Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
A League of Extraordinary Women #1
September 3, 2019 by Berkley
This was a pleasant surprise! I love it when a debut author exceeds my expectations and leaves me looking forward to the next release in the series.
Bringing Down the Duke is set in the late 1800s, and features a heroine who has secured a scholarship to Oxford and is involved in the suffrage movement in England. She, quite by accident and without knowing his identity, gives an information pamphlet to the Duke of Montgomery one afternoon. One would think an austere, exacting man who has immense power and an intelligent and hardworking, but impoverished young woman would have nothing to offer each other, but they’d be wrong.
I adored this couple. Annabelle was strong and resilient and forward thinking. She is completely aware of her station in life and sets out to change it and make it better. She beguiles a very disciplined, influential man who has been working toward a singular goal since he inherited his title and will do just about anything to see it realized. But then they kind of begin circling each other and lust and love start to blossom and grow and it was so lovely. Happy sigh.
This book was fun and had great women friendships, wonderful secondary characters, some delicious chemistry and tension between the main protagonists and of course, extraordinary women fighting for their rights. I know picking up a book by a debut author can be a tricky thing, because you are taking a gamble and hoping for the best outcome. Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore is worth the risk. Highly recommend.
Final grade- B+
Lord of the Last Heartbeat by May Peterson
The Sacred Dark #1
M/M Fantasy Romance
September 2, 2019 by Carina Press
Lord of the Last Heartbeat by May Peterson was the second debut book and author I had on my reading list this week. This one is set in a fantasy world full of magic and the supernatural, complicated politics and a mystery that I didn’t have a clue how was going to turn out until the big reveal.
Honestly, the writing here is gorgeous. Absolutely brilliant. And it definitely kept me reading through the rather confusing beginning when I had no idea what was going on. The author kind of throws readers right in amid a confusing mesh of magical politics, paranormal beings, and death curses. It took me a few chapters in to really get a grip on the main plot and each character’s place within it.
I enjoyed the main characters and their relationship. There is a rather huge power imbalance between them, which I don’t always enjoy in my romance, but I feel like it was handled gently and with a great deal of respect here. There are also frank discussions of gender and sexuality that were handled very well. Mio and Rhodry have this soft, quiet love for each other, full of respect and understanding, that had me believing in their HEA.
Now that I am familiar with this world I feel confident my next read by this author will go more smoothly. I’m eager to find out.
Final grade- B-
What I’m reading this week: