May the Best Duke Win by Paulia Belgado

Posted November 19, 2022 by Marsha in Harlequin, Harlequin Historical, Owned or Purchased, Sexual Content, Victorian Romance / 0 Comments


She must marry a duke… But which one?

American heiress Kate Mason loves being a rail engineer—yet her father is demanding she marry an English aristocrat!

Her plan is to accept any noble who’ll allow her to pursue her railway ambitions—until she kisses Sebastian, Duke of Mabury.

He is a duke, but the wrong one.

He’s shunned society since a family scandal and vowed never to wed at all.

So why does being with him feel so right?

This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.

Debut title

Title:  May the Best Duke Win
Series:  Stand-Alone Title
Author:  Paulia Belgado
Genre:  Victorian Historical Romance
Published:  August 23, 2022
Publisher:  Harlequin Historical Romance
My Rating:  4 stars

May the Best Duke Win is author Paulia Belgado’s debut title and it is such a well-told story that you’d be hard-pressed to know that little fact if it wasn’t mentioned.  Why mention it then?  Because good stories should be celebrated and encouraged.  And I certainly hope that Ms. Belgado sends us another story very soon.

I love a heroine who is, well, not cut from the same cloth as most other women in her time period.  Kate is indeed a woman ahead of her time in ability, knowledge, and not being afraid to go against the system when she must… or play the system to her advantage when there is no other choice.  She’s been given a unique education in something that is definitely outside of the norm for Victorian times.  Having a grandfather who ignited her curiosity and encouraged it helped, but having a father who sees her as only an accommodation to be sold or bartered for his own benefit most definitely hindered her natural abilities.  But that doesn’t mean that Kate will sit idly by and allow others to dictate her future.  She needs a duke, so she’ll find one that will fit her… and she does, but he was certainly not all what she’d been expecting.

Kate and Sebastian make a powerful, believable couple.  Oh, he might not fit her requirements for a husband who would just sit back and allow her to go her own way, but then unless she convinces him otherwise there wouldn’t be a marriage between them at all since he is determined to remain unwed.  But not unattached for their somewhat forbidden, hidden romance is slowly changing his mind, against his better judgment.

Two somewhat unconventional people are going to go against the odds to make the passion, the attraction, and definitely, the love between them work… it just might take a bit of time, and some unconventional means to make that happen.  I had fun with May the Best Duke Win.  It’s a well-written story with believable characters, secondary characters that add dimension to the story, lots of emotions, and a couple who you’ll be cheering for to find their happily ever after ending.  I’ll definitely be watching for what Ms. Belgado brings us next.

I own a Kindle edition of this title.

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