Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣'s Reviews > Romancing the Duke

Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare
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bookshelves: adult, funny-that, historical-romance, romance

Here's the book most of my friends praise. While it's very funny and lovely, I could not help feeling like it's a parody of the HR genre. Some things were over the top.

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.


So, there's Izzy, our desperate 26 years old virgin. She wants a shag so bad that she's shameless when it comes to sexual related things. Don't get me wrong. I hate those heroines who say no and mean yes! just get on with it. But Izzy is a bit too obvious, a bit too desperate. Romancing the Duke is either about laughing or about sex. I cannot believe I'm saying this, but maybe there is such a thing as too much when it comes to frolicking in HR.

Then there's Ransom, our most infamous duke.
"Oh, you... You..."
"Cruel bastard? he suggested. "Heartless rogue? Blackguard? Villain? I've been called all of the above and more. My favorite is 'knave'. Fine word, 'knave'."

He's visually impaired, so he's quite cranky and annoying. He also didn't get laid in more than seven months, so he's desperate, too. Ransom knows just the right buttons to push when it comes to women. Izzy doesn't stand a chance (not that she wanted to anyway). As a result there's a lot of kissing, petting and, eventually, sex.

The ending is the most unbelievable (impossible) thing in the novel. That's one more reason I cannot take it seriously. But it's definitely a fun, relaxing read. So I recommend Romancing the Duke for those days when you're feeling down.
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Quotes Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣ Liked

Tessa Dare
“Oh, but this gift isn’t the same as an ermine. This is property. Don’t you understand how rare that is for a woman? Property always belongs to our fathers, brothers, husbands, sons. We never get to own anything.”

“Don’t tell me you’re one of those women with radical ideas.”

“No,” she returned. “I’m one of those women with nothing. There are a great many of us.”
Tessa Dare , Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“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.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“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.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“For God’s sake. Don’t do that.”

“Don’t do what?”

“Smile.”

“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.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“Let them know the real me. All my weaknesses. Yes, I’ll make plans to do that. Right on the heels of your announcement that Izzy Goodnight isn’t a girl anymore but a twenty-six-year-old woman who likes her nipples pinched.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“Izzy had always been raised to believe that “please” was a magic word. She’d been misled. Apparently, the magic word was “dinner.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke
tags: humor

Tessa Dare
“No man deserves a woman like that. He mortgages his very soul to win her and spends his life paying off the debt.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“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.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“Of course one kiss changes things. If it's done right, a kiss changes everything.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke
tags: kiss

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

Tessa Dare
“Perhaps he would have no title or fortune to offer her, but he was determined to see her safe.

Everything he did, from this point forward...

It was all for her.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke
tags: love, safe

Tessa Dare
“Prithee," He protested, "if thou wouldst waiteth a goddamned second-”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke
tags: funny

Tessa Dare
“I don't care who he is. He needs to disappear." Ransom turned and called out the window. "For the love of G-d man. I have England's sweetheart bent over the desk and panting for me. Go away and come back tomorrow.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“He rubbed his hands up and down, warming her. “Then that’s all you need to know. I have you. If there are beasties in the dark, they have to get through me.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“I was twelve when my father’s stories began appearing in the Gentleman’s Review. But that was almost fourteen years ago. And, in the natural way of things, I’ve aged one year every year since.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“Everything’s more amusing when read in voices.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“He let his eyes flitter over her. “I don’t see anything ‘precisely.’ I can tell you’re slender. I can see you’re wearing white, or some light color. Your face is pale, your lips are reddish. And there appears to be a dark brown octopus attacking your head.”

“That’s my hair.”

Ransom shrugged. “You asked what I see. I see tentacles.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“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.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“Izzy was utterly convinced. Never mind Arabian horses, African cheetahs. No creature in the world could bolt so quickly as a rake confronted with the word "marriage". They ought to shout it out at footraces rather than using starting pistols.
Ready, steady... matrimony!
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“Sometimes he wondered if women were all lawyers, with an extensive code of Romantic Law that they kept stubbornly hidden from men.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“Any self-respecting rake had two kinds of women in his life: those he took to bed at night and those who made him a pancake in the morning. If he suddenly wanted both from the same woman, it was a warning flag. One big and red enough for even a blind man to see.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“I can’t judge how beauty looks anymore,” he said. “But I know the sound of it. It sounds like a flowing river of wild, sweet honey. Beauty smells like rosemary, and it tastes of nectar. Beauty sneezes like a flea.” She smiled. That beautiful smile. How could she ever doubt her effect on him? “This is how plain you are.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“He laced his hands behind his neck and propped his boots on the opposite arm of the sofa. If an artist were to capture this image, it would have been labeled,Smugness: A Portrait. She wanted to shake him.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“She was entirely unaware of the protocol when becoming acquainted with a man’s rampant sex organ. Did she reach out and give it a handshake? Touch one finger to the tip? Bid it a polite howdoyoudo?”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“Look at him. The man’s not delusional. He’s in love.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare
“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.”
Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke


Reading Progress

October 16, 2016 – Shelved
October 16, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
October 16, 2016 – Shelved as: adult
October 16, 2016 – Shelved as: funny-that
October 16, 2016 – Shelved as: historical-romance
October 16, 2016 – Shelved as: romance
November 16, 2016 – Started Reading
November 16, 2016 –
10.0% "Have you truly made love on horseback? she wanted to ask. How does that even work? Was it how you were injured?\n\ndescription"
November 16, 2016 –
17.0% ""Oh, you... You..."\n"Cruel bastard? he suggested. "Heartless rogue? Blackguard? Villain? I've been called all of the above and more. My favorite is 'knave'. Fine word, 'knave'."\n\ndescription"
November 17, 2016 –
26.0% "Any self-respecting rake had two kinds of women in his life: those he took to bed at night and those who made him a pancake in the morning. If he suddenly wanted both from the same woman, it was a warning flag.\ndescription"
November 17, 2016 –
48.0% ""Yes," he groaned. "Open for me. Just like that. Lovely, lovely."\ndescription"
November 17, 2016 –
56.0% "Menstrualia, Morbidia... I must praise Tessa Dare!\n\ndescription"
November 17, 2016 –
68.0% "*sigh* \n\nDear me, every time Ransom talks about the dark aura of Izzy's hair and her wide, red smile, I cannot help but think of horror movies. o.O\n\ndescription"
November 17, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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Sandra Haha. But "it's funny and lovely" in spite of all. I am glad you had some good laugh.


Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣ ^ Yes, you should have seen me: in my car, waiting for my son to finish school, laughing by myself. :D I must have been such a sight for the other parents.


Sandra That why I loved it so much. For those unstoppable laughs (in my case, in the subway).


Jessica-❥Chatterbooks Book Blog❥ Wonderful review, Alex!! :D


Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣ Thank you, sweetie!


Marianj hahahaha. Totally agree with you! I HATE HEROINES THAT SAY NO AND MEAN YES JUST GO ON WITH IT. *rolls eyes*. And the ending of this book was just unbelievable. So full of plot convenience and asspull. Although I must say I kind of feel terrible for the hero. At least, it brought him to his senses in the figurative sense. It taught him a lesson. I actually like romance... when done rightfully and tastefully. They're my kind of escape to at least feel warmth. However, this book in the second half was just so Disney-ish but mixed with 50 shades (I haven't read or seen that. I'm only guessing. Pls correct me if I'm wrong). 😬


Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣ Hahaha! I don't think you're wrong at all. :)))


Sateem ó_ò Great review Alex.. This wasn't the greatest read, but it was definitely a lot of fun


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