Once Upon a Duke

Once Upon a Duke

by Erica Ridley

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Beware romantic spirits from Christmas past...

Due to the terms of an estranged relative's will, the Duke of Silkridge must revisit the cold, unforgiving mountains where he lost everything he once loved. As soon as he restores his family legacy, he'll return to London where he belongs. He definitely won't rekindle the forbidden spark crackling between him and the irresistible spitfire he'd left behind...

Noelle Pratchett is immune to charming scoundrels like the arrogant duke. He stole her heart, stole a kiss, and then stole away one night never to return. Now he's back--and they both know he won't stay. But how can she maintain her icy shields when every heated glance melts her to her core?

The 12 Dukes of Christmas is a laugh-out-loud historical romance series of heartwarming Regency romps nestled in a picturesque snow-covered village. After all, nothing heats up a winter night quite like finding oneself in the arms of a duke!

Product Details

BN ID: 2940162058762
Publisher: WebMotion
Publication date: 10/09/2018
Series: 12 Dukes of Christmas , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 29,425
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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Once Upon a Duke 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A cute Christmassy story about a Scroogish Duke and the Christmas sprite who teaches him
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anything can happen in Cressmouth ... sorry ... Christmas. Great introduction to the town and people. And to Noelle and the Duke.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not my favorite
ViperSpaulding More than 1 year ago
Wonderful Scrooge-inspired romance! This is set in January, so it's definitely NOT a Christmas story. At least that's what Benjamin keeps telling himself, and anyone who will listen. But in the lovely remote town of Cressmouth, Christmas is a perpetual state of mind, all thanks to Bejamin's grandfather, whose recent passing draws Benjamin out of his London duties and far outside his comfort zone. He's determined to recover his mother's locket, and equally determined to avoid any personal entanglements that might delay his immediate return to London. Awww, but with such a setup, how can we not enjoy every single one of the unforeseen delays that keep him on his toes? The most delightful delay is, of course, the highly-competent Noelle, a very grown-up version of the girl he left behind years before. Noelle challenges him and surprises him all while trying to keep her heart safely tucked away so she doesn't fall for him again. The emotions run high in this beautiful story of love and loss, and what makes a family. It's not just a romance between the dapper Duke of Silkridge and the lovely Noelle, it's also a love story between the reader and the slightly eccentric but warm-hearted residents of Christmas, making us all feel included in the very happy ending.
Mary17 More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. There was one scene in the book for adult audiences.
AmyWeidenaar More than 1 year ago
Erica Ridley does an amazing job at taking one character (the Duke's grandfather) and showing how an entire town could love and idolize him while at the same time, he was cruel and cut ties with his grandson. She blends the consequences of the past with the pain of the present and allows her characters to slowly heal. She makes her characters unique and their situations true to their time with a touch of being able to envision even today. I truly loved this book and as it is set just after Christmas in a town known as Christmas, it is a PERFECT holiday read for any historical romance fan. Thank you to Erica Ridley, WebMotion, and NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this book and share my honest thoughts and opinions with others.
Lesley Walsh More than 1 year ago
A sweet tale of a Duke allowing love into his life. In the past he has closed himself off from all emotion, due to the loss of his parents but a return to the village of Cressmouth, better known as Christmas, reunites him with the one woman who breaks through his icy exterior. I voluntarily read and reviewed a giveaway copy of this book, gifted by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read.
mscountrylace More than 1 year ago
