Betting On A Duke’s Heart
by Royaline Sing
Rating: 4.25/5 Genre: Historical Romance, OwnVoice Publisher: Entangled Publishing Pub Date: April 19, 2021 Received an eARC from Entangled Publishing & NetGalley Available: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop
Betting on a Duke’s Heart Synopsis: Dina Campbell will only settle for marriage if she is sure he is her true love. She’s experienced an unfair marriage and she wants nothing like that. Aetius White, Duke of Saxton, is in search for a Triple Crown-winning horse to fulfill his late father’s dream. Dina’s dowery is a two crown winning horse. Aetius is determined that horse and Dina will be his. But Dina won’t go down without a fight. A game is put in place between Dina and Aetius as a challenge to their marriage. What isn’t expected by either one is the unquestionable chemistry and sizzling kisses between them. All is fair in love and racing, right?
Why can’t all historical romances be like this? Strong heroines, real diversity, non-asshole heroes, push and pull of love, and the pining. All of these goodies wrapped in one book. It’s shocking for me to believe that this was Royaline Sing’s debut book (FYI I’m going to need about a dozen more from her).
I love Dina. Her spirit, her drive, her culture. I especially loved all the details about Indian culture and life, and I know I probably missed even more than I caught. The little pieces of culture were so beautifully wrapped into the book. Additionally, at the beginning of each chapter there is part an Indian story, which became one of my favorite parts of the book.
Dina is so determined. She’s spunky and fierce, but not in the obnoxious way that happens so often. She’s a fully (and well) developed character!! Her positivity and happiness was balanced with her real problems.
I loved Dina’s secret occupation as well. I thought that it was incredibly cool. And I totally get her reasoning for keeping her secret. I just got so excited every time she talked about it! Do I wish that this hadn’t been as secret, yes, but I really enjoyed it.
Aetius’ growth. I loved watching this man slowly find himself and fall in love with Dina. It was a long process. I mean real long. But it was also incredibly heartwarming. The way that Aetius interacted with his friends, tenants, and others became so sweet. Love this man.
The enemies-to-lovers aspect was also really good. The conflict was understandable and it wasn’t created based off of one poorly communicated interaction. The who falls first was also refreshing.
My biggest grievance with the book is Aetius. I mean I like the man immensely, however I wanted to slam him against a brick wall many times over because the man was insane. You know that whole do the same thing again and again and expect different results situation? Well hello there Aetius… You are that person. I just wish that there had been some movement beyond that. Also, Dina’s whole devotion to her father was a little over the top.
Long story short
Do I recommend this book? Yes! If you love historical romance, OwnVoice novels, fun stories, turn of the century setting, and a good time then yes! I loved reading this book. Betting On A Duke’s Heart was a breath of fresh air. I needed something like this in historical romance, because I’ve been getting annoyed with that subgenre lately. So, thank you Royaline Sing for making me love the genre again and writing such a fabulous novel!
Thank you Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for the e-ARC. All thoughts and opinions are that of my own.
If you like the sound of this book I would also recommend checking out The Heiress Gets a Duke by Harper St. George. Strong willed heroine and a hero determined to right his family’s wrongs. Read my full review of it here!