Saturday, February 6, 2021

ARC Review: A Lady's Formula for Love by Elizabeth Everett

A Lady's Formula for Love

Elizabeth Everett
Publication: Berkley (February 9, 2021)

Description: 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 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.

My Thoughts: This historical romance takes place in London in 1842. Violet Hughes, Lady Greycliff, is a young widow and a scientific genius. After the death of her elderly husband she founded a club for other ladies of scientific bent with two good friends - Lady Phoebe Hunt and Miss Letty Fenley. She also works for the government through her stepson who is a government agent. Her current task is to develop an antidote for a new chemical concoction used by radicals who are trying to bring down the government.

Her stepson Grey has hired Arthur Kneland to be her bodyguard because someone doesn't want her to succeed in her chemical quest. Arthur has been a bodyguard for about twenty years and is getting ready to leave the profession for a quiet life. He can't go home again because his family home in the Scottish Highlands is gone. The enclosures have made the whole area sheep farms. 

Violet and Arthur would seem to be an odd couple. They aren't of the same social class. Violet is more open-hearted; Arthur is very closed off. But Violet is just recovering from a very bad marriage in that her husband tried to make her change everything about herself in order to try to win his love. She failed and over time became sure that her failures were her fault. She became very introverted and uncertain. Arthur also has a troubled past that he has spent years trying to overcome. His relationship with the wife of the man he was supposed to be guarding distracted him enough that his client died. It was assumed that Arthur and his subject's wife had an affair and the rumor is resurrected when he begins to get close to Violet.

I enjoyed the setting of this story wherein the rights of women (or rather the lack of rights for women) is a major part of the plot of the story. The book is funny in places and really romantic in places. It was emotionally intense with lots of dangerous situations.

Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this story.

Favorite Quote:
"Home is where I love. Not where I live. I love you, Violet. You are home."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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