Hot Best Seller

The Duke's Embrace

Availability: Ready to download

Unpaid and under-appreciated journalist Miss Eve Shelling never goes anywhere without a trusty notebook and her overprotective Duenna—who happens to be a bullmastiff. Eve learned the hard way that men are not to be trusted. She’s definitely not falling head-over-heels for the deceptively charming subject of her front-page column. Local blacksmith Monsieur Sébastien le Duc Unpaid and under-appreciated journalist Miss Eve Shelling never goes anywhere without a trusty notebook and her overprotective Duenna—who happens to be a bullmastiff. Eve learned the hard way that men are not to be trusted. She’s definitely not falling head-over-heels for the deceptively charming subject of her front-page column. Local blacksmith Monsieur Sébastien le Duc is the pillar of his community—when he’s not pillaging elsewhere. He’s a rakish dandy with a heart of stolen gold and two teeny tiny secrets. One happens to be a wee international smuggling operation. The other involves losing his heart to an ambitious journalist determined to expose the truth at any cost…


Compare

Unpaid and under-appreciated journalist Miss Eve Shelling never goes anywhere without a trusty notebook and her overprotective Duenna—who happens to be a bullmastiff. Eve learned the hard way that men are not to be trusted. She’s definitely not falling head-over-heels for the deceptively charming subject of her front-page column. Local blacksmith Monsieur Sébastien le Duc Unpaid and under-appreciated journalist Miss Eve Shelling never goes anywhere without a trusty notebook and her overprotective Duenna—who happens to be a bullmastiff. Eve learned the hard way that men are not to be trusted. She’s definitely not falling head-over-heels for the deceptively charming subject of her front-page column. Local blacksmith Monsieur Sébastien le Duc is the pillar of his community—when he’s not pillaging elsewhere. He’s a rakish dandy with a heart of stolen gold and two teeny tiny secrets. One happens to be a wee international smuggling operation. The other involves losing his heart to an ambitious journalist determined to expose the truth at any cost…

30 review for The Duke's Embrace

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    She wanted to follow her dreams and she was willing to work hard for them. All Eve wanted was the opportunity to prove her worth as a journalist, an adult of worth, a nearly impossible dream, even though her father owned the newspaper and never forgot her one huge misstep in the romance department. Now she has her chance, or so she thinks when she begins to write a front page story of the upstanding blacksmith, Sebastien le Duc and his family. What she discovers is that the handsome Frenchman She wanted to follow her dreams and she was willing to work hard for them. All Eve wanted was the opportunity to prove her worth as a journalist, an adult of worth, a nearly impossible dream, even though her father owned the newspaper and never forgot her one huge misstep in the romance department. Now she has her chance, or so she thinks when she begins to write a front page story of the upstanding blacksmith, Sebastien le Duc and his family. What she discovers is that the handsome Frenchman has another, much more nefarious career, contraband smuggler. Too bad she couldn’t have discovered that before he smuggled away her heart. Now she must choose between the man she loves and printing the truth, which would surely ruin him. Does she follow her dream or her heart? Could there be more to Sebastien’s story than meets the eye? THE DUKE’S EMBRACE by Erica Ridley is a tale of choices, of taking a chance and of finding what is truly important in life. Once again, Ms. Ridley builds a romance when one least expects it around two likable and strong characters in the charming village of Cressmouth where anything can happen and love is just around the corner. Sweet, sometimes humorous and always entrancing, this author’s writing will take readers back in time to an era when choices were not always an option, but another woman ahead of her time dares to defy the “rules” but can she defy her heart? I was invited to receive a complimentary ARC edition from WebMotion. This is my honest and voluntary review. Series: 12 Dukes of Christmas - Book 7 Publisher: WebMotion (December 3, 2019) Publication Date: December 3, 2019 Genre: Historical Romance Print Length: 204 pages Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Emro

    Eve Shelling longs to be a serious journalist, but when her exposé about the founder of Cressmouth aka Christmas is published, her father, the owner of the Cressmouth Gazette is livid and says they only write about Christmas. She argues and he agrees to let her write one “non-Christmas” story as long as he approves the subject and the story before it is published. Sébastien “Bastien” le Duc and his brother Lucien are the local blacksmiths in town, they came to Cressmouth many years ago when they Eve Shelling longs to be a serious journalist, but when her exposé about the founder of Cressmouth aka Christmas is published, her father, the owner of the Cressmouth Gazette is livid and says they only write about Christmas. She argues and he agrees to let her write one “non-Christmas” story as long as he approves the subject and the story before it is published. Sébastien “Bastien” le Duc and his brother Lucien are the local blacksmiths in town, they came to Cressmouth many years ago when they were rescued from the “terror” in France, but even after 18 years, they long to return to their home. Now that the wars are over and it is safe to return, they have a plan to go just as soon as they sell the smithy. Lucien wants to leave immediately, but Bastien says they need to some time and plans to leave on twelfth night. Eve is watching the swans – the subject of her non-Christmas story, when her friend Margaret Church joins her and suggests she write a feature about a local citizen. Eve loves the idea and when they notice the le Duc brothers, she decides they are perfect for her story. Eve doesn’t trust men, past experience taught her a hard lesson and she vows to never be duped again. But her interest in Bastien is purely professional, she has no interest in him personally – Really! Alright, he is handsome and well dressed, so much so that his admirers call him “Beau”, but there is more to him than his fashion sense and that is what she needs to learn. When Bastien approaches Eve about taking out an advert in the Gazette, she jumps at the chance to spend time with him writing the perfect listing for the smithy. She tells him of the swan story and he offers to introduce her to a local artist who would be happy to draw something for the paper. She immediately questions his motives, why would he help her? He says she is helping him, so he will help her. As the days pass, Eve and Bastien’s friendship deepens and stronger feelings grow, but they each have secrets, Bastien is leaving soon and she has dreams that don’t include handsome, well-dressed blacksmiths, only a fool would fall in love… I thought this was a sweet novella with more depth than I was expecting. Bastien and Eve are both likeable characters with a great chemistry between them. I thought the story was well written, paced nicely, had a bit of steam, a bit of heartache and a very well thought out HEA. This is the seventh book in the series, but it can easily be read as a stand-alone title. I am happy to recommend this title and look forward to future installments in this series! *I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the Publisher*

