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Bringing Down the Duke

A League of Extraordinary Women, Book 1
Narrated by: Elizabeth Jasicki
Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
Categories: Romance, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of Publishers Weekly's most anticipated fall releases

A stunning debut for author Evie Dunmore and her Oxford suffragists in which a fiercely independent vicar's daughter takes on a powerful duke in a fiery 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 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, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain's politics at the Queen's command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can't deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.

Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn't be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn't claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring...or could he? 

Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke....

©2019 Evie Dunmore (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Dunmore's beautifully written debut perfectly balances history, sexual tension, romantic yearning, and the constant struggle smart women have in finding and maintaining their places and voices in life and love, with the added message that finding the right person brings true happiness and being with them is worth any price. A brilliant debut.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) 

"Full of witty banter, rich historical detail, and a fantastic group of female friends, the first installment in Dunmore’s League of Extraordinary Women series starts with fireworks as Annabelle and Montgomery try to find a path to happiness despite past mistakes and their vastly different places in society. Dunmore's strong debut is sure to earn her legions of fans." (Booklist, starred review) 

“Evie Dunmore’s debut novel Bringing Down the Duke is about personal growth, leaving preconceived notions behind and the long hard fight for women’s rights. The novel is hilarious in many parts, but it also provides more serious lessons for the reader. Best of all it has a Happily Ever After.” (Historical Novel Society)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Wow! What a first book!

This is a great book and even better when you find out this is her first book. The story of what women went through to attend college, push for the vote, the attitude towards women and their minds, and how men controlled women’s life made me appreciate how far we have come. And, in some cases, how far we have not. It also highlights how the aristocracy viewed lower class women. The love story and friendships are lovely and the struggle was real. It was great to have a non-debutante age heroine.

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delightful!

This story is well written, witty, swoony, and sexy! It's an absolute delight, and amazingly well read!

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Bringing Down the Duke

The book starts off slow, but hang in there. The book is well worth it! It’s a very good book. The characters are all well developed. I would have loved to know a bit more about each of the suffragists in the group. But once the story got going it was entertaining ride.

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Great historical romance!!

Victorian historical romance with feminism? Set in Oxford?!? Sign me up!! Even though this book was very clearly completely my jam from the description alone, I was pleasantly surprised by how very well written this was, with lots of angsty slow burn drama. Excellent historical detail about suffrage movement. Couldn’t put it down so I was switching between audio and ebook. Narrator great as usual. Amazing debut. If it is not best historical of the year, it has to be best debut. Pre-ordering her next book for sure.

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A slow start but worth the wait!

I was {this close} to DNF'ing this book, but I'm truly glad I hung in there through to the end. I found the 10 to 15 chapters to be rather slow, but once I got past the hump the story was really so good. Evie Dunmore created a very rich and layered world with characters that felt very real and flawed and relatable. Not only did I wind up engrossed in the story, I can't wait for the rest of the series. I loved the ties to actual history and found the author's note at the end to be very helpful. I'm very much looking forward to Lucie, Catriona, and Hattie finding their HEA's as well! 4 out of 5 wine glasses.

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Awesome debut!

What a terrific start for this new author. Great chemistry with the main characters and there was terrific dialogue. All among the backdrop of Victorian England and the suffrage movement! The narration was terrific also.

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Fantastic debut novel!

I’m generally hesitant to fall in love with either Regency or Victorian romances because there is oftentimes nothing more to their plots than a hesitant wallflower and an unbending nobleman whom she refuses for no strong reason.
This is far from the case with Bringing Down the Duke, however! There’s true depth of character found within our hero and heroine, and their turmoils are true to their characters, circumstances, and world events. This combination leads to a great plot where others fall short.
Great work. I look forward to reading more from Evie Dunmore!