Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Castles Ever After #1

Romancing the Duke

Rate this book
Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2014)
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.

370 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 28, 2014

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Tessa Dare

44 books13.5k followers
Sign up for Tessa's newsletter and be the first to hear about new books and hot deals! http://tessadare.com/newsletter-signup/

Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fourteen historical romance novels and five novellas. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award (twice!) and the RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance," and her books have been contracted for translation in more than 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 trio of cosmic kitties.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
12,830 (28%)
4 stars
18,369 (40%)
3 stars
10,953 (24%)
2 stars
2,226 (4%)
1 star
862 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,064 reviews
February 20, 2014
...and Khanh's heart grew three sizes that day.

This book makes me smile. It left me with a goofy grin and eyes misted over with stupid unshed tears. It makes me want to believe in starlit kisses, in moonlit romance. It makes me want my own fairy tale.

Goddamn it. This book was just too fucking cute.

Yes, I realize that the cursing is completely uncalled for!! Let me curse!! I need an element of foulness in order to retain the vestiges of my usual anger and bitterness. This book has left me a silly, sappy fool, and I can't say I regret it.

I regret nothing.

The Summary: With a name like Isolde Ophelia Goodnight and a father who wrote a series of children's stories, you would expect Izzy's life to be a fairy tale.

It wasn't.

Isolde prefers to be known as Izzy. Izzy is not ugly, but neither is she a beauty. No Prince Charming has ever shown up for her. And at 26, her life is as far removed from enchantment as you can imagine. Life---and romance, has always passed her by.
And for as long as she could remember, Izzy had been waiting—with dwindling faith and increasing impatience—for that part of her life to begin.
Instead of a charmed life, Izzy is now a spinster. Her father is dead. She is broke; completely destitute. She has no home. She hasn't eaten in days. Izzy is no longer a girl with stars in her eyes. Her present is cold, harsh reality.
Her cravings for romance were gone. Now she’d settle for bread. What fairy tales were left over for a plain, impoverished, twenty-six-year-old woman who’d never even been kissed?
Right now, Izzy's entire existence hinges on a letter, a letter that arrived, promising her survival. Her late godfather has left her a bequest.

That bequest, as befitting a fairy-tale girl, is a castle. But it's not an enchanted castle, by any means. It probably needs an exorcism, more than anything.
This castle didn’t welcome or enchant.
It loomed.
It menaced.
She almost worried it might pounce.
And that castle comes with its own beast. A crippled, blind, scarred duke. A monstrous, terrifying masterpiece.
There were things in nature that took their beauty from delicate structure and intricate symmetry. Flowers. Seashells. Butterfly wings. And then there were things that were beautiful for their wild power and their refusal to be tamed. Snowcapped mountains. Churning thunderclouds. Shaggy, sharp-toothed lions.

This man silhouetted before her? He belonged, quite solidly, in the latter category.
Well, shit. The castle in question is his, and Ransom, half-monster and 100% man---is naturally, not that eager to hand it over to her. The castle has been in his family for generations, and due to a misunderstanding, it has been sold. Now, his ancestral home has been handed over to a chit of a girl, and damned if Ransom's going to hand it over on a silver platter.


Ransom has a comfortable life as a secluded hermit---as fairy tale Beasts often do, and the last thing he wants is a woman invading HIS personal space. Nope. Nope. Nope. He literally throws Izzy out.
“That’s it,” he said, at length. “You’re leaving this place the same way you came in.”

He ducked, caught her by the legs, and threw her over his shoulder—with the ease of a man who’d tossed many a woman over his shoulder. This was definitely not his first go at lady-tossing.
Unfortunately for him, Izzy is not the frail, shrinking violet sort he expected.

Izzy may have the name of a damsel in a fairy tale, but she is a grown woman. She is hungry, she is desperate, she has nowhere else to go, and this woman is standing her ground.
He bounced her weight, plumping her backside with his forearm. “There’s so little to you.”

“You’re wrong,” she said. “There’s a great deal to me, Your Grace. More than you know. More than anyone supposes. You can carry me outside, if you like. I’ll come back in. Again, and again. As many times as it takes. Because this is my castle now. And I’m not leaving.”
Ransom and Izzy comes to an uneasy agreement. She will stay and be his secretary and sort out his long-neglected correspondances (blind men can't really answer letters), as well as figure out the legal fiasco that led to his castle being sold in the first place.

He pays her very well---200 pounds a day, the sooner she figures it out, the sooner they can move on with their life. Only there's just one problem. Izzy starts to grow on him. The easiest way to get to a man's heart is through his belly...and Izzy can make pancakes. Pancakes.
She poked around, making busy clanging noises. “I don’t suppose there are eggs? If I do say it myself, I make a very good pancake.”
Oh, no. This just grew worse and worse.
I make a very good pancake.
What was even more appalling was that Ransom found himself suddenly hungry for a very good pancake. Starving. Ravenous. Damn it, he was faint with yearning for a very good pancake.
All alarms are sounding inside Ransom's head. This woman is dangerous. I MEAN, PANCAKES. His instincts are screaming at him. GET. OUT. NOW.
Get out now. The threat is coming from inside the castle.
Naturally, they find themselves gradually growing fond of each other. But there are, naturally, obstacles to their love. Someone is trying to get rid of Ransom, steal his inheritance. There are secrets in Ransom's past that threatens to overwhelm their trust of one another.

And then there are the fanboys and fangirls. Seriously. When your childhood self was written into a bookas a fairy-tale character, this is what you get. A fanclub of your very own.
The armored riders dismounted in unison, and the carriage doors opened, spilling forth about a dozen young ladies in medieval dress. Banners waved briskly in the morning breeze.
Heaven help us!

