Never Say Duke is the fourth book in Erica Ridley’s 12 Dukes of Christmas. I have read one other book in this series and while part of a series, this book can be read as a standalone. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Theodore wants to be left alone. Severely wounded on the battlefield he has journeyed to his friend, the Duke of Azureford’s cottage in Christmas, a town that celebrates Christmas year round. He wants to hide away while he heals before he must journey to London and marry the woman his father selected for him. His plans are ruined when a cat finds its way into his bedroom.
Virginia is a long term resident at the castle in Christmas. While out on her daily constitutional with her beloved companion, Duke, she is annoyed when he once again escapes through a convenient window. Following him, she meets Christmas’s newest resident and can’t help involving herself in his care.
I loved this book. While it’s light-hearted and funny it doesn’t shy away from the harshest realities of Regency England. Virginia was sent to an Asylum by her family just because she is a little different. In today’s world I have no doubt that Virginia would be diagnosed with autism, but in those days she would have been locked away just because she sees the world in a different light. I loved the dynamic between the two main characters and I loved how Theodore never once thought any less of Virginia, in fact, he appreciates, even loves the traits that make her special.