Review: Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare

romancing the dukeReviewed by Jen

I loved this book! Generally speaking, I enjoy every story I read from Tessa Dare, but this is definitely one of my favorites!  It has a wonderfully tortured, scarred, blind hero –and a resourceful, funny, and unattractive heroine.  It made me laugh. It made my pulse pound.  And it even made me a little bit misty.

Izzy grew up surrounded by her father’s famous stories of brave knights and fair maidens. He even made her a part of his popular tales, making her a bit of a celebrity and beloved by his fans.  What he didn’t do was provide financial care for her after his death. She is barely getting by when her “godfather” bequeaths her an old run-down castle.  Imagine the shock that was to the duke already living there!

Ransom has been living like a recluse for nearly a year, following a duel, as he nursed his broken body and shattered pride. He is nearly blind, but is almost immediately taken by the unusual woman who invades his castle.  He tries to get rid of her, but she refuses to go, and eventually they fashion a deal to share the castle as they investigate how it came to be her inheritance.  Ransom is so alone, so cut off from the world, both physically and emotionally.  He’s never known love.  He’s angry and he’s cynical… Izzy’s polar opposite.

Despite the harsh hand she has been dealt, Izzy hasn’t given up her belief in goodness and love.  She has a lovely spirit. But she is no shrinking violet.  She is pragmatic and she’s passionate.  I loved watching her seep behind Ransom’s defenses.  I loved watching his realization of what she meant to him. I loved their sexy times. I loved their emotion. I even enjoyed the whimsy of the hard-core fans of The Goodnight Tales.

I have read some other reviews who didn’t enjoy this as much as I did. Specifically, some people were bothered by a lack of historical realism.  Others called it fluffy. But I disagree.  This book charmed me and touched me and satisfied me all at once.  A real treat!

Rating: A-

*ARC Provided by Avon

Click to purchase: Amazon

Romancing the Duke
by Tessa Dare
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Avon




  1. Shelly Browne says:

    Great review. My take wasn’t so great and that’s why we’re different but I appreciate that difference 🙂 I gave it a ‘B-/C+’.

  2. Jen at Red Hot Books says:

    What didn’t you like about it?

  3. Shelly Browne says:

    It’s the most ridiculous thing – but how exactly was he blinded? I don’t think I understood that piece and that’s all I kept focusing on. Why, I don’t know.

    And Izzy and that dang ermine. As destructive as it was, why not let it go back to nature but…I’m telling you Jen, the more I read my expectation. Seriously though, in the end I came to realize that although it was a good story, just not my cup of tea.

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