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Bringing Down the Duke

A League of Extraordinary Women, Book 1
Written by: Evie Dunmore
Narrated by: Elizabeth Jasicki
Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"There is nothing quite so satisfying as seeing such a man brought to his knees by a beautiful woman with nothing to her name except an inviolable sense of her own self-worth." (NPR)

“With her sterling debut, Evie Dunmore dives into a fresh new space in historical romance that hits all the right notes.” (Entertainment Weekly)

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

What the critics say

“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 listeners say about Bringing Down the Duke

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what a disappointment....

i found this book after googling 'characters like Veronica Speedwell', the protagonist in Deanna Raybourn's series that I love. All I can say is that Veronica would want to slap Annabelle for insipidity. I tried to give Annabelle and the narrator a chance but after 3 hours I couldn't take any more. This one is going back.

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A book worth a sleepless night before Monday jobs

I never thought I'd be able to name a "favourite romance book". Mostly because romance books feel good but are not usually driven by deep characters or superb writing. Also because being a feminist horrified by rape culture sometimes/mostly feels like an antithesis to reading romance ("she says no but means yes" much?). But this book broke the mold for me. The perfect balance between escapism, character development, and a healthy dose of respect for women and the enormity of their struggles. Go read it folks!

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  • Syd Young
  • 2019-09-25

Herstory at its best

Ok yes, this is a thoroughly fun romp of romance between a man and woman who could only find a way to be together against all odds and at great sacrifice by both of them. Great main and side characters, with hints of more to come. That aside, I loved what I learned about the suffragist movement, in a time I didn’t think they existed!! And the Married Women’s property act! I’m kind of geeky like that, but I’m also a feminist who believes in knowing where we come from so we don’t ever ever go back, shudder. This fun book is the best of both worlds: story and history, all put together in a lovely, accessible package of delight and escape.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Chandra Lapides
  • 2019-09-07

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!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Yara N.
  • 2020-05-03

Loved it!

An impressive debut novel by Evie Dunmore, Bringing Down the Duke was fresh and fun read that I couldn’t put down. Told against the backdrop of the women suffragist movement in England, the love story between Annabelle Archer and the Duke of Montgomery, Sebastian Deveraux has hints of Pride and Prejudice. The writing style of the author was very enjoying, not too flowery and not too simple. The Highlights Both main characters were fully realized with deep and complex emotions that went beyond their feelings for each other. Their chemistry was sizzling from the moment they met and didn’t let up until the end. Their romance also felt very adult, even though it was a bit of a romp at times, it could be lighthearted at times, without being light. There’s some prime angst happening throughout the book as well. It also had a great cast of secondary characters that were once again fully realize with personalities of their own - outside the needs of the MC. It’s clear we’ll get stories from the main female characters and I’m very excited to read how their HEA comes about. The historical backdrop of the suffragist was more the than just an interesting theme, it was an integral part of the story and important to the development of the MC. Finally, I enjoy both clean and steamy romances - this is a steamy romance but it has the right amount of steam. Just enough to went your palette. The Lowlights There weren’t many things that bothered me, the thing that bothered me the most was the dragging of the “will they/won’t they”. It might have gone on just a little too much. There’s a scene towards the end where the heroine - who up to that point had been pretty good - acts in the typical “I can’t” heroine way. It was frustrating because for the most part this book had avoided the worst of the romance genre cliches. Conclusion This is a great historical romance, with a fresh perspective. I highly recommend it and I can’t wait for book two! Audible Note The narrator Elizabeth Jasicki was very good. I enjoyed listening to her and wouldn’t mind listening to other of her narrations.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-01-28

Definitely An Adult Romance

Based on the cover and description, I wasn’t expecting it to be so steamy. Had to stop listening since that wasn’t what I was looking for.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Laurie Anderson
  • 2019-09-19

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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  • Dana L. Bailey
  • 2020-05-09

Loved

I loved this book. It is smart,sexy and sweet. Narration is fantastic. Truly a gem. So glad I have this in my library to listen to over and over again.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Christina Rentz
  • 2019-09-23

Interesting and HOT

This book was everything I love about romance novels! Excited it's a series! The narrator was really great, too!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Belle5620
  • 2019-09-15

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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  • reviewer
  • 2020-09-01

fun read with great feminist story

I enjoyed reading this book. I had to listen to it at 1.2 times the speed because the narration was a bit slower. The story was good.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-08-31

One of the best

This is one of the best romance novels I have ever read/listened to. It is funny and unique in its story. The characters are believable and well developed. The women’s suffrage movement was long in coming and the movement as a backdrop was perfect. Well done.