Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The last book that I had read left me feeling miserable and gloomy so naturally went in search for a historical romance that would lift my mood and thus Bringing Down The Duke by Evie Dunmore. Surprisingly I expected some bit of fun and light reading when Evie Dunmore’s book #1 in the A League of Extraordinary Women series is anything but.

Anabelle Archer has won a scholarship to Oxford, she’s 25 and already more educated than normal so it takes a herculean effort to convince her guardian to let her join for further studies. But the scholarship also requires her to support the women’s suffrage movement where in Anabelle and fellow bluestockings are fighting to amend the married women’s property act. Anabelle, Catriona, Lucie and Hattie form an unlikely group to fight for women’s rights and to get highly influential men to support their cause. And their primary target is Sebastian Alexander Charles Avery, Duke of Montgomery who has his own battles to fight facing the Queen’s request to win the Tories election at any cost, a very wayward brother Peregrine and also to win back the Montgomery Castle that his father had squandered in a game of cards. He has no time to spare for women and their rights but his singular focus goes for a toss when new emotions and feelings begin to play a role as Sebastian and Anabelle comes face to face.

I loved this historical romance which focusses on the fights of women for their rights and to know how the suffrage movement led the change for it, how women had to struggle for their education when even their Queen was set against it. It is a very lovely work of fiction that also such sweet romance. Sebastian’s change from a hard and unapproachable man to revealing the vulnerability inside himself and Anabelle’s trust issues due to a past affair that had gone wrong, each instance in the story was heartwarming and gladdening.

The cover of the book is attractive and quite a wonderful change from the usual half-clad men and bosom-bearing women. Mind You, I have nothing against those covers just that all historical romances carry a similar image so it gets a tad boring after a while.

Looking forward to the stories of each of the other women in the series.

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A stunning debut for author Evie Dunmore and her Oxford Rebels in which a fiercely independent vicar’s daughter takes on a powerful duke in a 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….

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