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Betting on a Duke’s Heart

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Aetius White, the Duke of Saxton, couldn't save his father, but he'll be damned sure to save his father’s dream. He'll acquire a Triple Crown-winning horse at any cost, even marriage.

Miss Dina Campbell wants a soulmate, and hell will freeze over before she'd marry a horse-mad man who loves horses more than a woman. However, with her father aging quickly and her Indian heritage drawing interest in town, she may not get the say in her future that she’d hoped. Those prize horses belonging to her father are drawing attention from suitors, and time may be over for her to find a love match.

When the two are contracted for an arranged marriage, sparks fly. Only way to settle? A game of challenges where winner gets it all. If only their fiery wills stop clashing and sizzling kisses don't get in the way.

424 pages, ebook

First published April 19, 2021

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Royaline Sing

2 books49 followers

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5 stars
43 (26%)
4 stars
43 (26%)
3 stars
53 (32%)
2 stars
15 (9%)
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7 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 73 reviews
Profile Image for Elizabeth Everett.
Author 4 books540 followers
March 28, 2021
Royaline Sing’s debut novel, Betting on the Duke’s Heart is one big joyful ode to traditional regency romances. This isn’t immediately obvious as the book is set in 1895. The eponymous duke owns one of the first automobiles (which requires a footman running in front with a flag to warn oncoming carriages), at one point they take a ride on England’s first Ferris Wheel, and our heroine has had more freedom than traditional regency misses to travel.
In another departure from tradition, our heroine, Dina, is half-Indian and embraces that part of her heritage. Dina and her Indian servants have taught her English cook the ways of making food (and the descriptions of dishes such as paneer masala and shrikhand made my mouth water), in one scene she performs special Hindu prayers called Aarati, and most importantly, she is deeply committed to translating the epic love sagas of Hindu mythology.
However, Sing places us firmly in traditional regency territory with an alpha duke, Aetius White, the Duke of Saxton, who refuses to let himself fall in love with the enchanting heroine because of trust issues and pairs him nicely with a heroine who values her freedom too much to agree to marriage without the promise of love. The plot is traditional as well, with plenty of miscommunications, a nasty villain, and a cinematic-worthy ending – but Sing has penned it with a wink and a nod and her own twists.
Betting on the Duke conveys so much exuberance and joy, I had a smile on my face the entire time I was reading. Royaline Sing delivers a traditional historical romance plot in a unique manner with a decidedly nontraditional heroine – hitting familiar notes with an infectious zeal that is all her own.
Profile Image for Alison Cochrun.
Author 4 books2,371 followers
April 6, 2021
One of the things I love most about Betting on a Duke's Heart is how it is both rooted in the tropes and genre conventions of historical romance in a way that feels comfortable and familiar, like a warm blanket, while also bringing its own twists. I don't think I've ever read a historical romance that takes place in this time period before (1890s), which makes the book feel fresh and allows it to explore territory not often seen in Regency romances. I also love the way Royaline Sing weaves in Dina's translations of "The Love Saga of Nala and Damayanti" and the Hindu mythology through the book, as well as the feminist sensibilities of Dina. I hope we continue to see more diverse representation in historical romance, and I cannot wait to see what Sing writes next!

I recommend this book for anyone who loves historical romances, stormy heroes, bold heroines, and lots of tension!
Profile Image for Gabrielle Ash.
Author 5 books102 followers
April 11, 2021
Historical romances were the thing keeping me afloat the past year, and Betting on a Duke's Heart is one I'll never forget!

There was so much to love in this book. The time period, late Victorian, offered a unique backdrop to the romance: the marriage act amendments, the first cars, a ferris wheel. I loved that this book started in an unconventional way--with a race horse named Rochko that has won 2 out of 3 races of the Triple Crown. The horse belongs to the half-Indian heroine, Dina Campbell (her dowry), which meant many horse-mad suitors had vied for her hand and failed. Enter Aetius White, the Duke of Saxton, who intends on marrying Dina and securing Rochko. What follows is a brilliantly paced romance full of challenges, laughter, and moments so heartbreaking I had to keep reading to see what happened next.

