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Romancing the Duke

Castles Ever After
Narrated by: Carmen Rose
Series: Castles Ever After, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs
Categories: Romance, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,102 ratings)

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This Story Is Seductive

Publisher's Summary

RITA Award Winner, Historical Romance, Short, 2015

As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities. 

And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one.

  • Ugly duckling turned swan?
  • Abducted by handsome highwayman?
  • Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?

No, no, and…Heh. 

Now Izzy's given up yearning for romance. She'll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished 26-year-old woman who's never even been kissed? 

This one.

©2014 Eve Ortega (P)2014 HarperCollinsPublishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

fun and frolicsome

the storyline is quite amusing and refreshingly different from the genre in general. The Romantic scenes are extensive. Whether that's a plus or minus depends on your personal taste.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I LOVED LOVED LOVED THIS REGENCY ROMP

This is the first of Tessa Dare's new Castles Ever After series and what a joy it was to listen to. When Isolde (Izzy) a plain 26 year old Spinster who had never even been kissed, found herself destitute after her famous Author of a Father died leaving all their wealth and her possessions to a heartless Cousin, she felt lost and alone. Then a letter came requesting she attend a meeting at Gostley Castle in Northumberland giving her hope that perhaps not everything was lost..... that is until she saw it and it's inhabitant.

Ranson, the handsome but scarred, Duke of Rothbury was dark, moody, formidable, not at all welcoming and knew nothing about the meeting. I don't want to give any of the delicious, well-written, emotional and thoroughly enjoyable storyline away which would rob you of your enjoyment as the twists, surprises, character histories and their budding relationship slowly unfurls but the more Ranson pushed her out, the more Izzy dug her heels in determined to stay so somehow they had to agree to a compromise.

This was a funny, sweet, sad, touching, tender, romantic love story that had a very likeable H and H, a handful of other interesting and colorful characters, a pet Ermine, a dilapidated Castle and a couple of swindling Solicitors. It was mainly focused on the H/H sizzling relationship and, as the fun filled passionate hours flew by, the feisty, resourceful, stubborn and optimistic Izzy soon saw underneath Ranson's bitter exterior to find just a man desperately needing to be shown tenderness and love. He still had the mind and body of a Rake and acted like it but it was Izzy's tenderness, kindness and body that finally got his heart beating again. There was passion, sex, witty banter and bickering as two lonely vulnerable misfits found friendship, love and a HEA that they never ever expected.

Worth a credit? If, like me, you love a good well written romance in all it's forms (fluffy, contemporary, paranormal etc) then you're going to LOVE this listen as I did but for any of you who are the 'must be historically correct' type of listener then give this one a pass. I, thankfully, loved, savoured and devoured it from the captivating opening Chapter until the very last word, I'm eagerly look forward to the next book in the series and found it VERY creditworthy.

53 of 58 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jbmcdan
  • Youngsville, NC, United States
  • 04-12-14

Magic! Amazing! Entrancing! You get the idea!

This book was marvelous! I just love love love it! The story is so fun and there were totally Laugh Out Loud moments! There were also sincere and heartfelt, painfully beautiful moments. Imagine that Harry Potter were based off a real boy, and that boy (or girl in this case) was YOU. That is what our sweet and intrepid Heroine is suffering from, that and a total lack of funding for -- well, living.
I am SO IMPRESSED! I did not want this book to end! Why did it have to end??? Wow! The narration was brilliantly done and with such great character voices and imagery, it was like watching a movie in my mind. I literally stayed up ALL NIGHT to listen to this story. The only criticism that I can say about this truly amazing, wonderful book is that the ending seemed a bit rushed. There was SO MUCH build up and such wonderful things going on and then, it seemed like it ended with a bit of a whimper Seriously though, it is SO worth the credit, SO WORTH IT!!! YES!!!

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • MVA
  • Funtown USA
  • 11-16-16

A dark tale about a Duke

This was a good twisted tale about a Duke with a disability. The narrator held my attention throughout the entire story. This was a twisted love with different twist and turns. Well worth the credit.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyed!

I have never read Tessa Dare before, nor ever heard of her actually! I got this book on a 2 for 1 deal and I am so glad I did. See this is the reason Audible SHOULD do the 2 for 1 sales. I probably wouldn’t have ever come across this author, and if I had I might have flitted over her.

