Get ready people, I am here to rave about this book! This book was my September Book of the Month pick and I picked it because I loved the cover. I thought it looked whimsical and fun and would be a nice break from all the horror books I planned to read in October.
I got it in September and then it got buried in my TBR stack until I decided to do a little dusting and then I found it and set it out to read as soon as I was done with The Shining.
As soon as I was done with that book I knew that reading this would be a welcome break from all the intense crazy that The Shining was! I devoured this book in a day and can’t tell you how refreshing it was!
A stunning debut for author Evie Dunmore and her Oxford suffragists in which a fiercely independent vicar’s daughter takes on a powerful duke in a fiery love story that threatens to upend the British social order.
England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.
Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn’t be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn’t claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring…or could he?
Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke. (Summary from Goodreads)
First of all, thank you to whoever designed this cover. Finally—a romance novel that I am not ashamed to be seen in public reading! So many historical romance novels feature a scantily clad woman in an updo with a handsome man with tan breeches and boots in various states of undress undoubtably in an embrace. I’ve read those books before and see people laugh as they walk by and totally judge me for reading a romance. Yes Kindle has helped with this issue, but I still like a hard copy in my hands so I was thankful that I could read this novel without all the judgement!
All cover art aside, this book brought me so much joy! I adored the unlikely romance between Annabelle and Sebastian, they had so much chemistry together that I read the entire book with a happy little smile on my face because they were so well suited and sizzled when they were together.
Is there sex in this book? Yes of course! But I was taken aback by how well written it was. It wasn’t brash or vulgar, or overly flowery as sometimes sex in romance novels can get. I found her sex scenes refreshing, realistic, and still sensual with the perfect balance of desire and reality. Well done on this aspect!
I really enjoyed the progressiveness of this one as well. Annabelle wasn’t an innocent virgin (thank you!!!!) and Sebastian was believable in his affections. He wasn’t overly rakish and I found his acceptance of Annabelle’s feminism progressive and just what today’s modern woman needs! There were little nods to Pride and Prejudice and I thought that added class and charm to this novel as well.
If you don’t normally read romances, you might want to pick this one up. It’s historical fiction with feminist themes and sizzling chemistry and romance between the two main characters! I can’t WAIT for the next book in this series, you better believe I am putting it on pre order the second it’s available!