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Romancing the Duke (Castles Ever After, #1)
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Romancing the Duke (Castles Ever After #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,582 Ratings  ·  1,557 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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Khanh (the Grinch)
...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
Jan 25, 2014 Jill 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 bee
Feb 15, 2016 Navessa 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
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)
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.
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 ga
Nov 16, 2014 Paula 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,
Jan 28, 2015 Shawna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, historical-romance, heroine-i-adore, hero-antihero-gamma, hero-abused-scarred-tortured-angst, best-top-favorites, favorite-romance-series, sizable-packages, humorous-at-times-or-fluffy-fun, heroine-naïve-virgin-like-a-virgin, hero-celibate-virgin-virginesque, author-tessa-dare, favorite-romance-couple-hh-pairings, historical-romance-regency, i-read-library, hero-cold-cruelbrute-dark-dangerous, enemies-to-lovers-opposites-attract, heroine-odd-spinster-wallflower, revenge-deception-secrets-lies, hero-expert-skilled-voracious-lover, rt-book-reviews-top-pick, animals-matter, sweet-romance-left-smile-on-my-face, heroine-bluestocking-unconventional, hh-physical-mental-disability-ill, hh-blind-eyesight-impaired, hh-disfigured-injured-scarred-ill, fairytaleesque-bb-cinderella-theme, heroine-plain-jane-uglyducklingswan, hh-sweet-nice-paired-vs-gruff-cynic, beauty-is-in-the-eye-of-beholder, hh-aristocracy-nobility-royalty, 5-stars-plus, steam-3-hot, hero-redeems-himself-reformed, hero-duke-heir-to-dukedom, hh-post-traumatic-stress-disorder, hero-brooding, love-letters-diary-correspondence, feel-good-read-pick-me-upper, hh-author-writer-quill-mighty-sword, best-wittiest-banter-dialogue, hh-smart-intellectual-brainy-geek, heroine-commoner-lower-class, heroine-destitute-poor, hero-titled-wealthy-lord, hero-black-sheep, best-snarkasm-humor, hero-authentic-uber-rake, hero-recluse-loner-lonewolf, a-all-time-favorite-heroine, hero-bad-guy-ruthless-villainous, hero-asshat-award-hall-of-shame, heartwarming, hero-good-groveling-eating-crow, hh-famous-celebrity, a-all-time-best-top-fave-dik-reads, hero-reformed-rake-player, heroine-plucky-lively-feisty-spunky, heroine-good-girl-nice, heroine-good-girl-tempted-gone-wild, humor-fall-off-the-couch-funny-lol, hh-phobia-disorder, hero-alpha, hero-dark-scary-cool-dangerous-dude, hero-cad-rake-rogue-scoundrel, 2014-reads, best-fave-reads-of-2014, hh-banter-bicker-sparring-foreplay, hero-broody-gruff-serious-moody, humor-romantic-comedy
5+ stars – Historical Romance

One of the best, wittiest historical romances I’ve read in quite a while. I loved it from start to finish! 5 utterly enjoyable, charming stars!
Sep 07, 2015 ♥Rachel♥ rated it it was amazing
So utterly delicious! The writing was beautiful, and wickedly sensual! Izzy was a thoroughly likable and determined heroine who wanted her own HEA after being immortalized as an innocent child in her father’s beloved writings. Ransom was the devilish, bad-tempered, scarred rake with a tender heart underneath all the rough and gruff. At first he wants to drive Izzy away by being rude, suggestive, and shocking. Little does he know that Izzy has dreamed of being debauched!

The banter between Izzy a
Oct 16, 2014 Mo 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 got get used to the writing style
Robin (Bridge Four)
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-
Carol *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
4.5 Magnificent Stars!

 photo dreams_zpsf2e56169.jpg

Tessa Dare has once again fed my addiction and provided an afternoon of pure delight with her first installment in the Castles Ever After series. The story centers on Isolde (Izzy) Ophelia Goodnight who grew up dreaming of knights, castles and damsels in distress. She believed in fairytales and the kind of love that leaves one swooning…..

 photo 21ba9659-b823-4fab-aaa8-05544d13cc66_zps1cc605c9.jpg

However, the lessons learned from the harsh realities of life have dashed those childish dreams. Having neither friend nor family, her f
Mandi Schreiner
Jan 30, 2014 Mandi Schreiner rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
Hero - blind, scarred, recluse.

Heroine - more plain, adorable, so confident.

They meet at a ruined castle. There is adorableness. There is sexiness. There is more adorableness. There is much more dirtiness ;)

Sweet, funny, romantic, sexy.

A truly fabulous romance book.
Jan 23, 2014 Jess rated it it was amazing
Review posted: Happily Ever After - Reads
Blog rating: A

“You come down here and torment me at the crack of every dawn. Now you’re making me tea. And flicking fluff. Is this some kind of coddling? I don’t want any coddling.”

“It’s not coddling. It’s not meant to be tormenting, either. I just…enjoy greeting you in the morning.”

“That’s impossible.”

Ransom would have believed just about any other excuse. But she couldn’t expect him to credit that she stole down here in the misty, early dawn for the
Trust Ms. Dare to gift me with my first 5-star read of the year. Woohoo! 2014 will no longer be the dreaded year with no winners in Romancelandia.