As someone who grew up around horses, I appreciated that unique aspect of the plot. I also loved that each chapter began with lines of "The Love Saga of Nala and Damayanti" and how Sing was able to include details of Dina's Indian heritage, like recipes, clothes, and mythology. I really enjoyed how determined Dina was to be in control of her own life, and how she refused to marry a duke at the cost of her dreams.

I cannot wait to see what Royaline Sing writes next!
Profile Image for Regency Girl.
22 reviews1 follower
April 7, 2021
Betting on the Duke’s Heart is the winning debut from Royaline Sing. The heroine, Miss Dina Campbell, is a child of two cultures—her mother is from India and her father is English. I was particularly charmed with the way Ms. Sing wove in elements of Dina’s heritage from her mother’s side of the family. Every chapter begins with a snippet of “The Love Saga of Nala and Damayanti”, a tale from the Mahabharata.

Dina is a heroine after my own heart—strong and determined to make her own choices. I loved the way Aetius, the horse-mad duke, came to appreciate Dina for herself. All in all, this is a lovely story and I look forward to Ms. Sing’s next book.
Profile Image for Tracey.
Author 10 books361 followers
April 6, 2021
This was such a wonderful historical romance. I loved Dina - her strength, intelligence, and passion - and how Sing integrated both sides of her heritage into the story. She was the perfect foil for Aetius. I also really enjoyed the unique time period with the first automobiles and the Ferris Wheel. Highly recommend if you're looking for a fiercely independent heroine and a different kind of setting!
Profile Image for Casey.
Author 3 books382 followers
April 16, 2021
I’ve had so much fun getting into historical romance this year, so I was really excited to get an early copy of Betting on a Duke’s Heart. And it did not disappoint!

Watching Dina and Aeticus fight what was so clearly meant to be was such a delight. Both these characters were passionate and head strong and scarred, but also vulnerable. Each time another wall between them fell, my heart raced for this couple.

There’s so much to love in this book. From the late Victorian time period, to the first cars, to all the talk about horses. Sing brings a unique take to the genre. And Dina was a joy to read; I loved getting to see both sides of her heritage, and how strongly she was connected to her passions.
Profile Image for India Holton.
Author 3 books1,934 followers
April 9, 2021
This book was great for a horse lover like me. It would also suit readers who enjoy the enemies to lover, opposites attract trope as Aetius and Dina were two strong and very different characters who nevertheless shared great chemistry, and from this found mutuality and love. The richness of own voices culture and heritage added something really special to the tale. I look forward to reading more from Royaline Singh.
Profile Image for Elodie’s Reading Corner.
2,527 reviews122 followers
April 19, 2021
Betting on a Duke’s Heart
Royaline Sing
Release Date 04/19/2021
Publisher Entangled : Amara


Aetius White, the Duke of Saxton, couldn't save his father, but he'll be damned if he won't save the man’s dream. He'll acquire a Triple Crown–winning horse at any cost, even marriage. Luckily, the lovely lady in mind loves challenges as much as he. Certainly he can win her heart without losing his own…

Hell will freeze over before Miss Dina Campbell agrees to marry a horse-mad man who wants her dowry of a prize stallion, no matter what her father wants. The duke may be handsome, but he’ll have to prove he is a suitable match for her before she’ll even consider the offer. And there’s no way this love-averse man will ever succeed with the wager that she has planned…

𝗠𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄

Will he let his nightmares come to fruition by his inertia ...

I confess I had a bad start with this book and if I had not received it as an advance copy, I might have stopped my reading after the first chapters, gratefully I did not or I would have missed a good debut novel.
So what nearly prompted me to give up on this book, it is me, as I suppose other readers do not mind as authors continue to reproduced this pattern, but there is nothing more I dislike than a heroine who turns in a puddle of drool at the mere sight of a nice face and broad shoulders. Dina is supposed to be strong and determined, with a purpose to aim for; yet the moment she sees the hero, her wits leak from her ears. She can’t put two words together and it does not improve upon their second encounter.
And then there is the hero, quickly he decides she is to be tamed like a pet, trained to be obedient and willing. He can be a Duke or king of the world, this is rubbish.
So I began my reading a bit off kilter, not knowing if I would reconcile with the knee-weak heroine and the alpha trainer Duke.

