Cover Image: Dukes, Actually

Dukes, Actually

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Member Reviews

The Duke of Azureford  has Miss Carole Quincy  assist in his being more in line to woo an eligible spouse however these two find a spark they cannot hide.
Ebook from Netgalley and publishers with thanks. Opinions are entirely my own.
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This was a very cute and quick read.  The premise of opposites attract is an oldy but a goodie.  I loved how shy but determined the Duke of Azureford (Adam) is.  Carole on the other hand is bold and outgoing, together they are adorable.  I enjoyed the unique twist this book took with opposites attracting.  The characters and plot were so cute, I could not put it down.
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Erica Ridley has a way to get to get readers heart. In her books you will find great historical romance theme, sexy scenes, and of course a great historical background and plot. 
No matter what book you will pick by her... You will be left breathless after reading. That is how good she is.
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This is a well-written book which kept my attention throughout  ,I enjoyed reading this entertaining series
With captivating opposites in a small village setting , a lovely romance story. The characters are delightful and intriguing.

A book for a rainy Sunday afternoon

I was given an ARC of this book by Netgalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review
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So, while this was a Christmas themed release, I am presenting it in March.  Because I read it in March.  And it worked.  It wasn’t soooo Seasonal that it felt weird, and if Hallmark can run Christmas movies right now, I figured some of you wouldn’t mind a little Christmas book review.

The Christmas isn’t over the top, either.  There are some threads loosely tied to the Partridge in a Pear Tree song, and a couple of mentions to the Season, but other than that it easily could have been a New Years or late winter book.

I am so glad I picked this book to break my stall.  It was delightful, sweet, and featured absolutely lovable MCs with very little angst (perfect for the holiday season or a global pandemic).

The Duke is delicious.  Tall, dark and handsome, and super shy guy.  Cinnamon roll to a tea.  He enlists the help of his popular, charismatic neighbor to help him set up his billiard room and become the toast of local Society.  He is supportive, kind, and very intelligent.  All in all a sigh worth hero.

Carole is delightful, a bit like Emma in her duty to her father and popularity in her town.  She also is an avid draughtswoman and lover of maths.  I like that she has some depth of character but is not necessarily an obvious tortured type.

Along the help-another-find-a-lover trope lines, this book features a bit of holiday magic but mostly a lot of joy and sweet love.  This is a case of characters finding their complimentary match and making it work despite obstacles.

Most of the obstacles come in the form of personal reservations, including Carole’s decision to stay unwed.  I enjoyed how Ridley worked with this subtly and honestly, and the depression of Carole’s father. Although not much is shared about Carole’s father, it is clear he suffers from ongoing depression mainly as a result of his wife’s death.  Its a tough subject that isn’t given a lot of on page time, but I felt Ridley was nonetheless gentle with it.

Its kisses only with one scene that gets close to some heavy petting, but generally good for readers who prefer closed door intimacy.

I highly recommend this book for any season and readers who love a shy, cinnamon roll of hero and a whip smart, character of a heroine.

★★★★★★ 4.75 out of 6 Kisses only help-another-find-a-lover trope filled gooey historical with light Christmas/Seasonal Themes
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Wow this is filled with lots of sexy times with conflicting emotions, love, lust, and a little danger. This book is a must read!
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A thoroughly charming and uplifting romance.
Much of this story takes place in the Duke's library where, the shy and socially awkward, Adam and the girl next door become good friends and more. There are plenty of cute and funny moments that make the story lighthearted and I couldn't help but smile all the way through this book. A lovely romance and my favourite in the series so far.
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*Thank you NetGalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review*
This book follows Carole, a feminist interior designer, and Adam, a shy Duke, two characters I very much enjoyed. I like the way the romance built in the second half and the obvious care that Adam had for Carole and that all their physical encounters were very consensual. However, I felt like the book was very slow moving in the first third and did not really focus on the romance aspect as much as I would have liked it to. I also wish that the fortune teller that Adam meets would have been tied into the end of the story, as Adam references this occasion many times throughout the book. Overall, this was a fun read, but it isn't something that will stick with me.
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I always think every heroine in the Dukes series is my favorite until I read the next one but I REALLY love Carole. She is fun and a risk taker. She is not immune to the cuteness of her Duke neighbor. When the two are brought together to help the Duke improve his social graces and romantic sparks fly. Such a sweet story.
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“Dukes, Actually” (12 Dukes of Christmas #5) by Erica Ridley.  

The Duke of Azureford shyness is seen by many as arrogance and aloofness. But he has a plan to change other people’s opinions about him. First to learn how to flirt with woman. Two build a magnificent billiards room to entertain. 

Miss Carole Quincy is an outgoing and flirtatious Lady who sees no harm in helping the Duke with both learning how to flirt and also assist with the design of his new billiards room. Everyone wins. And what is the harm in some flirting lessons? 

This was an adorable read of opposites falling in love. I am likely to read this particular one story again. 

Star rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

[** I received “Dukes, Actually” (12 Dukes of Christmas #5) by Erica Ridley via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 
Thank you to publishers and Netgallery for the opportunity to review this book.]
#12dukes #NetGalley
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Carole loses her prized journal in Adam’s library during a party. Now six months later, she is on a mission: find her illustrated journal before someone else finds it and creates a scandal. Her biggest hurdle is to find an entry into Adam’s home. I thought the premise of the book was a little weak including the fortune teller who’s fortune is not mentioned again in the book in terms of its relevance. But I loved both Adam and Carole’s characters. They were sweet and utterly lovable and their story bringing out the holiday spirit. 

