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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Joined in 2023

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It was the most annoying kind of “fake woke” book that had relevant enough taglines to draw modern readers in.

The characterisation is done well with the smart charismatic Annabelle and Sebastian's character development shifting him fundamentally from the person he was at the beginning to who he becomes by the end. Brilliantly witty, exciting and endearing with a good pace to the story and instantly enjoyable, well developed characters. It is believable and you can feel their dilemas and conflicts, both of their perspectives are relatable and understandable.

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. No decent woman would talk to a stranger in the street, certainly not while brandishing pamphlets that boldly declared The Married Women’s Property Act makes a slave of every wife! It could be a legitimately terrible book (*cough* The Shadows Between Us*cough*), and I would still give it a high rating just because it succeeded in holding my attention, because my attention is often so hard to hold. To earn her scholarship Annabelle has to work for the cause and it’s through this work that she first encounters the Duke of Montgomery.

He clearly states that he sees Annabelle as a lady, but he doesn’t think she’s good enough to be his lover or his wife. Colonialism undoubtedly adds a layer of complexity to women of colour’s role in the suffrage movement in the UK. She simply wanted the life she could have had if she were a man, inheriting her family home and money, being able to go to Oxford at any time if she so wished.When I started at BOTM, I was a professed literary snob—and probably flaunted that term with pride (queue eye roll). He constantly thought of Annabelle as someone he could overpower and “protect” and even considered dragging her from her home and locking her up in his room when she refused to be his mistress. Once the sex scenes did happen, they were, as I said, very strange and a complete turn-off because of the way the Duke behaved and the way Dunmore chose to describe things. He has the nerve to be offended when she tells him that he only thinks she’s good enough to be his whore. I like how Annabelle sees beyond his cold, severe ducal facade to the man beneath - a man with a steadfast heart, who can be charming and makes her feel cherished.

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