Thankfully there is more to them than my first impression, they have dreams and goals and a past that shaped them. And while they show they are more complex and layered then I first thought. I was still at time in the beginning upset by her inability to fight back and by his ⒶⓁⓅⒽⒶⓈⓈⒽⓄⓁⒺⓃⒺⓈⓈ!
Fortunately things change upon half mark, as they get to see past each one’s reservation.
In fact they share the same fear but react opposite to it. By being frightened to be left behind, Aetius keeps everyone at arm’s length when Dina afraid to never be enough, blend in the crowd, hiding her true self and dreams.
So their game to win the other, bring them closer, offering time to put behind their wrong assumptions by trying to embrace their true self, giving closure to past pain and opening to the other.
Yet both still hold back, and while Dina is more forward, Aetius struggles to share his pains and feelings. So when past fears are reawakened and doubts enter the scene, will it stir his flame or threaten their fragile truce.

Outside my reservations from the beginning, Aetius is a kind and fair fellow, not one to take advantage and his story is heartbreaking and explains much of his behavior. He is like a wounded beast, biting because he is scared and hurt. Dina has her own burden, her birth origins explains why she must be prudent and why she hides her true self, then her parents history adds an understandable light to her actions.

Aetius’ friends are people who bring fun to this story, then the later threat and last part twist add tension to an already on-edge narrative.
The book is also full of details on the way of life and culinary traditions from the heroine’s birth place, fascinating and captivating.
So much I would have loved pictures to illustrate all the outfits, spices and dishes.

4.25 stars for this debut novel as the author redeemed her characters along the pages and schemed an awesome groveling scene.

𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 onscreen lovemaking scenes.

I have been granted an advance copy by the publisher Entangled, here is my true and unbiased opinion.

Profile Image for SynergyQuest.
1,792 reviews6 followers
April 12, 2021
4.5 stars - Betting on the Duke’s Heart is a very gratifying read. I love multi-cultural romances. They manage to teach me something about a different culture while also providing a wonderful reading experience. This author is new to me, but I’ll keep an eye out for more of her books in the future.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Lacey (laceybooklovers).
2,063 reviews10.5k followers
November 10, 2022
3.5 stars! This was fun, but I've come to realize historical romances that are about horses aren't really for me lol.

Aetius, the Duke hero, wants to acquire a winning race horse as his late father's dying wish. Dina, the half Indian heroine, wants to find a love match, and he has to NOT be horse-obsessed because she had enough of that growing up with her horse-owning/breeding father. Because of Dina's father, this winning horse becomes a part of Dina’s dowry, so Dina and Aetius have a contract for an arranged marriage. They absolutely don't get along at first and it's a rocky engagement, but I enjoyed the way they slowly fell for each other. I also thought it was so great that the book was set in the 1890s, so there are the first cars in this HR! It's also set around the Triple Crown horse race, so it's quite the unique HR.
Profile Image for Julie Tieu.
Author 4 books359 followers
April 17, 2021
Betting on a Duke's Heart is a standout historical romance. I loved how the book embedded Indian mythology and customs. I found Dina to be passionate, intelligent, and fiercely independent, wanting to marry for love. She protests her betrothal to the Duke of Saxton, who only wishes to marry her for the dowry, a prized racehorse. Given the circumstances of their engagement, they had many obstacles to overcome but the way their romance progresses is lovely and you can't help but root for the both of them

Thank you NetGalley and Entangled for the ARC!
Profile Image for Eleanor Lynn.
140 reviews7 followers
April 18, 2021
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).