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Grogan

    Another very enjoyable story set in the town of Christmas!! Sébastien le Duc wants nothing more than to help his brother get back to their beloved France. Miss Eve Shelling wants nothing more than to prove to her father what a serious journalist she can be. Together they work to reach their respective goals and begin falling in love along the way. This was such a fun read! I’m a big fan of enemies to lovers stories and even though Bastien and Eve didn’t outright dislike each other, they were more Another very enjoyable story set in the town of Christmas!! Sébastien le Duc wants nothing more than to help his brother get back to their beloved France. Miss Eve Shelling wants nothing more than to prove to her father what a serious journalist she can be. Together they work to reach their respective goals and begin falling in love along the way. This was such a fun read! I’m a big fan of enemies to lovers stories and even though Bastien and Eve didn’t outright dislike each other, they were more antagonistic towards each other to begin with. The progression from not friends to friends to lovers took time, and I love that. I thought Bastien was a lot of fun and liked that there was more to him than being a dandy. I enjoyed discovering his other side right alongside Eve. Every heroine in this series has been fabulous, and Eve is no exception. She grew into her own person more as the story progressed and that is a joy to read. Of course, I CANNOT wait for Lucien’s story!! *I received an eARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Zuzu

    Unfortunately this book wasn't holding my attention. I ended up skipping quite a bit so I'm not rating it. The storyline wasn't interesting to me.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Caitlyn Lynch

    Part of Erica Ridley’s 12 Dukes of Christmas series about a small town the residents have turned into a permanent Christmas-themed tourist attraction, you don’t need to have read the rest of the series to enjoy this rather charming novella. Sébastien le Duc, French aristocrat turned blacksmith, is the hero of this one, and Miss Eve Shelling his heroine. Eve and her father run the Cressmouth Gazette, more of a promotional pamphlet extolling the town’s virtues than an actual newspaper, but Eve Part of Erica Ridley’s 12 Dukes of Christmas series about a small town the residents have turned into a permanent Christmas-themed tourist attraction, you don’t need to have read the rest of the series to enjoy this rather charming novella. Sébastien le Duc, French aristocrat turned blacksmith, is the hero of this one, and Miss Eve Shelling his heroine. Eve and her father run the Cressmouth Gazette, more of a promotional pamphlet extolling the town’s virtues than an actual newspaper, but Eve dreams of being an actual journalist. When Bastien asks for her help writing an article to paint the smithy in a favourable light for a potential buyer as he and his brother have plans to return to France, Eve’s willing to oblige. When she uncovers the truth about how the le Ducs have reversed their fortunes, however, she has a decision to make. Tell the truth and destroy Bastien and his family, or pass up the greatest chance she’ll ever have to make her name as a serious journalist? This is a romance, so you can probably guess how it turns out. It’s also a fairly short novella so the author doesn’t really do much of a deep dive into the ethics of smuggling, making it feel just a little shallow in execution. Bastien and Luc as gentlemen blacksmiths didn’t really ring true either; they just wouldn’t have been on a social level with Eve despite their backgrounds once they started engaging in trade at that hands-on level. I’ve really enjoyed other books in this series, and though this one has its moments, it just didn’t quite click for me. Eve and Bastien went from not liking each other much to intimacy really quickly, and I wanted more interaction with Eve’s cute dog Duenna, who didn’t get nearly enough of the spotlight. Important things like Eve’s moral dilemma got rushed over, and I think the novella length did this particular story no favours. It needed to be about twice as long to explore all the nuances. I’m giving it three stars. Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elodie

