Never Say Duke

Never Say Duke

by Erica Ridley

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940162058854
Publisher: WebMotion
Publication date: 01/05/2019
Series: 12 Dukes of Christmas , #4
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 16,174
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Erica Ridley is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of heartwarming historical romance novels. Her most popular series include the Dukes of War, Rogues to Riches, and the 12 Dukes of Christmas, featuring charming peers, dashing war heroes, and delightful scoundrels. When not immersed in a book, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Central America, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.

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Never Say Duke 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
AmyHi 4 months ago
A wounded war hero, Theo, aka Viscount Ormondton, is hiding out in the country to heal. The heroine, Virginia, helps him to heal. I found the heroine to be unusual which makes this story more appealing. She is an introvert who doesn’t like crowds and lots of loud noise. I enjoyed the chemistry between them!
APook 7 months ago
Never say Duke was a great read, it is another story that takes place in the magical town of Christmas, that I so want to visit by the way. Its main characters are Virginia Underwood, a wonderfully kind, caring woman, that lives to care for those that need help. But no matter how kind she is, some people just haven't been able to look beyond some of her other odd behaviors. Theodore O’Hanlon, however, is not known to be so kind, at least not since returning from war. He has come to the town of Christmas to heal in peace, without his friends or family, or anyone really knowing that he is there. He has great plans to stay to himself and not see other people, until he meets Virginia, and then nothing seems to go as he had planned. However somethings just turn out better when the plans change. This was another great read from Erica Ridley, that I would say "Yes go out and buy!" Cant wait for the next one.
Cali-Jewel 7 months ago
Highly entertaining and engaging romance that had me very invested in this journey and would not let go... loved this sweetly sexy passion. Great reading.
CaroleBurant57 7 months ago
What an absolutely amazing and heartfelt story this is! Theodore is a wounded war hero hiding out in a small village called "Christmas" and there he meets the delightfully open and funny Virginia who barrels her way into his life and decides to be his nurse and care for him as she does all the strays that she finds. Their story will make you smile, laugh, cry, swoon....and fall in love with Duke...the cat! I can't say enough how much I enjoyed reading this book!! I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Detaildi 7 months ago
Never Say Duke is another heartwarming read in Erica Ridley’s 12 Dukes of Christmas series. This is book 4 set in the village of Cressmouth, where Christmas is celebrated all year round. I received an ARC from the author and offer this voluntary and unbiased review. Viscount Ormondton, Theodore O’Hanlon, is a wounded war hero who secludes himself at his friend, the Duke of Azureford’s cottage in Cressmouth, so that he may recover from his injuries. Virginia Underwood, a supporting character in previous works in the series, takes delight in rescuing and healing stray animals. She doesn’t do well in social situations. Virginia meets Theo when she goes inside the cottage to rescue her cat, Duke, who went inside through an opened window. Though Theo is grumpy and irascible with her, Virginia is undeterred in coming on a daily basis to aid in his recovery. In many respects, the background histories of each of them were on parallel paths. Theo wanted to be useful. His father would not let him help in maintaining or doing things for the benefit of the estate so he went off to war where he could serve a purpose. Virginia’s parents were harsher with her. As she was different from most young misses of the time, she was barred from doing almost everything. She wanted to be accepted for who she was, not rejected for who she was not, so she was pushed away. I loved how the romance between Theo and Virginia slowly blossomed. Theo innately understood Virginia and why she talked and acted the way she did. He made her feel like she mattered, which she had never felt before. This is a standalone work and not necessary to read the previous offerings in the series. It is a lovely, sweet, heartwarming romance and I highly recommend it. Worth 4 ½ stars. Reasons why I enjoyed this book: it had a happily ever after, wonderful characters, was whimsical, romantic, witty, original, and entertaining.
