My name is Kimberly and I'm the reader/reviewer behind Wit and Sin. Wit and Sin is a website that provides honest reviews and publicity. I primarily read and review Romance titles, but I also review Urban Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult, Mystery, and Non-Fiction titles. In addition to Wit and Sin, I am a reviewer for Joyfully Reviewed (pen name: Shayna) and Romance Junkies (pen name: Lily).
Reviewed for Wit and Sin
Evie Dunmore blends fact and fiction together beautifully in Bringing Down the Duke. Like a good many women throughout history, Annabelle Archer is a scholar with an unsupportive family. She’s dependent upon her cousin, who works her until she is about to drop. When the chance to attend Oxford on a scholarship arrives, Annabelle snatches it. In return for the scholarship, she must support the women’s suffrage movement. It sounds simple, but the reality of what suffragists were up against shows just how extraordinary these women were. Annabelle’s work for the cause throws her in the path of the Duke of Montgomery, a man who is considered to be cold as ice. Sebastian inherited a dukedom at the age of nineteen and the burden of responsibility and the role he has played in politics for so long has made him almost an automaton. Annabelle sparks something long buried in him and, likewise, he sparks long-buried passions in her.
The romance between Sebastian and Annabelle is slow to build, and I admit the beginning of the story dragged a bit until the characters and romance started to develop. But once it got going, I adored Bringing Down the Duke. Annabelle is no stranger to passion, but she is very aware of the risks it brings. And Sebastian, a duke with the ear of Queen Victoria, is a man who cannot afford to follow his heart. Class differences mean something in this book; they’re not trivial obstacles to be batted out of the way. As much as I was rooting for Sebastian and Annabelle, I enjoyed the dose of reality that threatens to keep them apart. I liked that they had to work for the happily ever after, that marriage between a duke and commoner wasn’t something they took for granted, and that reputations, unplanned pregnancies, and politics aren’t concerns to simply be tossed aside.
Bringing Down the Duke kicks off the League of Extraordinary Women series and introduces four very different, very interesting women who all have their own reasons for joining the suffragist movement. I adored Hattie, Catriona, and Lucie, and I cannot wait to see what Ms. Dunmore has in store for them. Between the fight for women’s rights and the admission of women at Oxford, there’s enough (incredibly interesting) history in Bringing Down the Duke to keep it grounded in reality while the romance has just enough fantasy to keep the book light on its feet.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.