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….
Published Date: September 3rd, 2019.
My Favourite Quote: *subject to change*
“How do ever trust anyone?” She whispered. […]
His eyes lit with a knowing gleam. “I pick my confidants carefully,” he says, “and when they look me in the eye, and are hopelessly incapable of keeping an opinion to themselves, I find myself inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.”
She gave a laugh. “Don’t ever let it be known. Your life would become infinitely more difficult.”
Received an Advanced Reader’s Copy from publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
I have to admit, I hadn’t expected Bringing Down the Duke to be more than just a typical Historical Romance with a fiery heroine, a broody hero and sassy dialogue between the two. I think the author meant to draw us in with the idea of the book being about everything anyone would love about a HR, but she tugs forth facets of emotions that you would feel even if you were to possess a neutral opinion on the topic of the central plot.
Annabelle is … heartbreakingly relatable, at least to me. My heart truly went out to her and the moments where she had to appear subdued, keep her opinion polished or at times expected to not even have an opinion, were just … it was the perfect way to get the reader to connect to the cause. Sebastian on the other hand, being the hero, we typically already have a favourable bias towards. But as the story progresses, and finally towards the end, I think he stood out for me more than anything else. Because of many things (that I don’t want to reveal) and especially because he shows the reader just what it means to say you have someone in your corner. Exactly what to pick up on in a man if you would like to make sense of their intentions.
The sensation of balancing on the edge of an abyss gripped her, and for a moment she couldn’t breathe. […] She had thought it took all her courage to build a life of her own, and now, swaying on the precipice, she understood she had to be even braver to give herself heart and soul, into the hands of another and build a life with him.
The topic of equality is of course, hard-hitting. Everyone has faced prejudice at some point in their lives. It doesn’t matter what your gender, age, nationality, race etc., is you’ve faced it. We all know what it’s like to want to fight to be recognised and at the same time we know what it’s like when our cause is quelled after being considered absurd. There’s no doubt that this aspect of the story will be very close to the reader’s heart.
It was, however, the emotional past of the protagonist that took me by the throat. Her thoughts on herself, her past and how it was intertwined with her intuition in the present was just … it was how I would’ve written it had I had to.
Hell. He was in a peculiar sort of hell, where all paths always circled back to the same thing.
This book is more dear to me than I had expected it to be. Five stars for sure. *finger hearts*
I READ THE BLURB FOR LUCIE’S BOOK AND MY HEART JUST MAY NOT BE ABLE TO HANDLE IT OMG GET IT ALREADY BOOK!
Also, do check out Sahi @My World of Books‘s review of BDtD, it’s several times more well done and coherent than mine. ❤