DiiFL 8 months ago
Welcome back to Christmas, where the magic of the town is surpassed only by the magic of love! NEVER SAY DUKE by Erica Ridley is one more sweet and sexy romance that brings two lonely souls together to find their surprise happily ever after! High on heartwarming interactions and actually low on drama, one injured soldier seeks a quiet and secluded place to recover only to find a quirky and delightful woman who won’t take no for an answer! Theodore only wanted to be left alone, depressed, severely wounded and feeling “less” than what he was. Virginia was the family embarrassment, she danced to a different drum and escaped to Christmas to live the life she cared about, free of the pain her family inflicted. When Virginia’s caring heart sees the hidden wounds Theodore carries, she begins her own campaign to break down his walls and help him heal, in spite of his attempts to push her away. I loved Virginia! She is that diamond that only needs the right light to sparkle and sparkle she does! And again, Erica Ridley makes historical romance just a little bit brighter, heartwarming and simply sweet! I received a complimentary copy from WebMotion!
Anonymous 9 months ago
My favourite so far, although I have to say the cover bears little resemblance to the plot. Theodore, Viscount Ormondton, has returned from the war scarred and unable to walk. Refusing to see friends and family he has hidden himself away at his friend the Duke of Azureford's cottage in the little village of Christmas with the servants sworn to absolute secrecy. Virginia Underwood has taken refuge in Christmas after fleeing a lunatic asylum. She has a fear of noise and crowds and keeps mainly to herself, tending to wounded animals she finds around the castle. Taking her cat Duke for his morning constitutional he jumps into an open window and meets Theo. Virginia knows that she can use her experience of healing animals to help Theo and slowly, with Theo's grudging assistance, she helps him strengthen his bad leg and start to use crutches. As love blooms between our wounded hero and our reluctant heroine the real world intrudes, can true love overcome? I loved this from start to finish. Although Virginia is socially awkward she is never so gauche that the reader loses sympathy for her. Although Theo wants to hide away he soon looks forward to Virginia's visit and learns to love her devil cat. Just a glorious romance from start to finish. I received a free copy of this book from the author via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
GiselaCZ 9 months ago
Sweet like ice-cream. This is one of the books in the series about a little town called Christmas. The books can all be read as stand alone but I find that I get more out of the story if I've read the previous ones as there are people around the main characters that make them part of the whole. I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet, funny and at the same time deep story about fear and rejection. Definitely worth a read.
Darlene491 9 months ago
Book four in the 12 Dukes of Christmas series is here. Never Say Duke hit booksellers shelves on January 5th. Not having read any of the previous stories in this series I had no expectations, only a fresh set of eyes. I'm enchanted. Erica Ridley has a new fan. Theodore "Theo" O'Hanlon, Viscount Ormondton, is a military man, devoted and proud. A horrific battlefield wound has him on his way back to England, discharged from service, unhappy and looking for a place to hide out and heal. A friend of his has loaned him a cottage on his estate, a few servants and the promise of anonymity while he recuperates. When his family finds out he's back in England, he'll be expected to take his place in society. This includes becoming betrothed to the woman picked out for him when he was a child. He wants to be at his best when he has to tackle this change in his life. Miss Virginia Underwood is a lovely young lady headed for spinsterhood on the express train. She's lived in the village of Christmas for some 6 years now. She's carved out a life for herself with friends, a place to live and a purpose in life. Virginia rescues wounded animals and nurses them back to health. She has a way with animals, they take to her and she to them, they are much, much easier to deal with than people. Theo is a wounded soul that she feels the need to help on his way to recovery. She has a huge secret, not even her friends in Christmas know. I also suspect that she suffers from Asperger Syndrome, making her socially awkward. This is unforgivable in the world of the ton. You may start reading this story for the plot and romance, which are great, but you'll stay for the cat. I had the privilege of receiving an advance copy, ARC, of this sweet story. I enjoyed it very much and consider it a pleasure to share my opinion with you. Both are free and without obligation. Enjoy the happy ending, it's lovely. #12dukesofchristmas #neversayduke #@ericaridley #netgalley
DebbieBorthwick 9 months ago
This was a fun book to read in the 12 Dukes of Christmas series. It was great to see Virginia in her own story, I love series because you get to see some of the same characters again. I enjoyed this book because Virginia is so strong and says what she thinks, she doesn't play games and hide her emotions. And being that way helped Theo open up and heal. The chemistry between the two of them has you rooting for them from the start. And of course, Duke the cat is the perfect addition to the story! I received an advanced copy so I could volunteer my honest opinion about the book. I recommend it, and I recommend all the books in the series, so far.
