Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance
Publication Date: September 3, 2019 by Berkley Books
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Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
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....
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Bringing Down the Duke is a 2019 release that’s been getting a lot of hype, and honestly it’s all worth it. This debut historical romance follows Annabelle as she leaves working for her family to attend Oxford since the school finally allows women to attend. Part of her scholarship is from a women’s suffragette group, and keeping the scholarship means meeting with men with political power to get them to join their suffragette movement. While Annabelle is out trying to discuss the movement with men in politics, she runs into Sebastian, a grumpy duke, and where they get off on the wrong foot, and then end up spending a lot of time in each other’s presence.
I loved everything about this story. I honestly can’t say what my favorite part was because I loved it all. The novel was so feminist, and it was amazing seeing this group of women stand up for what they want, and not let what other’s say affect them. Not only was the work they were doing great, but they were a great group of friends as well. When Annabelle was having difficulties, her friends from the group banded around her and helped her in any way they could.
“Perhaps you can explain it to me then, how is it fair that my utterly inept cousin is in command of me, for no reason other than that he’s a man and I’m a woman? How is it fair that I master Latin and Greek as well as any man in Oxford, yet I am taught over a baker’s shop? How is it fair that a man can tell me my brain was wired wrong, when his main achievement in life seems to be his birth into a life of privilege? And why do I have to beg a man to please make it his interest that I, too, may vote on the laws that govern my every day?”
The novel is hate to love, and slow burn and is amazing. I couldn’t put this book down because the angst was fantastic, and I needed to know what was going to happen next. I love how even though Annabelle and Sebastian don’t like each other the first few times they meet, they still have respect for each other. I also really loved the banter between the two. Both characters are so witty and it really came out when they were talking/flirting/arguing with each other.
I can’t believe this is a debut novel, but am so excited to have read it. This is a book I’m definitely going to be adding to my comfort reads pile. I can’t wait to read more from Evie Dunmore, and to read more about these characters.