Updated: Aug 22, 2021
A Lady’s Formula for Love (The Secret Scientists of London #1) by Elizabeth Everett
Publication Date: February 9th, 2021
Genre: Historical Romance
What is a Victorian lady's formula for love? Mix one brilliant noblewoman and her enigmatic protection officer. Add in a measure of danger and attraction. Heat over the warmth of humor and friendship, and the result is more than simple chemistry—it's elemental.
Lady Violet Hughes is keeping secrets. First, she founded a clandestine sanctuary for England's most brilliant female scientists. Second, she is using her genius on a confidential mission for the Crown. But the biggest secret of all? Her feelings for protection officer Arthur Kneland.
Solitary and reserved, Arthur learned the hard way to put duty first. But the more time he spends in the company of Violet and the eccentric club members, the more his best intentions go up in flames. Literally.
When a shadowy threat infiltrates Violet's laboratories, endangering her life and her work, scientist and bodyguard will find all their theories put to the test—and learn that the most important discoveries are those of the heart.
This is my first ‘bodyguard romance’ and it was a great introduction to this trope!
A Lady’s Formula for Love offered a dynamic plot with a self-sufficient woman who’s determination to make a scientific discovery on behalf of the Crown makes her a target. I loved how science took such a singular focus for Violet. Everett was able to write this character from two different views in such a great way. Most of the time she is quiet and keeps to herself and even zones out for hours on end when she is trying to crack something. But then there is also the side who is fiercely protective of her friends and the other ladies of her organization. While they don’t always appreciate it and even disregard her, there is no denying that Violet is meant to lead.
Throughout reading this book, I thought I knew what was going to happen, to know who the culprit was and solve the mystery before everything is revealed (which is what usually happens for me) but I was actually taken a bit by surprise with this one! I think the subtle twists and turns that Everett takes the reader on is just enough to have you second guessing yourself about whodunnit.
I also really enjoyed how much of the other female scientists we get to see and can only imagine what will come next in subsequent books. I can’t even guess at who we will get to see more of next! The fact that they each have their own unique agendas and strains of science that they are specialists in leaves this series open to so many possibilities.
I would also be remiss if I did not mention the romance. I really enjoyed Arthur and Violet’s romance but I was never fully convinced about Arthur’s reason for staying distant. He kept saying it but his actions never showed his concerns until it was able to affect the plot. It just seemed like a convenient plot point but not inherent to the character. It took me a while of questioning this motivation before I just decided to simply ignore it. Other than that though, I really enjoyed these two together. There was definite chemistry, they were both ‘older’ in terms of what you normally see in these types of books, there was mutual respect, and banter… really such a great time.
I will definitely be keeping up with this series as I feel like it is very unique to the space and entertaining to boot!