That said, the story was just so fun and cute. Definitely not super heavy because even in the heavier moments, there was lightheartedness. I might be the only one who was caught by surprise by a discovery, but I was and it was fun for me because I tend to be one of those that predicts everything. And the thing is, this seemed so obvious after! Lol. This next part might be a bit of a spoiler but I really liked that Ransom didn’t miraculously regain his sight. In fact, going into the story I didn't even realize he was blind. But, usually for HEA things like blindness must be cured by a knock on the head or some such miracle. HEA’s can happen, even when a person has a disability. So, I liked that. I also really enjoyed the tender moment between Ransom and Duncan, it even drew a bit of a tear.

I also have never heard this narrator before. She did a good enough job and I definitely wouldn't shy away from another book of her narration, however, she does seem young in her narrating. Every character sounded...well... young! I didnt realize that Duncan was in his 50’s until near the end of the book. All along I had been imagining a much younger man. Not a big deal, but something she will hopefully get better at as she goes on.

All in all, definitely worth the half credit, and I feel like it would even be worth a whole credit! I’ll continue on with the series at some point, and look forward to reading more Tessa Dare.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Sigh-Worthy Fluffy Fun Fairy Tale


This book is a light and easy to follow romance that has funny moments, endearing secondary characters, and some twists and turns I didn't see coming.

Issy is a plain 26 year old spinster who has given up on love. Ransom is a handsome proud Duke who has been given up on life. Together they embark on a quest to discover a better life and, of course, love.

This book is not a detailed historical romance it's more of a sigh-worthy fluffy fun romantic fairy tale. It's a cute rainy (or snowy) day listen.

23 of 28 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful Story, Beautifully Written

A true love story. First time I've teared up at the end of a book in a long time because of its conflicts , beauty, joy and love. This one's a keeper, and I'll definitely listen to it again soon. Carmen Rose is an excellent narrator and brings the characters to life as, I believe, Tessa Dawn intended. Bravo to both writer and narrator!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What can I say about this beaten Duke but <3

What a romantic story. I’d like to bask in its love nest forever. The reviews were certainly accurate for this book. A wonderful story about a duke who gets injured in a sword fight and his injury drives him for healing to his closest estate far away from London. There he stays secluded with his butler, in a rundown, over looted castle overtaken by rats and bats. That is until Izzy Goodnight shows up.
Do not miss out on purchasing this book. It truly will make you feel every emotion the author intended for her readers. Right before the epilogue, the duke make the greatest gesture of his love by…. I guess you’ll just have to read the book ☺

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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How I Love Happily Ever Afters!

Tessa Dare is one of my new favorites. Her characters are not cookie-cutter perfect. However, her story line is! Also, Carmen Rose was AWESOME! She had all the accents down including the Scottish valet Duncan. Audible, I hope you have plans for the rest of the series because this is too good to miss.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • bebe
  • from SC
  • 08-07-19

Fantastic story

I really love this book. The setting is England in the 1800s. Izzy Goodnight is the daughter of a famous writer who created the world of a Lady and a Knight. It is told in series form over a period of years. The story has tremendous followers. The writer dies but does not leave any money for his daughter. She is destitute - until her Godfather bequeathed her a castle. Problem is that the castle is occupied by a Duke, called Ransom, who has had the castle in his family for generations. Ransom has been blinded in a duel and is living as a recluse at the castle. He wants to throw Izzy out, but she has no where to go. She becomes his secretary and they go through his correspondence, which has piled up over the months of his blindness and find that someone has been swindling the Duke out of his money, and his castle. They want to get to the bottom of the problem.They encounter friends and enemies along the way. The attraction between Izzy and Ransom is very intense. Their characters are very real and likable. The narrator is excellent. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good historical romance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jo baker
  • 04-02-18

great

really enjoyable, humorous and original, narrator was very good, i look forward to more of the same

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Annie A
  • 01-02-19

Super Romance!!!

Great H and H. Good story. Narrator was very good with different voices for all the characters. Definitely worth a credit!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • JED
  • 11-16-18

A solid Tessa Dare book

Another solid book by Tessa Dare. Unfortunately, the more I read the more alike they all become. The love scenes are all very similar, the hero's all need rescuing and the heroines are all short of love and looking for warmth and affection. Oh to have a "normal" man have to fight for the love of a maybe unsuitable, but at least unscarred heroine.

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  • Bernadette Aitken
  • 11-04-16

Lovely.

I've read this story and now I've listened to it as well. This audio book was just as lovely as I remembered it. The voice of the reader is melodious and fits the images I had of the characters. There is a good use of pauses and voices. A relaxing book to listen too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kerry
  • 10-20-16

Very enjoyable

A really good listen. A story about two scarred people falling in love. Well worth a listen with a really good narrator.