A Perfect Equation second book in The Secret Scientists of London series that can be easily read as a standalone. It is an entertaining, uplifting, and swoon-worthy, hate-to-love historical romance.
A Perfect Equation (The Secret Scientists of London #2) by Elizabeth Everett
Publication Date : February 15th 2022
Publisher : Berkley Books
Genre : Historical Romance
Pages : 336
Disclaimer – Many thanks to publisher for free e-copy via NetGalley.
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How do you solve the Perfect Equation? Add one sharp-tongued mathematician to an aloof, handsome nobleman. Divide by conflicting loyalties and multiply by a daring group of women hell-bent on conducting their scientific experiments. The solution is a romance that will break every rule.
Six years ago, Miss Letitia Fenley made a mistake, and she’s lived with the consequences ever since. Readying herself to compete for the prestigious Rosewood Prize for Mathematics, she is suddenly asked to take on another responsibility—managing Athena’s Retreat, a secret haven for England’s women scientists. Having spent the last six years on her own, Letty doesn’t want the offers of friendship from other club members and certainly doesn’t need any help from the insufferably attractive Lord Greycliff.
Lord William Hughes, the Viscount Greycliff cannot afford to make any mistakes. His lifelong dream of becoming the director of a powerful clandestine agency is within his grasp. Tasked with helping Letty safeguard Athena’s Retreat, Grey is positive that he can control the antics of the various scientists as well as manage the tiny mathematician—despite their historic animosity and simmering tension.
As Grey and Letty are forced to work together, their mutual dislike turns to admiration and eventually to something… magnetic. When faced with the possibility that Athena’s Retreat will close forever, they must make a choice. Will Grey turn down a chance to change history, or can Letty get to the root of the problem and prove that love is the ultimate answer?
A Perfect Equation is amazing entertaining second book in The Secret Scientists of London series that revolves around a mathematician Letitia Fenley (Letty) and Lord William Hughes, the Viscount Greycliff (Grey) who find their perfect equation of love. The story is about past mistakes, getting over fears and boundaries set by past, societal differences, the beginning of suffrage, unrest in London among social class, love, friendship, belongingness, rights, and sisterhood.
Writing is entertaining, engaging, vivid, and fast paced. The story is written in third person narrative from alternative perspective of Letty and Grey that was perfectly balanced. The setting of 1843 Regency London with the beginning of suffrage is amazing.
Book is second in series and can easily read as standalone but after reading this I want to get back to first book and every book in this series releasing next.
The plot is interesting with hate to love romance. Synopsis is perfect. I enjoyed the beginning with people supporting Guardian of Domesticity (I had to laugh at that name) rallying against women working in shops, the introduction of Athena’s retreat club- a secret club of scientist women of London- and its members and how both Letty and Grey, who has history, have to work together to protect the club from activities of Guardians while Violet (president of club) is away for few months.
It was interesting to read what is the history between Grey and Letty, what he said to Letty six years ago and how they will overcome it to keep club and its members protected, will Gurdians rally against club as well, if Letty can put her past and fears behind and if Grey will let emotions in his life or turn down his chance in politics to find their perfect equation for love and happily ever after.
All characters are interesting and I adored main characters, especially Letty. She is great mathematician and also romantic at heart but her mistake six years ago made her stay within the safe sanctuary of Athena’s Retreat. She is smart, intelligent, brave, loyal, and capable of looking after herself but within, she is vulnerable still hurting from her mistake and wound it left behind, still not comfortable to be in a social circle and face society. She even distanced herself from her friends. I could easily root for her and feel her pain, fear, and anger. I could see how hard it might be for her to work with Grey and come across her past more than once. I loved how she made her thoughts and feelings clear with Grey from the beginning and even with all hurt and pain she was ready to change it, move forward, and find a middle ground to work with him. Her love for the club, its member, numbers and novels is amazing. I admired her spirits and determination. I loved how being with Grey she could leave her armor and learn to be herself, be brave, and take control of her life and what is rightfully hers.
Grey is type of hero I always love- serious, brooding, tall and handsome who has gone through a lot than he shows. Grey is amazing throughout the story. He is strong, brave with cold demeanor but has kind heart. I loved how he isn’t like men in that era. He supported women of science, members of club, and Letty and admired their work even though he isn’t a person of science himself. He has his baggage too. He suffered from Seizure in childhood and the way his father treated him left impression on his heart and soul. He keeps himself and his life within walls of rules and focus on goal of life. But Letty brings out a different side of him. With her he is like a child who was denied fun and happiness for so long. It was amazing to see him transform, discover what it’s like to let in emotions, understand club and its member, what is love, and what it’s like to live outside the walls of rules he created.
The romance is best part. As it’s enemies to lovers, sparks and banters are inevitable. Chemistry between Letty and Grey is wonderful. It doesn’t take long for first kiss and feel the sexual tension. It was fun to read how they got carried away and felt distracted from their work. Sex scenes are amazing, there are many light moments along with their doubts and conflicts. It was great how they came to understand each other well and developed along with their feelings.
Along with Romance, setting, Athena’s R̥etreat and other subplots is also best part of the story. I better say every aspect of this book is best. The setting of 19th century London and the club made the story even more fantastic.
I loved how women who were ahead of their time- were labeled crazy and eccentric for their ingenuity, were neglected and shunned for challenging the social order- had their safe haven, at Athena’s Retreat. A place to meet and socialize with like-minded and also work with their experiment. It was inspiring to see them come over all obstacles world put on their way. I enjoyed knowing more about these women. Willy, Milly, and Madan Gault are my most favorite. The sisterhood between these STEM women also gave found family vibe.
I enjoyed reading in author’s note about Sophie Germin being the inspiration for Letty’s character and little more about scientific info like Fermat’s theorem and number theory which went over my head as I’m not math person. But I can see a math lover will enjoy this book.
Climax is interesting. I could see few things coming but I still enjoyed reading it all. Letty’s presentation, hearbreak, and challenges all came together at this point and I loved how author wrapped it up. I enjoyed reading Grey finally getting over his fear of emotions and his big gesture that is squashed early but just reading his plan was fun. End is uplifting, lovely happily ever after. I’m excited for next book that includes my favorite Earl Grantham and Margret’s story. Too bad it’s releasing in 2023, a whole year to wait.
Overall, A Perfect Equation is fun, entertaining, uplifting, and swoon-worthy historical romance with enemies to lovers trope.
I highly recommend this if you like,
Story in beginning of suffrage
Theme of rights and respect
Enemies to lovers trope
Women in STEM
Heroine in STEM
Hero suffered from Seizure
Found family vibe
Sexy swoon-worthy chemistry
If you’re Math person you definitely shouldn’t miss this.
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