Let’s just get into this. 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. They were so beautifully wrapped into the book. One of my favorite parts is the story being told at the beginning of every chapter. And Dina is so determined as well, she’s spunky and fierce but not in the obnoxious way that happens so often. She’s a fully (and well) developed character!!

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. I understood the why behind it and the conflict 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. It was the breath of fresh air I needed 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! (Also, I wish there was more of a sliding scale of rating because this honestly falls between a 4.25/4.5 for me!)

Thank you Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for the e-ARC. All thoughts and opinions are that of my own.
Profile Image for Morgan Many Books.
158 reviews63 followers
April 20, 2021
3 Super Debut Stars!

So this was chalk full of surprises, many of which were genuinely delightful. For one thing, I really enjoyed both Dina and Aeitus individually as main characters. I liked that in amidst their outer confidence and well matched wits were squishy nuanced inner shells. While they both really, desperately, want to be loved they go about avoiding it out of fear in two entirely different ways; and while their childhood traumas manifested similarly, the way that formative damage is expressed is also completely different. It made their interactions dynamic and the subtext of their behavior really intriguing to follow as they stumbled around in love. They were both independently solid, well-characterized protagonists that I wanted to root for. I liked the instant, albeit confused, connection they shared and the various hoops they each had to jump through over the course of their relationship. So suffice it to say, the general intention and execution of this story was prime stuff and I wholeheartedly intend to return to Royaline Sing to see what she has to offer next.

I think one thing that particularly stood out was the expression of Indian culture. This is often done as a sort of pastiche that borders on offensive (this, coming from the white Canadian woman so I mean.... how do south Asians feel?) and this never felt that way. We need more representation like this, in characters and in writers. But this alone isn’t the only thing that makes me curious about her future work, it’s the the fact that she seems to be a planner in her writing, and it all bodes well.

The gripes I had were not overly numerous, though my GoodReads updates certainly attests to the greatest issue I had—which was that it took me forever to get into. Forever. Days. And that never happens. I would say I waffle on 1 in 20 books... To be objective I look to my last few weeks and it could be that I was in an intensive Russian language course, writing a 60-page prospectus for my PhD and working on articles and all the deadlines landed near each other. But even then, I think there were elements of the first 20% of Betting on a Duke’s Heart that were a little disconnected from the intended arc of the story. There were moments where I wasn’t sure quite what Dine and the Duke were talking about, or what their motivations were and this was exacerbated by Sing’s otherwise wonderful entertaining fast-paced prose (sort of in the style of Mia Vincy or Tessa Dare). But, then, once things started to amp up at the 30% mark I was blasting through the pages. Until I hit around the 70% mark and it lost it’s momentum, and I will admit I was a little disappointed with the choices made by Atticus and Dina. They felt a little divergent from the character descriptions and the trajectory of their love story in the second third of the book. But then, it all comes to a very nice conclusion and there were little hints throughout setting up future series (maybe? Or is that just me being hopeful?).

And I am super hopeful! I think that Sing shows a lot of promise with a unique perspective, fun stories, and.... thank the Historical Romance Gods.... NOT taking place during the Regency Period.

Can’t ask for much more, ya know?

Highly recommend giving this fresh writer a go if you like yourself a bi-racial oppositional, unique heroine, a broody, emotionally damaged duke, horses, and angst!

Thanks to Entangled Publishing LLC via NetGalley for this ARC. I read and reviewed this of my own volition and all opinions are honest and my own.
Profile Image for Julie - One Book More.
1,045 reviews182 followers
April 17, 2021
Determined to restore his family name and ensure his place in the equestrian world, Aetius White wants nothing more than to win the Triple Crown, even if it means marrying his neighbor’s daughter to get her prize-winning horse. The only problem is Dina Campbell has no intention of marrying a horseman who is only after her dowry. She wants to marry for love, and not even Aetius’s intriguing competition will change that. However, never one to back down from a challenge, Dina agrees to the competition, and the games begin. However, the competition slowly becomes less about winning and more about proving their love for each other.

