Historical Cosplay: ROMANCING THE DUKE by Tessa Dare

Posted 24 March, 2014 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 39 Comments

ROMANCING THE DUKE (Castles Ever After #1) by Tessa Dare
Historical Romance
370 pages, paperback
Available now (January 2014)
Publisher: Avon
Review copy purchased

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.

There’s just something about Tessa Dare’s writing that makes me smile. There’s always great dialogue, interesting characters and fun plotlines. The latest by Ms. Dare is no exception. 

With nothing left to lose, Izzy takes a letter of inheritance, one that declares her the new owner of a castle, and heads off to claim it. Unfortunately for her, Ransom Vane (great name, btw), Duke of Rothbury, is still living in it. Of course, this leads to issues between the two, as he’s not going to move out (believing he never sold the place) and she’s got no where else to go (not that she’d leave anyway). I do adore a contentious relationship, especially between two such stubborn people.

One thing that made this story a bit unusual was that there was a group of cosplayers who played a key role in the plot. Izzy’s father wrote a collection of tales that garnered a seriously rabid following, people who got together, dressed the part and acted out scenes, much like modern-day LARPers (Live action role players). I’ve read a couple of things where people doubt the veracity of cosplayers during this time period and, at first, I wasn’t so sure either. But I was curious enough to do some research into the whole subject (not much. I just skimmed the surface so I’m sure there’s a ton more info out there) and, in some form or fashion, there have always been people who dress up and/or fangirl/boy about the things they love including plays, music, books, etc. Take that, you doubters.

As always, Tessa Dare came through with a particularly enjoyable read, and I look forward to seeing what happens in the rest of this new series.

Available on Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble

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39 Responses to “Historical Cosplay: ROMANCING THE DUKE by Tessa Dare”

  1. This was my first Tessa Dare book, but it definitely won’t be my last. I really liked it (except the bats–I HATE bats). And how awesome is it that there have always been fangirls/boys! That’s hilarious. I would never have thought to look that up. Go you!

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

  2. I haven’t picked up a Tessa Dare novel in a really long time, though I’ve heard nothing but positive reviews when it comes to this novel. I’m looking forward to sinking my teeth into it soon! Great review, Mary!

  3. I haven’t read anything by Tessa Dare, but I do love to pick up historical romances every now-and-then, and this one sounds really fun. I had no idea about cosplayer either. Great review, Mary 🙂

  4. I so enjoyed this one as well Mary! Like you, Tessa’s books always bring a smile to my face and this one was no different. You know I love me a gruff, brooding hero, and Ransom fit the bill perfectly. And yes, I do love that name:) Can’t wait to see what comes next!

  5. Historical cosplay is something new to me, too. And I’m glad to hear it’s valid! I haven’t heard of this series before, but I do find the whole thing intriguing. Fabulous review, Mary!

  6. From your review, I think I’d enjoy Tessa Dare’s writing, and her humor sounds like it’s right up my alley. AND, it’s the first in a series which makes it way easier to squeeze in. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

  7. I agree Ransom Vane is the best name ever! I love it when two characters are forced into a situation together, so I would really be interested in finding out how this works out for both of them! Thanks for putting this book on my radar Mary!

  8. Huh the cosplayer thing is neat – I’ve no idea how realistic it is for the historical setting but it’s def. unique. 🙂

  9. I do love historicals every once in a while and this one sounds fun. I love romances that go from love to hate, always so much fun. Who knew people loved to act out back then. Not surprising, though, because the nature of people hardly changes. Great review, Mary! I’ll keep this in mind. 🙂

  10. I feel like I am so behind on the historical romance genre. I have a lot of books to read one day. I think I’ll do a huge binge sometime. This cosplay idea really intrigues me. I love when you discover something that seems so modern, that historical people did too. That always makes me excited!