A Lady’s Formula For Love
By: Elizabeth Everett
Historical Fiction / Romance
Opening Line: “Only after the second explosion did Violet start to worry.”
Overall: This book is both historical fiction mixed with sexy romance. Lady Violet Hughes is a brilliant, female scientist in London in 1842. She is a widow who started a group for other lady scientists to be able to meet in secret in her home. She had made labs in connecting outbuildings on her property for each of them to conduct their secret scientific experiments. Because it is not socially acceptable for a woman to be a scientist at this time, they have to disguise their club as a ladies social club called, Athena’s Retreat. Violet spends her time conducting science experiments and helping the other women of Athena’s Retreat to secretly further their scientific discoveries as well. She is not interested in the fancy London social scene that she is “supposed” to care about as a titled Lady. She got an assignment for The Crown with her stepson, Lord Greycliff, to develop an antidote to the recently developed weapons of pressurized gas canisters. Her stepson has to go away on his part of the assignment, so he hires a bodyguard to look after Violet. There have been attacks on Athena’s Retreat lately and Grey wants Arthur, the new bodyguard, to figure out who is behind them any why, while also protecting Lady Violet. In his first day on the job, Arthur protects Violet from an unexpected explosion and they have an instant attraction and chemistry with eachother. She is very smart, unique, sweet, honest, scatterbrained and also laser focused, pretty, brave, trusting, and kind. She is a fancy, titled, society Lady but does not act like one. She does not care at all what she looks like, or what clothes she is wearing, or about following society rules, or about getting married or having children. She is a forgetful scientific genius who cares most about women advancing science. Arthur the bodyguard is a highly trained counter-assassin. He has been on the job for over 20 years and after this one last job he wants to retire to the country somewhere, relax and be alone. He is tough, brave, stoic, reserved, intelligent, a loner, and also handsome. The two of them try to keep their interactions professional for many, many reasons, but their attractions for eachother is so strong that they are having trouble keeping a professional distance. As they get to know eachother, they get closer and fall in love. But, Arthur started getting close to a woman on another of his past jobs and his mistake lead to her husband being killed. Arthur does not want to make another mistake and allow another person to end up dead. Especially because it might be Violet.
Ovations: It was fun to read a book about women scientists. I loved the plot idea of the secret society of women who have to pretend to be members of a shallow ladies social club, but are really very smart women conducting scientific experiments. It was so sad and interesting to realize how totally restricted women were back then and how completely controlled by men they all were. I loved how Violet’s club tried to get around the social and societal rules of the time so the women could all do the work they loved. I loved the romance between Violet and Arthur. She is so sweet and full of openness and sunshine and he is so brooding and closed off and serious. They are total opposites who are completely drawn together by physical chemistry from the start. The whole book is filled with them trying to resist eachother for a multitude of reasons, but not being able to. There were several steamy scenes between Arthur and Violet. I enjoyed the unique premise of the book. I liked both the science elements and the romance elements of the plot. The dialogue was witty and interesting and the whole storyline made sense.
Oh Well: There are a lot of characters in this book. It was hard to keep track of who is who half the time. I suppose the reason for this is that this is the first of a new 3 book series, so they have to set up who all the characters are going to be. But, it was too hard to keep track at times. Also, while I love the lady scientist story, too many of them were portrayed as screwing-up all the time. There were too many accidental explosions, animals getting loose, and other mishaps that made all the ladies seem less than brilliant. Also, I felt like there was so much going on in the plot for the book that it could not focus on one thing for too long to go into more depth. I would have loved to get more information on the ladies and their areas of scientific expertise. To find out so much more about the experiments they were all conducting. I would have loved to have more time with the relationship between Arthur and Violet too. The book just spread itself too thin and tried to cover way too much ground in my opinion.
Opinion: I liked this book. I have not read a book like it before. It had a very original and interesting plot. I loved the secret club for women scientists idea. I enjoyed the romance storyline about Violet and her bodyguard Arthur. But, this book was trying to do too way much. I wish it would have been more in depth. If you really love science, or bodyguard romances, I would recommend it for you. However, I don’t think I will read the next book in the series. Rating 6 out of 10