Goal-oriented and resolute, Aetius feels much shame over his father’s demise. He also fears rejection. In his eyes, everyone he has ever cared for has left him, and though Aelius is interested in marriage, he is resistant to falling in love. He fears abandonment and chooses to isolate himself and shut his heart to everyone. Respectability is important to him. He slowly comes to see things from other perspectives. It doesn’t change the past, but it does offer him hope and an opportunity for growth. He has to learn to open up to and trust others. This proves difficult, but as he grows closer to Dina, he changes.

Dina is so different from Aetius, which is why they butt heads throughout the story. Dina is tender-hearted, empathetic, and vivacious. She is also outspoken and often bends the rules. Her passion lies in translating, and she fears that marriage will squelch her ability to continue translating, especially since her career is taking off. If she marries Aetius, will he prohibit her from traveling? Will she be able to continue her career in writing? Will he ever grow to love her?

The focus of the story is on the passionate, opposites-attract, enemies-to-lovers romance between Aetius and Dina. Aetius and Dina want different things in their marriage. Dina wants love, and Aetius wants more of a partnership or alliance. This angst-filled couple struggles to trust each other, Aetius because of his past and Dina because of the nature of the engagement. However, as they spend time together, they both start to understand each other, and their feelings grow. They have amazing chemistry, and their interactions are filled with sexual tension.

Each chapter of the book starts with a brief passage from the story Dina is translating. I love this, as well as the other parts of the story that highlight Dina’s heritage and culture. An intriguing mystery that puts Dina and Aetius in danger is another interesting addition to the story. I also like the secondary characters, especially Dina’s closest friends. They are fiercely protective of Dina and extremely loyal, and they prove that you don’t have to be related by blood to be a family.

Another aspect of the story that I enjoyed was the historical references. Political news, new inventions, social changes, and historically significant cultural allusions are fascinating. I loved learning about the popular inventions during this time and how people felt about the major societal progressions and happenings. The changing times and their effects, both positive and negative, resonate with the characters and add depth to the story and setting.

I enjoyed Betting on a Duke’s Heart. It is a well-paced and developed story with interesting characters and a sexy romance. The story also examines complicated family relationships. Miscommunication, lies, and feelings of betrayal are juxtaposed with tenderness and love, showing how complex families, and life, can be. It also has a great love story that historical romance fans will love. Thanks so much to NetGalley, Entangled Publishing, and Royaline Sing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Allison.
714 reviews21 followers
March 23, 2021
This historical romance starts with a horse. On the verge of winning the Triple Crown, Rochko is a part of Miss Dina Campbell's dowry. The lady in question receives many greedy suitors who truly seek her champion racer. The worst of the lot seems to be Duke Saxton, an equestrian of some renown who informs her of their engagement rather than, you know, asking her. Commence a battle of wits. Both competitive, they set one another a series of challenges to determine whether Dina will accept the proposal or find herself set free.

The story had a lot of amusing quips and sentimental moments. Dina, in particular, was a strong character. Her passion for translating myths, her enthusiasm for travel, and the way she strives to honor both sides of her cultural heritage (Indian/English) make her a dynamic protagonist. Her at-times tempestuous personality and strong sense of loyalty combined to make a fierce advocate and devoted friend. Our hero, Aetius, held less sparkle for me. It was often his emotional immaturity that held the romance back throughout. On the other hand, the author said to imagine he looks like Hrithik Roshan, and honestly, I can work with that alone.

What I loved best about the story is that it wasn't rushed. We get thoughtful details about our characters' lives, relationships, and histories outside the love story. What drives them? What makes them well-rounded people? It was very well done and at just rhe pace I like. I want to know about side characters and read the back-and-forth of conversations to settle the idealistic romance into the trappings of reality in a comforting way. I also enjoyed the snippets from the myth Dina is translating from Sanskrit.

