I think this is my first ever foray into the historical regency era romance genre and I’m pleased with the results. In Bringing Down the Duke, Evie Dunmore brings to the forefront a feminist story of women reaching to achieve an equitable lot in life through education and the vote.
The story focuses on Annabelle, a destitute woman heading off to Oxford to earn her degree, and the shenanigans she gets into while helping move along a woman’s right to own property and therefore vote. All tangled up in her plans is the Duke of Montgomery, Sebastian Devereaux, a reserved gentleman who believes he is above others.
But we all know what happens next.
This was fun and charming and I found myself incapable of putting the book on pause (I was listening to it through my library). While there was a greater plot at play, that did not mean that this was not a steamy romance. It was (oh it definitely was). Grasp your pearls people, because this one doesn’t hold much back. The slow build of tension between Annabelle and Montgomery was balanced well with genuine concerns for their time period. That is to say, there’s a lot more than just personal feelings that could keep these two apart.
However, there was one instance of something that I really hate in media, not just books, and I don’t want to completely ruin the book by explaining it, but it did take away some of the charm. I’m not a big fan of people being emotionally manipulative, or using someone’s pain to hurt them even more. I think if you’re going to include that as a creator, then you need to have a very clear and strong recovery from it and I don’t really think it was done as well as it should have been. On the whole, I still really enjoyed this book, but that did put a damper on it for me.
I’m definitely going to check out the next book in the series once it comes out and I suggest you do the same! This was a great distraction for everything that is happening right now so if you need a break, might I recommend this?