July 16, 2020

Review: Bringing Down the Duke

Bringing Down the Duke Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I agree with other reviewers, this book reminds one of Jane Austen’s books; however, it is set in the Victorian era (hence more modern), the difference in social class between the hero and the heroine is much bigger, and it is much more steamier…

I liked the witty heroine (who goes to university, is a suffragist and a single woman by choice) and the handsome, proud (and of course misunderstood), but also very witty and passionate hero. Being a political scientist and having written a doctoral thesis on two female political thinkers, I also very much liked the setting and the backdrop of the suffragist movement, as well as the heroine’s interest in politics and political thought. I found the other characters similarly likeable and am looking forward to reading more about them in the forthcoming book, A Rogue of One's Own.

The love story was very charming and if you like Cinderella stories (or Pretty Woman) than you will be satisfied. Even though I know that throughout British history there had been aristocrats who married commoners, but while reading the book, I sometimes could not get rid of the feeling that its ending will be very unlikely. The social gap was extremely big, in my opinion.

The other issue I had with the book was the degree of steaminess. If you are more conservative or sensitive in this regard, you may want to skip a couple of pages because it contains very explicit descriptions of sexual activities. Remember Colin Firth coming out from the lake in P&P fully clothed? Or when he went fencing to divert his thoughts of Lizzy? If you found those scenes steamy, you should prepare yourself for this book, because here you will have a fully naked “Darcy” doing things and will also know his deepest (most sexual) thoughts. The same applies to “Lizzy”. I do not consider myself prude, but it surprised me, because I was prepared for a more “proper” romance given the topic and the era. Sometimes the genre historical romance can be very misleading because it may contain books like this, but also books for example by Sarah E. Ladd without any explicit sex scenes. I am not sure, but I think this story could have worked without the sex scenes equally well, the sexual tension was well built and had been enough. For this reason, I am giving it 4 stars only.


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