Evie Dunmore

Books: Romance | Historical

A League of Extraordinary Women: Bringing Down the Duke (2019) 

A League of Extraordinary Women

Bringing Down the Duke (2019)

Bringing Down the DukeSet in England in 1879.

Annabelle Archer has finally earned a place at Oxford. Only now, she has to convince her cousin she deserves to go–despite the fact her doing so will inconvenience him, as he’ll lose his free maid of all work.

But to earn her stipend, she must support the women’s suffrage movement.

Sebastian Devereux has spent years doing everything he could to recover his family’s fortune and his family’s name.

Our family is one of the oldest in Britain, we are one of the biggest landholders in England, and if I fell off my horse and broke my neck tomorrow, all of this would be in your hands.” He turned his brother to face him. “Unless you are a capable man, our house would bury you like an avalanche, and you won’t be the only one going down. Do you think the lives of thousands of staff and tenants are a game?

Now, the Queen is offering him the possible return of one of his lost positions–all he has to do is help the Tories win victory in the coming election.

Points for Sebastian for recognizing when he has made a mistake and actually apologizing.

“Very well,” he said, and then he did something unexpected. He took off his hat. “It is not the appropriate setting,” he said, “but it appears that we will be here a while.”

He tucked the hat under his arm and met her eyes. “Miss, I apologize for handling our last encounter in an overly high-handed manner. Please do me the honor of staying at Claremont until the party concludes tomorrow.”

I’ll be honest: I generally dislike books about the nobility, and the higher the nobility, the less disposed I am to like the book. So this book had a good deal to overcome.

And in the beginning, it did a good job. Evie was interested in scholarship and education. Sebastian was focused on his estates.

“To put the right management practices into place. To know that the land will yield sustainably and profitably rather than go to waste.”

Her gaze locked with his for the first time this morning. “I thought that was the stewards’ responsibility.”

“They report to me,” he said. “Ultimately, the responsibility is mine.”

Then the two started in on their attraction and I got bored. So many thoughts about how much they wanted each other.


Then there were shenanigans! And the story got interesting again! And more suffragettes!

Then they had sex and neither really seemed interested in trying to find solutions to their issues and instead kept hurting each other.

Then the Big Misunderstanding, and very little scholarship or estate management and minimal fights for the vote.

And the Big Grovel was just… kinda ridiculous and I had a hard time believing it. Initially all she wanted was to be able to escape her cousins house and learn and support herself. But when she’s actually given these opportunities, she doesn’t take them. And it never felt like the two had a deep emotional connection, just that they were really attracted to each other, which seems like a terrible reasons to turn down a safe future.

So, if you’d taken out all the smooching and boinking, I probably would have enjoyed the story more, and probably would have found the connection between the two more believable. As it was, I’m glad I borrowed it from the library.

Publisher: Berkley

Rating: 6/10