Ber om ursäkt på förhand för den här recensionen kommer att bestå av bilder och citat och några korta kommentarer på svengelska.
Först, den här fina dedikationen:
For anyone who's ever been a fan, of anything.
Som Khanh på Goodreads säger i sin recension: "Goddamn it. This book was just too fucking cute." Dare har ofta den effekten, även på de mest motvilliga cyniker.
Dare skriver historical romance med en underbart respektlös inställning till historisk korrekthet. Den här boken handlar om Isolde (Izzy) Ophelia Goodnight, vars pappa var en berömd författare som inte lämnade en enda penni åt sin dotter att leva på. Tiden för fairy tale endings är förbi, om vi säger så. Tror hon. Den här berättelsen innehåller en hjälte (dark & brooding), ett slott (dark & ghastly), hardcore rollspelande fangirls (& boys), en hermelin vid namn Snowdrop och en hund/varg som heter Magnus. Izzys hår spelar också en helt egen roll...
" Astonishing. In the morning, when she sat working at that table of correspondence, silhouetted by sunlight...
Her hair truly did look like an octopus.
It was the way she wore it, he thought. Or maybe the way it wore her. It all sat perched atop her head in that big, inky blob. And no matter how strenuously she pinned it, dark, heavy curls worked loose on all sides, like tentacles.
Of course, it was an entrancing, strangely erotic octopus. Ransom worried this might be how fetishes developed. "
Det bästa med Dare är att hon levererar inte bara rainbows & unicorns. Det är också väldigt mycket riktiga känslor.
“Oh, but this gift isn’t the same as an ermine. This is property. Don’t you understand how rare that is for a woman? Property always belongs to our fathers, brothers, husbands, sons. We never get to own anything.”
“Don’t tell me you’re one of those women with radical ideas.”
“No,” she returned. “I’m one of those women with nothing. There are a great many of us.”
"She was a gift.""Who gives a weasel as a gift?""One of my father's admirers.""I should think it was one of his enemies."Izzy joined him in sitting on the table's edge, resigned to explaining the whole story. It made a good illustration of how her father's literary success and the public's adoration never translated into much practical benefit."My father wrote an ongoing saga of knights, ladies, villains, sorcerers... castles. Anything to do with romantic chivalry. And the tales were all framed as bedtime stories told to me. Little Izzy Goodnight.""That's why Archer was expecting a young girl?""Yes. They always expect a young girl," she said. "The heroine of the tales kept an ermine as a pet. A fictional ermine, of course. One that was brave and loyal, and every bit as majestic, pale and slender-necked as her mistress. And this fictional ermine managed to accomplish all sorts of clever, fierce, fictional deeds, such as chewing her mistress free of bindings when she was kidnapped, for the third time, by the fictional Shadow Knight. So a devotee of my father's stories thought it would be a lovely gesture to give real-life Izzy Goodnight a real-life ermine to call her very own."Wouldn't that be precious? the fool must have thought. Wouldn't it be marvelous and adorable?Well, no. It wasn't, actually. Not for Izzy, not for Snowdrop.
Romancing the Duke är inte min favorit av Dare (den platsen hålls fortfarande av A Week to be Wicked) men det är, som alltid, väldigt underhållande läsning. Trots att Dare på många sätt leker skickligt med gamla stereotypa idéer i genren så smakar den här ändå lite väl mycket old skool för mig. Så den får fyra stjärnor av fem.
Här är ett citat som illustrerar rätt bra hur man fastnar i en Tessa Dare-bok:
" Bloody hell.
Somehow, he'd wound a lock of her hair about his finger. There it was. Right This Moment. And he had no recollection of doing it either.
What was he coming to, when a woman sat in his lap, he gave her a stern what-for... and ten seconds later, oopsy-daisy and la-di-dah, he went and twirled a finger in her hair?
That was not ducal behavior. It certainly wasn't normal behavior for him.
He tried to nonchalantly withdraw his finger from its embarrassing predicament, but he recoiled too quickly. The curling strand of hair tightened around his knuckle like a slipknot.
He tried again, pulling harder. Panic began to build in his chest.
Dear God, it wouldn't let him go. "