This is a promising #ownvoices historical romance debut, and I so look forward to finding out what futures lie in wait for the other characters in this world. Thank you to Entangled Amara and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. It hits shelves next month on 4/19!
Profile Image for Sanjana.
14 reviews4 followers
March 28, 2021
Ok so a biracial Indian protagonist, a Duke, Indian mythology, and fun romance novel bets between protagonists (BY A SOUTH ASIAN AUTHOR!)! I’ve been waiting for a book like this for ages, but I’m afraid this didn’t quite live up to my expectations. 2.5/5 stars.

Let’s start with the good: the integration of the character’s culture, heritage, and twin identities as a British and Indian woman. I felt like this was thoughtful and not as cumbersome as a lot of own voices books with south asian protagonists can be (in my experience as a South Asian woman), and I was thrilled with how much richer it made the heroine’s characterization. The mythology alongside the narrative was such a sweet touch. I also thought the inclusion of certain historical details was interesting/engaging. Lots of cute moments between the hero and heroine too!

Now the stuff that absolutely did not work for me: I need to bring up the horses. Oh my God, the horses. I’ve never cared less about horses in my entire life. Paragraph after paragraph of description of horse training and breeding. Paragraphs of discussion of how liberating being on horseback was. Aetius please, I beg of you, find one (1) other real hobby. I can’t take it. Not to mention the insane chapter *mild spoiler* in which horse breeding is described in entirely too much detail (which is to say, any detail) and used as the backdrop for romance, which almost stopped me from finishing the book altogether. It went beyond being a useful plot point and, coupled with my general frustration with the writing style—which was a chore to understand on its own at multiple
points— really dominated the novel. I wanted this to be neater, tidier, with clearer character motivations and less winding internal monologues and dialogue I had to work overtime to follow. Also the tie in of the Indian Independence movement at the end was so abrupt and honestly sloppy. I’m hoping future books in the series will be more thoughtful about that plot point. I could also add stuff about Aetius’ characterization that didn’t add up for me, but I’ll spare the essay.

I hope this doesn’t come across as too harsh— there are so many things the book tried to do right and I don’t want this to disincentivize people from reading, writing, and publishing more diverse historical romance. I will be keeping an eye out for the author’s future work too! I want badly for the next book to right some of the issues with this one, because I feel like there’s real potential here.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC!
Profile Image for PlotTrysts.
647 reviews215 followers
April 20, 2021
This historical romance uses a few tried and true concepts that, combined, should have made for a fun book: Dina's father has settled a winning racehorse on her as a dowry. When Dina turns him down, the horse-mad nobleman who takes the bait agrees to court her through the means of "challenges" - if he wins, he can announce their engagement; if she wins, he withdraws his proposal. We were also intrigued by Dina's mixed-race background: her mother was Indian, while her father is of the British gentry.

Instead of a fun and frothy novel, however, Betting on a Duke's Heart leans in to the angst. The challenges/courtship are only half of the book, while the second half includes blackmail, sabotage, missed connections and refusal to communicate. If you really like the time period (late Victorian), horses, and are interested in the South Asian connection, you might be interested in this one. Unfortunately it was not our cup of tea.

This objective review is based on a complimentary copy of the novel.
Profile Image for Rachel.
172 reviews6 followers
March 22, 2021
A wonderful story. I could've kept reading forever about Dina. She's fiercely independent in a time when it was looked down on to be so.

*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this eARC.
Profile Image for Candy Briggs.
731 reviews10 followers
April 15, 2021
I enjoyed the book. It is the first time I have read any of her work and look forward to reading more. Dina Campbell was born in India. Her mother r was Indian and her father was English. She was gifted with the freedom to marry and to who or so she thought.
Duke of Saxton, Aetius White, was a kind of bully. He comes to her home spends three minutes telling her she is engaged and does not even give her a chance to say anything. He is obsessed with horses.
He spends a lot of time with them.
She refuses to marry anyone who only thinks of horses and puts her second. From a friend, she is given a horse named Rochko. Her father has included the horse as part of her dowry. Not a happy lady.
Dina starts out doing everything she can to get him to change his mind. He only sees the horse. It is a
cute story and what they go thru with each other. She is almost as crazy about horses but not like him.
I do recommend this book.
I received this ARC from Ney Galley and voluntarily reviewed it.
13 reviews1 follower
April 16, 2021
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I received this book from Netgalley.