The Setting: A MOTHERFUCKING MEDIEVAL CASTLE, Y'ALL. HOW COOL IS THAT? It is not a pretty castle. It is one of those evil, lurching, looming, scary ones. It comes with scary noises...
Once again, she woke to darkness, her heart pounding with terror and her throat scraped raw.
Strange noises assailed her from all sides.
As well as bats. Lots and lots of bats. Bats that turn a potentially romantic interlude...
“There’s a rule about sunsets in this castle, Miss Goodnight.”
“There is?”
“Yes.” He turned her to face him. “And a man and a woman standing in this very place are compelled to heed it. No choice. There’s only one thing to be done.”
“What’s that?”
Her pulse stumbled. Surely he couldn’t mean to...
He lowered his head and made his voice a seductive whisper. “Duck.”
“Oh, no.” She stiffened. “Those can’t be...”
They were.
An entire colony of them had been roosting in the highest reaches of the canopy. Now they took wing one by one, then ten by ten...and then hundreds all at once.
Clearly, the castle, like its master, needs a whooooooole lot of maintenance to get shipshape.

Izzy: You know Alice Liddel? Little Alice who inspired Alice in Wonderland? Izzy is like that. She is famous. She has been written into her father's very famous fairy tales, and the whole of England knows about her. But like Alice, nobody wants to read about Izzy Goodnight as a grown up, with her own hopes and dreams. They want to think of Izzy Goodnight as a sweet little girl, forever a child, forever a fantasy.
The Lord Archers of the world didn’t want Izzy to be a grown woman with her own set of likes and dislikes, dreams and desires. They wanted her to be the wide-eyed young girl of the stories. That way, they could continue to read and reread their beloved tales, imagining themselves in her place.
Reality is harsher than that. Izzy is not that little girl. She is a strong, determined woman. Izzy is not a faint-hearted girl, but she is not a timid little thing. She may be strong, but she is never, ever a bitch. That is what I love about her.

Izzy has so much inner strength. She is scared of a lot of things, she has had a challenging life, with a neglectful father and a nation who wants her to remain a little girl for all of eternity. Izzy used to dream of fantasies, of a love sprung from fairy tales. She is no longer that little girl. Izzy, the woman is all grown up, with a backbone made of steel.
He might be wealthy, powerful, angry, and big. But on at least one score, Izzy had him outmatched. Buoyancy. She knew how to handle prickly creatures, and she knew how to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation.
When thrown in the pond, she learned how to swim.
Ransom: You rusual dark, brooding duke, but he is just so loveable. He is never a brute. He growls, he snarls, but he never, ever crosses the boundaries. Ransom is all bark, no bite.

He wanted to throw her out, the castle is his, after all, but Ransom has a heart, no matter if it has been broken. He cannot throw Izzy out. Ransom is gentler than he lets on.
But was this truly all that was left of him? A cruel, unfeeling brute who would cast a defenseless young woman out into the night?
He didn’t want to believe that. Not yet. He didn’t surrender anything lightly, and that included what few shards remained of his broken soul.
Ransom, like most Beastly Dukes, have a scarred past. He doesn't allow himself to be loved.
It was so foreign to him, this unsolicited tenderness. Incomprehensible. And much as he craved it, it scared him like hell. With every caress he permitted, he was piling up debts he could never repay.
You don’t deserve it, came that dark, unforgiving echo. He’d heard the words so many times, they were part of him now. They lived in his blood, resounding with each hollow beat of his heart. You don’t deserve this. You never could.
But insidiously, without him realizing it, Izzy, with her wild mane and her good heart and gentle nature, finds her way into his home and his heart. And they're pretty much the same thing.
If not for her, this room would still be filled with rats and bats. If not for her, he’d be sitting unshaven and drunk in the great hall, morosely counting his steps to nowhere. And if not for her, he would have no reason to fight this battle at all.
The Romance: LOVED IT. This book has plenty of steam, of the sweet, sensual sort. There is no extreme OH LET'S FUCK WITHIN THE FIRST 50 PAGES sort of shit. This is a grown woman who has to slowly understand her own lust.
She growled in frustration. “I know I’m not. It makes no sense at all. I’m not a silly little girl who dreams of knights. I’m a woman. A woman who’s inconveniently, completely, and for the first time in her life, in lust. Just burning with desire for the worst possible man. A profane, bitter, wounded duke who refuses to leave her house. Oh, you are dreadful.”
Who demands that her first kiss be fucking PERFECT, dammit. And if it's not, well, you better make fucking sure you do it right the second time around. And it still counts.
Her grip tightened on his shirtfront. “You’re not going to ruin my first kiss. I won’t let you. You’re going to kiss me again, right now. And make it better.”
He shook his head, incredulous. “It’s over. It’s already done. Even if I did kiss you again, it wouldn’t be your first kiss anymore.”
“It counts,” she said. “So long as it’s part of the same embrace, it all counts as one.”
Bloody hell.
There's my girl!

The romance is so sweet, so genuinely adorable. The writing is absolutely delightful. Nary a page passes when I didn't find myself grinning madly. This book is filled with humor, full of delight.
Somehow, he’d wound a lock of her hair about his finger. There it was. Right This Moment. And he had no recollection of doing it, either.
What was he coming to, when a woman sat in his lap, he gave her a stern what-for...and then ten seconds later, oopsy-daisy and la-di-dah, he went and twirled a finger in her hair?
That was not ducal behavior.
You will fall in love with this book.
Profile Image for Navessa.
Author 11 books7,642 followers
April 15, 2018
4.5 stars

I honestly don't even know if I can be trusted to seriously rate historical romances. Mostly because where certain trends and tropes seriously piss me off in EVERY SINGLE OTHER GENRE, in HR...