grandmareads102 9 months ago
Virginia Underwood was discarded by her parents. They had no love for their eldest daughter. When she escaped from the asylum where they sent her, she found her way to the village of Christmas. Here she keeps to herself and helps save strays. She has found acceptance here. When her roguish cat, Duke, decides to pay an unannounced visit, Virginia meets Theodore O'Hanlon, Viscount Ormondton. He has come here to heal after being severely injured in the war. He wants to be left alone to brood which is impossible with Virginia around. From the first meeting I could feel their spark of attraction. They have common ground - parental expectations. It was unbelievable how Virginia's parents acted when she didn't make an advantageous match. I admired how she created a life without them. She's a capable woman with a loving heart. Mr. T doesn't want to see people until he's healed from his injuries . He's understandably upset about his upcoming engagement. I laughed at his first encounter with Virginia and Duke. It was a pleasure to see them grow together and find love. I was glad that Theodore was strong enough to ignore family and society's expectations and go for love. I am always happy visiting Christmas. It's nice seeing familiar people. Romance and HEA are always possible here. Erica Ridley writes such strong characters. They leave an impression with their passion and sassy dialogue. I'm looking forward to the next 12 Dukes of Christmas story. I received a copy of this book which I voluntarily read and reviewed. My comments are my honest opinion.
Historical_Romance_Lover 9 months ago
I really enjoyed Theodore and Virginia's story! Theodore is convalescing in a friend's home when he meets Virginia. She is forever tending to injured animals and has decided to take Theodore under her wing too. Over the course of his recovery, both Theodore and Virginia come to have feelings for each other. I love watching these two fall in love!! This was a great addition to the 12 Dukes of Christmas series!
Ajgray 9 months ago
This is a well written love story about a young woman who does meet her parents expectations in the marriage mart and is placed in an asylum and forgotten. After three years she escapes to the village of Christmas where she encounters Theo, a young Viscount, who has been badly injured in the war in France. The story tells of her helping in his recovery and their falling in love. There is a lot that happens before they have their HEA and the story is sad at times especially when she feels as if she is disposable and unworthy. I would highly recommend this book as a great read and is appropriate for any age group. Duke, the cat, plays an important and comical role throughout the entire book.
michealep91 9 months ago
Another sweet, sensitive read . Each one of Erica's 'Dukes" stories seems to be better than the last. She has a gift for writing like few have. This story is able to be read in 1-2 sittings, yet you don't feel "cheated" out of anything important. I highly recommend every book in this series!❤
georgia1 9 months ago
Just when I think I have read the best book in this series, another one comes along that seems even better! Of course it is my favorite trope of the wounded hero who needs to find love and happiness. A cottage, a black cat and a town names Christmas finds Major Theodore, Viscount Ormondton, arriving in the town to stay in his friend's cottage and lay low. He has to recover from his mental and physical wounds from the war before he can return to society and take his position. But who should find him but a cat named Duke and then to follow his owner, lovely Virginia Underwood who lives in the town. Virginia has her own past and wounds to deal with but she has a wonderful nurturing nature that immediately draws her to Theodore to help him heal. As they get to know each other, truths are revealed about her background which just touch the heart. There are many twists and turns as these two find out about each other and it seems impossible for them to be together. Can they find their happy ending? As all of the other stories in this series, there was humor, a zany cat and two wonderful characters that will reach out to you from the pages!! Lori Dykes
clarkws 9 months ago
Never Say Duke is the fourth book in the 12 Dukes of Christmas regency romance series. I have to say that so far this one is my favorite. This is a very powerful story of two people who have endured great suffering and found each other through it. I love how Ridley even weaves poetry from an author of that time in her book. Matilda Betham ( 1776-1852) was a poetess and portrait painter in England. Ridley incorporates a book of poetry by Betham into this magical tale.The poem “The Heir” is a focal point. “Long kept in exile by paternal pride, He feels no joy beneath this splendid dome; For, till the elder child of promise died, He knew a dearer, though a humbler home.” The hero Theodore O’Hanlon, Major Viscount Ormondton is vulnerable and believable as a character. “She tried not to notice. He was distractingly handsome. The strong jaw, she suspected he shaved himself. Well-defined muscles from riding horses into battle and rolling his chair across thick carpets. He wore no cravat and one leg of his breeches had been sliced to the knee. The state of semi-undress made him seem at once more powerful and more vulnerable.” I especially liked the heroine’s character Virginia Underwood. She is a mixture of strong independent woman and suffering, fearful miss. Virginia is a complex character. I love one of her lines “Scars aren’t evidence of failure,”she said softly. “They are proof of survival.” The romance is sweet and not steamy. I think Ridley has knocked this one out of the park. I am sure I will be reading it again and again.
