A Biracial Heroine set in the regency era? Butter my biscuits and call me Scotty cause that is exactly what Dare to Be A Duchess by Sapna Bhog gives us in this fun, romantic, and cute enemies to lovers historical romance. Grab your petticoats and slippers storytellers, because we have a duke to claim!
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publication Date: February 8th 2021
He’s a powerful duke. She’s his uncle’s ward. They have forever been at war, until one night, one masquerade, and one kiss…
Lara Ramsay is no stranger to scandal. As the orphaned daughter of a British colonel and his beloved Indian wife, whispers follow her everywhere. Not even the protection of the formidable Duke of Wolverton, a man she can’t stand, keeps the gossips at bay.
The audacious Lara has driven Tristan Wentworth, The Duke of Wolverton, to distraction since the day his uncle took her in—and he’s quite certain doing so is her favorite pastime. After catching her and his younger sister at a salacious masquerade, he’s had enough scandal and issues a marriage ultimatum: find a husband within six months or one will be chosen for her.
Unfortunately, no one in the ton appeals to her. Except, perhaps, the duke himself. The battle of wills has only just begun, and when Lara kisses him, their fate is sealed.
Sometimes even the most proper duke needs to break the rules to win the heart of the woman he loves…
ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review
“I’ve heard that a well-planted knee on a delicate part of a man’s anatomy would normally do the trick.”
Dare to Be a Duchess is the first Historical romance that I’ve read that was not written by Julia Quinn and I’m happy to report that this did not disappoint! Sapna Bhog hit it out of the park with this cute, fun, and devilishly charming enemies to lover story.
Lara is probably one of my most loved characters in this story as she was the realest out of all of them. Headstrong, independent, and fiercely loyal—Lara had to grow up fast and with a thick skin as she faced the ton by being the only biracial lady in the room. All eyes were on her since her Father’s best friend took her from India after her parent’s death—some good and some not good—and I loved watching and reading how Bhog handled the biracial representation in this story. Although I am not half Indian, I am biracial so I felt more so connected and somewhat of a kinship to Lara on a deeper level than any other character that we have been introduced to so far.
Tristan, our hero in every sense of the word was the alpha that I wanted to both run away with and choke at the same time. Like Lara, Tristan is fiercely loyal and would do anything for the ones he loves—especially his sister and Lara. The tit for tat that Tristan brought out of Lara was the literal cutest and steamiest banter I’ve come across in my albeit limited historical romance reads. Tristan brings out a different vibe from each person in the story and I absolutely adored having the chance to see things from his perspective as the story continued to progress.
What I didn’t really care for was the predictability of the ending—I knew what was going to happen and who was going to do it before the end was near which bummed me out some as I would have loved to see the plot twist in a different way. Also wasn’t too keen on how we weren’t able to fully delve into the characters farther than the surface level. I kind of hoped to watch that emotional connection grow more between the characters as we got to see them grow individually; however, because there wasn’t much depth with the cast we weren’t able to get that.
But, all in all though, I really loved and enjoyed this story to the fullest. It was lighthearted, airy, and just a down right good ol’ time. An Own Voice historical romance that will have you smiling and maybe even swooning a time or two—I definitely recommend Dare to Be a Duchess to anyone wanting a nice escape read!
Huge thank you to Entangled Publishing for sending me an ARC for my honest review! Quotations taken from an uncorrected proof and may change upon final publication.