In fact, I actually look forward to certain HR tropes. They're like mental check boxes, and the more of them are checked off, the higher I'm likely to rate the book.

Take this book. It had witty banter, hilarious moments, a disheveled duke, a virginal yet non-prudish female lead, hate to love relationship, hawt schmex, insta-lust, goddamn near insta-love, a drafty castle, and a plot I can hardly remember even though I just finished it.

Do you know what that translates to?


Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,072 reviews51.5k followers
October 4, 2020
i'msorryiknowisayittoooftenbut finally some good fucking food

i had all but given up hope that i would like another Tessa Dare book. patterns and similarities are really the death of my reading experience. once i can tell recycled plot lines, characters, and themes in an author's works it kinda goes downhill for me. however. this book was fresh and that made all the difference.

the gist of this book is that ye olde spinster Izzy is bequeathed a crumbling castle. castle's former owner is still occupying it and wasn't aware it had been sold (did i mention the former owner is a hottie mcdamaged man?)... oh and also Izzy is the star of her late father's book series that has earned a large fan base and no one can seem to see past the fictionalized version of her.

i really liked it. it was a typical Dare romp with enough flair to separate it from her other works. the damaged hero in this was believable and sweet. and Izzy's main struggle was pretty damn endearing. honestly, no complaints here. it's not a 5 star from me simply because i'm not sure i 100% connect with the romances in Dare's books. but it was nonetheless a satisfying read.
Profile Image for Anne.
4,063 reviews69.5k followers
July 3, 2021
Wanna read a story about a moody blind guy who pushes everyone away from him?


Scarred heroes aren't my thing. They tend to be angry pricks, and I'm just not turned on by mopey and/or dark dudes.
Guess I'm just funny like that...
However, humorous historical romances with plucky heroines are my thing, and that's what made Romancing the Duke a big win for me!


This story? Well, it's filled to the brim with stuff that I hate.
Handsome blind hero and plain/ugly duckling woman..
Hero is physically & emotionally scarred.
Hero is calloused and mean.
Each of those are things that make me want to ask:
How many fingers I'm holding up?


Now, I know a lot of you love the stuff I mentioned, and even actively seek those sort of books out, but I'm soooo glad I didn't know about them until I already had the book in my hot little hands.


No, really!
Izzy was just so spunky, and funny, and cute. Her life has been less than amazing, but she just never gives up. Ever.
Every time Ransom (<--that's the guy) tries to get rid of her (because she's inherited his family's castle), she just ignores his dismissal and pretends he's kidding.
Which, naturally, drives him nuts.


Of course, he tries to scare her off by threatening to ravish her with kisses.
As men do. *snort*
But she turns the tables on him by being REALLY open to the suggestion.


So, yeah. He's sorta gotta put up or shut up.


And then there's this whole storyline about Izzy being the daughter of a famous children's story writer and the (basically) cosplayers who follow her around!
I'm totally serious.
Sounds crazy, but Tessa Dare makes it work.

This may not be my favoritest story ever, but if you're looking for a cute romance to pass the time, you should check this out!
September 25, 2017
4.5 Goodnight Stars

Romancing the Duke is my first Tessa Dare book and I loved it. I really enjoyed her writing style. Her hero Ransom was a foul mouth, damaged, sexy, asshole. The heroine Izzy was a funny, spunky, outgoing woman that I couldn't help but love and root for. Ransom and Izzy had a cute romance and the smexy time was hot! I laughed a lot while reading this book. I love any book that can make me laugh! I loved the plot and I loved the ending. I am so glad I give this book a change and I can't wait to read more books by Tessa Dare!
September 16, 2020

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

DNF @ 36%

This is one of those rare situations where I actually eye to eye with both the positive and the negative reviewers. If you're into fun and froth, and you don't really care if your historical romances are very historical, you're going to love this. The heroine is enthusiastic, bordering on manic pixie dream girl. She has a pet ermine, she's the daughter of a children's book author who had her as the plucky main character (and does this legacy haunt her? oh yes), she's just inherited a castle. And the hero is a Broody McBrood on wheels who lurks in the darkness with his pet wolf-dog, unable to come to terms with the disability he feels unmans him.

On the other hand, it is all froth and fancy, and it doesn't really feel very historically plausible or realistic. As fun as Isolde ("Izzy") is, she doesn't feel like she could exist in whatever period in England this was, and Ransom just doesn't feel very realistic either. For a while, I tried to get on board. I do love Tessa Dare-- she's a rare delight on Twitter, and I have enjoyed some of her other books-- but this one is just too silly for me and I ended up getting bored and stalling at the 36% mark.

I appreciate what the author was trying to do here and I think some readers are going to love this. Many do, already. But this just wasn't my cup of tea at all and I don't think I shall be finishing it.

2 stars
Profile Image for EmBibliophile.
533 reviews1,359 followers
February 3, 2021
3.5 stars

This book made me smile. A lot. Ugh it was extremely cute! It’s ridiculous. I have to admit tho that at times this didn’t feel like a HR, more like just a fun cute modern romance? It’s simply a book that is so silly and cute it doesn’t take itself seriously. Still it was so light and enjoyable to read.

Izzy showed up to the castle that she was told was left for her, only to find it already occupied by a grumpy duke who has been isolated in the castle for seven months and wasn’t aware that someone already sold his castle. They both try to claim the castle as their own while trying to solve the mystery of what actually happened.

