Olivia Waite comes to the blog today with the first in her Feminine Pursuits series, a Regency-era historic romance series with a twist
The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics
Focused on two women: educated, intelligent, daring and unhindered by societal restrictions (as much as they could be) the tale is about :Lucy, grieving about the loss of her lover and friend to marriage, and the timely arrival of a letter requesting her expertise in both French and Astronomy to translate a groundbreaking text. Lady Catherine is a widowed duchess, now living in London after her abusive husband’s death. She is determined to solidify his legacy with the translation – one that marks many years of her following him about, relegated to the corners and his occasional attentions. She simply wants to be done with the whole legacy, but when Lucy arrives, instantly Catherine is captivated.
Detailed (perhaps more than necessary) and atmospheric, this is more a story of the connection between the two women, despite their age (10 years) and class differences, or their outlooks on ‘how the world works’. There is a bi of insta-lust/love that rather foreshadows the connections and conclusion to come, but their discussions that pit art against science, then realign to make the two near dependent, if not reliant on the other to exist are detailed and clever. Pacing was an issue here, with moments of science that were ‘gilding the lily’ a bit for the over-arching plot: it wasn’t necessary for readers to have the more specific details, although both women were uniquely qualified to discuss and debate the merits of each moment.
What Waite has done is presented two women who are unapologetically intelligent and driven, and not inclined to ‘hide’ that drive or their cleverness behind a fan to satisfy or conform to society’s whims. While their attitudes were a bit more modern regarding their places and potentials than I think fit the era, it was refreshing to find the competitiveness that didn’t disregard the underlying emotional connection and respect they held for one another. While it wasn’t a perfect read, it was a solidly displayed relationship (if a bit insta in the connection) with all of the associated insecurities issues and communication that is necessary to make it work. An interesting first book in a series that promises more intelligent pairings with a twist, showing same-sex relationships as essentially the same to any other.
Title: The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics
Author: Olivia Waite
Series: Feminine Pursuits #1
Genre: Female / Female, Historic Elements, Historical Romance, Regency, Second Chance, Setting: Britain
Published by: Avon Impulse
Published on: 25 June, 2019
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Direct from Publisher
As Lucy Muchelney watches her ex-lover’s sham of a wedding, she wishes herself anywhere else. It isn’t until she finds a letter from the Countess of Moth, looking for someone to translate a groundbreaking French astronomy text, that she knows where to go. Showing up at the Countess’ London home, she hoped to find a challenge, not a woman who takes her breath away.
Catherine St Day looks forward to a quiet widowhood once her late husband’s scientific legacy is fulfilled. She expected to hand off the translation and wash her hands of the project—instead, she is intrigued by the young woman who turns up at her door, begging to be allowed to do the work, and she agrees to let Lucy stay. But as Catherine finds herself longing for Lucy, everything she believes about herself and her life is tested.
While Lucy spends her days interpreting the complicated French text, she spends her nights falling in love with the alluring Catherine. But sabotage and old wounds threaten to sever the threads that bind them. Can Lucy and Catherine find the strength to stay together or are they doomed to be star-crossed lovers?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.