PegC51 9 months ago
Theodore O’Hanlon, Major Viscount Ormondton, has come to Cressmouth, the year-round Christmas Town, to recover in anonymity from the horrible wounds he received in the war. Miss Virginia Underwood has lived in the town’s castle since she escaped the asylum she was sent to by her parents when her social anxiety behavior embarrassed them in the Ton. Theo and Virginia meet when she rescues Duke, her cat, who has come into the cottage through an open window. Virginia loves rescuing and helping injured strays. Upon seeing his wounds, she makes him her next patient. Theo doesn’t want help, but she persists. As they spend time together, they become friends and begin to fall in love. Neither believes anything can come from their attraction. His sense of duty to his title and her abject fear of going back into Society stand firmly in the way of a future together. Or do they? It doesn’t seem possible, but this is Christmas. Never Say Duke is the fourth book in the 12 Dukes of Christmas series. Healing and humor make this a warm sweet story. There are few very nice surprises. The characters are wonderful. Theo is handsome, courageous, honorable, and a little stubborn. Virginia is beautiful inside and out. She is kind and caring, if uncertain and a little fearful. They are both patient and understanding with each other. Swinton, the butler, and Duke, the cat, are the perfect pair to look after our hero and heroine. I loved this story and will try to wait patiently for the next book in this series. I recommend this book and the series to anyone who enjoys a happy story.
ViperSpaulding 9 months ago
Virginia is a delightfully unique heroine! Theo has sequestered himself at his friend's remote guest house, hoping to recover from his crippling war wounds in complete privacy. Virginia has devoted her life to rescuing and rehabbing all sorts of wounded animals, and she sees Theo as just another creature needing her help. Neither one expects that they could develop anything more than a nurse/patient relationship, since Theo is expected to marry the woman his father chose years ago, and Virginia knows there's absolutely no way she'd ever be accepted in Theo's titled life. I love how the author described just enough of Virginia's atypical personality traits to give us an understanding that she'd fall somewhere on the autism spectrum today, without anachronistically giving us an actual label or diagnosis. Theo's tender insight into how to make her comfortable around him was very sweet, and the epitome of gentlemanly behavior. That he would want to shows just how quickly he fell for her, long before he could even admit it to himself. It was refreshing to see Virginia completely accepted for who - and h0w - she is in the charming community of Christmas. Even so, the epilogue was even more satisfying and did much to right the wrongs that she had endured. It's a wonderful romance, and my favorite of this series so far. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
Sunshine1006 9 months ago
This is the fourth book in the Twelve Dukes of Christmas series. This is Miss Virginia's story. Virginia always takes in strays. She donated the partridge for the aviary in Christmas. Sometimes things she says don't always make sense to anyone but her. Her cat, Duke can never resist an open window. While she was taking a walk, Duke goes into Lord Azureford's cottage. He is not at home but someone else is there. It's Theodore, Lord Ormondton. He is there, anonymously, recovering from war injuries before he goes to London. She goes in to get Duke and sees his bandages. She thinks he is the most handsome man she has ever seen despite his face being scarred. Virginia starts helping him with recovery even if he doesn't want it.  The more she visits, the more they care for each other. She never wants to go back to London and society and he is to become betrothed to someone whom their parents have picked out. She will never marry. Her secrets and abandonment issues will prevent it. She will live forever in the castle in Christmas, seeing her few friends when they are there. When his recovery is complete and he readies to leave for London to take up his duties, will be be able to leave Virginia? This is my favorite book so far. I loved all the the characters, especially Duke. The interactions between the H & H was magical. I received this book from Net Galley and WebMotion for a honest review. The opinions are my own. 5+
McM0mmy-PW 9 months ago
So far, this series has not disappointed! Theodore is hiding out in Christmas to recover from his war wounds. Virginia has escaped her life by living in Christmas. This is the story of them both learning to face their fears and learn to live life which they do while falling in love. I loved Duke, the cat. His high-jinks were funny throughout the book. Swinton, the Duke of Azureford's butler stole the show for me! Thank you for the advanced copy. This is a series that I will be sad when it ends!