This was so fun and so enjoyable to read. Ransom was that scarred blind hero who is trying so freakin hard to push everyone away. While Izzy is that sweet fairytale believer who is just so fun to be around! I loved watching all of their pickering and banter. And how stubbornly Ransom was fighting his attraction that I wanted to smack him on the head. Like a classic Tessa dare book this book was filled with humor and lightness. It was just so fun to read.
Profile Image for Nicole.
750 reviews1,937 followers
April 30, 2021
I don’t know about you, but historical romance is what I call guilty pleasure for (nothing guilty about it of course but you get the idea). I haven’t read many books that fall under this genre and I discovered how delightful it can be with Tessa Dare’s book The Duchess Deal. Hence, I was very excited to read this one and was saving it for a special occasion. Sadly, it paled in comparison. Yet, I wanted a light enjoyable read so it was good enough for that.

The story is about Izzy, the daughter of a famous author, who is left with nothing after her father died. However, she soon discovers that she’s been gifted a castle. The castle of a blind duke who tries to shoo her away by threatening to ravish her. They try to find out how his castle was sold. Plus, we have some cosplayers who are loyal to her father’s books.

Romancing the Duke was still fun and cute but I didn’t love it. It was humorous sometimes, I love Dare’s style, but I wasn’t completely into it. What I liked though is that we had an outsider “obstacle”. I got tired of the love interests fighting towards 85% or so of the book and then we have a resolution at the end. In here, the problem was from the outside and you have no idea how much I appreciated that. It’s more logical than a stupid useless fight. Sure they did fight but it wasn’t the major “something keeping them apart”.

I only recommend it if you’re looking just for that sort of read, a fun historical romance with some entertaining scenes aka the cosplayers, and a mean hot duke. A story that doesn’t take itself too seriously (nor should you). But it’s not the best in this genre.
Profile Image for preoccupiedbybooks.
465 reviews1,121 followers
March 28, 2020

A light, funny (almost spoof like) historical romance, which kept me entertained and suitably distracted from current events!
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

I enjoyed this romantic and fun tale! It was funny, and had likeable characters! Izzy was strong, witty, very quirky and full of optimism, despite her circumstances. Ransom was grumpy, arrogant, damaged and hiding from the world. Together they were very cute, stubborn, and steamy! They had good banter, and challenged each other. Add in a decrepit castle in Northumberland, a fierce ermine, a stressed out valet, a vicar's daughter, and a very weird but cute fandom called the Moranglians, and you have Romancing the Duke!

Was this entertaining? YES! Was it silly? YES! Was it historically accurate? NOT A CHANCE! This felt like a parody of a HR! It didn't take itself too seriously and was fun! However, the characters felt too modern, and I wasn't sure when exactly this was set! It was very over the top, and felt quite unbelievable at times. Not to mention the romance was a bit insta! The subplot? Bizarre! And that fandom?! Weird!

Having quite recently read, and really enjoyed Bringing Down the Duke,Romancing the Duke didn't feel nearly as good! It just wasn't on the same level! However, if you are simply looking for a fun, cheesy, predictable book, with a grump but endearing hero, and a strong but very sweet heroine, then you should give this a go! It definitely made me smile, and I quite enjoyed the cheesy ending!
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
852 reviews3,882 followers
May 7, 2021
07/01 : LAST WEEK OF THE YEAR = In need of laughs/smiles/swoon = Reread of Izzie's story! Verdict? EVEN BETTER! Still 4.5 stars but I round up at 5.

After reading a crappy romance : anti stalker effect guaranteed! Meet Ransom-the-hilarious-grinch instead :p

“For God’s sake. Don’t do that.”
“Don’t do what?”
“How do you know I’m smiling?”
“I can hear it. Hell, I can feel it. It’s all warm and sweet and . . .” He scowled. “Bah.”

BAHAHAHAHA. I loved him even more the second time around. He is FAR from perfect, can be such an infuriating jerk, and I might be more tolerant because it's HR. But. I. Don't. Care. Yum. Love him.

Before deciding that all romance MC are boring : Izzie can read in voices (yes, it's important), says what she thinks, all the time, really, isn't afraid to stand for herself and says cock.

Before swearing you'll never read an historical romance : because. Just because.

Before/During/After vacations : whenever really.

“Why must this be so mortifying? Oh, that's right. Because it's my life. ”

ORIGINAL REVIEW : 4.5 stars ▒

You know I'm not an historical romance girl. And yet, Color me surprised : That was all kind of adorable and I fell in love with this story.

Sometimes we love characters because they aren't like us - see Penryn for example : did I need to remind you how much I wouldn't survive in the world after? Nope, I don't think so - and other times, we come across some personality traits which remind us so much of ourselves that we can't help but relate to the character. That's what happened to me with some sides of Izzie. Not everything, but enough.

- She's spontaneous, that is to say, happens to say everything she has in mind when she's stressed. Yeah, I know the feeling.

- She knows what she wants and isn't afraid to ask for it.

Personal story time! - you can skip it if you don't care.
When I was a kid, sometimes I was grounded (I know, shocking). The fact is, I used to wait a bit (like, half an hour) and after this I always went to my dad to ask him if I could go out. Sometimes he said yes, other times he said no. Whatever. It depended on the stupidity I'd done, I guess. Well, all of that is this to say that I asked what I wanted, contrary to my sister who waited that my parents told her to go out.

