I can’t believe I’m writing my 80th review for the year. We are now well passed my goal of a cannonball and a half. Because of you crazy people I have endeavored to read more authors in romance, not just more romances. This brings me to Tessa Dare and Romancing the Duke.
Meet Isolde Ophelia Goodnight, impoverished 26-year-old securely on the shelf and without a means to support herself. She’s just inherited a castle (in serious disrepair) from her godfather whom she did not know well at all. This is good, because she needs a roof over her head having spent the past many months relying on the kindness of fans of her father’s writing to support her. However, this particular castle is currently inhabited by the Duke of Rothbury, who due to his recent blindness following a dueling accident has been hiding away from society for the past seven months and is understandably behind on his correspondence. Which means he didn’t know the castle he was living in had even been put up for sale, let alone sold and then inherited by Izzy. This story could have gone any number of routes, but I’m glad Dare chose the one she did.
Dare went for quirkiness. There are a lot of quirky, whimsical details in this book. Izzy’s father’s books are romantic tales of daring do in serial format (think Princess Bride). Those stories The Goodnight Tales, have their own brand of cosplayers who travel the countryside basically doing a cross between re-enactments and Renn Faires. I had been appropriately warned about this type of shenanigan by Mrs. Julien, narfna, and Malin and I am about it, so all these things worked really well for me. I love comedy. I have enough DRAMA in my life and sometimes you just really want to swoon and laugh. And being able to do both in the same book and sometimes on the same page? Delightful.
I also didn’t really care that there wasn’t an actual historical time frame. Its sometime in the early 19th century and Dare is playing around with the motifs of gothic novels. That’s fine by me. My biggest (only) problems with this one? The stupid pet ermine and Ransom’s name. Otherwise this book worked really well for me.