This story definitely had me laughing throughout the whole book. This story takes on A Christmas Story vibes because everyone is happy to live in Christmas (Cressmouth). The town is full of unique and fun people that will win you over and have you in the Christmas spirit. That spark from 5 years before is still there and no matter what they tell themselves it is going to get stronger. They quickly realized they couldn't let go of those feelings and that the Christmas spirit was bringing them together.  Noelle is magical in her own way. She does the work of multiple people and does it quickly. She knew something had caused him to leave before and understood once he told her everything. I loved her right away because she instantly makes you smile with how she does things and talks to him. Benjamin hates Christmas because it brings back horrible memories of pasts Christmases. He broke my heart because of how much he desperately wanted that heirloom. The Christmas spirit slowly lightened him up the longer he was there. He found what he really needed. Copy provided for an honest and voluntary review
Brigittehf More than 1 year ago
This is a charming and humourous historical romance set in the cold, picturesque and remote village of Cressmouth. Benjamin is a Duke who is dedicated to his role in the House of Lords. Between looking after his estate and his official duties, he doesn't have time for much else. Noelle has only known one home. Cressmouth. It's a close knit community where it's Christmas all year round. She works hard to play her role in this community that she loves. Benjamin left Cressmouth five years ago and had no intention of returning. His only good memory of the place is Noelle. Before, he left, he was robbed of his most treasured family heirloom. He now has the chance to retrieve his family legacy and makes the journey to Cressmouth where Christmas is still being celebrated. He doesn't celebrate Christmas. It only brings bad memories. He hates the jolly atmosphere and his only reprieve is Noelle! It doesn't matter as he has no intention of staying, but the reading of the Will gives him no choice, but to stay and complete a task before he can claim his legacy! He finds himself working alongside Noelle and as hard as he tries, he is a unable to stay away from her. Memories of the past come flooding back, but he doesn't want a repeat of what happened before. If only their situation were different and the society wasn't so rigid in its expectations. He is impressed by Noelle's abilities and the numerous tasks that she undertakes in the castle. She fights her feelings too, but finds herself doing little things that mean a lot to him. She also finds a different side to him and the real reason why he left without saying goodbye. Will history repeat itself or will they find a way to give their hearts what they want? This is an easy to read story. It's humourous, but there is angst too. The inhabitants of Cressmouth are a jolly bunch. They also have a strong tie with one another. Noelle considers everyone to be family and nothing makes her happier than to make everyone happy. She is kind and understanding and is willing to put her heart on the line once again. Benjamin doesn't fare any better, but they both decide to fight for their hearts desire and it proves to be more than worth it. It's an entertaining and festive read and would appeal to fans of historical romance. I was kindly issued with an eARC and the views expressed are my personal opinion.
Cali-Jewel More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully quirky, witty and fun Christmas story. This romantic journey is filled with sweetly endearing charters, picturesque countryside and undeniable passion.... really enjoyed reading this! She is a smart, sweet and charming woman that practically runs this small town, he is only back due to the terms of a will that have to be honored.... He once disappeared with out warning, now she knows he is only in town temporarily. Loved the charming banter and exciting twists.
NicNor-5560 More than 1 year ago
I received a copy from NetGalley via the author, and then I bought it; this is my honest review. #12dukes #NetGalley -Fun, quick read. No drama, just a bit of looking back at past mistakes on both sides. Love the people in the village. -I loved the end where Benjamin and Noelle come to the same conclusion in totally different ways. -I thought the idea of the 12 dukes of Christmas hilarious. The now-deaf man (forgot his name) was an even more rib-tickling idea.
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Cressmouth, England, may be considered the happiest place on earth by many, but not by Benjamin Ward, the Duke of Silkridge. It reminds him of his Grandfather's betrayal. Noelle Pratchett loves living in this holiday world. She cares for the friendly people and enjoys the feeling of being needed. Both remember the kiss they shared. Even though it was five years ago, the magic still remains among their broken dreams. Can they get a second chance at a HEA? I enjoyed Once Upon A Duke. The interaction between Benjamin and Noelle is both sweet and sassy. Sparks fly whenever these two are near each other. I loves these characters. They draw you into the story and make you want them to find happiness. The setting is over the top and the dialogue is filled with humor and sweetness. Erica Ridley did a wonderful job. I enjoyed my visit to Cressmouth. The first book in the 12 Dukes of Christmas series is an enchanting romp filled with sweet romance and rollicking humor.