That being said, I’m only partway through it and I love it. This is one of those few books that have POC representation - Indian representation. I feel seen people!

The story follows a typical historical regency romance line. Titled peer meets dashing heroine. Titled peer wants to marry heroine for business, but heroine wants to marry for love. Ensue shenanigans! XD

The story:
Set in 1890s, the backdrop of this historical romance is a refreshing change from Victorian England. You can feel the excitement of the characters to all the new (at that time!) innovations the Duke and his would be duchess espouse in the book. The story itself is more traditional romance like I mentioned before, but also interweaves snippets from a story in Mahabharat. The author does a wonderful job of incorporating Indian values/culture/food into the story without it feeling too on the nose. It feels more natural than something forced on.

The characters:
The Duke is dashing, Dina is headstrong. The 2 protagonists complement each other well in this book. It’s very interesting to read how the Duke goes from ‘I want to marry for business!’ to ‘I want to marry coz I love her!’.
Dina’s feminist tendencies create a perfect foil for our upstanding Duke who also understands what it means to support others. The challenges they set each other to ensure compatibility and understanding are awesome and hilarious, and seem very on point for even this day and age.

Personally speaking, I’m looking forward to more books from Ms Sing, I really enjoyed reading this one and recommend to people who enjoy their historical romances filled with heroines who think for themselves.
Profile Image for suereadsromance.
14 reviews1 follower
April 19, 2021
Such a beautiful story. I love the growth that you see from main characters, both individually and together. So sweet! As the debut novel Royaline Sing, it was well done. I could do with the story being less verbose and allow the story to flow organically but overall such a sweet story.

I received this as an ARC and this is my honest review. #BettingOnADukesHeart #NetGalley
Profile Image for ChasingLeslie.
372 reviews65 followers
March 29, 2021
Aetius White, the Duke of Saxton, plans to acquire a Triple Crown–winning horse at any cost, even if it's through marriage. Miss Dina Campbell wants nothing to do with another suitor who's only after her prize stallion dowry. She'd much rather work on translations than become a duchess, and she needs Aetius to prove that he cares about her - not her horse.

I was drawn to the striking cover and the plot description that sounded a little different than everything else I'd been reading. For me, this story was a little like trying to find the right water temperature...every time I thought it was just about right, it would go cold. The horse plot that I was initially intrigued by, went beyond being a useful side story and completely took over. I wanted to become engaged with Dina's background and culture, but even that wasn't enough to draw me in to these characters.

This is the debut novel for Royaline Sing, and with that I give the book some leeway. I felt like the author was trying to include too much and that took away from romance building. I would try another book in the future. 2.5 stars.

Tropes: Enemies to Lovers, Cultural Differences

* I received an ARC and this is my honest review. #BettingOnADukesHeart #NetGalley
Profile Image for Emma.
88 reviews2 followers
May 15, 2021
I so enjoyed this debut historical romance from Royaline Sing! I love a strong heroine who keeps the hero on their toes, and Dina was a stand out for me.

The tension between her and Aetius practically crackled on the page and watching them get under each other's skin (and into their hearts) was very satisfying. I also loved reading about Dina's Indian heritage and her travels, along with the unique chapter beginnings featuring excerpts from a story is is translating.

A great opposites attract romance! I am looking forward to more from Sing!
Profile Image for Lisa.
463 reviews34 followers
April 2, 2021
Thanks to NetGalley for a arc copy for a honest review..

Betting on a Duke’s Heart was cute I like both. As my husband and I are horse racing fans this was an okay read not much jumped out at me all in all I’m glad I gave this book a chance. 3 1/2 star read.

