Never Say Duke by Erica Ridley

Never Say Duke (12 Dukes of Christmas, #4)Never Say Duke by Erica Ridley
Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: 12 Dukes of Christmas, #4

Release Date: January 5, 2019

When Theodore O’Hanlon, Major Viscount Ormondton arrives at the Duke of Azureford’s cottage in Christmas, he expects to recover from his war injuries in peace and remain completely anonymous – but what he got was a cat named Duke who changed his entire life.

Virginia Underwood is a resident of Christmas and a nurturer by nature, she cannot resist rescuing strays or tending the wounded. So when her cat Duke invites himself into the Duke’s cottage and she finds Theodore, she insists on helping him – despite his refusal. Virginia has secrets and suffers from what appears to be Asperger’s Syndrome. She cannot abide crowds, bright light or loud noises.

Theodore is intrigued by Virginia and begins to look forward to her visits. They talk and she learns that he is expected to marry the daughter of his father’s friend – he will do it, because Theodore always keeps his promises and does his duty. But why is he beginning to question that decision?

The more time they spend together, the more she pushes him and under her care, he begins to heal, both physically and mentally. He learns more about her past, which is as shocking as is it heartbreaking. She loves Theodore, but when she learns who he really is, isn’t sure she could stand being part of his world, plus there is the little problem of the soon to be betrothed.

When it seems like they will finally have a HEA, a surprise visitor reminds Virginia why they can never be and a twist of fate gives her choices in her life – will she choose Theodore or will she let her past experiences ruin any chance for love?

This is a sweet story, that is well written and paced nicely. Theodore and Virginia are wonderful leads and Duke the cat is definitely a scene stealer, the love scenes are sweet (no heat) but there is a sizzling chemistry between them, there are lots of twists and turns, a hero that you will want for your own, a wonderful ending and an epilogue that will make you smile.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review of an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*

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Avid reader (and reviewer) of historical romance.

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