I am absolutely obsessed with historical fiction. As a relatively new reader of this genre, I’m constantly looking for new authors that can give me a new Mr. Darcy type character to obsess over before I fall asleep. What makes historical romances the most satisfying is that they are characterized by happy endings, similar to the all-too-comfortable Bridget Jones-esque vibes that we watch after a long week.

So who is Evie Dunmore anyways? A relatively new firestorm feminist has recently taken to the field of historical romances and released two books: Bringing Down the Duke and A Rogue of One’s Own. She is obsessed with all things British, romantic, and victorian. She aims to empower women and of all ages and highlight female voices.

Originally from Germany, she attended Oxford, which inspired her work. Aside from being a writer, she is a consultant. She is completely obsessed with Scotland and anything that takes her back to simpler and more romantic times. For both books, she spent lots of time in England studying and researching the Victorian era and the role of women during it. Aside from the fact that I have probably about a hundred different Pinterest boards about Regency-era England, I found this book looking through Goodreads during a week when quarantine was hitting me a little harder than usual. After making my best friend read it to vet it for me, I set off on maybe the most romantic and classic journey of my life.

Bringing Down the Duke. Fucking. Fabulous. Enough said. 

This book is about a young bluestocking named Annabelle who has always wanted more than a husband out of life. When she gets the opportunity to study with the first group of women at Oxford and work for the National Suffragette Group for a scholarship at the same time, she is over the moon. Annabelle pines after the most influential men, but instead of love, she asks for their backing of the suffragette movement in the House of the Lords. After meeting the duke, things get a little sticky. 

Not only will Annabelle and her badass girl gang get you feeling excited to be a woman, the Duke of Montgomery, Sebastian, might just make you fall in love with his striking Scandinavian bone structure and musky-man smell. With the perfect mix of expression of women’s pleasure and feminist badassery, this book will make you feel proud to be who you are, and inspire you to fight.

Dunmore’s second book and the sequel to Bringing Down the Duke is A Rogue of One’s Own. If you thought her first book was good, just you wait. This story features a different member of Anabelle’s friend group, who also happens to be the founder of the suffragist movement in their area. She left her life as a Lady with a wealthy and noble family to search for something more.

Lucie has no desire to be owned, and therefore she fights for the women who cannot. However, similar to Annabelle’s story, matters of the heart are never that simple. When her movement finally gains access to a famous publishing house, the man she has been flirtatiously fighting with since her childhood stands in her way. She’s used to fighting her way through male barriers with her strong will, but when a head of curly hair and a salacious smile are involved, things can get a little complicated.

Just trust me. Okay. If you don’t know me and don’t trust me, listen to my words very carefully: Evie Dunmore brings modernity to the victorian tongue and historical romances that I never thought could exist.

If you’ve ever struggled to read Victorian literature due to that old-timey voice, this is the perfect entrance book. If you’ve ever been in a position where you have struggled to maintain independence within a relationship, this book will speak to you.

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Lucie and Annabelle stand strong against the most sought after men in all of England, and it’s almost too satisfying to watch these men just melt after they repeatedly get rejected by the most badass women to ever grace the Oxford campus.

Just do yourself a favor and read these books. You can get Bringing Down the Duke on our Bookshop supporting local bookstores for $13.80 or on Amazon for $14.99, and A Rogue of One’s Own on our Bookshop for $14.72 or on Amazon for $12.89.

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  • Aliza Schuler is a sophomore student at American University studying Film and Media Arts and Creative Writing. When she's not adapting her personality to be more like Jess from New Girl, she's advocating for women's rights, swimming in the ocean, doing yoga, skiing, or working on a craft kit from Etsy. Your favorite in-house comic, Aliza specializes in making jokes at all the wrong times. Apart from school, she advocates for people in period poverty and writes satire for her university newspaper. No matter the circumstances, you can always find her biking around Northern California in her ridiculously kiddish watermelon helmet.


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