So, I really, really LOVE me some Tessa Dare. Now, I’m a bigger fan of her contemporary romances, but I still enjoy the historical romances for what they are. That being said, all I can say about this one is that it was just okay. Seriously, I started and finished the quick read yesterday, so it wasn’t tough to get through, but I already can’t remember the storyline. I guess that means the novel is pretty much forgettable, and that’s what makes it just okay.
Since I must offer a summary, I quickly looked back at the book and now I remember! Tessa Dare gives us a rather likeable heroine in Izzy Goodnight, the daughter of the recently-deceased and much-loved author of The Goodnight Tales, a popular serial novel that has taken England by storm. Izzy has been struggling financially since her father’s death, but she ends up inheriting a decrepit castle from her pseudo godfather. Unfortunately (well, really fortunately), this castle is inhabited by handsome Random, the Duke of Rothbury, who was blinded the previous year in a duel. What else is there to say? They bicker during a number of fairly minor complications and end up falling passionately in love. What else do we expect? Nothing, for an average, just okay, historical romance, and that’s what we get.
Yes, it’s predictable, but Izzy is sweet, funny, and endearingly desperate. Random is wounded, gruff, and hiding a big heart. See, the clichés do certainly continue. Tessa Dare does manage to weave in the story-within-a-story element with The Goodnight Tales, which reminds me a bit of The Princess Bride. The Tales has such a following that poor Izzy has to deal with role-playing fans (19th century LARPers) dressed as knights and handmaidens following her around. Needless to say, the Duke is not a fan of their disruptions.
No need for a real spoiler alert here. Everything ends up just as every reader expects. ***TINY SPOILER ALERT*** However, I was slightly surprised when it turns out that the actual author of The Goodnight Tales is and always has been Izzy, not her father. However, I shouldn’t have been surprised. When I thought back on the story, Dare actually gives countless hints. No one, except this sleep-deprived mom, should be shocked by the twist. ***SPOILER OVER***
If you want a little candy for your brain, Romancing the Duke will offer some satisfaction, but it won’t likely fully relieve your craving.