Twice as Nice: Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare


Romancing the Duke (Castles Ever After #1) by Tessa Dare
Avon (January 28, 2014)

Rating: A
Heat: Warm

Heroine: Isolde “Izzy” Ophelia Goodnight – England’s Sweetheart, Optimistic
Hero: Ransom William Dacre Vane – Duke of Rothbury, Blind and Surly





Romancing the Duke is the first installment in Tessa Dare’s newest historical romance series and… WOW! Just WOW! This is a spectacular start to another brilliant series. In my eyes, Tessa Dare can do no wrong. I’ve been enchanted by Dare’s unique, captivating writing style for some time now and she has become my go-to author for super sexy and charming historical romances.

Isolde “Izzy” Ophelia Goodnight is a twenty-six year old spinster who has never been kissed, thinks she’s an ugly duckling, motherless, fatherless, penniless, homeless, and famous. She’s famous for being the daughter of the author who wrote “The Goodnight Tales"--a story of love and romance that has captivated many hearts in England. And the readers believe Izzy is the innocent, doe-eyed girl written in the stories. When her father died, Izzy is left alone with no home and no money, until her godfather bequeathed her Gostley Castle, a bat-infested, crumbling castle that’s barely livable. While excited to have a home of her own, she wasn’t expecting to have the Duke of Rothbury as her castle-mate.

Ranson William Dacre Vane, the eleventh Duke of Rothbury, has been injured in a dual. He’s surly, ill-tempered, and scarred. He’s been in hiding from society for seven months in the old decrepit castle along with his valet, Duncan. He doesn’t know how Izzy ended up owning the castle but he is determined to find out. He tries to kick Izzy out upon arrival but she’s just as stubborn as Ransom and refuses to be pushed out. And the more he tries to push her out the more he wants her to stay. So, Ransom ends up hiring her on as his secretary to find out who is behind the selling of his castle. Of course, he didn’t expect to fall for the feisty, interesting woman who has taken over his castle and inserted herself into his heart.

I adore the way Tessa Dare wrote Ransom and Izzy’s characters. They are such a hoot together! Izzy is quirky, endearing, and optimistic about life, while Ransom is gruff, grumpy, and damaged. Oh, but he’s not without his charms. Believe me, Ransom charmed my panties off and Izzy’s too as she finds herself utterly drawn to him – emotional baggage and all. I love how Izzy handles Ransom’s prickly side; seeing right through his fa├žade. He needed someone to treat him like a man, not a Duke. She gave him the type of love and affection he’s always craved.

And while Ransom is no prince charming, never hiding who he is, Izzy, on the other hand, is nothing like England’s innocent sweetheart they’ve depicted her as. No, this little sweetheart hides her true self from the world, which weighs a heavy burden on her, as she lives in two different lives. But she can be herself with Ransom. She loves the way Ransom makes her feel sexy and wanton with his lewd and shameless ways, never treating her like a doe-eyed innocent, instead happily obliging her naughty side.

“Curse tenderness. To hell with emotion. I’m not the man to fulfill your heart’s desire, but I can give you everything – everything – everything you body’s craving.” – Ransom

There are so many delightful things I love about this this story that I found myself swooning and laughing non-stop. These two very charming characters have an exciting and interesting courtship; hot and spicy yet quirky and beautiful at the same time. I love the crazy fans obsessed with “The Goodnight Tales” and how this romantic tale was infused within the actual storyline. I love how Izzy’s hair is described as wild and alive, like an octopus. I love Izzy’s pet ermine: “Release the ermine!” And I absolutely love all of the sensual kisses that led to some very passionate tupping. I could go on and on about how much I just love and adored this story but this review would turn into a book.

Romancing the Duke is packed with passion, loveable characters, and clever and witty writing. Tessa Dare excels at writing charismatic characters that spring off the pages with big, quirky personalities. Her humor is always off the charts hilarious. And the writing is always so intelligent and so addictive. This book captured my heart and didn’t let go until the last page and then I was looking for more at the very end, hoping for a little sneak peak at what’s to come next. Do yourself a favor and grab this book the moment it’s released. I know historical romance lovers will fall head over heels in love with Ransom and Izzy’s swoon-worthy romance.


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