    The Duke's Embrace 12 Dukes of Christmas Series #7 Erica Ridley https://www.facebook.com/ericaridley/ Release date 12/03/2019 Publisher Webmotion Blurb : Unpaid and under-appreciated journalist Miss Eve Shelling never goes anywhere without a trusty notebook and her overprotective Duenna—who happens to be a bullmastiff. Eve learned the hard way that men are not to be trusted. She’s definitely not falling head-over-heels for the deceptively charming subject of her front-page column. Local blacksmith The Duke's Embrace 12 Dukes of Christmas Series #7 Erica Ridley https://www.facebook.com/ericaridley/ Release date 12/03/2019 Publisher Webmotion Blurb : Unpaid and under-appreciated journalist Miss Eve Shelling never goes anywhere without a trusty notebook and her overprotective Duenna—who happens to be a bullmastiff. Eve learned the hard way that men are not to be trusted. She’s definitely not falling head-over-heels for the deceptively charming subject of her front-page column. Local blacksmith Monsieur Sébastien le Duc is the pillar of his community—when he’s not pillaging elsewhere. He’s a rakish dandy with a heart of stolen gold and two teeny tiny secrets. One happens to be a wee international smuggling operation. The other involves losing his heart to an ambitious journalist determined to expose the truth at any cost… My review : When looking for the one news that will launch her journalist’s career, a miss must decide what is worth, love or scoop ... With each new addition in this series, Mrs Erica Ridley offers more and more surprising portraits from this out-of-time Christmas themed town. After the Le Duc sister, now it is time for one of the brother. Sébastian is so much more than his dandy appearance let suggest. He is no empty headed haughty French man, but a kind, careful man who made do with what life taught him. For his family, he will do anything, even going against the law, or follow his brother because it is his goal to go back to France. Eve since a dramatic event has locked her heart, she makes do, she bends to her father’s will, trying to mend their shattered relationship. But when in need of an advice, it comes from the person she expected the least. Now indebted, she agree to his demand and when she saw him as a ne’er-do-well, she discovers his dandy like attires are only for show, daily he is a smithy, working his hands for his family. I confess I was upset at Eve for shunning Bastian, she based her opinion on his appearance when he was able to see past her disheveled aspect. Hopefully she fast changes her opinion, realizing there are many layers on Mr Le Duc, he can’t be summarized by his choice of clothes. This seventh book is one more great tale about seeking what one really wants. 5 stars I was granted an advance copy by the author, I preordered my own too. Here is my true and unbiased opinion. https://www.facebook.com/429830134272...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Geha

    The Duke’s Embrace by Erica Ridley 12 Dukes of Christmas #7 Monsieur Sebastien “Bastien” le Duc is one of three French children brought to England by their during the French revolution. They lost their parents and land but have made a life and home in Cressmouth, England. Their income comes from the blacksmith shop and a side business with t heir friend...an illegal business that sees them all much more financially comfortable. In the last book their sister met the man she would marry and in the The Duke’s Embrace by Erica Ridley 12 Dukes of Christmas #7 Monsieur Sebastien “Bastien” le Duc is one of three French children brought to England by their during the French revolution. They lost their parents and land but have made a life and home in Cressmouth, England. Their income comes from the blacksmith shop and a side business with t heir friend...an illegal business that sees them all much more financially comfortable. In the last book their sister met the man she would marry and in the next story it will be older brother Lucien’s turn to meet and marry. But, this is Bastien’s story and a fun one it was indeed. Miss Eve Shelling is the woman that Bastien will fall for and she will reciprocate by falling for him, too. The two will have a few hurdles to overcome as they move toward their happily ever after. She has dreams and so does he but as the two are dreams are not on the same continent it might be difficult to fulfill booth dreams...or will it? I liked Bastien even though he was a bit of a dandy...a strong, wise, intelligent dandy who also is strong and manly from his work at the smithy. I also liked Eve and felt sorry for her having to deal with her rather repressive father and the backstory she has had to live with. I LOVED Duenna the bullmastiff at Eve’s side...and then there was Chef the pig...I wonder if Chef and Duenna will become best of friends as time goes on? I can’t wait to read Lucien’s story next. Thank you to the author for the ARC – This is my honest review of this novella length story. 4 Stars

  8. 4 out of 5

    Micaela

    A perfect Christmas Historical Romance. The women empowerment is strong in this one. Eve is a journalist, or at least she's trying to, since she's the manager, writer and printer of the Gazette her father owns. Said father is overprotective and he decides which content may go in the journal, focusing on their town, specifically in Christmas in they town. But Eve wants to report real news and become a serious journalist, whatever it takes. Sebastien le Duc is a blacksmith and a French refugee from A perfect Christmas Historical Romance. The women empowerment is strong in this one. Eve is a journalist, or at least she's trying to, since she's the manager, writer and printer of the Gazette her father owns. Said father is overprotective and he decides which content may go in the journal, focusing on their town, specifically in Christmas in they town. But Eve wants to report real news and become a serious journalist, whatever it takes. Sebastien le Duc is a blacksmith and a French refugee from the Revolution. He and his sibling want to go back to their country asap, and that Christmas it may be possible. Only if they manage to sell their smithy. And here enters the help of Eve and the Gazette. When Sebastien and Eve start interacting, sparks fly, and everyone's plans are not so clear anymore. This was really nice, and really fast paced, and you could totally feel the sizzling chemistry between the main character. Their relationship, since their acquaintance to their friendship to something more, is really healthy, passionate but with strong companionship and support, specifically from Bastien to Eve and her wants and dreams. And Eve is a really empowering character who stands for what he wants and learns to be considerate of other people feelings, and her own. And there's a cool dog which complements the story perfectly. All the cute Christmas feels.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Heike

    Eve, aspiring journalist and sole employee of her father’s quarterly newspaper, wished she could write about more interesting things than theater schedules, sleigh ride rates and cookie recipes. Bastian Le Duc, the dandy of the French refugee siblings who run the smithy in town, seeks out her help in advertising said smithy for sale, so he and his brother can return to France. Sparks fly and Bastian’s foreseeable departure is becoming a concern, as well as Eve’s ambition to write a “real” story Eve, aspiring journalist and sole employee of her father’s quarterly newspaper, wished she could write about more interesting things than theater schedules, sleigh ride rates and cookie recipes. Bastian Le Duc, the dandy of the French refugee siblings who run the smithy in town, seeks out her help in advertising said smithy for sale, so he and his brother can return to France. Sparks fly and Bastian’s foreseeable departure is becoming a concern, as well as Eve’s ambition to write a “real” story … I did have a major problem with the actions of the heroine towards the end, obviously to add some tension to the story. Even if it was dissolved fairly quickly, I would have strangled her if she'd materialized before me at that moment! Other than that it was another very cute, romantic, and well written romance novella set in the town of Christmas, where the holiday cheer goes on all year round.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Eve Shelling wanted to be a serious journalist, she had a love for writing. Unfortunately, she had a father who didn’t appreciate her and all that she did. He had a poor opinion of women and their capabilities. He really annoyed me! Sebastian ( Bastien) was known as a well groomed dandy but there was much more to him as Eve found out. I enjoyed how they got to know each other but what could come of it, as Bastien was selling up and moving back to his homeland. This was an enjoyable read and I was Eve Shelling wanted to be a serious journalist, she had a love for writing. Unfortunately, she had a father who didn’t appreciate her and all that she did. He had a poor opinion of women and their capabilities. He really annoyed me! Sebastian ( Bastien) was known as a well groomed dandy but there was much more to him as Eve found out. I enjoyed how they got to know each other but what could come of it, as Bastien was selling up and moving back to his homeland. This was an enjoyable read and I was glad to read that some people were more than willing to put their trust in women. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carole Burant