Why am I telling this to you? To point out that I was a spoiled brat? Hmm... No. Maybe. I don't know. Not the point. Actually I'm telling this because here's what I learnt and remembered : In life, if you want something, you're going to have to ask for it, because people aren't going to guess for you.

And that's what annoys me the most in heroines and makes me often want to shake them : that's a rule I apply in my life, and it's pretty simple : if you ask for the opposite of what you want, you'll probably obtain... the opposite of what you want. If you don't know what you want maybe you have to think about it before asking. And finally, if you want something, go for it and ask. Of course that's not because you ask that you will obtain what you want, OF COURSE. But you're increasing your chances here. That's why I loved Izzie.

She knows what she wants and she isn't afraid to fight to obtain it. In her straightforward way, she's freaking courageous and her bluntness is incredibly enjoyable. She's a woman, not a spoiled brat. Romanced since her childhood by her writer of a father, she doesn't believe in fairies tales and her only and true goal is to be noticed. To be seen entirely. Even if she's inexperienced as hell, she doesn't shy away and just asks for what she wants. How exhilarating is that?

And we have Ransom. Ah, Ransom. What a perfect broody hero you are! Let me tell you : his inner monologues full of venom were hilarious - that's simple, he's always trying to get rid of someone, in one way or another. And wow, how badly he takes people intrusion! That was precious.

Like here
"How did one get rid of these girls? They were like fanned-away horseflies. They just kept coming back."

Or here
"Certainly you can. It's bad enough that they pester you with letters and questions. Draw a line, Goodnight. Go out there and tell them you're a grown woman who can sling about the word 'cock' with the ease of a courtesan, and you don't appreciate unannounced visits. Then invite them to sod off, the bunch of clanking idiots. If you won't, I'll do it."

Moreover he's protective and so. fucking. hot. And above all that, he's a broken man who doesn't believe in love and who's incredibly afraid to open his mind and his heart to feelings - and yet he craves for them. Literally. Damn, that's safe to say that he stole my heart completely : I loved everything : his grumpiness, his struggle to love, his hotness, and he earned his batch of Awwwwwwwww from me.

"What was he coming to, when a woman sat in his lap, he gave her a stern what-for... and then ten seconds later, oopsy-daisy and la-di-dah, he went and twirled a finger in her hair?
That was not ducal behavior. It certainly wasn't normal behavior for him."

Their banter was wonderful, full of repartee and yet never filled with disrespect. This brings me to the absolutely delicious conversations between Izzie and Ransom : man, that was hilarious. Between their comments and the awkward situations they're put into (the Army guys. Precious. I'll let you discover it), I couldn't help but laugh out loud like a total fool. That was fucking great.

Moreover, the story takes place in a castle (which is awesome) but in a wrecked castle (which is even more awesome). Since his accident, Ransom never had the occasion - and never wanted - to make a home of this castle and guess what? A lot of things will change with Izzie's arrival, much to Ransom's despair!

Finally, as a not-so-fond-of-historical-romance girl, what I often despise when I read a book like this is the writing and the pacing. Truth being told, I end bored more often than most and have a hard time enjoying the My Lady and other Your Grace. Good news! Here's I never felt overwhelmed by an heavy writing, that's quite the opposite : I was captivated from the beginning to the end. Bravo!

I cheered at the end. I. CHEERED. I don't know what else I can tell you to convince you.

Edit : To you specialists of historical,I have a request : If you know others books like this, aka, without too many stereotypical sayings and great characters, please, tell me. I'm like a kid who's discovered ice-cream right now.

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,883 reviews5,804 followers
September 7, 2016

*4.5 stars*

I will always credit Tessa Dare as the author who got me hooked on historical romance. If it wasn't for her Spindle Cove series, I might have gone the rest of my life thinking that historical romances were not for me. How VERY wrong I was!

I listened to this book on audio, and I shelled out big bucks for it, something I rarely do. However, I listened to all of the Spindle Cove books and feel totally in LOVE and so I didn't want to ruin a good trend.

The narrator of this book was Carmen Rose, which was a big change from Carolyn Morris, who was a PRO narrating the Spindle Cove books. It took me a little while to appreciate Carmen Rose's narrating style. While she did nice voices and had great range, something about the cadence or reading abilities felt more forced to me. However, the narration grew on me as I listened on and on, and I ended up really enjoying it. I plan on paying more big bucks (*grumbles*) to continue the series in audio.

As for the plot... just wonderful. I have a STRONG weakness for a hero with a disability, especially a grouchy hero, and I simply adored Ransom. Ransom and Izzy were a great match, and I loved how their relationship changed and grew over time.

But what I love best is how Tessa Dare keeps me on my toes. She keeps the plot going with some twists and turns that I wouldn't have guessed, and with engaging, extremely witty dialogue. It was an excellent story, and though it was a touch on the long side, I enjoyed every minute of listening.

Another Tessa Dare success.

Profile Image for Felicia.
Author 46 books128k followers
December 20, 2016
I think this is somewhere between 3 and 4 stars for me, but it got 4 because it has some yummy steamy stuff in it. If you are intrigued by the idea of a period romance with LARPers in it? This could be your jam! We read this for Vaginal Fantasy and it was overall really enjoyed by all!
Profile Image for Irena BookDustMagic.
635 reviews577 followers
April 27, 2021
This was simply amazing. I enjoyed it so much, and now I want to read everything Tessa Dare has written.

Full review to come.
Profile Image for Al George.
502 reviews320 followers
January 4, 2018
This was a re-read or in this case, I listened to it the second time around

loved it

Series: Indeed

Sexy times: Seriously, some of the best HR sexy times ever. Should win awards in my most humble of opinions.


