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Bringing Down the Duke

(A League of Extraordinary Women #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  37,213 ratings  ·  5,471 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Berkley
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Evie Dunmore
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Alina Borger So, it's basically PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: The plucky, smarter-than-average heroine with lower-than-average prospects meets a cold, disdaining hero who f…moreSo, it's basically PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: The plucky, smarter-than-average heroine with lower-than-average prospects meets a cold, disdaining hero who falls for her against his better judgement.

That describes like 50% of all historical romance on the market.

I'd try THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME (Julia Quinn), or the Bar Cynster series (Stephanie Laurens) or the Wallflower series by Lisa Kleypas or any of Sarah Maclean's historicals. Even Mary Balogh's SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS would work (most of that series, truthfully).

This was a great book, but it's also pretty typical, you know? It just has a less racy cover. :)(less)

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Average rating 3.99  · 
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Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
So much FUN!
Aug 14, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. There are many good qualities 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 f ...more
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 genre.

there are so many things i enjoyed about this. first, the writing is delightful - the story is written with a quality 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 t
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 aversi
h o l l i s
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 wife."

BRINGING 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 asi
Evie Dunmore 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 Queen 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 ...more
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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's.

This 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
Holly  B

I enjoyed this romantic historical fiction so much that I am impatiently waiting for the next in this series!

Annabelle 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 scholarship.

Sebastian Devereux is the most powerful man in England and the the Duke of Montgomery.  He is a bit cold and very intimidating. Also, an extrem
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 chance.

In return for the scholarship she is required 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
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
I don’t read historical romances as much anymore. But there were years when I read nothing else than this genre. Spunky heroines, banter between hero and heroine, and women not afraid of going head to head with a duke was what made me come back again and again.

Bringing Down the Duke is a debut novel with lots of potential. The book had some of my favorite aspects of historical romance novels and it also played during a time, the late 1800s, which isn’t often portrait in this genre. Most stories
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Oct 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommended to Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ by: Ginger
UPDATE: $1.99 Kindle US 11/1/20

I enjoyed this book, just not as much as I would have liked. I’m telling y’all, I think I’m definitely a mood reader 🤔. Who knows! Anyway, I thank my darling friend, Ginger, for referring this book. I will get it in a kindle sale some day 😘

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Somehow this cover brought to mind a rom com, but that is not what unfolds within these pages. Instead, it’s a clever historical romance, one like nothing I’ve read before, though I admit I am not a frequent historical romance reader.

In late 19th century England, Annabelle Archer is the daughter of a country vicar, now penniless. Annabelle has joined the first class of female students at the University of Oxford. Her scholarship has a price, though, and a worthy one: she must advocate for women’
Melanie A. *mostly on hiatus*
1st READ: Nov 2019 - 5+ STARS!!
REREAD: Jan 2020 - 5++ STARS!!

Better the second time around!

***A 2019 Top Pick***

5+ STARS!!!
His kisses had lifted a loneliness off her she hadn't even known she carried.
SOOOOOOOO wonderful!

After a bit of rocky start, I fell head over heels in love with Annabelle and Sebastian. Congratulations to Evie Dunmore . . .the writing was incredible, the characters had so much depth, and talk about feeling the story: this was impossible love at its best!
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
4.5 stars.

"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 so."

This was such a fun, adorable, tension-filled, and intense romance!

This book was so enjoyable to read. It has the equal amounts of funny hilarious moments, Intense emotional scenes, a delicious slow burn, and two stubborn characters who are just perfect for each other even if it’s kind of impossible for them to be together.

I loved A
Christina ~ Brunette Reader

London, 1879
Handing a leaflet. Speaking few and incisive words.
"One: identify a man of influence. Two: approach him firmly, but with a smile. Three: remember they can sense if you are afraid, but they are usually more afraid of you."
How difficult can it be? Miss Annabelle Archer thinks. Instilling the rightness of the cause into the minds and consciences of that handful of men who could truly help breaking the other half of the population’s second class citizenship status quo. Inspiring
I hate that I didn't quite love this one as much as everyone else.
I mean, it's got a strong feminist vibe, good message about finding yourself, and main characters that aren't horrid. It just didn't grab me and pull me in like I wanted it to.


I think it may have been the lack of humor? But for whatever reason, I never really felt invested in this couple.
While I was interested in the Duke's brother and in Annabelle's friends, I really wasn't all that fascinated by either Annabelle or Sebastian.
I’m incapable of writing a review these days, but this was so much fun to read. I loved the setting and that it followed the suffragette movement in Britain. I loved how it highlighted how difficult women had it back then but how much they still fought against societal standards men created.

And I loved seeing how these obstacles would affect a pairing that society deemed inappropriate and then the couple more or less saying, ‘Well, you know what? Fuck you too then.’
♛ may
where's my brooding duke who appreciates my feminist values and wants to buy me a yacht????


buddy read with my asian blogger child 💞
The Captain
Jan 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandon-ship
Ahoy there me mateys!  The appealing cover led to me interest.  I adore the bright colors and fun title.  The marketing team deserves a lot of credit.  I don't normally read romances but this one sounded silly and fun.  It is set during the Regency period and the feminine protagonist, Annabelle, is a suffragette and one of the first women to study at Oxford.  I expected this to be a story about a strong willed and driven woman who has a hate to love journey.  Sadly I had to stop reading at 59.5% ...more
Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth

AUTHOR: Evie Dunmore
SERIES: A League of Extraordinary Women #1
RELEASE DATE: September 3, 2019
GENRE: Historical Romance
THEMES & TROPES: Enemies to lovers, women's emancipation


I'm a huge fan of Judith McNaught's historical romance. Why I'm mentioning that? Because this author's debut, BRINGING DOWN THE DUKE, transports me back to a time when I was devouring the novels by McNaught. While Evie Dunmore's
Gretchen  (About That Story)
4.5 stars!