    I am SO enjoying the 12 Dukes of Christmas series!! I was looking forward to reading Sébastien's story and Erica Ridley did not disappoint. I just loved his fun character and being quite the dandy had some hilarious moments. Eve was his perfect opposite and adding her bullmastiff in the mix made for such a delightful story. Decisions...hard decisions....had to be made, though. Sébastien has to choose between going back to France with his brother Lucien or stay in England for love. Eve has to I am SO enjoying the 12 Dukes of Christmas series!! I was looking forward to reading Sébastien's story and Erica Ridley did not disappoint. I just loved his fun character and being quite the dandy had some hilarious moments. Eve was his perfect opposite and adding her bullmastiff in the mix made for such a delightful story. Decisions...hard decisions....had to be made, though. Sébastien has to choose between going back to France with his brother Lucien or stay in England for love. Eve has to choose between standing up to her father, writing the kind of stories SHE wants for the newspaper or leaving England. Once she learns of Sébastien's secrets, she has another decision to make!! I was given an ARC of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Monika P.

    This is a sweet love story about people who have to make tough choices. And lots of times it's hard to make those choices. I enjoyed the way our hero and heroine approached their problems. Love or homeland? Love or career? To find the answer you'll have to read their story. It's very enjoyable!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Niki

    Aspiring, though currently unpaid and unappreciated, journalist Eve Shelling learned early on the painful lesson that men cannot be trusted. So she focuses on her paper and not falling for the charming subject of her latest article. Sebastien le Duc runs the village blacksmith shop along with his brother, Lucian. He's a dandy with hidden secrets, like his involvement in a smuggling operation, but he has a good heart and he and his brother are now finally able to sell their shop and at last Aspiring, though currently unpaid and unappreciated, journalist Eve Shelling learned early on the painful lesson that men cannot be trusted. So she focuses on her paper and not falling for the charming subject of her latest article. Sebastien le Duc runs the village blacksmith shop along with his brother, Lucian. He's a dandy with hidden secrets, like his involvement in a smuggling operation, but he has a good heart and he and his brother are now finally able to sell their shop and at last return to their homeland in France. But when he loses his heart to Eve, and the ambitious journalist learns his secrets, it may be too late for Sebastian to have any future at all. I found Bastien to be adorable, but Eve just made me angry at the end. She couldn't be bothered to listen to her Bastien's story and instead blabbed to her father, with no concern for Bastien's safety or that of his family and instead feeding right into her father's prejudices. Of course she did get her head on straight in the end, but I wound up feeling like it wasn't really fair for Sebastien to be subjected to such threats from her without a proper apology in the end of ever getting to really explain himself, meanwhile Eve wound up getting everything she'd ever wanted. Nonetheless, this was still an enjoyable read and I look forward to Lucien's story. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    AnnMarie

    The Duke's Embrace is the seventh book in the 12 Dukes of Christmas series by Erica Ridley. I have read the first six books and have loved every one, but you don't have to have read them to enjoy this one. It can easily be read as a standalone book. One of the things I love about this book (and series) is where it is set, the beautiful town of Cressmouth lovingly known as Christmas because it's a town where it's like Christmas all year round. Now, who wouldn't want to live in a place like that? The Duke's Embrace is the seventh book in the 12 Dukes of Christmas series by Erica Ridley. I have read the first six books and have loved every one, but you don't have to have read them to enjoy this one. It can easily be read as a standalone book. One of the things I love about this book (and series) is where it is set, the beautiful town of Cressmouth lovingly known as Christmas because it's a town where it's like Christmas all year round. Now, who wouldn't want to live in a place like that? Sebastian and Lucien Le Duc that is who. They are French brothers who were forced to flee France during the French revolution and have worked hard to earn the money to go back there to reclaim their title and land. During their time in England, their sister has found love, married and doesn't want to move back to France, but it's still Seb and Lucien's main goal and they are on the cusp of finally meeting that goal. A big hiccup nearly stops them in the tracks and they realise the best way forward is to sell the Smithy they own and operate. Keeping that in mind Seb decides that the best way to advertise the sale is to get the local newspaper to print an advertisement for them. To do that he needs to speak to the woman who runs it. Miss Eve Shelling is that woman. The paper is owned by her father, but Eve is the woman who finds the articles, sets up the printer, prints the newspaper and gets it distributed. She is underpaid and under-appreciated but she loves being a journalist. What she really wants is to write a good article of interest rather than just the normal Christmas articles. A friend suggests that she start a column featuring a person of interest in every issue. So when Sebastian approaches her about an advertisement and she learns his story she asks if she can write about it. What she doesn't dream when she first gets to know him better is that she could end up falling for him. She also doesn't dream that she could find out something about him and his brother that could make her as a journalist if she wrote about it, but that would crush any hopes of a future with Seb. Not to mention the damage it would do to Seb and Lucien. I thoroughly enjoyed this story because not only did we have the budding romance between Seb and Eve, but there was an amazing collection of other characters that kept the story exciting. Eve's dad for one was a character that I wasn't sure whether to love or hate. Then there were all the silly young females that fawn all over Seb in the hope of having his attention. I think Lucien is a deep, fabulously strict character. Living in England for all these years and he still refuses to speak English! I am very much looking forward to his story which is next in this series. Lucien is going to lose his heart and I look forward to seeing the changes in him as that happens! For now, though, I just want to recommend that you read this book, it will leave you smiling.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Maura

