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5.0 out of 5 stars Feisty Izzy and Wounded Rothbury Rock!!
Our sweetheart of a heroine, Ophelia Goodnight (Izzy), has been left penniless by her thoughtless father. She does, however, have a dubious legacy in that the heroine of some very well-known books are based on her persona. That would be the heroine of "The Goodnight Tales" written by her father about happenings in the fanciful Kingdom of Moranglia replete with a...
Published 3 days ago by Judge Tabor

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite but a fun read
I want to start off by saying that I have enjoyed every Tessa Dare book I've ever read (5, to be precise). As an avid fan of historical Regency type romances, I find her stories well written and unfailingly romantic. However, this book didn't quite do it for me.

After reading the description, I expected to utterly adore this book. Scarred and blinded hot hero...
Published 5 months ago by StercusAccidit


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite but a fun read, 1 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Romancing the Duke: Castles Ever After (Kindle Edition)
I want to start off by saying that I have enjoyed every Tessa Dare book I've ever read (5, to be precise). As an avid fan of historical Regency type romances, I find her stories well written and unfailingly romantic. However, this book didn't quite do it for me.

After reading the description, I expected to utterly adore this book. Scarred and blinded hot hero with an attitude problem; check. Sweet but spunky heroine who shows him the power of L-O-V-E and makes him change for the better; check again. Throw in a decrepit old castle and this is my personal recipe for a perfect book. I think if this had been my first Tessa Dare I probably wouldn't have felt that slightly dissatisfied feeling that came over me having finished 'Romancing the Duke', but having experienced the awesomeness that is 'A Lady by Midnight' my expectations were likely too high.

A side note: a lot of reviewers seem to laud 'A Week to be Wicked' as the best Dare book - I thought it was romantic and funny, but I've never re-read it, unlike ALBM which I never tire of. But I digress.

This book reminded me of the Mills and Boon romances I sometimes read when I want something mindless and simple; entertaining but easily forgettable. Even though I enjoyed the characters and their love story it lacked that element of passion that I've come to expect from this author.
There were frequent occurrences where the author told us things had happened instead of showing us, something that never fails to annoy me in a novel.
The setting was confined entirely to the castle, which I felt limited the scope of the story. Perhaps my subconscious mind was on her previous series set in a village of interesting eccentrics, but the troupe of knights and ladies along with the butler and vicar's daughter were not interesting enough side characters in comparison. I know each book will be set in a different castle & presumably in a different part of the country, so there was clearly less of a need to expand these characters' lives, but it made the book less compelling IMO.

There was also much less sexiness than in her previous series. This doesn't bother me, but I felt it these characters could've done with a bit more passion to liven them up a little. I liked Ransom, and Izzy was a lovely person, yet for some reason I felt irrational dislike towards her for a large part of the book and desperately wanted her to be kicked out of the castle. Her constant affirmations of "This is MY castle now, and MY home, and I shall make it so" got on my nerves, & although it was made clear that the sale to her was illegal she still carried on in that vein. Indeed, we were never told exactly who owned it in the end (I know it didn't matter but with so much drama over it I wanted to know...)
Izzy subscribed to the model of perfect sweet heroine who everyone loves and can do no wrong, a characterisation I've noticed in every Dare novel I've read. I find it kind of sexist actually (and I'm a woman) - the man is almost always in the wrong and has to win back the female's affections, after which they live HEA with him counting his blessings every day that she bestowed her love upon him. It's a problem I've noticed with many female romance writers, and it is beginning to grate on me somewhat - why can't the woman go grovelling to the man at the climax? Surely that's true feminism - a woman can mess up just as much as a dude can.

I agree with another reviewer that the troupe of knights and ladies were a little ridiculous. Tessa Dare seems to favour a little farce at the end of her novels but this one was a bit too far removed from the tone at the start and reminded me again of the flimsier M&B stories. The twist concerning Izzy's father and his famous stories "The Goodnight Tales" was pretty obvious from early on and I felt it could've been revealed earlier to allow for more explanation on the particulars of how it worked.

But despite my slight disappointment, I would recommend this book for it's sparkling dialogue and entertaining story. In a genre with so much rubbish Dare is near the top in the quality of her writing and I'll continue to keep an eye out anytime she releases a new book.

P.S. If you liked this but wanted something a little deeper and more emotional, I'd recommend "A Lady by Midnight" by the same author. Anyone who likes the good old scarred hero plotline but prefers their romances to be somewhat racier would greatly enjoy "When She Said I Do" by Celeste Bradley.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Feisty Izzy and Wounded Rothbury Rock!!, 23 July 2014
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This review is from: Romancing the Duke: Castles Ever After (Kindle Edition)
Our sweetheart of a heroine, Ophelia Goodnight (Izzy), has been left penniless by her thoughtless father. She does, however, have a dubious legacy in that the heroine of some very well-known books are based on her persona. That would be the heroine of "The Goodnight Tales" written by her father about happenings in the fanciful Kingdom of Moranglia replete with a handsome hero, knights and beautiful ladies. Alas, when her father passes, her mean cousin inherited all her father's possessions including all rights and monies from the books. This leaves Izzy with nothing except a huge fan base - known as Moranglians - and wherever she goes, she is recognized as the heroine of the Kingdom of Moranglia.

When Izzy is down to her last few shillings, she receives a letter stating she has been left an inheritance by her godfather and she must travel to Gostley Castle in Northumberland to meet up with Lord Archer who will reveal to her just what she has inherited. Arriving at Gostley Castle, she is dismayed at the huge, rundown castle which appears to be abandoned. Then, she sees a rough looking handsome man standing in the shadow of one of the entrances to the Castle. Thinking he is Lord Archer, she begins asking him questions. This is where you first begin to get a hint of the marvelous dialogue to come.