* I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher for an honest review*
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Always a winning author for me. Immersive world, steamy interactions, and a HEA. What more do you need?
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Captivating, opposites attract small village romance story. The characters are delightful and intriguing. The well-written book kept my attention throughout, enjoyed reading. I have voluntarily chosen to read and review this book.
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Another winner in this Christmas series!  Book 5  was just as magical and wonderful as the previous installments.  The main characters are interesting and engaging as well as the sub-characters.  It has a blend of drama, humor and romance that I found hard to put down.  Excellent read!
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The Duke of Azureford isn’t the arrogant, aloof lord his peers perceive him to be. Yes, he’s awkward, but he has a plan to fix it. In order to woo a respectable lady, he must learn how to flirt. The completely inappropriate girl next door would make a perfect instructor, but a terrible duchess. So why can’t he walk away? Incorrigible hoyden Miss Carole Quincy likes billiards, fast carriages, and the beautiful, buttoned-up Duke of Azureford. She’d be delighted to help him out of his shell and into her arms. Who cares if they’re just pretending to flirt? The heady, breath-taking, soul-consuming feeling inside her runaway heart surely can’t be love…
This was a sweet and easy read that I just enjoyed. I really liked both Carole and Adam. I am really liking all of Erica Ridley’s books and can’t wait until her next book.
**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
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The 5th book in the 12 Dukes of Christmas series, “Dukes, Actually” is aptly titled because we finally meet the much talked about but never seen Adam Farland, the sixth Duke of Azureford.

The Duke of Azureford’s trip to Cressmouth, a picturesque village high atop a gorgeous mountain which is know for its year-round Yuletide cheer is a working vacation. He wanted to be away from London while parliament was not in session and try a self-improvement program.

Though people think of him as aloof, that was far from the truth, because the truth was, he was very shy. And that shyness had been the reason why he had not acquired a duchess yet. Cressmouth seem a good place to do that, far from the eyes of the haut ton.

But Adam got more than he bargained for. He met Miss Carole Quincy, a very popular and much-loved denizen of Cressmouth. Due to a twist of fate, Carole and Adam made an agreement. Carole will teach Adam to be more sociable; in return Adam will allow Carol to refurbish and redecorate his library.

It’s a win-win, right? Maybe, not… It’s because Adam kept on finding Carole very attractive. But she would be a terrible duchess with her very progressive way of thinking. 

The more they were together; Carole was winning all the battles. Yet in the end, it was Adam who won the war. It was a win-win after all.

A very easy read, “Dukes, Actually” will make you laugh. There was so much chemistry between Adam and Carol, their dialogue was so full of mirth though they were not trying. This should be in our TBR list for spring.

“Dukes, Actually” is Rated T for Teens.
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Adam Duke of Azureford is a rich, handsome and very powerful Duke in Parliment. But he is painfully shy. He decides to go to his cottage in Cressmouth to practice socializing. He will build a billiards room and invite the villiagers to a party.

Carole Quicy had been to a party at the Dukes home 6 months prior where she lost her Sketch book. Now she is trying to retrieve it. She runs into the Duke in his Library while she is searching for her Sketch book. A friendship ensues which leads to a very clean quicky on the couch. One minute Adam is carrying her to the couch next minute its the next day. If you are going to write about sex then write and adequate sex scene. 

Carole spends everyday helping Adam log all the book in his library before donating them. Then she helps him design his billiards room. The author spends page after page describing this. Even pages on how to play billiards. I am not interested in reading about how to play billiards or logging in books. Why didn't she spend time on the making love scene or on some romance? The other problem I had with the story is Spinsters. I am sick of reading about old Spinsters getting a HEA. The story feels more Modern Era times then Historical Era times. (less)
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Miss Carole Quincy needed to get into the Duke of Azureford’s cottage her next door neighbor’s place because she accidently left her sketchbook there. Adam Farland, sixth Duke of Azureford, is returning back to the cottage when Christmas is the most festive and most importantly has the most people. Adam is terribly shy so is bound and determined to change that by building a billiard’s room to meet people. When Adam tells his grand plan to Carole she is desperate to find her sketchbook and begs to help him play billiards plus he can find a wife. Adam reluctantly lets Carole help design the billiard room but she only has a month to do so will she be able to make the billiard room without falling for him too?
What a lovely little regency story set during Christmas in a town with the same name that will put anyone in the mood! The book is part of a series but has different characters in each so you don’t even have to read them in order and can stand alone. Now the cover doesn’t really fit the hero and heroine because Carole has blonde hair and Adam has dark hair but that can easily be overlooked. Carole the plucky feisty spinster heroine is warm, caring and affectionate. It’s hard not to love her and despite her mathematical way she’d be so much fun to hang out with. Adam the reserved scowling hero also manages to be likable too. The attraction though between Adam and Carole is instant but kind of works in the story.  The lukewarm way in how Carole’s father treats her kind of is off-putting though. In some ways it would have been nice to see Carole demand time or even affection from him. The story is might be short but doesn’t lack on its charm with not just a wonderful place but equally wonderful characters that you want to visit and meet everyone!
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This book reminds us that while it might be fun to read these stories, it couldn't have been very fun to live in the actual time (which is why I can not stand time travel stories that strand women in the past, where are the stories that bring a lady from that time and strand her in the present and watch her blossom with all the freedoms and opportunity she could have).
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I have yet to read an Erica Ridley book that I didn't love! This was no exception. The characters are lovable and easy to relate to. I love the Christmas village and all of the residents! The play on words and relationship development in this book are particularly lovely.
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