My favorite, and perhaps most stocked genre on my shelves is fantasy, which is why most of my reviews are in that category. Every now and then though (or quite a bit this year) I need a good romance to get me through a book hangover, or a fantasy that had no OTP (rare, I know), that is what brings us to me picking up ‘Bringing Down the Duke’ by Evie Dunmore. A Fall 2019 release, this one is still fairly new, and happens to be set in Victorian England during the suffragette movement.
So, what is Bringing Down the Duke About?
It follows our heroine, Annabelle Archer as she sets out to study at Oxford, finally departing from her cousin and his family she has supported. Her tuition is paid for by a sponsor, but it comes at a cost, she must support the local suffragist movement as its rising in power. Things start small until the group sends her and the other girls out to recruit men to their cause, and Annabelle stumbles right into the path of the Duke of Montgomery. Beyond being one of Britain’s most powerful men, he also happens to keep getting entangled in Annabelle’s life, and the plans of the suffragette movement.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This romance novel was a good mix of everything for me. It had the love story, a strong, but decently realistic protagonist, and somewhat believable events. It even drove my curiosity about the real world people mentioned like Queen Victoria, I really wonder if she was anti-women’s right to vote. Something tells me it could be true.
I think for the length of the book, the characters were really well done, and developed. The supporting cast of characters even were given a great deal of attention, giving a good moment of surprise at the end when I thought it was getting tied up and the author filled in the ending for someone I had almost written off. The only part I froze up on was the moment Montgomery basically accuses Annabelle of being a gold digger of sorts. It’s definitely a moment of pride & prejudice strangeness, but the modern person in me is like ‘why was that your first thought’??? Maybe that’s just me being me, and not thinking about plot turning points, but of course nothing tops the Pride & Prejudice proposal (I think we all know the one I’m talking about).
I haven’t read a lot of books in this time period, but this one has me reconsidering that fact, and historical romance in general. It offered up a different time period with a modern concept like feminism but with that historical perspective, showing what it took to get some of the freedoms women have today. It doesn’t hurt that I love anything England, anything historical, and always enjoy a good romance story (it is hallmark season after all). This one was really fun, and somehow turned romance into a heroine’s tale of freedom, friendship, and the fight for what she believes in. Fully recommend if you are looking for a romance with some depth, and a modern twist, while centered in a historical setting.
Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!