The man she has encountered is none other than the Duke of Rothbury - Ransom William Dacre Vane. It seems that Gostley Castle is his home and she has intruded on his solitary life. He has been hiding out at the castle for several months due to suffering an injury which has left him scarred and wounded. Once Lord Archer arrives and tells both Izzy and Rothbury that Izzy's inheritance is indeed Gostley Castle, the battle between Izzy and Rothbury takes off. Rothbury is adamant that there is a mistake - Gostley has been in his family's possession for centuries and there's no way he has sold it or would sell it.

Izzy is just as stubborn as Rothbury and she is going no where until this issue of the ownership is settled. Try as he might to get her to move to a local inn or with the vicar's family, she refuses to budge. Finally, Rothbury agrees that he needs someone to help him go through his huge stack of unopened missives in order to determine whether or not his solicitors have indeed sold Gostley Castle while he has been hiding out. Thus, he hires Izzy to be his secretary.

We then proceed into the depths of a sizzling chemistry between little Izzy who describes herself as very plain with a big nose, untamed hair resembling the tentacles of an octopus and the grouchy, harsh, plainspoken Rothbury. Believe me - the romance takes off like a rocket. There is never a dull moment and the story is nicely rounded out with minor characters including the traveling troupe of Moranglians who find out that Izzy is staying at Gostley Castle. There are some super sweet moments between Rothbury and Izzy. He's not as harsh as he appears and she may not be beautiful but she becomes the soul and heart of the wounded duke.

Great writing by Tessa Dare. Not your typical regency period romance. Full of sweetness along with a little vinegar.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Utterly charming, 5 May 2014
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This review is from: Romancing the Duke: Castles Ever After (Kindle Edition)
I found this to be much more focused than Dare's earlier work, and yet with all the charm and fun and romance that you could wish for.

With all the action taking place in one place, this really clips along smoothly, at a cracking pace that really keeps the reader engaged. I am a fool for fairy tales, and she finds a terrific balance between using the style as a framework, and also calling the plausibility of fairy tales into question. Loved the hero and heroine, and am looking forward to the next in the series!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 20 April 2014
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This review is from: Romancing the Duke: Castles Ever After (Kindle Edition)
What a lovely story. Good characters and I truly got swept away with Issy and the dukes story. Can't wait for the next book in this series. 5 stars!
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5.0 out of 5 stars MOST ENJOYABLE BOOK I'VE READ FOR A LONG TIME, 20 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Romancing the Duke: Castles Ever After (Kindle Edition)
i so enjoyed this book giggling aloud at it something so glad i was NOT on the bus as it was my daughter had to come into my room to make sure i was alright MORE MORE MORE!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable, 17 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Romancing the Duke: Castles Ever After (Kindle Edition)
A very entertaining read, well written, great characters. I have enjoyed all the recent tessa dare books and i think they are getting better and better.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not the usual you expect from Tessa!, 19 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Romancing the Duke: Castles Ever After (Kindle Edition)
Huge fan of TESSA DARE but was expecting so much more from this novel which it didn't deliver!!!
It was a good story but for some reason it did not have Tessa's usual sensual, sensitive, passionate story telling style?

I'm not sure if I am just jaded from reading one too may historical romance novels or that I'm expecting ground breaking romance from every read but surely it can't be too much to expect one of your favourite authors to deliver what she is known for!!!
I find myself looking for new authors out there that I have not discovered yet in the hope that maybe I find that elusive novel that is a KEEPER!

Round up, it is a good read but I have read ALL of Tessa's books so I know this is not her best but still a great read. I cross my fingers for the next one!

NOTE TO AUTHOR: Please Tessa bring a novel back like, THREE NIGHTS WITH A SCOUNDREL love love love that book!
I have read it more times than I can remember, I think I shall read it again now just to remember how good you really are! Thank you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable book, 12 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Romancing the Duke: Castles Ever After (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book. The characters were great, likeable and funny. Loved the storyline as well. Will definitely put it in my favourites and enjoy reading it again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fun romance, 9 Feb 2014
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E. S. Norman (Essex, ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Romancing the Duke: Castles Ever After (Kindle Edition)
I've read all of this author's books and enjoyed them all. This was no exception. It was very funny in many parts, as well as sweet, interesting and a joy to read. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the series!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely new book, by a great author, 29 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Romancing the Duke: Castles Ever After (Kindle Edition)
I really like Tessa Dare as an author, and had this book on pre order for a long time, and promptly finish in a couple of hours when it came.
I did enjoy this story a lot, and I liked the set up for the next series, but it wasn't contrived, just a line about various god daughters inheriting castles.
Izzy is a famous authors daughter, and the star of his tales, but when he dies, she is left destitute. Fortunately she inherits a crumbling castle from her god father (one of the better gifts she received from her fathers admirers), unfortunately it is still occupied, by the last owner, a blind, scarred reclusive Duke, who is certain he hasn't sold it in the past seven months he has been living there.
The relationship between the hero and heroine is lovely and well developed, without it being hate or love at first sight, they are left plenty of time and space to get to know one another, and both the characters are well rounded and coloured in. I have to admit that I guessed, the main "big plot reveal", from very much the start of the book. But this isn't a story that is moved along by secrets uncovered, so that didn't matter.
The only thing I have to say it the community that follows her father's stories feels rather out of place in what one assumes is the regency era, and rather more at home with today's world of twihards and fanfiction, but by staying away from Town and any real historical context, this book could be set in an imaginary parallel UK, with a vague 19th century time period, and then it wouldn't really matter.
I'm looking forward to her next book.
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