If historical fiction and/or romance is your thing, Evie Dunmore’s Bringing Down the Duke is a must-read. The new novel follows Annabelle, a member of a suffragist movement and one of scarce few female students at Oxford University. Annabelle is charged with following Duke Sebastian Montgomery, in attempts to sway his political beliefs and convince him to vote for an amendment that will allow women to vote.
It is not long, however, before Sebastian finds himself unable to resist Annabelle’s charms. Yet a relationship between the two, who come from different classes and different aims, seems impossible. The two continue to come together and apart until some form of solution is found.
I absolutely loved this book. The romance was very similar to Pride and Prejudice–bickering turns to love and back again to bickering. The relationship between Sebastian and Annabelle is intense and swoon-inducing.
The historical aspects of the novel are interesting and important, as well. It illustrates the ways in which women were restricted from making their own decisions and owning their own property, and the ways in which they were treated by the men around them. The struggle for the vote comes through in scenes of protests and back-stage political calculations. The women in the suffragist group serve to both entertain and inform readers, their conversations at time humorous, and at others poignant messages on the ways in which women were prevented from leading their own lives.
One complaint: the political aspect of the story at many times took a back seat to the romance, and Annabelle did not seem to be doing much real work for the cause. It may come across as problematic that her romantic relationship with a man is what serves to truly help their efforts in the end, not her own individual work. Though her intellect and passion for the cause is what serves to change Duke Montgomery’s mind.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical romance!
Rating: 5 Stars!