books

Elizabeth Everett

Books

The Secret Scientists of London: A Lady’s Formula for Love (2021)

 

The Secret Scientists of London


A Lady’s Formula for Love (2021)

A Ladys Formula for LoveSet in London in 1842.

Now that Lady Violet is a widow, she can do all the chemistry experiments she wants AND she can fund a Lady’s Society that is really a secret laboratory where women and be scientists.

But after her step-son asks her to come up with an “anti-dote” for a chemical explosive that was used in an attack, someone is threatening Violet, and it is decided she needs a bodyguard to protect her until she solves the problem.

This book has everything I should love: Historical lady scientists! Mystery! Shenanigans!

Unfortunately, very little of this worked for me.

“Is every woman in this house a scientist?” he’d asked. “Is little Alice an ornithologist? Cook, is she a mathematician?”

“Don’t be silly. Alice’s interests lie in celestial mechanics, not zoology.

I was somewhat irked that the shenanigans seemed to happen around the science.

Mrs. Pettigrew’s entire self was spattered in pink. An alarming, violent shade of pink, which Arthur was confident had never occurred in nature.

If these women are genius scientists, why do they all seem to make so many mistakes that stemmed from rash decisions? That’s not to say that scientists don’t make rash decisions, but it really was a bit much, for people who were supposedly knowledgeable on their subjects and serious researchers.

However, my biggest issue was time. I could not keep track of how much time was passing. Coming up with the “antidote” seemed pressing, and the public event seemed to be looming, but then it was instead a month away, and she needed a dress, but seemed to put off getting fitted but then the dress was almost immediately ready and the weather was winter and they were talking about spring but it was snowing…

And then there was the relationship between Violet and Arthur.

They both had issues (which is typically my catnip!) but it felt like they never actually did the work of dealing with those issues, but instead some boinking fixed everything.

Which…. no. I find it very hard to believe that a woman who spent years being belittled and made ashamed of her body would be ok after some sweet words and oral sex.

This, along with Daniel’s distaste for her physical self, had prompted her to see clothes as merely covering a body she found flawed.

However, Arthur had convinced her that he wanted her because of her enjoyment of the act, not despite it.”

I’m sorry, but this is 1842 and she was raised as a lady. I don’t think she’d just “get past” those issues (especially with the ignorance she professed to herself at the start of the story) without some education and possibly discussion with other women.

And there were a lot of sex scenes and I had to skim and skim and… it just didn’t work for me.

And then there was Lady Phoebe.

Although she treated these punishments as a joke, from the occasional bruises glimpsed high on Phoebe’s arms, Letty and Violet had their suspicions about how the marquess quelled his daughter’s rebellions.

She is very clearly going to be her own book later, but events in this book did NOT make me interested in reading it.

So despite the high hopes I had for Lady Scientists, it was as a whole disappointing.

Publisher: Berkley
Rating: 4.5/10