Plan on reading more by the author: Hell yes.

Isolde ends up penniless and hungry at the door of a castle where Duke Cranky Pants catches her when she faints. He takes her inside and treats her with love, adoration and perfect manners, NOT. Whereupon she finds out she is now the owner of said castle and Cranky is all "hell no" and she convinces him to let her stay so she can help him work out his correspondence and obvs problems with his solicitors.

Along comes her enterouge of followers not followers, who are really folks totally into re-enacting her "father's" stories. See her daddio wrote a series of stories about a Knight, a Lady and adventures. And they all star Isolde in a manner. Anyhoo, here they come in armor and carrying banners and all the stuff. And they basically invade, not invade Duke Cranky Pants' inner sanctum. See, it turns out someone is doing him wrong and they just wanna help him straighten life out.

So will CP ever get over himself and find love with Miss Goodnight? Or will he continue through life staring blindly into the sun.

Damn, that was one hell of a crappy synopsis. Time for another glass of wine because apparently I have not had enough.

wine please

Heroine: Izzy. Goodnight. Awesome. With a head of hair that resembles an octopus to a partially blind man. She's tough. As in she's got backbone tough. And she's not taking any of Cranky's crank without dishing it right back. God, I loved this woman!

Hero: Ransom. Duke Cranky Pants. Hotty hotty hotterson!

fan self

Ok, he probably was not that hot, but those aforementioned sex scenes must have done it for me.

Why it did or didn't work for me:
I adored this book the first time I read it. I super adored it the second time around. It's just plain damn fun and all of the characters were delightful and enjoyable. Did I mention the sexy times? I have no idea why Ms. Dare gets my number when it comes to fun times, but she does. All around.

Waiting for my own Duke Cranky Pants. Please be quick about it.
Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,636 followers
November 20, 2015

5 "Bright, brilliant, life amid the ruins" stars!

There are just so many things I love about this story! There were kisses that made me smile, touches that made me tremble, starry nights that gave me goosebumps, and confessions that made me want to weep! From the first page to the last, I was swept up into this delightful, romantic, sexy story, and "Doubt not, my lady, I shall return!" for more of the Castles Ever After series!!

A copy of this story was provided by Avon Books and in return I gave them an honest review.
Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,520 followers
November 21, 2018
To be honest I am not an expert in historical romance. But I know what I like and I know what I don't like.
And this book, I liked it. I liked it a lot.
When I finished it, I had a huge smile on my face, tears in my eyes and I had difficulties landing back to reality.

...the name Isolde Ophelia Goodnight also suggested romance. Swooning, star-crossed, legendary romance. And for as long as she could remember, Izzy had been waiting—with dwindling faith and increasing impatience—for that part of her life to begin.

I loved Isolde Ophelia Goodnight aka Izzy. I want to be her. I wish I could be her. I could actually be her if my father was a writer and I was living in a fantasy world all my life. And if I inherited a huge castle that it was already occupied by a brute, bitter, rude devirly handsome, almost blind duke.

Stories with scarred heroes who hate the whole world and then they are soften up when they meet the right girl are my favourites. Ransom Vane, Duke of Rothbury, feels sorry for himself and never liked anybody. Izzy will never treat him like a handicapped. She will be like fresh air, like sunshine. She will be the best thing that ever happened to him -although it will take him a lot of time to realise it.

No, the book is NOT sad. I was laughing loudly most of the time. There are so many over the top crazy moments with:
-The Moranglians, the most devoted admirers of Izzy' father stories
“It is an invasion,” she said, “but a friendly one. We’re getting a visit from the Moranglian Army.

-Izzy's pet
“What the devil is in this thing?” He opened the valise’s latch.
“No, don’t,” Izzy said, jumping forward. “Be careful. She’s sleeping. If you startle her, you’ll—”
Too late.
With a primal howl of pain, he jerked his hand from the valise. “Mother of—”

-Lord Peregrine and his strange questions
Would you rather fight one hundred rat-sized elephants or one elephant-sized rat?”

And of course Ranson and Izzy have their funny moments
“Ransom,” she whispered. “I’ve fallen just a little bit in love with you. You needn’t be worried. I won’t expect you to return the emotion, and I know that this can’t last. But I’ve been waiting so long for somebody to care for, and I . . . I can’t help it.”
She waited, heart pounding in her chest, for his reaction.
And when it finally came, it was this:
A faint, reverberating snore.

Both Ranson and Izzy were not lucky in terms of fathers. Ranson never had affection and love when was a kid, Izzy almost starved to death when her father died.
Ranson always felt like he was a killer because of his father.
Izzy always felt ugly because of her father.

But if all these misfortunes in their lives did not happen, they would have never met. And Ranson would never learn what it feels to be caressed and loved. And Izzy would always feel ugly and unworthy.

Highly recommend if
-you love romance
-if you love fairy tales
-if you love stories with star-crossed lovers

“Look at him. The man’s not delusional. He’s in love.”
Profile Image for Nissa | Of Pens and Pages Book Blog.
337 reviews1,008 followers
April 25, 2018

Review at Of Pens and Pages.

Romancing the Duke was a fun hate-to-love read with a bit of a Beauty and the Beast feel to it. It was whimsical, entertaining, and romantic to the core. Definitely not your conventional pair either. Here we have a flawed man and a woman immortalized by her father's stories.

