cover image Romancing the Duke

Romancing the Duke

Tessa Dare. Avon, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-224019-4

Dare’s first Castles Ever After historical provides a unique twist to a fairy tale, complete with an ancient castle, a damsel in distress, and a wounded hero. In 19th-century England, Isolde “Izzy” Goodnight is left penniless when her father, who was a writer, dies. Her one ray of hope is a letter telling her that she has inherited Gostley Castle from her godfather. The castle turns out to be a crumbling structure that already has a resident: Ransom Vane, the Duke of Rothbury. After an accident left him blind, Ransom has secluded himself in the castle, not realizing that his agents sold it to the man who bequeathed it to Izzy. Certain that the truth of the building’s ownership lies in the untouched correspondence on Ransom’s desk, Izzy insists on becoming his secretary. While she is drawn to his masculine beauty, Izzy really falls for Ransom when his kindness belies his rakish behavior. Dare’s lyrical writing and expert, intense character development make this a romance to be savored with the eager expectation of future series installments. (Feb.)