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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 ueen's command Her challenge not to give in to the powerful attraction she can't deny for the man who opposes everything she stands forSebastian is appalled to find a suffragist suad 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 eual 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 ringor 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 dukeA stunning debut for author Evie Dun 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

10 thoughts on “Bringing Down the Duke

  1. says:

    So much FUN

  2. says:

    35 stars There are many good ualities with this book but at the same time I wasn't as invested or giddy as I usually am for other romance books I've read Some things I enjoyed the focus on women pioneers the discussion about women's roles and position in society and their own homes the friendship between the suffragists the banter between the protagonist and the love interest and the yearning from the love interest as well While their initial attraction to each other felt forced at first I enjoyed their intelligent conversations they felt genuine and showed the characters making real connections over important topics I wish they had connected this way first and the physical attraction came in slowly later as that would have been natural Unlike other romances I’ve read the conflict in the last 13 of the book was actually warranted I believed the stakes and the conseuences here and appreciate the complicated sacrifices that weighed their actions However I was a little turned off by how often the love interest would get angry and arrogant towards the protagonist if he didn’t get his way this was his reaction to everything even in the last 13 and it felt selfish The protagonist also became very emotionally dependent on him and I wish she had stood her ground firmly in her decisions and what she believed in especially since this book is supposed to be about suffragists I think if she were adamant in her values and individuality and if he were served a bigger slice of humble pie and sacrificed to meet her in the middle the story would have been impactful and he would have had satisfying character development beyond a grand gesture at the end Regardless I am open to reading the seuel when it comes out

  3. says:

    i like historical fiction and i like romance so i have no idea why its taken me so long to get onboard the historical romance train but i am so happy this was my first ride into the genrethere are so many things i enjoyed about this first the writing is delightful the story is written with a uality that is very reminiscent of the time period but also feel refreshingly modern additionally although much of the story focuses on the social structure of victorian england and the politics that surround social positions i was never bored i enjoyed the feminist inclusion and found the womens suffrage subplot enlightening and i am wholeheartedly behind annabelle and sebastian as a couple their banter their exchanges of wit and their palpable chemistry make them such entertaining charactersi am really impressed with this debut novel and i am very much looking forward to reading about other extraordinary women in the upcoming books for this series ↠ 45 stars

  4. says:

    And another debut author smashes it out of the park in 2019 It is becoming clear to be me why a fair girl like you has been left on the shelf You are not only bookish but a radical political activist All highly impractical in a wifeBRINGING DOWN THE DUKE was just pure fun? Deliciously swoony? Just the right amount of angst? There came a time in a duke's life when he rarely encountered an honest opinion where he could be on his way to hell in a handcart and everyone would politely step aside and wish him godspeedYou might find yourself looking at this plot summary and thinking sure sure read that HR a thousand times Bluestocking attracts a Duke? Nothing new And yeah okay maybe But that doesn't mean this isn’t worth your time Have you by any chance missed that class at finishing school where they teach you to feign delightful ignorance in the presence of a man?I’m afraid soThese characters all but leap off the page The attraction the chemistry the sizzle is damn Their backstory has elements of drama but are never overblown or overwrought and come out in the open naturally without being held onto until the last minute Every up and down back and forth push and pull was so organic? And also strangely refreshing Additionally the side characters the bluestocking suffragettes were just fabulous All of them Hattie might have been my favourite Did you really give a man a nosebleed?Yes Why?I suppose because the village lads I ran with as a girl didn't teach me how to slap like a ladyThe specifics of the setting that this takes place during the opening of the first women's college and focuses mostly on women's rights feminism and the injustice of the sexes I mean there's never a wrong time to tackle those issues but right now it feels so so timely And how sad is that; this book is set in 1879 and here we are still fighting She had never really known her place Where others were appropriately intimidated she seemed oddly intrigued by the challengeThis debut is so strong and so clever The cover might make it seem that this is all lighthearted joy and hijinks but don't be fooled This is a love story between people who have their eyes wide open Who are sensible and logical and intelligent Who know the implausibilities of a union between them and fight it because they know better Which makes that tension even delicious And yes sure there is still fun to be had Would you have me change my place in history to prove how much I want you?BRINGING DOWN THE DUKE is compulsively readable and a delight to devour; I finished this in a shockingly small handful of hours which considering my slumpy month is a miracle And I'm ecstatic to see that not only are we guaranteed from this debut author but we're getting from this series and set of characters I'm going to be clamouring for A League of Extraordinary Women books and likely seriously regretting my decision to read this early because now the wait will feel even longer than just a year45 stars I received an ARC from the publisher thank you in exchange for an honest review This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities

  5. says:

    This is a book featuring suffragettes but this is not a feminist book In fact Bringing Down the Duke seems to use its thin veneer of wokeness as an excuse to revel in gender essentialism Pretty much every encounter between the two leads mentioned feminine warmth and masculine hardness so I had strained my eyes from rolling them so hard before I was very far into the book The love interest—Sebastian Duke of Montgomery—is the kind of alpha male character to whom I have an instant aversion He's constantly looming over the protagonist Annabelle using his size against her grabbing her by the arm to stop her from getting her away backing her into walls He clearly gets off on this and spends time when he's not with her fantasising about forcing her into marriage and clapping himself on the back for having the self control not to rape her He is emotionally abusive towards his younger brother in a way that the narrative never recognises—and yet the narrative would have us believe that Sebastian is one of those good feudal overlords who only ever has the best interests of his tenants at heart Please And then there's Annabelle who repeatedly acts like an idiot but whom we're told is very smart because she's read Thucydides; whose political and moral principles seem to be based on the best interests of whomever she last spoke to; and who never once seemed like the impoverished but genteel daughter of a rural Victorian clergyman whom she purported to be Her defining personality trait really is that she's Not Like the Other Girls—hence why she'll go to a ball in a skintight fashionable gown with no undergarments on underneath Even on a practical level this wouldn't have been possible given how gowns were constructed then but Annabelle just draws all the men's eyes with her astounding beauty etcAdd to this the vague but disturbing racial undertones Annabelle is stunningly beautiful and this is implied to be because of distant French aristocratic or even royal descent; Sebastian looks Nordic which means blond and suare jawed; the description of Disraeli and another Jewish coded character made me suirm; the dialogue which far too often sounds 21st century American than it does 1870s upper class British and which uses terms like existential angst which would not be coined for several decades; the vicious pantomime dame caricature of ueen Victoria look I'm an Irishwoman with a disdain for the system of monarchy and if I think it's an unfair caricature; the melodramatic plot; and the complete and utter lack of any historical research or understanding Dun repeatedly messes up forms of address for the aristocracy on the most basic level has someone practicing underwater archaeology in Greece in the 1870s when the first such excavations don't take place until the 1950s or '60s etcPlus on the very last page when our happy couple have overcome what we are told is crushing societal disapproval and scandal concerning a duke's decision to marry a mere gentleman's daughter uh huh and are making out on a yacht in the Mediterranean sure the verb used in Sebastian's inner monologue to describe having sex with his wife? MountLike I said this is a book featuring suffragettes This is not a feminist book

  6. says:

    Evie Dun writes a smart historical romance set in the Victorian era that takes place amidst the suffragette campaign for women's rights by getting parliament to amend the married women's property act There is implacable opposition to this from all corners not just from men alone but other women too and including the Tory party and ueen Victoria It is 1879 and the over educated beautiful but destitute 25 year old Annabelle inveigles her way to study amongst the first group of women at Oxford University after gaining a modest scholarship for which she must support the radical political suffragettes led by Lady Lucie Tedbury and their campaign to recruit powerful men of influence to champion their cause Annabelle has the task of recruiting one of the most powerful men in the land the Duke of Montgomery Sebastian Devereux a cold hard man whose home Annabelle and her two fellow bluestockings Hattie and Catriona manage to infiltrateThings do not go to plan as Annabelle becomes ill and a surprisingly strong attraction between the two of them grows However after an affair gone wrong in the past Annabelle is distinctly wary determined not to repeat her errors of judgement Montgomery himself is taken aback by his feelings for Annabelle but he has his future mapped out with the possibility of finally attaining what he has always wanted Additionally his hands are full with a troublesome brother Peregrin a meddling ueen and organising a political campaign to ensure the Tories win the next election This is a time where the upper classes in England used marriage as a tool to secure alliances that enriched them further in the acuisition of land money and power Marriage to Annabelle a country girl of no conseuence would cause a scandal of earth shattering proportions that Montgomery cannot afford Other possible arrangements for their love are stymied by an Annabelle unwilling to ruin her life her reputation or lose her self respect Dun writes a fun and highly entertaining historical novel that takes account of some serious issues of the day regarding the fight for women's rights outlining just how much it cost women to fight the ruthless forces arraigned against them many finding themselves imprisoned their reputations in tatters not to mention having their educational opportunities taken away The characterisation is done well with the smart charismatic Annabelle and Sebastian's character development shifting him fundamentally from the person he was at the beginning to who he becomes by the end This a a novel that I enjoyed reading far than I expected to and would recommend to others It's the first of a series and I look forward to the next one Many thanks to Little Brown for an ARC

  7. says:

