First Book in the League of Extraordinary Women Series
I know they say to never judge a book by its cover, but I was pretty much sold on this one when my sister showed it to me while I visited her at the Towne Book Center in Collegeville, PA. I had not really delved into the world of “Historical Romance” before as I am probably one of the few people left who have not either read or watched Outlander.
From the Back Cover:
England, 1879. Brilliant but destitute Annabelle Archer is one of the first female students at Oxford University. Her scholarship demands that she recruit men of influence to champion the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her target: the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery, commander of Britain’s politics.
But Montgomery wouldn’t be the kingdom’s greatest strategist if he couldn’t turn the tables and confront Annabelle with an altogether different offer…
Locked in a battle with rising passion and impossible attraction, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke.
For a debut novel and my first historical romance, I enjoyed this very much. It certainly was a good diversion from this pandemic, and I was able to get caught up in the story of Annabelle and the Duke quite easily. While the book relied on several common tropes of romance books (historical or otherwise), the writing was compelling and kept me entertained even if I could easily predict several plot points.
I found the characters interesting and certainly wanted to root for them to be happy by the end of the book, even though I was frustrated by them at times. But don’t we all get frustrated with people we like occasionally? What I did really like about Annabelle was that she would not compromise herself for the Duke. She had her principles and she stuck to them. There was also a significant amount of plot outside of the romance, as the women’s suffrage movement began to take center stage later in the story. Having studied the women’s suffrage movement in my year of graduate school in London, I was intrigued by how it would be portrayed here, and I was not disappointed.
The supporting characters rounded out the story to give it more content than the romance and I enjoyed their auxiliary adventures and sometimes were more interested in them than Annabelle and the Duke! I’m very much looking forward to the release of this author’s next novel, A Rogue of One’s Own, which takes two of the supporting characters from Bringing Down the Duke and gives them their own story.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Where to Buy
In the USA, I recommend purchasing through BookShop or your local independent, in the UK, and many other parts of the world, I recommend Blackwell’s, and if neither of those cover where you live, I recommend checking out your local booksellers! Independent bookstores are vital parts of every local community and I wholly endorse supporting your local stores versus Amazon.