CathyGeha 9 months ago
Never Say Duke by Erica Ridley 12 Dukes of Christmas #4 What an interesting tale this book proved to be! With an injured Viscount and a woman born to heal the match seems to be made in heaven...or...not? Theodore O’Hanlon, Viscount Ormondton arrives in Christmas to deal with wounds sustained on the battlefield. He has plans to hide out till he can return to society and take the position his father has created for him long ago...a position that includes a woman as wife that he really has no interest in. Little does he know that a black cat named Duke will change his life forever once Duke’s mistress arrives on the scene to collect him. Virginia Underwood has been away from society for almost a decade and lives to help injured animals whether feathered or furry. Meeting Theodore she realizes he will be her next challenge. As the two spend time together she helps him heal not only physically but also emotionally. How the two arrive at their HEA is a pleasure to read and the part Duke plays in their story provides that lighter element that eases their way. Thank you to the author for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4 Stars
Kristen Bergh-Lewendon 9 months ago
I loved having this chance to finally get to know Virginia better. Her roll in the previous books had left me thinking she was a bit of an odd duck. And, while she isn’t the typical Regency woman, all her cryptic comments and actions now make much more sense. She’s been hiding so much strength, passion, and a heartbreaking vulnerability. Theodore is every inch the strong, silent, noble man – not just a nobleman. A war hero who deeply values his honor, he’s a little at a loss when he’s sidelined by his injuries and Virginia forces him to accept her help as his nursemaid. (And that of Duke, her temperamental cat with more personality than this book can hold.) I loved this pair together. Watching them open up to one another liquified my gooey marshmallow heart. I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book from the author through NetGalley.
nku 9 months ago
Never Say Duke (12 Dukes of Christmas, #4) by Erica Ridley I absolutely love this series...Thank you Erica for letting me review this book. Virginia Underwood(collects wildlife strays and fixes them ..she is some what of a stray herself) Theodore O'Hanlon (Major Viscount Ormondton.. wounded in war and hiding out in Christmas to heal) Virginia takes on healing him and they heal each other. There is Duke the cat and other animals ... Plenty of feelings, laughs, some tears, and romance all leading to a very HEA. I can't wait to read DUKES, ACTUALLY the next book in the series. Reasons I enjoyed this book: Easy-to-read Entertaining Funny Great world building Happily Ever After Page-turner Romantic Whimsical Wonderful characters
Lashea677 9 months ago
She's at her strongest when helping the weakest. He needs her to help him heal. She needs his hope to help her survive. What began as an inconvenience could be a gift unlike any other. Never Say Duke is a wondrous tale of second chances. Ridley casts a spell that is unbreakable in it's magic and irresistibly fabulous romance. A showstopper with the heart of a champion.
Lesley Walsh 9 months ago
Sweetly Engrossing. Virginia I guess falls somewhere on the autism spectrum. Her family abandoned her due to her social awkwardness but years later she has managed to make a life for herself despite them. She is an unusual woman and has a talent for healing broken animals, such as Duke the cat, who thinks he’s a dog, and a partridge she has named Dancer. When Duke’s antics lead her to discovering an injured man, she uses her talents to heal him and in the process they fall in love. I loved this story and how all the loose ends were neatly tied up in the last chapters. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.