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Bastien le Duc can't wait to get home to France, but he and his brother are out of money. So they decide to sell the smithy for extra cash, but need help finding a buyer. Miss Eve Shelling, editor of the Cressmouth Gazette seems the perfect choice. She wants nothing more than to be an investigative reporter, but her father holds all the control over the paper and won't allow her to practice it on his paper. She gets the idea to help with the sale of the smithy by writing an interest piece all Bastien le Duc can't wait to get home to France, but he and his brother are out of money. So they decide to sell the smithy for extra cash, but need help finding a buyer. Miss Eve Shelling, editor of the Cressmouth Gazette seems the perfect choice. She wants nothing more than to be an investigative reporter, but her father holds all the control over the paper and won't allow her to practice it on his paper. She gets the idea to help with the sale of the smithy by writing an interest piece all about it. This puts her in close proximity with Bastien, who is so much more than Eve first thought. The attraction simmers between them and he's so much fun to be with, but she can't fall in love with him because he's leaving in a little more than a month. When her father refuses her article about the smithy, she goes to see Bastien and overhears a conversation which has her doubting the man she thought he was. This is almost the exact same plotline as the book before it and the one before that. Hero or heroine can't have a relationship because they're leaving, other can't have a relationship because of [insert reason], so no problem sexing it up in the meantime. Only to find that it's more than just sex/kissing, what have you. Sure the details change just a bit and at least the smuggling snafu created an extra bit of angst, but essentially Bastien's leaving is kinda what held them back...or at least him from committing. I was a bit thrown off by the ending, where Eve learns that Bastien and his family have been breaking the law through smuggling and threatens to print it. That apparently puts Bastien in the right and it's Eve who has to come apologizing to him... I'm not sure I see how Bastien is blameless since she's right, he is breaking the law and from her moral point of view, he lied to her. That was a bit confusing, but it was still kinda cute. I especially liked Duenna.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Traci

    The Duke’s Embrace is the seventh book in the 12 Dukes of Christmas series by Erica Ridley. This was another awesome book for the series! Eve Shelling was under-paid and under-appreciated by her father who owned the Cressmouth Gazette. She was ambitious and wanted the Gazette to become something better than a quarterly paper that only contained information about the town’s festivities for Christmas. She thought it should contain things about the actual people and families that lived in The Duke’s Embrace is the seventh book in the 12 Dukes of Christmas series by Erica Ridley. This was another awesome book for the series! Eve Shelling was under-paid and under-appreciated by her father who owned the Cressmouth Gazette. She was ambitious and wanted the Gazette to become something better than a quarterly paper that only contained information about the town’s festivities for Christmas. She thought it should contain things about the actual people and families that lived in Cressmouth, when her father was happy to continue reissuing old issues. Compromising with her father and trying to find an in between was becoming hard. She was excited when she came up with the idea to write an article about the Le Duc’s smithy to help them find a buyer for the business. Sebastien “Bastien” le Duc and his family owned and operated the local blacksmith. They were determined to return to their home country of France after earning enough money to pay for their uncle to have his home. His family was also part of a secret smuggling operation that helped to supplement their income. They were planning on returning to France after they sold the smithy right after Christmas. He didn’t plan on falling for Eve or dreading to leave Cressmouth. This was a short and fast paced book to read, but such a fun book. I loved the characters in the book. Sebastien was a dandy who loved his family and was not afraid of hard work. His loyalty to his family was strong and his skills as a problem solver helped them to survive. Eve was determined and had a good vision for the Gazette to make a difference to the people who actually lived in Cressmouth year-round. I can’t wait to read the next book and see Lucien get his happy ever after. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  17. 4 out of 5

    NhaughtyV says Damn the Zon Save the Reviews

    3.5 Stars “Sometimes hope is the most precious gift we can have.” Would be journalist Eve Shelling has stumbled upon a story to end all stories and finally gain her the respectability of being a reporter. But if she publishes, it could cost her the happily ever after she never dreamed she’d have… Sebastien le Duc is one of two brothers who work the local smithy. Having fled France during the revolution, they have wished for nothing but to return to their homeland. Finally, with the funds they have 3.5 Stars “Sometimes hope is the most precious gift we can have.” Would be journalist Eve Shelling has stumbled upon a story to end all stories and finally gain her the respectability of being a reporter. But if she publishes, it could cost her the happily ever after she never dreamed she’d have… Sebastien le Duc is one of two brothers who work the local smithy. Having fled France during the revolution, they have wished for nothing but to return to their homeland. Finally, with the funds they have saved smuggling brandy and champagne, they have paid their debts and can petition to have their lands and home returned to them. But Bastien may have found a new home in the arms of one very beautiful and outspoken Miss Eve Shelling…that is until she threatens to expose him and his family for their illegal deeds. Eve and Bastien are both torn between doing what everyone expects or following their hearts and making a future for themselves…wherever that may be… The Duke’s Embrace is a quick read, and while I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the other stories in the series, this one just felt a little rushed. Either that, or perhaps it was my burning need to reach into the book and smack Eve around a wee bit. Bastien was forever putting everyone’s feelings above his own, so my heart felt he deserved better. Overall, it’s an enjoyable romance I would recommend to fans of this genre. **I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. **