Note: 2015 RITA Winner - Historical Romance (Short Romance)
Mary C. *Nulla in mundo pax sincera*
Review to come. What can I say? This might just be my top book of 2014, even with all those other good titles soon to arrive.
4.5 Stars
Now this,this, was exactly what I was looking for. Sweet, without being treacly. Sexy, with actual emotion behind it. Just perfect for today. I've been on the outs, a bit, with romance books and this broke that streak nicely.

Tessa Dare has penned a beautiful fairy-tale that straddles the line between reality and fantasy beautifully. There were many of the standard tropes present and accounted for. Duke that's disfigured in some way, gruff, angry at the world, reclusive and unlikeable...
3.5 stars
Tessa Dare can write funny, quirky historical romances like no other. We all know that she uses anachronisms, which, personally, I don't like though I know it's not an opinion most readers share with me. However, her books are so good that I usually manage to overlook said anachronisms in most of them. Here, I'm not so sure I can.

There was a uniqueness and a darkness in this story that I loved and I was impressed at the beginning. Until I hit the halfmark, I thought this was going to b
Good god, people. This was an impulse audio checkout from the library, and it completely consumed every minute of free time I've had in the twenty-four hours after I checked it out. I've never read a romance novel on audio before, and it was so entertaining. This particular book was very charming and swoonworthy, and I ended up loving it.

I mean, I was pathological about this book. I listened to it every chance I got. At one point, I for real snuck my iPhone into the bathroom at work just so I co
Heidi Hart
Aug 04, 2015 Heidi Hart rated it liked it
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. ...more
Feb 24, 2016 K rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.6 звезди. :)
Надявам се, че и вие като мен ще се насладите на остроумните диалози, ще харесате героите, които са разбили бариерите на своето време, както и комичните ситуации, в които попадат, ще обикнете тяхната очарователна, закачлива и романтична история.

Oct 06, 2014 Mei rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
This is such a funny, fanny book!

I loved the main characters: Izzy and Ransom! Both of them were excellent in their own way!

Izzy, with her disillusions, with her very derogatory view of herself. But with her wit and her smarness she's very able to face everything life throws at her.

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

She know what she wants: her castle and she's not afraid to go against a very angry duke. She challenges him at every turn, until he's forced
Tessa Dare
Jan 27, 2014 Tessa Dare added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: i-wrote-this
Release day is almost here!! 1/28/2014

Did you know?

Avon posted a 50-page preview of the book. Get started reading here.

Laura the Highland Hussy
Feb 17, 2014 Laura the Highland Hussy rated it it was amazing
read this review on Got Fiction? book blog

Oh Tessa Dare, how do I love thee? Okay, well I do think you’re pretty sweet, but I meant to say your books ;) This is Ms. Dare’s latest, and it does not disappoint.

Romancing the Duke was fun and witty and so delightful. Izzy is a hopeless romantic, and she’s pretty much down to her last dollar, so to speak. She’s just received word of an inheritance, though, and heads off to meet the solicitor.

Who she meets, however is Ransom, Duke of Rothbury. Scarred
Sh3lly ✨ Bring on the Weird ✨
$1.99 on Amazon Kindle: 13 April 2016.

I'm such a sucker. So many people loved this, so ... I might as well give it a try.

Sometimes I need fluff. This worked. It was really silly and undemanding.
“Doubt not, my lady. Doubt not. I shall return. Doubt not my steel. Doubt not my strength.”—the beginning of the “Doubt Not” speech from The Goodnight Tales. Let me add another: Doubt not this book sucks ass. Tessa Dare, you and I are over. When I first read A Week to be Wicked, I thought I’d found a new smut author—funny, reasonable plots, fairly well-written (for a bodice-buster). However, that book is apparently her only decent book. I’ve read two additional books since then and they’ve all g ...more
reread: August 2015
first read: March 2014
If you are a fan of Tessa Dare, you should definitely go for this book. And yes, I hug my reading device in the end;)

#stand-alone #fun and sweet #hot #vulnerable hero # A good pick when you are in a mood for a fun HR.
Dec 31, 2015 Seffra rated it it was amazing
4.5 or 5 stars!
I can't decide!!!!
This book was phenomenal... I honestly can't...what..was...that...

Here is my Ransom:
Here is my Izzy:
Many people like when their heroine is the epitome of perfection and just beautiful in every way. I do like perfect females in stories because, let's face it, we don't find perfect humans in real life. But, I find that female characters are more memorable by being flawed.

Ms. Izzy Goodnight was anything from perfectly beautiful. She was thought of as plain and usua
Camila, the opinionated Catruler
One day you do find a book you can't put down and you don't get sleep and you realize you don't need sleep. Sleep is trivial. Tessa Dare makes life happen. Makes it matter. Makes everything worth it. Tessa Dare is life. Hunger to read the next prequel or sequel. To re-read the one you love. To try again.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
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  • The Suffragette Scandal (Brothers Sinister, #4)
  • It Happened One Midnight (Pennyroyal Green, #8)
  • Duke of Midnight (Maiden Lane, #6)
  • When the Duke Was Wicked (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, #1)
  • One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #2)
  • Sweet Disorder (Lively St. Lemeston, #1)
  • Winning the Wallflower (Fairy Tales, #2.5)
  • The Highwayman (Victorian Rebels, #1)
  • At the Bride Hunt Ball (Devine & Friends, #1)
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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 Excellenc
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Other Books in the Series

Castles Ever After (3 books)
  • Say Yes to the Marquess (Castles Ever After, #2)
  • When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After, #3)

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“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.”
“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.”
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