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Bringing Down the Duke

(A League of Extraordinary Women #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  11,321 ratings  ·  1,885 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Piatkus
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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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
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.
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!

And I
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Bringing Down the Duke is a debut novel with lots of potential. The book had some of my favorite aspects and it also played during a time, the late 1800s, which isn't often portrait in historical romance novels. Most stories are set during Regency Englandbetween 1811 and 1820. This novel plays during the time of suffragettes, when women were being allowed at college and during the time of winning voting rights for females. It was certainly an exciting time. With many strong and forward thinking ...more
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 in
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
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!
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
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
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.

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 student trying
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
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, 2019
Set in England, 1879, Bringing Down the Duke is an unusual historical romance. The main character, Annabelle Archer is a daughter of an impoverished country clergyman, but she is also among the first group of female students at Oxford University and is a political activist of the suffragette movement. Her task is to recruit men of power and influence to their cause and this is how she meets Sebastian Devereaux, the Duke of Montgomery, her political opposite. There is a strong attraction between ...more
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've given this a B+ at AAR, so that's 4.5 stars.

Evie Dunmore’s Bringing Down the Duke is the first book in the A League of Extraordinary Women series, and is a very strong début from someone who promises to add a much-needed fresh voice to historical romance. The writing is sharp and clear, and displays a really good sense of time and place; the characters feel true for the time period, and I was particularly impressed by the heroine, who is forward-thinking and progressive without being one

Title: Bringing Down The Duke
Series: A League of Extraordinary Women #1
Author: Evie Dunmore
Release date: September 3, 2019
Cliffhanger: No
Genre: historical romance

Perhaps, her father should have made her read “Sleeping Beauty” instead of The Iliad—her life might have turned out quite differently.

There's been a lot of early hype for this book, and I'm here to say that every bit of it has been earned. I've read a lot of historical romances with strong heroines who overcome the obstacles and
4.5 Stars

Bringing Down the Duke
was sooo good! There was a delicious push and pull between Annabelle and Sebastian. They started out as enemies with opposing political views, and Sebastian was quite arrogant at first. It was a meeting of minds with intelligent conversation, and an undercurrent of intense attraction! For as much as they were at odds at times, Sebastian was quite the knight-in-shining-armor often coming to the rescue even when it put him at risk. I fell hard for him!

Annabelle was
Lacey (Booklovers For Life)
One of my new FAVORITES of the year. So deliciously slow burn, tension-filled and intense! I loved Montgomery and Annabelle so much.
Katie B
3.5 stars

I rarely read historical romances so it was nice to switch things up for a change. I did love how the author incorporated the women's suffrage movement in England into the storyline. I also thought the two lead characters had good chemistry together which is my main requirement in a romance novel.

The year is 1879 and Annabelle Archer has just been accepted into the University of Oxford. A pretty big deal considering she will be among the first group of female students ever to attend
3.7 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

In 1870s Victorian England, Annabelle didn't have a lot options when her father dies and is forced to live with her cousin who treats her like help he doesn't have to pay. When a former friend of her father and professor from Oxford who she has been corresponding with offers a scholarship to their women's college, she works out a plan to attend. There
*The Angry Reader*
*ARC received for an honest review*

I think this is my best ARC this year. Best historical romance. Best new author. And I didn’t expect any of it.

First off, the cover is silly and the book is not. What the book is, however, is that rarest of jewels - emotional and passionate whilst remaining sweet and delicious.

You’ve read this story a thousand times - uptight dude meets unconventional chick. Strong personalities clash. Aggravation turns to want turns to love. But Dunmore does it with panache.
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the best debut historical romance I've read since Mia Vincy's A Wicked Kind of Husband in 2018. I can't think of any recent HRs better than these two, by debut or established authors. Dunmore's HR is not without flaws but it is very well written, has a nicely slow-burning romance, and intelligent, clever dialogue. Yes, getting these two main characters of very disparate social classes to an HEA does feel like a bit of a fairy tale, but I really didn't mind.

It's 1879 in Victorian England.
Sam (AMNReader)
I ate this up. Looking forward to more from this author.
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook-owned, arc
This is an incredibly strong debut in historical romance-- I'm excited to see a new author who reminds me so much of Courtney Milan, as I would love to see more historicals with that quality of writing, thematic depth, and 21st century attitudes/lens applied to a historical milieu. I want to describe this books as plucky and charming, as well as feminist AF and quite swoony. Beyond that... read the back cover copy. If this book sounds like a trope combo you could like, I highly recommend it! ...more
Chanel Cleeton
Evie Dunmore’s debut is a marvel. Set against the backdrop of the British suffrage movement, Bringing Down the Duke is a witty, richly detailed, historically significant, and achingly romantic celebration of the power of love and the passionate fight for women’s rights. A stunning blend of history and romance that will enchant readers.
Aoife - Bookish_Babbling
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Well this was a considerably steamier read than I'd anticipated when it opened in 1879 Kent...Queen V would've rightly needed some smelling salts if she knew what her reliable Duke was getting up to - I guess that's what you get with slightly older MCs

The interweaving of Annabelle's studies of the classics, dovetailed nicely with my simultaneous reading of Circe and the undercurrent of the suffragette movement has piqued my interest into looking into it further...I am ashamed to admit I know
Definitely a solid 4.5.

I read very few historical romances in general but this debut might just be one of my top favorites in the genre, and I’m so glad and delighted that I didn’t ignore it when it came onto my radar.

This book takes place in late 19th century Britain set against the backdrop of the suffragists movement and I absolutely loved it. The way the author was able to show us the struggles of all the women who wanted to fight for freedom of women (particularly the amendment of the
Pavlina Read more sleep less blog❤❤

Such a lovely story, I adore it, this is my first book from Evie Dunmore and I'm already impressed!I loved everything about it, the romance has the perfect amount of push and pull and I find it romantic!


Annabelle and Sebastian started out as enemies with different opinions and this through the story developed in to something more intense and intimidate!

"He spun her round and she was pinned flush against the door, trapped between oak wood and one incensed aristocrat. Out of the two, the
Jul 22, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh wow, did I not like this, and I know that it's going to get lots of love.

There were so many things I did not like about this, but I think the biggest thing was that I did not like either the hero or the heroine, which I think has a lot to do with the patriarchy. I think it's also pretty insidious, as the book is wrapped in this seemingly progressive and modern fight for women's suffrage, but as I will briefly argue below, it is not actually very progressive at all.

First, let's discuss the
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Debut author Evie Dunmore wrote BRINGING DOWN THE DUKE 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. Scotland and the great outdoors have a special place in her heart, so she can frequently be found climbing the Highlands and hunting for

Other books in the series

A League of Extraordinary Women (2 books)
  • A Rogue of One's Own (A League of Extraordinary Women, #2)
“Darling," he said, "I have only begun to love you.” 9 likes
“Hattie pursed her lips. “Personally, I always found a thousand ships a little excessive. And Menelaus and Paris fought over Helen like dogs over a bone; no one asked her what she wanted. Even her obsession with Paris was compelled by a poisoned arrow—what’s romantic about that?”
“Passion,” Annabelle said, “Eros’s arrows are infused with passion.”
“Oh, passion, poison,” Hattie said, “either makes people addle-brained.”
More quotes…