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sissy's Romance Book Review

    The Duke's Embrace by Erica Ridley is book 7 in the 12 Dukes of Christmas Series. This is the story of Sébastien le Duc and Eve Shelling. I have read the previous book which I think did help for me to enjoy this one but with that said you could make this a standalone book if you wish to do so. Eve is the daughter of the owner of the Cressmouth Gazette which has made wanting to be a journalist in her blood but her father wants her to do all the unpaid work with the printers and finding stories The Duke's Embrace by Erica Ridley is book 7 in the 12 Dukes of Christmas Series. This is the story of Sébastien le Duc and Eve Shelling. I have read the previous book which I think did help for me to enjoy this one but with that said you could make this a standalone book if you wish to do so. Eve is the daughter of the owner of the Cressmouth Gazette which has made wanting to be a journalist in her blood but her father wants her to do all the unpaid work with the printers and finding stories but doesn't want her writing anything that he doesn't approve which is most everything other than light stories and Christmas stuff. But Eve has weaken him to agree to write a story that has more if he approves of it. This leads her to Seb who along with his siblings had to flee France and their history. So now Seb and his siblings have been working to get money to return home and their position. Somethings they have been doing is not on the up and up to make quick money. Seb goes to the paper to put in a advertisement for selling their Blacksmith business which leads him to start working with Eve. Seb is finding Eve to be so much more than what she gives out. But she is starting to dig into what else they do behind the scene which could bring trouble to his family. Enjoyed their story.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    4.5 Stars Unpaid and under-appreciated journalist Miss Eve Shelling never goes anywhere without a trusty notebook and her overprotective Duenna—who happens to be a bullmastiff. Eve learned the hard way that men are not to be trusted when she was sixteen. Local blacksmith Monsieur Sébastien le Duc is a rakish dandy with a heart of stolen gold and two teeny tiny secrets. A lovely read of two people who have been neighbours for years who suddenly find they are more than smitten with each other. 4.5 Stars Unpaid and under-appreciated journalist Miss Eve Shelling never goes anywhere without a trusty notebook and her overprotective Duenna—who happens to be a bullmastiff. Eve learned the hard way that men are not to be trusted when she was sixteen. Local blacksmith Monsieur Sébastien le Duc is a rakish dandy with a heart of stolen gold and two teeny tiny secrets. A lovely read of two people who have been neighbours for years who suddenly find they are more than smitten with each other. Bastien & his brother having been trying to repay their debt so that they can sell the smithy & return to France. Eve wants to add more grit to the Cressmouth paper but her father is adamantly against it. When Eve offers to place an advert for the sale of he smithy she's thrown together with Bastien & sparks fly. This is the seventh book in the series & whilst it could be read on its own the whole series has such a feel good feeling to it that I’d recommend reading the whole series. Bastien & Eve are both strong characters who fall in love only for a secret to nearly tear them apart. I loved both of them. Another well written page turning read that I read in two sittings. My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary K

    Eva Shelling wants to be a respected journalist. She knows that won't happen unless her father agrees to let her write more relevant stories. The paper needs to be more that a travelogue praising Cressmouth. Since her father owns the paper I didn't think she would be successful. Eva deserves her father's respect and his love, but he won't do that. I hated to see her blame herself for her mother's death. Meanwhile local blacksmith Sebastien le Duc and his brother want to sell their business and Eva Shelling wants to be a respected journalist. She knows that won't happen unless her father agrees to let her write more relevant stories. The paper needs to be more that a travelogue praising Cressmouth. Since her father owns the paper I didn't think she would be successful. Eva deserves her father's respect and his love, but he won't do that. I hated to see her blame herself for her mother's death. Meanwhile local blacksmith Sebastien le Duc and his brother want to sell their business and go to France. They've been living in England for years. Now they can go home and try to reclaim their birth right. Can Sebastien leave this snowy village where he's found love? He knows the more time he and Eva spend together, the more he wants to be with her forever. I enjoyed watching their love grow. I wanted them to be happy. They both deserve it. The past has caused them both so much pain. Eva's father is a problem. I didn't want him to destroy their future. I wasn't sure that he could be stopped. Erica Ridley wrote a sweet, emotional romance that made me smile. I liked both the setting and the characters. I received a copy of this book which I voluntarily read and reviewed. My comments are my honest opinion.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rolé

    The charming village of Cressmouth plays host again to the next installment in the series. This time we meet Eve Shelling, running the Cressmouth Gazette on behalf of her ageing father. She wants nothing more than to be recognized as a serious reporter, and to do that she has to change the tone of their quarterly paper to a more serious one. She has the idea to write about the upstanding citizens of their village, starting with the Le Duc brothers, who run the blacksmith. Sebastian le Duc had The charming village of Cressmouth plays host again to the next installment in the series. This time we meet Eve Shelling, running the Cressmouth Gazette on behalf of her ageing father. She wants nothing more than to be recognized as a serious reporter, and to do that she has to change the tone of their quarterly paper to a more serious one. She has the idea to write about the upstanding citizens of their village, starting with the Le Duc brothers, who run the blacksmith. Sebastian le Duc had one ambition, to return to France with his brother, Lucien, to reclaim their birthright. But his goals become more muddled the more time he spends in Eve’s company. Another short story filled with interesting characters and an interesting story arc. Sebastian seems frivolous on the surface, but he turns out to be kind, loyal, and filled with dreams of his own. I liked Eve as a character. She was funny and interesting. Both Sebastian and Eve had to make some choices and adjust their goals for their futures. I really enjoyed this book, and would love to read Lucien’s story. I received an advanced copy of the book from Netgalley to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lori D