DebbieBorthwick More than 1 year ago
I think this is going to be an amazing series! I loved this book and look forward to reading the other 11 dukes’ stories. I loved all the references to Dickens’ novella ‘A Christmas Carol’ even though this story takes place in regency times, a few decades before Dickens wrote his book. A fun book, I definitely recommend it. I was gifted an advanced copy so I could voluntarily offer my honest review.
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Noelle and Benjamin's story. It was a reunion story, which is always one of my favorites! Benjamin has had everything he loved taken away from him at Christmas time. He refuses to celebrate the holiday because of this. So when he travels north for the reading of his grandfather's will and the town celebrates Christmas year around, he can't wait to get out of there. Too bad his grandfather put stipulations on his inheritance. Now he must complete a task or never get the one thing that ever meant anything to him back. Noelle's former love is back in town, but she is not about to be hurt again when he leaves. But as they spend more and more time together, she can't help but fall back under his spell. Can these former sweethearts find their way back to each other? This was a nice read to get you into the holiday season! I can't wait to read about the other 11 Dukes!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A delightful page-turner! Noelle and Benjamin are different; yet share intriguingly similar pasts/pains. Both searching for an elusive, something. Love the whimsical satire and the enticing dialog. Wise, intelligent, alpha characters, men and women, along with an enjoyable plot makes for a satisfying start to this series. Voluntarily read ARC, through Netgalley and publisher, for honest review
PegC51 More than 1 year ago
Once Upon a Duke takes place in Cressmouth, a beautiful little village in the far northern part of England where Christmas is celebrated year-round. Benjamin, Duke of Silkridge, hates Cressmouth and Christmas, the place and time he lost his parents. He left five years ago, fed up his grandfather, Cressmouth, and Christmas. He has returned for one reason, to hear his grandfather’s will and receive his mother’s locket. It would be a short stay. Hear the will, get the locket, leave for good. Easy, right? It might have been if there wasn’t a ridiculous condition for receiving his locket, and if he didn’t have to be close to Noelle Pratchett, the girl he kissed and left (no why or goodbye). A festive setting and a quirky cast of characters led by Ben and Noelle make this a charming Christmas tale (even if it is January). Fuzzy Wig, the clerk; Tiny Tim, the pigmy goat; and a partridge in a pear tree are some of the humorous, not-so-subtle allusions to some favorite characters and stories. Ben is a perfect Scrooge, and Noelle is Christmas Spirit(s) personified. The story is full of wit and romance. Ben and Noelle get a second chance for love. Will they take it? This is a delightful story and a wonderful start for the new series. I enjoyed it and look forward to the next one.
georgia1 More than 1 year ago
A delightful story that will warm your heart. Who does not like a Christmas story? I love them any time of the year and although this took place in January after the holiday, it was set in Cressmouth where Christmas is celebrated all year long. Benjamin, the Duke of Silkridge, returns to the town after he receives word of the death of his grandfather. He had left over 5 years ago and was reluctant to return. Of course, he runs into Noelle, who he had left after he had kissed her. This story was a take on the Dickens Christmas Carol with Benjamin being the bah humbug Scrooge! He had not wanted to return to the town but Noelle, helped him to take an interest in the town and the people. Erica Ridley always creates wonderful characters and settings and this was no exception. Full of humor, romance and a chance at love although their stations in life were so different. Can they bridge that gap and find a happy ending? Will Benjamin grow to love the town and want to stay? You do not want to miss this entertaining story that will having you waiting impatiently for the next in the series.. Lori Dykes
Aquamarine1951 More than 1 year ago
