So plane flights are the perfect time to load up one’s kindle app on one’s phone and plow through all of those romances you just hadn’t gotten around to reading. AKA those ones that you heard were meh, but you’re on a plane and have nothing better to do! Thankfully my library celebrates all of Tessa Dare’s back catalog so this time up is an incredibly mediocre and really kind of odd Romancing the Duke.
This is the story of Isolde Goodnight, daughter of famed knight errant novelist Henry Goodnight, and Ransom (ugh, I know) Duke of Northbury. When Henry Goodnight dies, he leaves everything to his male heir, and Izzy is out on her bum. In comes a random godfather gifting her a castle in the middle of nowhere, but at least it’s a home. When she arrives there’s already someone living there, above duke, and that sets the stage of solving who owns the castle. Except for one small/major twist as mentioned in my title: he’s mostly blind from a mysterious incident. What ends up ensuing is just an odd turn of events that don’t make a ton of sense, some decent romantic bits, and then an ending where I’m still not sure what happened it was so glossed over.
It was a very strange story. I’m surprised that it’s one of Ms. Dare’s newer ones because it lacks a lot of the charm of her other ones. Ransom, for over the first third, really is a complete and utter ass to everyone, and that’s not what I’m looking for in my hero. But most of my problems came from Izzy. One of Izzy’s main character traits of this 400 page book is that Izzy Goodnight is plain, and that’s fine, but the fact that she could only be noticed or loved by Ransom because he can’t see her drove me to distraction. Yes, they do finally confront the issue in the end, and he says the same thing I yelled at her the entire story: who cares?! I just didn’t have the patience with such a shallow heroine, especially when added on with her behavior among her father’s fans. She believes in order to have friends and support she needs to act like the character in the stories, and it just felt very immature: it took a good man for her to see the value of who she is. Oh, and then in the epilogue all of a few months later she’s done a complete 180 of character and is now one hundred percent confident in everything. Nope. These are not the stories for me I find. I prefer when the hero and heroine who find happiness together, but it is not the end all, be all of who they are. It all just felt very juvenile, and I’m sorry for how not linear this review is.
So if you’re a Dare completist, come join me in the club of having read this one, but otherwise, she has so many better, wittier, clever ones, that I would say in general this one is a pass.