    In Bringing Down the Duke Annabelle is strong and capable but destitute When an opportunity to study at Oxford presents itself she grabs it with both hands It comes with a scholarship that stipulates her involvement with the women's suffrage movement She needs to lobby men of influence to their cause which is how her path crosses with the Duke of Montgomery'sThis story has everything I love in a romance Annabelle is smart and competent and she's not afraid to work hard to make the best of her meager situation Montgomery is dashing and attentive Though he comes across a bit cold in the beginning Annabelle slowly thaws him out He finds her fascinating not just for her pretty face but also for her sharp mind Even though she's resilient and can take care of herself he's still protective of her and comes to her aid There is so much witty banter and meaningful dialog everywhere And the Victorian era reticence and propriety just adds to the whole charming atmosphereI also really enjoyed the look into the women's suffrage movement It's the perfect companion and back story to this romance as it mirrors the value Annabelle places on her independence and her reluctance to hand over any powers to a man It's uplifting and thought provoking to read about what strong women went through back in the day to ensure we have the rights we do todayI'm a romantic at heart so I'm always searching for the perfect romance that speaks to me And I found exactly what I was looking for in this book Strong women and the dashing men who value them for their mind and their wit will do it for me every time I pretty much swooned from beginning to end After this I'll read anything by Evie Dun The next book in the series comes out in the fall and I can't wait

  8. says:

    Fantastic I enjoyed this romantic historical fiction so much that I am impatiently waiting for the next in this seriesAnnabelle Archer is an English country girl on her way to the University of Oxford in 1879 She will be one of the first female students but she is charged with supporting the women's suffrage movement in exchange for her scholarshipSebastian Devereux is the most powerful man in England and the the Duke of Montgomery  He is a bit cold and very intimidating Also an extremely handsome dashing knight in shining armorEnjoyed it so much Fun full of time period history and setting steamy tension between Annabelle and the Duke loved them bothSexy fun romance I cheered for these two all the way The duke reminded me of the character Ross from Poldark swoon worthy an series that I loveThis was a library loan

  9. says:

    This historical romance is set in 1879 during the early days of the suffrage movement Annabelle a commoner is a woman before her time and when the National Suffrage Women’s movement offers her a scholarship at Oxford’s first women’s college she jumps at the chanceIn return for the scholarship she is reuired to actively participate in the movement’s activities This is where she runs into the very proper Duke I loved the historical time period and Annabelle is a worthy heroine of the genre She is outspoken intelligent and a woman who knows what she wants The witty banter and budding romance between her and the Duke made this pure fun The cover leads you to think it's a fluffy rom com but be aware that it’s spicy and open doorI was given a digital copy for review from EW but chose to listen to it on audio which I highly recommend This isn’t my typical genre but I thoroughly enjoyed it 35 stars

  10. says:

    A steamy intelligent and feel good historical romance set in Victorian England at the time of the Suffragette movement 1879 and Annabelle Archer a beautiful but 'over educated' 25 year old becomes one of the first women to study at Oxford University The fiery Miss Archer is awarded a scholarship on the condition that she supports the Suffragette movement and helps to recruit powerful men to the cause It's whilst fulfilling this duty that she first meets the wealthy and powerful Duke of Montgomery Sebastian a cold and brooding man with links to the Tory party and to ueen Victoria He opposes everything she stands for yet she finds herself fighting her attraction to himSebastian is a powerful man with great ambition who is looking for a wife of eual wealth and status for an alliance not a lower class blue stocking Can they fight their attraction?I don't really read historical fiction especially not historical romance and I'm not really sure why? I recently loved The Diviners series and then I really enjoyed this I need to look up some Historical Romance with kick ass feminists in like Annabelle Archer and Evie O'Neill Any suggestions?What a great debut by Evie Dun I am so happy with all of the amazing debuts coming out recently This was a fantastic book and I'm so happy that it is part of a series and cannot wait to continue it It was well written funny angsty and yet sweet and I had a lot of fun reading it It actually reminded me a lot of Pride and Prejudice with its slow building romance which started off as hostilityI looooved Annabelle She was so strong independent smart and feisty I want her as my friendSebastian was so lovely and attentive I love it when a character comes across as cold and aloof but secretly they have the biggest heart hidden away It melts me every timeTheir dynamic was amazing They were both so fiercely intelligent and stubborn with so much chemistry The sexual tension was strong in this one and I revelled in it Their relationship was actually a lot steamier than I expected it to be Oh the angst as the Duke battled with his duty and his heartswoon I also really enjoyed the other characters in the book Hattie Lucie Catriona and Peregrin These side characters were all so well written and I loved them I especially loved the female friendships and how they all supported each other I'm really looking forward to learning about them in the future books All of the characters were so precious except for the Tory party booo and ueen Victoria They can go suck eggsI loved the Suffragettes element to the story It was so emotive reading about how men AND women saw and treated women How many people thought that the female brain was feeble and that intelligent women were unattractive And yet amazing women didn't stand for this and fought back YESSSSSIt's crazy to think that women were fighting for their rights against injustice and ineuality in 1879 and yet here we still areI really admire those women who fought so hard so that we could have rights than they didSo yeah this was a light fun and enjoyable read and I would definitely recommend it ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️