Today I have a review of Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore, available from Berkley Pub on September 3, 2019.
Somehow this cover brought to mind a rom com, but that is not what unfolds within these pages. Instead, it’s a clever historical romance, one like nothing I’ve read before, though I admit I am not a frequent historical romance reader.
In late 19th century England, Annabelle Archer is the daughter of a country vicar, now penniless. Annabelle has joined the first class of female students at the University of Oxford. Her scholarship has a price, though, and a worthy one: she must advocate for women’s suffrage.
She’s been told she must recruit men to support the cause, and in her sights is the Duke of Montgomery, Sebastian Devereux.
Oh, and the Duke happens to be her political polar opposite, and handsome. So very handsome.
At the same time, Sebastian is finding Annabelle’s green eyes irresistible; however, she’s a commoner and not fit to be his duchess.
Even though this wasn’t a rom com, there were still funny moments. There were also some emotional times. I found the romance between Sebastian and Annabelle to feel authentic. The women’s suffrage movement during the Victorian era was a fascinating backdrop.
Overall, Bringing Down the Duke surprised me with its heart, and I look forward to the next in the series.
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
About the Book:
A stunning debut for author Evie Dunmore and her Oxford Rebels, in which a fiercely independent vicar’s daughter takes on a duke in a fiery love story that threatens to upend the British social order.
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….