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Once Upon a Duke (12 Dukes of Christmas #1)
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Once Upon a Duke

(12 Dukes of Christmas #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  730 ratings  ·  200 reviews
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 rights his family legacy, he'll return to London where he belongs. He definitely won't rekindle the forbidden spark crackling between him and the irresistib
Kindle Edition, 212 pages
Published October 9th 2018 by WebMotion
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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My favorite Erica Ridley yet! This was a Christmas book that combines a lesson of Christmas spirit to be learned with a second chance romance - two of my favorite things!

In a world where nothing lasted, it was better not to try, not to be disappointed, not the get hurt.

Benjamin Ward, Duke of Silkridge, has every reason to hate Christmas. The season is associated with tragedy and the worst of memories, and now he is forced to return to his grandfather's Christmas village (no kidding, the man
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I unintentionally read this book out of order it is numbered in the series. I started with the second book, which I enjoyed the most, followed by the third book, as it was a close continuation of the second one, then read this one. Of the three, I enjoyed this the least. It isn't bad, but in comparison I didn't like it as much. Maybe I read too many of these in a row. I guess I need to space my romance books out more.

The romance was sweet and a tad spicy, as the others were as well.
Maggie Whitworth
A modern Christmas fairytale , based on the Classic , Christmas Carol .
It’s different and Quirky, and to be honest not my sort of thing , but I enjoyed the read .
The main characters are interesting and have well developed personalities, the setting is seasonal, though for me a bit too cheesy.
I love Christmas stories, and this did tick a lot of the write boxes , but for me this is at most a 3 star. I received an advance copy of this book and chose to submit a review
A Scrooge-like Duke is no match for the spirit of the townsfolk of “Cressmouth,” or is that “Christmas?” Cozy up with Erica Ridley’s ONCE UPON A DUKE and ring in the Christmas (or is that Cressmouth) spirit as one dour duke returns to the home where he only knew pain in order to fulfill his late grandfather’s last wishes.

All Benjamin wants is to retrieve the last item he has to remember his mother and father, but his cold and calculating grandfather has made even that a painful experience, or is there more to
Nov 06, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The heroes have no depth. The storyline is very repetitive. The problems that keep the hero from being with heroin magically disappear (it must be Christmass magic), we dont see the attachment progressively building and why. We don’t understand why they are good for each other. Few dialogues between the heroe and the heroine. Everything is perfect in the village. Everyone excells at what he does, everyone is kind and happy. It reminds me of lord farquaad city in Shreak!
I couldn’t
By the time he'd learned she was an orphan far below his class, it no longer mattered. They were already inseparable. Too inseparable. Their friendship would have challenged Society more than enough. Their single stolen kiss had been so dramatically outside his control that it had sent him reeling. Retreat was the only safe path for them both. --Benjamin

3.5 stars

Hmm. Ultimately I guess I ended up liking this novel, but it was definitely a mission completing this one. The story follows Benjamin, Duke of Silkridg/>3.5
Benjamin, the Duke of Silkridge returns to the small town of Cressmouth (Christmas) for the reading of his Grandfather's will. He hates the town but desperately wants his mother's locket, which was taken from him by his grandfather before he was banished from Cressmouth. After the deaths of his beloved mother and father and his grandfather's behaviour Benjamin has devoted himself to his work in the House of Lords, after all if you don't love anyone they can't hurt you when they leave. What he is ...more
~Book Reviews by Trish~
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lili  (@lilikmarcus) Marcus
Benjamin Ward, Duke of Silkridge, has reasons to hate Christmas season and going back to Cressmouth a.k.a. Christmas is not making him happy. Everywhere he looks is Christmas even if its January. His estranged grandfather’s will forced him to come and he must obliged to get back the only relic that reminds him of his family. But going back means seeing someone he left behind years ago. Noelle Pratchett didn’t forget the man who stole her heart, stole her first kiss and then left her without so m ...more
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this story. But I have to confess, at times it was just a bit too much Christmas for me.

Both main characters are lovely and they both work towards their HEA. The witty banter and additional characters make it wonderful read on a cold autumn evening.

Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick and delightful read, if a little cheesy. Benjamin, now a duke, returns to his grandfather's mountain home for the reading of that estranged relation's will. Noelle, a beloved member of his grandfather's Christmas themed town, remembers Benjamin from before, and she also remembers his abrupt departure without a goodbye. Through this short story, Benjamin deals with his grandfather's final manipulation and learns to open himself up to the possibility of caring for another person a ...more
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
Regency where the people of Cressmouth England celebrated
Christmas year-round.

Benjamin (a Duke) thought himself cold, dutiful, emotion-
less. I'd add morose w/ 2 feet in the past. He devoted himself
to Parliament & not much else. He became reacquainted with
Noelle, who dwelled on being abandoned as a baby. She came
across as spirited, cheerful, selfless, and organized. She lived
in the castle @ Cressmouth as an employee. Benjamin hated
Christmas. He arrived @the castle with a specific
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you want to read a book that is romantic, emotional yet very funny and lighthearted then this is the perfect book for you. Set in the town of Cressmouth, lovingly known as Christmas, we meet a wonderful array of characters, not least Tiny Tim who you will love! The people of Christmas treat every day like it is indeed Christmas and it is Benjamin's worst nightmare.

Benjamin is the Duke of Silkridge, he has no reason to like or celebrate Christmas. He has been estranged from his gra
Once Upon a Duke was an enjoyable read with a second chance romance and a focus on a town’s love of Christmas.

Benjamin Ward, Duke of Silkridge, enjoys his life in London and has no intention of returning to the village his grandfather calls home. But after his grandfather’s death, Benjamin has a chance to reclaim a lost family heirloom and he will stop at nothing to get it. However, upon arriving in Cressmouth, Benjamin runs into Noelle Pratchett, the one woman who made him want more out
Mar 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This was fine. It was a bit too Christmas-tropey and a bit too lovely and wholesome. I mean, it basically is the epitome of a reconciliation story surrounded by Christmas spirit and community. It's reasonably well done, but it was just a bit too pat for me in the end. I wanted a few sharper edges, or something.

If you want a nice Christmas romance novella, this works. If you want something with a bit more depth, perhaps read this on another day.
Tanya Sridhar
3.5/5 solid stars.

I received an advance copy of the book from the author in exhange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book in any way.

Once Upon a Duke is a sweet, short and christmas heavy novella. If you're looking to curl up with a hot cup of cocoa, then this is a smooth, simple and angst free read. Give it a shot!
Oct 11, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: freebie
🎁 FREE on Amazon today (10/11/2019)! 🎁
Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Nice, sweet Christmas retelling, with a second chance romance and loads of Christmas spirit.
Being a hard-hearted woman, I usually avoid Christmas stories/movies and so on like the plague, but I made an exception because I got it as a freebie and it's Erica Ridley. Other "normal" readers will probably love it !
Tracy Emro
2.5 rounded up

Benjamin Ward, the Duke of Silkridge has returned to the one place he swore he would never go - the village of Cressmouth, the home of maternal his grandfather, Jacob Marlowe. He has come for one reason, to retrieve his mother's locket which holds the only portrait of her. His grandfather took it from him five years ago and refused to return it - he blamed Benjamin for his daughter's death and said he didn't deserve to have it. But now the man is dead and Benjamin wants
Vania Nunes
Benjamin Ward, the Duke of Silkridge, was on his way to the small town of Cressmouth, England, utterly grumpy. He had not been there for years, but with the death of his grandfather, he had to go to the reading of the will.
As he approached, the town, very cold at this time of year (January) had a strange feature: it seemed to have been frozen in the middle of Christmas.
The inhabitants - everyone knew each other - lived on this day, and even renamed the city of Christmas.
Ben had
***ARC was provided to me for a fair and honest review***

Overall rating: 3/5

Heroine (Noelle): 3/5 She is altogether the smartest person in town and a bit naive at the same time. She keeps the town going but thinks herself in love with a grumpy standoffish guy who for 99% of the book is unwilling to compromise for them. She too was likewise unwilling to compromise for the same length of time.

