ARC Review: Dare to Be a Duchess by Sapna Bhog

About the Book:

Title: Dare to Be a Duchess

Author: Sapna Bhog

Page Length: 150

Publication Date: Feb. 8, 2021

Publisher: Entangled

Synopsis: 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…

LINKS:     Goodreads     |      Amazon    

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My Review:

Dare to Be a Duchess is a wonderful historical romance that follows Lara and Wolf as they find love under the most unlikely circumstances. Lara and Wolf have known each other for years, but they never got along until an impromptu kiss at a masquerade ball. Suddenly, they see each other in a different light. Lara and Wolf can’t deny their attraction to each other, but with so many obstacles standing in their way, including her heritage, his familial obligations, the whispers and judgment of their peers, and several characters who wish them harm, can they ever find their happily-ever-after?

I really enjoyed this story. The characters and plot are fabulous, and it has some great messages. Lara, for example, is rebellious, compassionate, intelligent, and fiercely loyal. She makes her own rules and often defies the norms and expectations of the ton. Rejected over and over again because of her heritage, it’s a wonder Lara has maintained such an optimistic and hopeful outlook on life. I love her carefree spirit and her ability to rise above the catty, judgmental people who surround her. I also love that she stands up for herself and rejects the very people who disrespect her.

Wolf is a man of integrity. He has strong morals and tries to resist his feelings for Lara. She is his uncle’s ward and his sister’s best friend, which makes Lara off-limits. Though he knows he should find an “acceptable” partner, his feelings toward Lara are too strong. Wolf is no stranger to scandal, as his father was embroiled in many, but he has worked hard to reestablish the family name. However, as his feelings for Lara grow, he has to decide what is more important to him: appeasing his mother and the ton’s expectations or following his heart.

Wolf is a man used to being in control, and Lara drives him to distraction. I love that his ever-growing feelings toward Lara change Wolf. She softens him, challenges him, and intrigues him, and she makes him see the wonderful possibilities life has to offer when spending it with someone he cares about. Plus, their chemistry is off the charts!! They struggle to keep their eyes (and hands) off each other, which leads to some fantastic and romantic scenes.

The friendships in the story are also fantastic. Both Lara and Wolf have amazing and long-lasting friendships, and their friends are their staunchest allies. I love how loyal and honest their friends are and how willing they are to support each other during the good times and the bad. Their conversations are sometimes easy, often witty, and occasionally conspiratorial, and I loved that they had such depth. I also like that Wolf’s friends have some connections to Lara’s friends, and I’m curious to see how these relationships develop in future books.

There are also some strong messages about prejudice, acceptance, being true to yourself, and more. Because her mother was Indian and her father was British, Lara is harshly treated by racists in the ton. Her life is threatened on more than one occasion, and many people feel they can disrespect, snub, or take advantage of her. These people and situations sharply contrast the love and support she receives from her uncle and friends, who embrace Lara for the exceptional and unique person that she is.

An amazing love story full of passion, angst, confusion, danger, and more, Dare to Be a Duchess is perfect for fans of historical romance. I so enjoyed this story and can’t wait to read more of the series! Thanks so much to NetGalley, Entangled Publishing, and Sapna Bhog for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance!!! Wolf and Lara have amazing chemistry, and I adored their love story.
  • That cover!! It’s stunning (and the initial reason I chose to read the book)!
  • The friendships. Definitely one of the highlights of the novel!

Favorite Lines:

There’s no such thing as love. It’s only a word for fools who write about it in poetry and books.

Sometimes all one needs is a chance.

Stupid of her to think that she could challenge a wolf and emerge unscathed.

If someone was condemning you to the devil, then one at least needed to know the reason for it.


This is a great novel for readers who enjoy historical romance with feisty heroines and a great love story!

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