Hey! RikaChu here with more post-Valentine book reviews! If you haven’t already, go read Sassy Librarian’s review first (because hers has hedgehogs in it.)
There are so many great romance novels out there and today I want to focus on Tessa Dare’s Castles Ever After regency series. Each book features a heroine who inherits a castle somehow only to find a handsome man in the vicinity of the property.
(Doesn’t the heroine’s picture look like Emma Thompson? I think so.)
In Romancing the Duke, our heroine Isolde Ophelia Goodnight finds herself in possession of a castle not unlike the ones featured in her father’s famous stories. The castle just happens to inhabited by a brooding bachelor and no wonder too, having lost his sight early on in his playboy career and becoming the tenant of castle.
Of course, they don’t get along at first because he refuses to recognize her claim on the property, but only the best stories feature characters that find love through some form of mutual distaste for each other. It reminds me of the story of Beauty and the Beast, so if you’re into that sort of thing, try this book out.
(She has to be so cold, out there looking at her castle with her clothes hanging off. Brrrrr.)
Dare’s second Castles installment is Say Yes to the Marquess (rhyming titles are always a good sign) in which Cleo Whitmore has been waiting eight long years to wed a man of high society, only to fall for his brother Rafe, a career prize fighter and scoundrel. What’s funny about this story is that Rafe is bound and determined to show Cleo how good it would be to marry his brother, and he spares no expense heaping flowers and cake and other wedding plan stuff in her lap, trying to make her see what a grand affair a wedding can be.
Between cake-tastings and choosing flowers, the two fall in lust, and then love, because DUH.
Cake + flowers + hot guy forcing you to choose wedding = plot. It’s a charming story and seeing the guy fall first is always a treat, no matter how many times I see it in a romance.
(Dem pecs. That huuuuuuge belt buckle. Me-OW!)
Then there’s When a Scot Ties the Knot. This one is great. Shy Miss Madeline Gracechurch has spent a good chunk of her eligible life writing love letters to an imaginary Scotsman named Captain Logan McKenzie just so she doesn’t have to go to London and endure being trotted around like a show pony for sale. I don’t blame her. She even goes as far to fake his death so no one will try to find him. Of course, when he actually shows up to claim her hand in marriage, what is she to do?! Ah romance novels.
This book features a lot of Gaelic words and pet names, like “mo chridhe” which I read as “moe cruddy-hee” which is super wrong. It’s more like “moe cree” but at any rate, it means “my heart” (awwwwww). Cute factor over 9000! Reading sections of this book out loud with your best Scottish accent is my recommendation, even if you just do it alone on the couch. Good stuff, I says.
You may think I’m making fun of these books but I love to read them. Tessa Dare has a way with words that makes even her most inconceivable plots seem like they could happen. What I love the very most about this series is Dare’s way of making a very ordinary task like reading a book, or tasting a cake into a very sexy scene. Her use of adjectives and descriptors is very well done.
One other thing I like about Tessa Dare is her devotion to thanking librarians like me and Ariel for reading her books and recommending readers to her books. She has been very appreciative of us and our profession and it makes me really happy to know that authors recognize and promote our work.
I look forward to Tessa Dare’s next Castles Ever After installment and hope you read something by her as well. She has several other series that are still going and each one is a delight.
Until we meet again, keep reading those trashy books for ladies, and don’t deny yourself cake!