A Hot, Will They or Won't They Regency Romance
February 8, 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…
“Twice tonight, Wolf had looked at her like he wanted to consume her whole. And the second time, he had kissed her like his life depended on it.” —Sapna Bhog, Dare to be a Duchess
Dare to be a Duchess by Sapna Bhog is a newly-released regency romance that I highly recommend for established fans romance fans and ones who are new to the genre. Not only does it feature a completely beguiling BIPOC heroine, but if you love attraction so hot it burns up the page with a hero who is both swarthy and stubborn (and will become your next book boyfriend in an instant) then look no further because I have the scoop for you!
This is my first introduction to Sapna Bhog, and it will not be my last. Dare to be a Duchess is full of characters that I want more of, as well as such deliciously spicy chemistry between Wolf and Lara. Seriously. It is no small feat to write love scenes that are so well-done that I become wrapped up in the emotion of it all. And while Wolf and Lara have these amazing and gorgeous love scenes, these characters are also still part of the tonand therefore there’s rules and protocol to be followed that both of them contend with in their own way. Wolf, as a Duke, needs to marry a proper woman who will be a perfect duchess. Lara just wants to marry for love, ton be damned, because she’s proud of her mixed-race heritage, and the fact that her parents married for love—scandal or not.
While Wolf and Lara grapple with their burgeoning feelings for each other, their friends also have their own agendas. On more than once occasion, Wolf and Lara put themselves into a scandalous position, and it’s their friends who come to their rescue. I admired how layered and carefully constructed the characters are within the story. I also truly enjoyed the quick pace, as well as the smattering of comedic scenes with Wolf’s friends, Hawk and Leo. Lara’s friends, Cammy and Anne, also play into more of the comedic instances, and I desperately hope there are more books for each of them! The three ladies remind me of a girl gang, and who doesn’t adore a good girl gang?
If you’re like me and have a Bridgerton Hangover, I one-hundred-percent suggest reading Dare to be a Duchess by Sapna Bhog. Fast-paced and full of fun until the very last word, I was swept away by Wolf and Lara’s story, and I guarantee that if you love a good romance, then this one will definitely win you over.
Jes is a self-proclaimed bookworm, who recently moved from the PNW back to the Midwest. When her nose isn’t in a book, she’s spending time with her husband, two kids, and her three fur babies, or exploring the globe. She also firmly believes that you should start the day with coffee, and end the day in bed with a good book.