    Back to beloved Cressmouth, England or "Christmas" where anything can happen, especially if there is a Duke around!! But one young lady, Eve Shelling was determined to be a good journalist and write about other items beside the same old aritcles. Of course, her father was the owner of the paper and he was determined to make her follow the rules, drat it! Determined to write her own article, she continues to take matters in her own hand. The new subject, Local Blacksmith and dandy Monsieur Back to beloved Cressmouth, England or "Christmas" where anything can happen, especially if there is a Duke around!! But one young lady, Eve Shelling was determined to be a good journalist and write about other items beside the same old aritcles. Of course, her father was the owner of the paper and he was determined to make her follow the rules, drat it! Determined to write her own article, she continues to take matters in her own hand. The new subject, Local Blacksmith and dandy Monsieur Sebastien le Duc will make a fine contribution! Of course he and his family's goal is to get back to France. But as they get to know each other, it sees Eve determines there is a lot more to Bastien than meets the eye! Such a fun story with a determined lady and a charmer of a man, who get to know each other and find out they may just be right for each other!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Suzannah

    The Duke’s Embrace by Erica Ridley is book 7 in the 12 Dukes of Christmas Series. I have loved each of Ridley’s stories. They can truly be read as stand-alone books. I think this hero was one of my favorites. Monsieur Sebastien le Duc is a dandy - an incredibly masculine dandy. That sets him apart from most Regency character heroes. In other books, a dandy ( someone who is unduly devoted to style and appearance) is generally seen as foppish. But in The Duke’s Embrace, Sebastien is an incredibly The Duke’s Embrace by Erica Ridley is book 7 in the 12 Dukes of Christmas Series. I have loved each of Ridley’s stories. They can truly be read as stand-alone books. I think this hero was one of my favorites. Monsieur Sebastien le Duc is a dandy - an incredibly masculine dandy. That sets him apart from most Regency character heroes. In other books, a dandy ( someone who is unduly devoted to style and appearance) is generally seen as foppish. But in The Duke’s Embrace, Sebastien is an incredibly masculine blacksmith. “She let her gaze linger on the muscles of his upper arm, on the breadth of his strong shoulders, on the thrilling familiarity of his wide, firm mouth and how sensual it had felt against her own.” There is a very steamy sex scene. Looking forward to the next book in this series. I was given a copy of this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Vania Nunes

    The books can be read as stand alone, but if you read the previous book, then you already know Sébastien, the French blacksmith who can't wait to return to his country (he and his siblings had fled so they wouldn't end up dying by the guillotine, as so many other acquaintances), but who did not make his fortune by honest work. When the opportunity arises to return to France - and after his sister Desiree married a Briton - Sébastien decides to sell his business. To do so, he asks Miss Eve for The books can be read as stand alone, but if you read the previous book, then you already know Sébastien, the French blacksmith who can't wait to return to his country (he and his siblings had fled so they wouldn't end up dying by the guillotine, as so many other acquaintances), but who did not make his fortune by honest work. When the opportunity arises to return to France - and after his sister Desiree married a Briton - Sébastien decides to sell his business. To do so, he asks Miss Eve for help writing an ad in the Cressmouth Gazette. Eve is keen to be a real journalist, but finds herself trapped in writing unimportant subjects in an almost-newspaper-pamphlet run by her father. Sébastien came to her for help, but she finds out much more about the wealth of that Frenchman who was duke in name. That information would make Eve credible as a journalist, but Sebastien was too charming to resist... <>4 stars

  25. 5 out of 5

    LaCath

    I had a few issues with this book. First, I speak french. And one of my pet peeves is americain authors who include a french character in their books and randomly add french words to make it more authentic. This is one of those books. The good point is that at least, the french words are correct. The bad one is that there are parts where the characters are supposed to discuss in french, although the text is in English... but with a few scattered french words nevertheless. And just to be clear, I had a few issues with this book. First, I speak french. And one of my pet peeves is americain authors who include a french character in their books and randomly add french words to make it more authentic. This is one of those books. The good point is that at least, the french words are correct. The bad one is that there are parts where the characters are supposed to discuss in french, although the text is in English... but with a few scattered french words nevertheless. And just to be clear, Bastien is actually a french name in his own right and no-one would nickname someone named Sébastien Bastien. Secondly, there is the heroin. She wants to be an independant woman and she's supposed to be smart but, sometimes, she acts almost like a teenager. I didn't hate her, but I didn't really like her either. Thirdly — and that's why I finally decided to give two stars to the book, there was the main plot. Or, to be more precise, the plot as summarized. Because the summary is actually a huge spoil, since Eve, the heroin, never even suspects Bastien, the hero, is a smuggler until almost the end of the book. At that point, I kind of enjoyed it, because the relationship between the two is quite nice and I liked seing them courting each other. And then the smuggling part got revealed... and Eve's reaction was completely disproportionate. Bastien was smuggling alcohol and, to her, he suddenly became an awful criminal. It didn't last, but it was the last straw for me. I think I will try other books from this author, but certainly not now.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Gladys