Bringing Down the Duke was a unique and refreshing story and I enjoyed it all!
It was a witty, entertaining, and engaging read that was incredibly well told.

Annabelle and Sebastian were wonderful, likable characters. I loved Sebastian. He's seemed so grumpy and cold, but I loved getting to see the man behind the mask as he got to know Annabelle and opened up. He was sweet, protective, and seductive. I thought Annabelle was such a great character. She was strong-willed with a very intri
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a pleasant surprise! This book has quite a lot going for it - an unlikely romance that develops in a very believable way, a focus on the suffragette movement, and strong characters. I can't believe this is the author's debut book! I *absolutely* will be reading her next book! Very much recommended! ...more
Lubnaa (Romance Library)
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

2.5 stars

Before I even start my review of this book, I think it would be remiss of me not to talk about something that’s been on my mind – something that other reviewers seem to have completely missed. When reading a politically charged book that focuses on the women’s suffrage movement, it is so important to think critically, lest you be overcome by white feminism. Bringing Down the Duke is a Victorian romance novel set against t
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
Today I learnt: Find yo self a rich feminist with daddy issues.

But for real, I read this in one sitting and stayed up until 2:30 am to finish it. And now I'm in this place of hell where I have to wait a year for the next book. This is what happens when your pre-order comes early and you have no self control so you read it right away.

I just loved the characters and Annabelle having a background of not being like this pure virginal angel. I felt so bad for her near the end when crap just picked up
Book of the Month
Why I love it
by Siobhan Jones

When I started at BOTM, I was a professed literary snob—and probably flaunted that term with pride (queue eye roll). I never read romance books because I assumed they were too cheesy and poorly written to be considered worthy of my time. Years later, dozens of romance books devoured, I’m so happy to report that, on that score, I was wrong.

Set in turn-of-the-century England, this is the story of Annabelle Archer, a plucky woman with the opportunity to become one of th
Tears Of Venus
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5 my-🖤-is-so-full-right-now ⭐️s

Song : Enchanted by Taylor Swift

“These wild depths in you, they call to me”

Thank you, Evie Dunmore, for reminding me of the reason I started reading romance.

Personal note, otherwise known as " I'm about to get emotional on your ass "
I grew up reading classics. They have helped shape me and contributed immensely to who I am as a person today. Being the kid that, despite having the most loving and supportive family, still felt somewhat lost and misunderstoo
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it

Why you may not like this book: This is a romance where the big questions about why are two main characters can't be together bring up some power dynamic issues that tie to class and wealth issues, and give us some will they won't they back and forth. If those are tropes you have issues with, you may not find this as enjoyable. The main male character is the dry sort. The point of the whole book is that he does, indeed, have feelings, but he's bound by duty to often refrain from showing them. Re
Amy Imogene Reads
What a fun, fast-paced, and surprisingly modern take on a historical romance! It definitely maintained the best guilty pleasures of the old-school Harlequin tropes, but with a modern mindset that I appreciated. If you're not a historical fiction fan, don't let this novel's premise turn you off—this is one good story.

Romance: ★★★★★
Logic: ★★★
Enjoyment: all the stars

Set in England in the late 1800s, Bringing Down the Duke follows the two perspectives of Annabelle Archer, a 25-year-old Oxford studen
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Why are historical romances so inherently sexier than contemporary romance? Like yes fight the societal norms of repressed sexuality to convey your passion for one another.
Get it.

I loved this the romance had me feeling so soft the way they interacted with each other was so sweet. I loved the women of this book and can't wait to explore them more in the rest of this series.

No complex thoughts, book cute, made me happy, a fun time.
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Evie Dunmore is the USA TODAY Bestselling author of Bringing Down the Duke.

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Evie wrote The League of Extraordinary Women inspired by the magical scenery of Oxford and her passion for romance, women pioneers, and all things Victorian. In her civilian life, she is a strategy consultant with a M.Sc. in Diplomacy from Oxford. Scotl

Other books in the series

A League of Extraordinary Women (4 books)
  • A Rogue of One's Own (A League of Extraordinary Women, #2)
  • Portrait of a Scotsman (A League of Extraordinary Women, #3)
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Articles featuring this book

Marriages of convenience, high-society scandal sheets, and fully clothed flirtation...yes, we must be talking about historical...
181 likes · 53 comments
“Perhaps you can explain it to me, then,” she said, “how is it fair that my utterly inept cousin is in command of me, for no reason other than that he’s a man and I’m a woman? How is it fair that I master Latin and Greek as well as any man at Oxford, yet I am taught over a baker’s shop? How is it fair that a man can tell me my brain was wired wrong, when his main achievement in life seems to be his birth into a life of privilege? And why do I have to beg a man to please make it his interest that I, too, may vote on the laws that govern my life every day?” 41 likes
“Darling," he said, "I have only begun to love you.” 30 likes
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