Isolde Ophelia Goodnight, made famous through the stories written by her father Sir Henry Goodnight, learned at a young age that fairytales and fiction are nothing close to reality. Left destitute after her father's passing, she sees a light at the end of the tunnel when her godfather leaves her a castle in his will. She might not be homeless after all.<

But like everything else in her life, Izzy knows things can be too good to be true. The castle bequeathed to her is in ruins, and a man—a reclusive and grumpy Duke no less—is still in residence and says her godfather had no right to give it to her in the first place. But desperation and fear of destitution fuel Izzy's will to fight.

Ransom William Dacre Vane, the eleventh Duke of Rothbury, wants to live the rest of his life in peace inside his crumbling estate, but when a random girl claims to have been gifted Gostley Castle, he knows he can't have that unless she leaves. He tries his best to scare her into fleeing, but Izzy Goodnight is made of sterner stock than he first thought. Besides, there is a bigger issue to resolve—who sold his estate?

He agrees to hire her to be his secretary and go through his post. They need to find out if someone is trying to go behind his back and if he's lost more than his estate. He shouldn't be attracted to her, to enjoy her company, but as Izzy tries to bring back life to his once beautiful castle, it's getting harder to resist her.

I've only read a few of Tessa Dare's books, but from what I've read, she writes amazing banter and sizzling chemistry between the characters. It was such a delight to read Ransom and Izzy go head to head, and to see them face their respective demons. The story was well-plotted, the pace was great, and the character arcs were wonderful. Even the side characters—Duncan, Miss Pelham, the Moranglians—were endearing and lovable.

I only wish the issue with Ransom's solicitors was given more airtime. That aspect of the story felt rushed. Other than that, I enjoyed this book very much.

Romancing the Duke is funny, steamy, and enjoyable. If you want to read a romance with a grumpy but incredibly sweet and loyal hero and a strong, resilient, and caring heroine, you'll love Ransom and Izzy.

Tropes: Hate to Love, Forced Proximity, Peers—Duke
POV: Third Person, Dual POV
Standalone: Yes

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,129 reviews13.8k followers
July 15, 2020
I love Tessa Dare. Like, seriously love. There is something so magical and just easy about her writing that I get sucked in and cannot put her books down.

I listened to this one on audio and loved the whole gothic castle atmosphere from the start. Izzy showed up to the castle she was told was left to her, only to find a blind Duke claiming he owns the castle. The castle is crumbling and the Duke is hiding and brooding and not happy at all that Izzy has shown up. From the moment they meet, I was obsessed with Izzy and Ransom. Ransom is a scarred, blind hero who wants nothing to do with Izzy. I love a damaged hero and Ransom has been hurt in his past, so he pushes everyone away. When Izzy shows her vulnerable side, though, he can't help but want to be there for her. Ugh, SO CUUUUUTTEEEE.

I also loved how there was a cosplay aspect to this story. Izzy's father wrote this very popular book series and people actually show up who cosplay for the book. It was so fun and I loved how they became an actual integral part of the story. It was so fun watching both Izzy and Ransom help each other and fall in love in the process!
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,645 reviews1,512 followers
July 21, 2021
Sale Alert: Amazon Daily Deal 21Jul21 0.99

I absolutely adore books about the slightly quirky unconventionally pretty girl who becomes the object of affection for a scandalous man. I don’t care how many times I read it, there is always something about it that calls to me.

Izzy has been immortalized in stories as a child think Fred Savage in The Princess Bride. Her father wrote a selection of stories that have a huge active following the historical fiction equivalent of LARPing and Izzy remains a child to all of them even if she is twenty-six. She grew up on fairy tales and hoped to one day be swept away like those princesses and maidens. But at still she has never been kissed and so all those fanciful dreams have fluttered away. That is until she travels to claim and inheritance from her godfather.

Ransom has been licking his wounds for some time now. He is mostly blind and haunts a castle that has been in his family for generations. He wants to quietly brood away, but when Izzy comes to his Castle she changes everything.

“Of course one kiss changes things. If it's done right, a kiss changes everything.”

Now Ransom can’t seem to get Izzy out of his castle or his mind. He is trying his best to show her she isn’t safe left alone with him and his rakish ways but she thwarts him at every turn. She reacts differently than any other woman he has met before and maybe just maybe he doesn’t want her out of his life as much as he first thought.

“It’s true. Every time you wake up, you let fly the most marvelous string of curses. It’s never the same twice, do you know that? It’s so intriguing. You’re like a rooster that crows blasphemy.”
“Oh, there’s a cock crowing, all right,” he muttered.

The push pull between Izzy and Ransom is fantastic. The more he tries to scare her away the more heated things between them become. I loved the sexual heat and tension between these too. I smiled like a stupid school gill through so many of their interactions and couldn’t wait for them to discover that they were perfect for each other. Each had their own hang ups to overcome, Ransom his blindness and Izzy her confidence but together they made a very strong pair.

“Astonishing. In the morning, when she sat working at that table of correspondence, silhouetted by sunlight . . .
Her hair truly did look like an octopus.
It was the way she wore it, he thought. Or maybe the way it wore her. It all sat perched atop her head in that big, inky blob. And no matter how strenuously she pinned it, dark, heavy curls worked loose on all sides, like tentacles.
Of course, it was an entrancing, strangely erotic octopus. Ransom worried this might be how fetishes developed.”

There were plenty of romantic moments, funny moments and moments that just made me smile. I loved Izzy’s attitude to just make the best out of everything and move along. This was my first Tessa Dare book but I look forward to reading more of her works.

Great book for happy stupid fairytale smiles and redeeming of rake by the right woman.
Profile Image for Mo.
1,363 reviews2 followers
July 2, 2021
3.75 stars

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?

