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review 2018-12-14 00:00
Romancing the Duke
Romancing the Duke - Tessa Dare As they ( you know who they are) say, leave reality behind for these Tessa Dare fairy tales. There was nothing historical in this other than petticoats basically…And at first I didn’t think the determined, intuitive heroine was going to do it for me-or do enough anyway. It was, as so many Dare novels are, a spectacular meet-cute followed up with loosely held plot that uses sexual tension as its glue. This plot is so silly, so fantastical, so…did I say silly? There might as well have been unicorns and pegasus along with witches and, well, actual ghosts.

“Even if you did read my father’s stories, I doubt you’d enjoy them. They require the reader to possess a certain amount of…”
“Gullibility?” He suggested.
“Inexperience? Willful stupidity?”
“Heart. They require the reader to possess a heart.”

Izzy Goodnight (I mean, really) met Ransom, the Duke of Rothbury (who has like 4 other names + titles but we all know I like shortcuts) outside his castle, or was it hers? The meeting was the type I’d come to expect from Dare: memorable and funny. The beginning plugged along in a similar vein, but less memorable and more “cute” and I thought, “Well, here’s a two star novel with 5 star sexual tension (and sex).”

Until it wasn’t. It’s not that anything dramatic happens exactly to make this switch. It’s not that she’s fantastic at developing her characters. I don’t think she is generally. It’s actually that she’s so fantastic at showing vulnerability and tenderness. Then she layers it with 5 star sex and memorable dialogue. Maybe in this ridiculous plot she’s poking fun at the genre herself, but in the end-if we leave these where they ought to be-on shelves for ‘adult fairy tales’ (or something) With ridiculously sweet and tender moments-and something just a little more-both characters acting out of regard and respect for the other-being what they didn’t know they’d need…well, I’ll live in that land with those characters for a few hours.

Just to prove it…just to get back at him for all his crude, sensual games earlier…she bent over and pressed a tender kiss to his forehead. And she held it, for two heartbeats more.
Take that, sweet man.
Then she pushed to her feet and did her best to cover herself with her displaced corset and the torn bodice. He remained exactly where he was, flat on the threadbare carpet.
“Are you hurt?” she asked.
He let his arms fall to the sides. “I’m slain.”

Me too.
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review 2016-12-19 00:00
Romancing the Duke
Romancing the Duke - Tessa Dare Not my normal fare, but this seems to have overwhelmingly positive reviews from people I like, so... *shrug*
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review 2016-10-05 00:00
Romancing the Duke
Romancing the Duke - Tessa Dare This was September’s pick for Vaginal Fantasy, and as I finished it before the hangout it totally counts as having been read in time. Yup. Totally. It’s a light, fluffy read that had me crying with laughter in some spots and grimacing in frustration in others, so kind of a mixed bag. The first half of the book was completely and utterly delightful and ridiculous and then somewhere in the second half, it just kind of all fell apart. Part of the reason for the falling apart though, is my distaste for certain aspects of modern romance tropes and plot formulas. It’s also completely ahistorical and regency-era in name only, which again didn’t bother me until there was just one too many historic details I was supposed to ignore in order to keep reading.

Isolde Ophelia Goodnight is an impoverished woman who inherits a castle. Ransom, Duke of Rothbury, is the inhabitant of said castle and he doesn’t’ remember ever selling it. Ransom agrees to hire Izzy as his secretary while they figure out exactly what is going on and then romance. The plot is one of the big things that fell apart for me. The romance, the main part of the plot was great. However, there is a major villain who never appears ‘on screen’, even though his/their machinations are what set the whole thing in motion. Even worse though is that after the characters declare their I-love-yous this villain is swept aside, again off screen, with a deux-ex-machina. I get that romance novels are mainly about getting the two characters together, but for me the other plot elements are just as important. Don’t introduce a plot line you don’t plan to actually wrap up is what I’m saying. Unfortunately, that particular problem is pretty rampant in modern romance novels, and it’s one of the reasons I’m not a huge fan of the genre.

And then there’s the ‘historical’ setting. This book was terrible, TERRIBLE, with any sense of history or place. I can’t even pretend to call it a historical romance because it so completely ignored historical dress, society, social mores, and just everything. And that was fine, for the most part I’m ok with ignoring some of those things for the sake of plot. I adore urban fantasy for crying out loud, I am familiar with the suspension of disbelief. There were just one too many moments that required my suspension of disbelief for me to fully enjoy the novel. I can’t even pinpoint the exact moment where I finally reached the moment that I couldn’t take it any more, but I know it was around the later half of the novel.

Those complaints aside, this book had me crying with laughter in more then a few places. The romance between Izzie and Ransom is adorable and believable. The female friendship that develops between Izzie and Abigail, the vicar’s daughter, instead of rivalry is refreshing. I adore the skewring of Byronic heroes that Ransom represents. As a spoof on gothic novels, I think the book could have been a bit more developed along those lines and yet I think it was well done. Izzie’s sensible and down-to-earth nature speaks to me. All of these things considerably raised the book's rating in my opinion.
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review 2016-09-13 00:00
Romancing the Duke
Romancing the Duke - Tessa Dare Wow. I can't believe how much I enjoyed this book. I think I could read it again right now.
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text 2016-06-01 05:32
Reading progress update: I've read 53%.
Romancing the Duke - Tessa Dare

Oh dear Lord, she has literally no idea who this letter is from, does she? How can she not? This is going to be the most awkward thing I have ever seen. I am scared to turn the page.


(I will turn the page immediately after posting this, because I am nothing if not nosy.)


This is a bit silly, but fun.

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