Posted 20 hours ago

Bringing Down the Duke: swoony, feminist and romantic, perfect for fans of Bridgerton (A League of Extraordinary Women)

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This novel plays during the time of suffragettes, when women were allowed to attend college and during the time of winning voting rights for females. So I almost regret listening to this one instead of reading it because I have no notes or highlights.

Here was this dude who was supposed to be cold and stoic, but secretly a bleeding heart, and a woman who didn’t need no man and was smarter than half the people in Britain, and the romance was so misogynistic, one-sided, shallow, and false.

The love interest—Sebastian, Duke of Montgomery—is the kind of alpha male character to whom I have an instant aversion. I love that Annabelle is fiery enough to answer back, but also cognizant enough of her own social station to temper her emotions.

The brief exchange has come to naught, of course, the icy façade he’s presented her has been answer enough, tough an instant sort of awareness has sparkled between them, "bright and disturbing like an electric current. It’s the first in a series, and given how much I liked meeting the other women in Annabelle’s suffragette circle, I look forward to future novels. I admire Annabelle for being willing to give up the man she loves because she doesn’t want Sebastian to lose his reputation, his political standing and everything he has worked for, but thank goodness Sebastian is not willing to give up the woman he loves. Annabelle cares about women’s rights because she cares about herself and doesn’t want to be the property of some ugly idiot.Bringing Down the Duke is a steamy historical romance about a suffragette / Oxford student struggling to make ends meet and a duke who agrees to support the Tory agenda (including suppressing the women’s vote) in exchange for the Queen giving him back his ancestral estate. These two are the epitome of idiots in love, they both have things in their pasts that make them hesitant to form any true attachment, but the more time they spend together, the harder not getting attached seems to be. Dunmore has penned a winner, written with flair and suavity, presenting a smooth and evocative prose. Duke Jeff Bezos complaining that his shoes aren't made out of genuine baby skin leather or whatever. I’m sorry, but Dunmore here used “male,” “female,” “feminine,” “masculine,” and other inane gender constrictions more times than I have ever seen Maas do.

Evie Dunmore strikes a perfect balance in Annabelle's character of her being quick witted, strong minded and intelligent without that annoying "sassy-ness" that a lot of strong female leads get dragged down by in my opinion. The romance between main characters is developed in a way that feels natural and in accordance with how both of them are described.Their choices, torn between need and responsibility, will accompany the story to the hard-earned happy resolution, which felt even more romantic, poignant and satisfying as it was based in the realm of true-to-life, substantial possibilities. She says it mildly enough that it’s not an outright insult, but her point is also so accurate that the man is humiliated.

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