Happy Reading

Profile Image for Brenda.
2,690 reviews25 followers
April 20, 2021
Aetius and Dina are a nice couple considering their own predilections in this debut novel. This is a rather long and rambling story. It is maybe too long in that there are too many chapters.
I would have preferred a shorter version of this book.
Royaline Sing did a remarkable job with her debut novel.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. This in no way affects my opinion of this book which I read and reviewed voluntarily.
Profile Image for Mae Bee.
11 reviews2 followers
April 30, 2021
There is nothing I love more than an enemies-to-lovers romance. I love the battles of wits, the tension, and the chemistry and slow burn as the couple finally realizes that despite all their efforts, they’re perfect together. Betting on a Duke’s Heart had all the best elements of a great enemies-to-lovers historical romance.

Right away, I connected with Dina, who was smart, witty, and relatable. Aetius took me a bit longer to warm up to, which makes perfect sense in a story like this! The heroine needs to have a reason to hate him until she (and we) slowly peel away his layers and see him for the kind, ultimately good, but damaged person that he is. In this case, Aetius was totally horse-obsessed and sometimes couldn’t see beyond that. But his reasons for being so, stemming from his troubling past, all made perfect sense.

It was so much fun to ride along with Dina and Aetius on this journey of discovering themselves and each other. The side characters were great fun, and Dina’s secret occupation and Aetius’s horses added interesting, fresh new elements to the story. Overall, I’d absolutely recommend this!
Profile Image for gwendalyn _books_.
947 reviews36 followers
May 10, 2021
Betting on a Duke’s Heart by by Royaline Sing
A wonderful debut by a South Asian author writing a biracial heroine (half English & half Indian) in a historical romance. The book is peppered with Indian culture along with Hindu mythology blended within the story.

We have opposites-attract, enemies-to-lovers romance between the two main characters, Aetius and Dina. The storyline is reminiscent of older historical romances, that use a subject, as an anchor for plot line. In this book it��s all about horses, which I found quite fascinating.
The heroine gives the reader a brief translated passage at the beginning of each chapter. Which gives this book some really inventive dynamics. I loved the wonderful added culture and heritage that adds depth to story.
It’s a slow burn romance with lots angst, and chemistry.
Profile Image for Renée Dahlia.
Author 66 books65 followers
May 6, 2021
Enjoyable historical with excellent horse details.

Okay, so the St Leger was run in the faster time than the Derby which isn't at all accurate, but that's a really technical error, and the breeding scene was hilarious because horses don't make any noise in real life, but again it was fun and dramatic. The rest of the horse stuff was accurate so I give those two things a pass. I'm a super hard marker on horse stuff, especially horse racing and gambling, as that's my day job and expertise.

As far as the romance went, it was emotional and both characters had to grow up and change. The initial motives were a bit of a stretch but it all made sense in the end. If you love grand gestures, you'll like this one.
Profile Image for Janet.
3,931 reviews35 followers
April 15, 2021
3.75 Stars
Aetius White, the Duke of Saxton, couldn't save his father, but he'll be damned if he won't save the man’s dream. He'll acquire a Triple Crown–winning horse at any cost, even marriage. Luckily, the lovely lady in mind loves challenges as much as he. Hell will freeze over before Miss Dina Campbell agrees to marry a horse-mad man who wants her dowry of a prize stallion, no matter what her father wants.
I believe this is the author's debut novel & I found it to be a well written book with misunderstandings, miscommunications & a delightful couple. I enjoyed that it was set in the late Victorian period so there was one of the first automobiles complete with the flag waving servant walking / running in front. I thoroughly enjoyed Aetius & Dinas’ road to a HEA but I would have loved if there hadn't been so much about horses! I must admit I did get bogged down in all the horsey bits & found myself skimming through sometimes pages. I did love the strong willed Dina & the gorgeous Aetius, the chemistry between the pair slowly came to a boil. I also loved their verbal bantering.
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
432 reviews6 followers
April 22, 2021
A wonderful romance!!

Dina wants to have love in her marriage. Aetius only wants the prize winning horse she will own once she is married to him. Will her dream come true? This is a beautifully told story that takes you to far away places and then home again. Definitely a 5 star read!!!!
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