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Romancing the Duke

(Castles Ever After #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  40,809 ratings  ·  4,559 reviews
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 cros
Mass Market Paperback, 370 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Avon
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Ollie I'm very late, but to other people asking the same question: there is smut, fairly detailed, so if smutty books are not your thing I wouldn't pick thi…moreI'm very late, but to other people asking the same question: there is smut, fairly detailed, so if smutty books are not your thing I wouldn't pick this one up.(less)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  40,809 ratings  ·  4,559 reviews

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
...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
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 relat
chan ☆
Oct 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 occu
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 & em
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it

"Release the ermine!"


Isolde (Izzy) Ophelia Goodnight. Motherless. Fatherless. Homeless. Penniless. Friendless. Plain, twenty-six year-old Izzy, who has never been kissed let alone courted, inherits Gostley Castle. With her pet ermine and little else, she travels to Northumberland to seize inherit the castle.

When she arrives she's surprised to find Ransom, Duke of Rothbury (and former owner) still in residence. Seven months ago, thirty year-old Ransom was injured in the face in a duel and has be
Rereading this was just as great and as fun as I thought it would be.


4.5 🌟

Oh gosh, this story was the cutest!

Jessica's Totally Over The Top Book Obsession
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
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
*melts into a puddle on the floor* smutathon is off to a GREAT start 🤤
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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 doe
EmBibliophile [hiatus]
Feb 02, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars
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 th
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 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 cha
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
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 arou
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

*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
Irena BookDustMagic
Apr 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was simply amazing. I enjoyed it so much, and now I want to read everything Tessa Dare has written.

Full review to come.
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
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!
Al George
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 sa
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

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
Nissa | Of Pens and Pages Book Blog

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 destit
Sophia Triad
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 h
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Robin (Bridge Four)
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 c
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 writin
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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,
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing

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,
Carol Cork *Young at Heart Oldie*
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 o
Crystal Cook
Apr 10, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2022
Historical romance perfection. What an absolute and utter delight. 6/5 stars.

Full review will be in my next vlog 4/11/22
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!!
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 a
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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 Excellen

Other books in the series

Castles Ever After (4 books)
  • Say Yes to the Marquess (Castles Ever After, #2)
  • When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After, #3)
  • Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Spindle Cove, #5; Castles Ever After, #4)

Articles featuring this book

When two complete opposites meet—one who believes in soul mates and one who doesn’t—will they fall in love despite their differences?   A nod...
35 likes · 6 comments
“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.”
“And she was well-enough acquainted with loneliness to understand that the worst part wasn't having nobody caring for you - it was having nobody to care for.” 61 likes
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