Review – Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

Title Bringing Down the Duke (A League of Extraordinary Women #1)

Author Evie Dunmore

Release Date September 3, 2019

Description from Amazon

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….

Initial Thoughts

One of my favorite bookstagrammers, @xenatine, showed that she got this book as her book of the month club pick for September. Not that I am easily swayed by Instagram, (who am I kidding, I am totally easily swayed), but I immediately looked this book up. The premise totally caught my eye and it seemed like a good choice for my next audiobook.

Some Things I Liked

  • The ladies of Oxford. I loved the crew of ladies that take Annabelle under their wings. I can’t wait to see how their stories play out in future sequels.
  • VICTORIA. I adore the show Victoria and while she was a smidge annoying in this book, I just loved that she was featured.
  • Witty Banter. As with most novels set in this time (or at least the ones that I read), witty banter is absolutely necessary. I loved the back and forth between the Duke of Montgomery and Annabelle and thought their chemistry was just perfect.

One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About

  • I felt like the story was missing something. It was a cute story overall, but my inner detective wanted some kind of mystery or murder. I know, I know, I’m a total weirdo for wanting a cute story to contain a murder. But, I just felt like there was no centralized plot. It was a cute novel about some days in the life of Annabelle Archer and I thought she was capable of so much more.

Series Value

As noted above, I loved the gang. The ladies were all so much fun and such great characters. I am very excited to see each of their stories in the coming sequels.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed this book a lot. It had a cute story, was a quick read, and covered a time and place in history that I really love reading about. It was missing a critical element for me so I couldn’t give it a full five stars, but this was still a very enjoyable read.


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • A Brazen Curiosity by Lynn Messina – if you liked the banter, time period, and match of a Duke and a common lady (and you like a little murder thrown in there), definitely check out the Beatrice Hyde-Clare series by Lynn Messina.
  • Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey – if you are looking for a YA recommendation for Bringing Down the Duke, try this book by Cindy Anstey. Anything by Cindy Anstey will fit the mold, but, Love, Lies and Spies has many parallels between the main characters wanting to be formally educated women.
  • Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco – again, if you liked everything about this series, but just thought it was missing some mystery, do yourself a favor and check out this series by Kerri Maniscalco.

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