Hero (Benjamin): 3/5 A grumpy do-gooder duke who hates Christmas because of the losses he’s
Caitlyn Lynch
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency-georgian
First in Erica Ridley’s 12 Dukes of Christmas series (no, there aren’t 12 books - only 3, I believe) Once Upon A Duke introduces the village of Cressmouth, where a benevolent (but slightly bonkers) landowner has transformed a dying community into the embodiment of Christmas, year-round.

Into this charming, if twee, Christmas paradise erupts Benjamin, Duke of Silkwood, a man who (actually with justification) hates Christmas and everything it stands for. All he wants is a family heirloom stolen fr
Sophie (slovenianbookworm)
I’ve read Ridley’s book before and I’ve loved it.

This one, however, left me almost as cold as the mountains described.

It was annoying to read in every chapter how much Silkridge wanted to be gone as soon as he gets the heirloom and how much he hates Cressmouth. Oh, and by the way, everyone calls Cressmouth Christmas because apparently, it’s Christmas all year long. Everyone in the village is cheery, supportive and so on. Seriously?

I mean I’ve read books before
Lori D
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
Cathy Geha
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Rosemary K
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 interacti ...more
Sissy's Romance Book Review
"Once Upon a Duke" by Erica Ridley is the First book in the 12 Dukes of Christmas Series. This is the story of Benjamin, the Duke of Silkridge and Noelle Pratchett.
Benjamin is back at the village of Cressmouth in northern England where he abruptly left about 5 years ago...leaving behind Noelle. Now he is back to quickly hear his grandfather's will and get the family heirloom, his mother’s locket. But he learns there a stipulation he meet to fulfill the will that will keep him there longer
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story!
The more he tries to convince himself that he must leave, the more stable, reliable, competent and understanding she becomes. These are the traits and natures of our two main characters, Noelle and the Duke of Silkridge.
I will admit to quite a few laugh out loud moments especially every time when he is teased about the name of the town and the word Christmas. At the time he really didn't have much of a sense of humor about that.
This story is once again a well writte
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This combined the elements of a second chance Regency romance with a village saved from financial ruin by their transformation to a tourist destination hosting a year-round celebration of Christmas. There are lots of nods to A Christmas Carol thrown in, and a nice dose of quirky characters. Backstory and character development were provided when they served best to move the action forward. I especially enjoyed the grovel when the "Scrooge" had his change of heart.
I voluntarily read an advan
I love the historical romances from Erica Ridley! So my expectations for this book were high. Too high. I'm really not the humbug-type, but this was a bit too much Christmas spirit... ...for January. That, and Benjamin annoyed me. I think it was supposed to be funny and all the references to A Christmas Carol and Shakespeare are well found. For me it was just a bit too much.
Then why did I still finish the book and gave it 3 stars? Because it has the wonderful Erica Ridley writing style! ...more
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Erica Ridley is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of historical romance novels.

In the new 12 Dukes of Christmas series, enjoy witty, 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!

Her two most popular series, the Dukes of War and Rogues to Riches, featurand USA

Other books in the series

12 Dukes of Christmas (9 books)
  • Kiss of a Duke (12 Dukes of Christmas #2)
  • Wish Upon a Duke (12 Dukes of Christmas #3)
  • Never Say Duke (12 Dukes of Christmas #4)
  • Dukes, Actually (12 Dukes of Christmas # 5)
  • The Duke's Bride (12 Dukes of Christmas #6)
  • The Duke's Embrace (12 Dukes of Christmas #7)
  • The Duke's Desire (12 Dukes of Christmas #8)
  • Dawn with a Duke (12 Dukes of Christmas Book 9)
“With a sigh, she lifted her eyes to his. “I know why you’re leaving this time. You’re a duke. You have a duty to Parliament.” He gave a curt nod. Her next words were a whisper. “Why did you leave last time?” “Because I wanted to stay.” 0 likes
“Why do you hate Christmas?” she whispered. It was not the real question she meant, but much easier to ask than why do you keep leaving me?” 0 likes
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