lover. Rothbury contests Izzy's inheritance, since he owns the castle and didn't authorize its sale to the guy who bequeathed it to Izzy. However, he's ignored his correspondence for the months since his injury, and both agree that there might be some clue to the dilemma amid the pile of letters awaiting Rothbury's attention. Since Rothbury's condition still doesn't allow him to read his mail without assistance, Izzy agrees to act as his secretary while they sort out the mess.
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