At a Glance
Author: Evie Dunmore
Published: September 3, 2019 by Berkley
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Goodreads Rating: 4.05 out of 5
My Rating: ★★★★★
“England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.
Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn’t be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn’t claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring…or could he?
Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke…. ”
Another book that was quite an un-expectantly enjoyable read for me. As one of my Book of the Month backlist books, Bringing Down the Duke was the February pick for my Badass Babes Book Club, which is one of the Instagram book clubs I regularly join. It’s a fairly light historical fiction romance that takes place in Victorian London.
Peggy, after the death of her father, is forced to serve her cousin. She cares for his children and cleans his home. She has never expected much from her life, including never harboring the believe she will have a husband. When Oxford college begins to enroll a small group of women into the college, Peggy seizes her chance and convincing her cousin to let her leave for London. The biggest challenge is that her scholarship, funded by a Women’s suffrage group, is dependent upon her doing her part for the movement. As the women work to prompt Women’s rights, especially overturning the Women’s Property act, Peggy finds herself the unlikely houseguest of Sebastian or otherwise known as the wealthy and very cold Duke of Montgomery.
Told in alternating perspectives between Peggy and Sebastian, the chemistry between the two is immediate and Dunmore does an excellent job of building the relationship between the two. She does all this while not letting Peggy wavier on her moral principals, which we too often see in women who are swept off their feet. Instead Peggy’s character is stubborn and stands behind her principals, never wavier because of whimsical notions of the heart.
I really enjoyed that while Dunmore has given us a lighthearted romance, she also did provides the reader with plenty of historical facts. Particular around the women’s suffrage movement in the late 19th and early 20th century. Growing up in the states, we really only were ever taught limited amounts about the women’s suffrage movement in the United States. While this book focuses more on the plight and struggle of English women, it’s really a key turning point for much of western society, in terms of granting women’s rights. It still amazing me that US women didn’t experience the same freedom’s of European women until roughly 30-50 years later. For a country that prompts freedom, we sometimes find ourselves behind the power curb and relatively old fashion compared to our European counterparts.
This book is the perfect mixture for a historical romance. I highly enjoyed reading this book and cannot wait for the next book in the League of Extraordinary Women series, which comes out this year! This book is currently out and I gave it ★★★★★.
This book is out now! If you think you’d like to read this book get it HERE!
I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on Bringing Down the Duke. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof_books.
About the Author
In her civilian life, she is a strategy consultant with a M.Sc. in Diplomacy from Oxford. Scotland and the great outdoors have a special place in her heart, so she can frequently be found climbing the Highlands and hunting for woolly tartan blanket bargains.
Evie lives in Europe and pours her fascination with 19th century Britain into her writing. She is a member of the British Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA).