This was my first time reading Tessa Dare, and this is the first book in her Castles Ever After series, which centers around women who inherit castles. Who do I have to talk to about inheriting a castle? Seriously…I love that premise. Also, the first book kicks it off with the best trope ever.
A woman inherits a castle already owned and inhabited by a gorgeous but grumpy recluse. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.
The Good Stuff
Though this was another B&tB story, it felt different and more whimsical. The main character is Izzy Goodnight, the inspiration for a character in the books her father wrote before he died. The character is one that has a following of fans who dress up as people in the books…cosplayers, essentially. Be still, my happy little geek heart!
I love a plain heroine, and Izzy knows she’s not beautiful, but she’s funny and sweet, and of course she eventually brings Ransom (yes, the hero’s name is Ransom) around.
There were a few twists on the trope. Ransom is mostly blind due to an incident regarding the woman he was supposed to marry. There’s also a side story in which Ransom is trying to figure out how his castle was sold without him knowing it.
Things That Made Me Go Hmmm
Ransom held on to his douchiness a little longer than some of the other beastly heroes I’ve read. He’s so up and down that Izzy had to be strong just to deal with him.
The Romance Factor
For the type of story this was, I thought the angst was fairly low, but the romance was definitely out of a fairy tale. Izzy finally getting her first kiss and finding a man who made her feel beautiful was full of feels. There’s also a scene where Ransom puts candles in her room to help her cope with her fear of the dark, and even though it’s so simple, it’s also very adorable. 5/5
The Steam Factor
The foreplay is hot and heavy in this one, but the sexy times deliver on the promise. The sex scenes are detailed, yet sensual in the best possible way. 5/5
While some of the elements were a little silly, I was charmed by the heroine and loved the world this was set in. Sex and whimsy seems to be an entertaining combination.