Romancing the Duke: Castles Ever After

I love the idea of this the Castles Ever After series by Tessa Dare. So there was an elderly gentleman who had multiple goddaughters. Before his death, he felt guilty that he didn’t treat them better so he went around and bought up castles all over England. After he died, he sent his solicitor to make the great announcement that the ladies have been gifted a castle.

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Heat: ♥♥♥♥

Genre: Historical Romance/ Version of Beauty and the Beast

Overall Rating 5/6 Glass Slippers

In this version of Beauty and the Beast, Izzy has a couple coins to her name. Her father just died and her cousin took over her childhood home. Izzy fled before he could kick he out and is seriously concerned about her future. Then, out of the blue, she is given a castle. There is just one problem. Someone already lives there.

Ransom is hiding out. He is a duke but after an accident that left him blind, he’d rather mope in one of his castles. He knows the layout perfectly, there is plenty of room for his dog, and no one bothers him. That is until Izzy shows up and tries to claim what’s his.

They both want to stay in the castle but Ransom has made it very clear that she can’t be around. One, she is making herself too comfortable in his home. Two, he’s attracted to her. Three, she’s attracted to him. Four, her lips are soft and she yields to him when he kisses her. Five, he wants to kiss her again.

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So, while I do like remakes of fairytales, I was a little concerned that this would be too cheesy or predictable. But there were twists and turns that came out of no where. I did think that there were a few moments where some of the internal dialog was a bit repetitive but the scenes were not.

Izzy isn’t the beauty who everyone talked about. She always considered herself to be plain and that was why she couldn’t find a husband. However, Ransom can sometimes get glimpses of vision and he doesn’t see a plain jane. This to me is classic. Women too often assume that because guys 1-5 didn’t find you attractive, that it means you are ugly. But in reality, people value looks differently. I loved this take on the beauty because she isn’t conventional, girl next door that typically accompanies these books.

I did like the way that Ransom seemed to bring Izzy alive and the romantic scenes were well written. The problem that I run into with a lot of historical romances is that they sound really similar when you get to the bedroom. I read one of the Spindle Cove novellas but Dare and this one. Luckily, they were completely different and they didn’t sound cookie cutter perfect. The characters were flawed and they brought those flaws and insecurities with them into the bedroom.

I felt connected to the characters and I enjoyed the idea of it. After all, what girl doesn’t dream of being left a castle from a long lost relative. Check out this series and find out more about the castles, and the love that brings them back to life. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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