Tuesday, August 27, 2019

ARC Review: Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

Bringing Down the Duke
Author: Evie Dunmore
Series: A League of Extraordinary Women (Book 1)
Publication: Berkley (September 3, 2019)

Description: 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....

My Thoughts: Since taking over his dukedoom at the age of 19, Sebastian Devereux had been determined to clean up the mess his father left and reclaim all of his ducal property. He married but his wife ran off with another man. He divorced which should have meant social ruing but Queen Victoria was on his side because she wanted his strength and talents for her Tory cause. Now, he has been tasked by the Queen to work for the election of a Tory government and keep Disraeli in power. His reward will be the opportunity to buy back the ducal seat now in the hands of one of Victoria's cousins.

Annabelle Archer is a rather reluctant sufragist. She is brilliant but poor and under the control of a cousin who is using her as an unpaid servant in his household. When she is offered a scholarship to a college in Oxford that is newly admitting women, she persuades him to let her attend. To repay the sufragist leader who is paying her fees, Annabelle has to try to persuade influential men to support the Married Women's Property Act.

Circumstances bring the two together and they fall in love. However, their social classes are so far apart that the Duke feels he cannot propose marriage. He does offer to take her as his mistress and care for her. She refuses because she has already had experience with a man who was above her station. At seventeen, she fell for a gentleman who seduced her and abandoned her leaving her pregnant.

This was an engaging and entertaining historical romance. I liked both Sebastian and Annabelle and could particularly understand her point of view.

Favorite Quote:
Somewhere in her diary, his former wife said that he had a lump of ice where others had a heart. He was inclined to agree. He turned cold from the inside out when faced with adversity, a reflex, like another man's pulse might speed up in the face of danger. If that was being heartless, so be it. It had advantages that a part of his brain kept cool under all circumstances.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I'd love to read this. The combo of history and romance intrigues me.


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