I found it hard to get into this one. Not sure why. A new author for me. Had to get used to the writing style, the humour maybe? But I ended up liking it.

“Listen to me. When a man wakes, he wakes wanting. He wakes hard and rude and aching with need.” He shifted, pressing his massive erection against her hip. “Do you feel that?”

She gasped. “Yes.”

“It wants in you,” he said.

“In . . . in me.”

“Yes. In you. Hard, deep, fast, and completely. Now don’t wake me at this hour again unless you’ve found the perfect retort to that.”

“These kisses... they were confessions. Tastes of everything she had stored inside her. Everything she could give a man if he was brave enough to accept. Kiss by kiss, she was baring herself to the soul.”

“He was beginning to understand how those ridiculous tales had made her a prisoner of others’ expectations.”

There were some funny moments and overall it was a sweet read.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,247 followers
January 10, 2017
A young girl who is made famous by a book by her father. He gets rich off of her, but leaves her penniless. This never happens!!

okay, maybe rarely...

okay, maybe often.

Izzy is stuck in the mold that her father made for her. She has lots of fans, but they want her to be the little girl from the stories, not a grown woman. One older fan dies and leaves her a broken-down old castle because the child in the story lives in one.

Cool! A castle, right?

Maybe not so much. A couple of problems arise. First, the castle is a piece of crap that is completely a mess and she doesn't have a cent to fix it up. But, secondly, and most importantly, the castle is not abandoned at all. The previous owner still lives there. And, he says he never sold it, so she has to leave. Considering she is penniless and homeless, she isn't going without a fight. This is her crappy castle now, dammit! Bats and all!

So, we get a glorious co-habitation between the Duke - a guy who was damaged and blinded in a fight so he locked himself away from the world in a crappy castle; and our heroine - a girl who is famous but hasn't even had any food to eat in days by the time she arrives at Castle Craptastic.

They live there together as they try to figure out what happened and see who is the rightful owner of this huge, moth-eaten, bug-ridden, broken-everything, monstrosity. It's like a contest over who gets to eat the meal your dog cooked. You aren't exactly sure what's in there, but you know it won't be pleasant.

Our male hero is named Ransom and was a beautiful rake until he was scarred and blinded. Now, he's just an ass. Izzy loves waking him up in the morning and her reasoning is awesome:

"When you wake up, you let fly the most marvelous string of curses. It's never the same twice, do you know that? It's so intriguing. You're like a rooster that crows blasphemy."

Note to self: find cursing rooster alarm clock.

....."You're so crude and profane. I...I know it's absurd, but I can't help it. I find it perversely delightful."

I agree with Izzy. Profanity is perversely delightful. And, so is this book. Really fun, really cute, sometimes smutty - a total win.
Profile Image for Paula .
704 reviews233 followers
November 16, 2014

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 façade. 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.

Rating: A
Heat: Warm

-- A Romantic Book Affairs Review

Find us on Twitter and Facebook too!
Profile Image for Carol Cork *Young at Heart Oldie*.
425 reviews207 followers
February 8, 2022
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 kind of 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?”
“Continue what?”
“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.”

Tender moments:

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.

Sigh-worthy moments:

It was oneness, and it was glorious, and it was perfect, and it was her. All her.
God, he loved her.

Poignant moments:

…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).

Snowdrop, Izzy’s pet ermine, who seems to have got to grips with a certain duke!

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!


Disclosure: I received a copy of the book through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.

This review is also posted on my blog:

Profile Image for jenny✨.
578 reviews842 followers
January 21, 2021
Did I read this because I’m suffering Bridgerton withdrawal? Yeees...

Did I totally picture Regé/Simon and Phoebe/Daphne as Ransom and Izzy? Hell YES.

Was I absolutely disappointed by the insta-love and lack of chemistry in this book? …yes :(


Read while blasting my Bridgerton playlist on endless loop!!
Profile Image for Hannah B..
882 reviews1,317 followers
June 6, 2023
✨“Her cravings for Romance were gone, now she’d settle for bread.”✨

5/5 because it was so heartwarming and sweet and I’m a pile of mush. Happy mush. But mush nonetheless.

The whole story was unique and I absolutely adored Izzy and Ransom. Both had compelling and unique backstories that I hadn’t read before. The medieval LARPers were icing on the comedy cake. There was also a Star Wars reference!

It is also HILARIOUS.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 🌶🌶.75/5
Profile Image for Nicola.
1,395 reviews247 followers
April 1, 2018
4.5 stars.

This is only my second Tessa Dare read and proves that my instant love of her writing after the first was for a reason as I loved Romancing the Duke.

description Should I address you as ‘Your Grace?’”
“I don’t see the point of it. Within a few hours, I hope you’ll refer to me as ‘That ill-mannered wretch you importuned one rainy afternoon and then never pestered again.’ ”

With a flawed, stubborn, impossible man, a very persevering, willful, funny lady and no shortage of humour, verbal sparring and romance, I devoured this Beauty and the Beast style fairy tale and Ransom and Izzy are a wonderful couple whose plight give the old emotions a bit of a workout.

description ...kiss me. With every ounce of passion in your soul.”

Profile Image for Sammy Loves Books.
1,133 reviews1,463 followers
October 28, 2019
I've heard so many good things about this book.
And it didn't disappoint!!


This book had all the right moves:

*Scarred, Surly, Devastatingly handsome, Arrogant, Rakehell hero...

*Smart, Savvy, Desperately penniless, Passionate Virgin, that longs to be ravished...

*A not so haunted castle that might as well be, because it's scary as hell!


And best of all... A beautiful love story!!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,064 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.