ROMANCING THE DUKE (Castles Ever After #1) by Tessa Dare
370 pages, paperback
Available now (January 2014)
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?
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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