When I post a review, I always search the media library to see if someone else has uploaded a cover photo so I don’t have to. Turns out, every single cover image Cannonballers have tagged with the word “duke” is a bodice ripper/romance novel (try it if you don’t believe me). Bringing Down the Duke is more McFluffy than McSteamy but it still fits the mold. It’s still not my preferred genre but I got the book for free so who am I to complain.
Evie Dunmore, who wears a very fetching hat in her author photo, seems to be gunning to start a series here as the full title includes A League of Extraordinary Women Book 1 and I wish her the best of luck. Up till this point, my sole point of reference for women’s suffrage in the UK was honestly the B plot of Mary Poppins. The book isn’t really here for a history lesson, it’s just all fluff all the time.
Our main character is headstrong Annabelle Archer whose scholarship funds her place in the first class of women at Oxford (she’s a blue stocking!) and is also contingent on her activism in women’s suffrage. From there it’s all contrived plot, contrived plot, she’s sent to win the support of a Very Important Man (the titular Duke) who – gasp! – is the leader of the opposing political party! Sparks fly, they want to but they can but then they do, la la la.
It sounds like I hated the book, but I didn’t entirely. I read it quite quickly! All the miscommunications were generally resolved in like at most two short chapters, which I appreciated. I don’t want to write off an entire genre because that isn’t fair so I’ll keep trying but my expectations for my own enjoyment of a romance novel haven’t risen.