Erica Rigley has done it again. This first book in her new Twelve Dukes of Christmas series is a Winner! The storyline is a very loose take on the classic “Scrooge”. It is romantic, witty and an enjoyable story. Ben and Noelle are such an engaging couple once Ben gets over his “humbug” outlook. Noelle is a ray of sunshine and light as well as being witty, smart and just perfect. Ben as the Duke is all business and “scrooge” like. For personal reasons he has no Christmas spirit, hates the snow-covered village of Cressmouth that was his grandfather’s home and wants nothing more than to return to London. These two have undeniable and great chemistry. Ms. Ridley is an expert story teller and creates wonderful characters and romantic plots. I loved her secondary characters of Penelope Mitchell and “Fuzzy Wig” Fawkes. I also enjoyed the epilogue. I never give storyline specifics in my reviews because writing is an author’s livelihood. The book was an exceptional and feel good read. I highly recommend this first book in her new series and look forward to book 2. I received an ARC of this book from the author. It was a pleasure to give my honest opinion about the book.
clarkws More than 1 year ago
Once Upon a Duke by Erica Ridley is part of the 12 Dukes of Christmas historical romance series. I really enjoyed this book. Ridley is a master of historical romance. I especially felt drawn to the heroine Noelle Pratchett. She lives in a snowy mountain village called Cressmouth in the northern part of England. Benjamin Ward, the fifth Duke of Silkridge, returns for the probate of his grandfather’s will. He and Noelle had a brief romance in the past. Is it possible for something to spring to life again or has too much time past? I love all of Ms. Ridley’s books. This one was a very good holiday romance.
CathyGeha More than 1 year ago
Once Upon a Duke by Erica Ridley The Twelve Dukes of Christmas #1 What a delightful story! With snippets that reminded me of fairytales, plays, movies and Christmases past this story was a joy from beginning to end :) Okay…there may have been some angst and drama and lovelorn looks but what a joy this was to read today! Second chances at love do occur but only when people are willing to open not only their hearts but their minds to what is truly important and then take the steps necessary to move into that happy place they thought would never occur for them. Benjamin and Noelle have not seen one another for five years but neither has stopped thinking about the other. Will the reading of the will of his grandfather finally give him peace or is there more that is required? I am smiling as I type. I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this story and look forward to reading the next one in the series as soon as I can get my hands on it! And the twelve dukes? Smiling some more as I think about the ones I have met in this book already :) Thank you to the author for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars
Sunshine1006 More than 1 year ago
Benjamin, Lord Silkridge is coming back to Cressmouth, England for the reading of his Grandfather's will. He and his grandfather had a disagreement years before and he left.. His only life now is in London. When he left Cressmouth, he left a big part of his life. It was a girl named Noelle. She was an orphan left on the steps of his grandfather's house, raised and treated as a daughter by him. Benjamin doesn't celebrate Christmas and coming back to a place that has the Christmas spirit all year round is hard for him. So many bad things happened to him at Christmas. He wants a locket that he can only have at his grandfather's death, but there are certain things that he has to do before he can inherit it.. Once he does that, he plans to leave and never come back. Will the locket be all that he hopes? What about Noelle? Will he be able to leave her again? I started reading this book and thought that I was definitely undecided about it. Tiny Tim, Noelle, partridges and Christmastide in the middle of January? The more I read, the more I liked it. I am not a Christmas person and it is October but I am now in the spirit due to this book.There is so much more to this story but I don't want to give away too much. I quite enjoyed it and now I have to read the rest of the books in this series. I received this book from Net Galley and the publisher for a honest review and no compensation otherwise. The opinions expressed are my own.
McM0mmy-PW More than 1 year ago
I loved the village! The people are amazing who live there. Benjamin is seriously a "Scrooge" and Noelle is all the ghosts in 1, yet not dead. I really liked the story but have many questions left after reading it! We never got a good idea of WHY his uncle did what he did and made Benjamin build an aviary. There was no "clearing up" anything. Also, we only found out about 2 of the dukes in the town, yet everyone talks about how there's a dozen. I did like the book and will read more into the series, I just don't like unanswered questions! Thank you for the advanced copy.