    I enjoyed this book. I thought the storyline was fun and the characters likable. Bastian and Eve had great chemistry and I enjoyed seeing the sparks fly between them. Eve was quite spunky and Bastian is a quite charming rascal. Together I thought they made a great couple. There is plenty of emotion in this read. Both of these characters tugged at my heartstrings. All together a very enjoyable read that left me eager for the next book in this series. This is my independent, impartial review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marti

    Wonderful, sweet romance! Snappy, fresh writing, crisp dialogue, and great characters. Sebastien le Duc finally meets a girl who doesn’t swoon over him, Miss Eve Shelling. Eve discovers that Sebastien may be more, much more, than Cressmouth’s resident handsome dandy. But Sebastien is headed back to France — isn’t he?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I absolutely loved Eve and Sebastien's story! Sebastien struggles with wanting to return home to France and his budding relationship with local journalist Eve Shelling. This was a perfect Christmas novella! I voluntarily reviewed an ARC provided by NetGalley and the author. Thank you!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cyliena

    The Duke's Embrace is the seventh book in Erica Ridley's 12 Dukes of Christmas series. Sébastien le Duc, one of the local blacksmiths in the town of Cressmouth, is eager to return to his home country of France now that the family debt is paid off. Eve Shelling aspires to be a journalist whose stories are more than just fluff, yet finds it hard to be taken seriously in a world ruled by men. When the le Duc men decide to sell the blacksmithy in order to fund their voyage home, Eve is right there, The Duke's Embrace is the seventh book in Erica Ridley's 12 Dukes of Christmas series. Sébastien le Duc, one of the local blacksmiths in the town of Cressmouth, is eager to return to his home country of France now that the family debt is paid off. Eve Shelling aspires to be a journalist whose stories are more than just fluff, yet finds it hard to be taken seriously in a world ruled by men. When the le Duc men decide to sell the blacksmithy in order to fund their voyage home, Eve is right there, telling their story. I really enjoyed Eve's ambitions in a world that did not favor women's independence. She's strong-willed and pushes the boundaries, trying to grow the Cressmouth Gazette into a true newspaper, even as her father circumvents her ideas. You won't find Eve without her bullmastiff, who seems to be enamored by the le Duc's pig, Chef. Sébastien is still a bit of a mystery to me even with him being a point of view character. It might be that his current concerns were so limited in scope that we didn't get a deep dive into who he is as a person. I did enjoy that we got both de Luc brothers interacting often in this story, especially as Lucien was quite a mystery after book six. The Duke's Embrace sheds a bit of the overly-witty banter found in the 12 Dukes series, which is a refreshing change and kept me more engaged in the story. It was a bit surprising that no one specifically named Sébastien as a "duke," breaking the consistency from previous books in the series (though book six points out that all three le Duc siblings are "dukes" of Cressmouth). The village remains as charming as ever, regardless, though we see less of its inhabitants this time around. The 12 Dukes books are all fast reads, but this one in particular would have benefited from a bit more development with their relationship. I still wasn't sure why the couple fell for each other by the end, other than attraction. The conflict between the two was also too quickly resolved, as if both were willing to just forget the hurtful words they tossed around without at least talking out their problems. This is a fun read that can be easily squeezed into a busy holiday week. What excites me the most about The Duke's Embrace is the anticipation it creates for Lucien's story, which will come in book eight. I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nanna

    This is book 7 in the 12 dukes of Christmas series. You do not have to read them in order but I think you will get more enjoyment if you do. This one is about a young woman, Miss Eve Shelling who dreams of being a great journalist. She works and writes for The Cressmouth Gazette a paper her father owns. Eve does all the work for the paper, runs the press, writes the articles and make sure the shipping is on time. Her father orders her to write and print only what he wants in the paper, positive This is book 7 in the 12 dukes of Christmas series. You do not have to read them in order but I think you will get more enjoyment if you do. This one is about a young woman, Miss Eve Shelling who dreams of being a great journalist. She works and writes for The Cressmouth Gazette a paper her father owns. Eve does all the work for the paper, runs the press, writes the articles and make sure the shipping is on time. Her father orders her to write and print only what he wants in the paper, positive things, stories of Christmas, Sleigh rides, wassailing . These will bring more tourist to a town know for Christmas. She wants to write about life, and how the village is so much more and about the people. Eve lost her mother years ago and carries not only sadness but quilt the has taken over all her feelings. Her father does nothing now but stay in his den by himself. She does not trust men period. Her best friend is Duenna who just happens to go ever where with her. She is a Hugh Bull mastiff dog that protects her and keeps men at large. Monsieur Sebastien know as Bastien is the towns dandy, and one of the black smiths along with his brother Lucien. They have been in Cressmouth for the last nineteen years, since having to flee from France. Even thru Eve and Bastien have known about each other they just now start talking as they need each other now. Bastien needs to sell the smithy so he and Lucien can return to France. Eve needs a story she can write that is not about the some old things even if it upsets her father. She and Bastien make a deal , she gets to write about the Brother's and in turn will help him sell the smithy. As the learn about the other, and share things with each other, alone with some hot kissing. Just as they are working it all out danger rises to end everything. There are many secrets in this small town, and the wrong people finding out could hurt many. Saying any more would ruin the book for you. You don't want to miss any of these books, but I think this may be my favorite. (I say that after each one) I want to thank the author and NetGalley for giving me and ARC . I am voluntarily giving my honest opinion.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.