A Lady’s Formula for Love (The Secret Scientists of London) by Elizabeth Everett
Is a great example of reading a fun book and being swept up in the story so much the reader overlooks clichés and the impossible love at first sight as Arthur tackles Violet to the ground protecting her from an explosion. The characters in Violet’s house are a riot and her group of rouge scientists are too funny. In the chaos of all those personalities Violet has a created a home for misfits and those that Victorian society would not accept. Arthur hired by Violet’s stepson takes a few moments to get used to the group that lives and works in the house and laboratories. Once he does he realizes why it is hard to find someone with motive to hurt Violet. The writing and the characters create a fun world that make it easy to escape to and enjoyable to read about. Hopefully the second book in the series will be as good, maybe even better, than this one.
Character List/Book Summary:
Lady Violet Hughes Greycliff = widow, 30 years old, unable to have children, founded a sanctuary called Athena’s Retreat for intellectual women, considers Grey family and finds her confidence in Arthur’s love
Arthur Kneland = Violet’s protection officer, 40 years old, only failed once at protecting his assignment, just returned from the Americas and is planning on retiring to the Highlands after the assignment Grey asked him to do, protect his step-mother
Mrs. Sweet = Violet’s housekeeper, good at cleaning chemical messes, studying to be a physician, black, helps take care of Arthur when he gets hurt
Mildred “Milly” Thorton = partners with Willy the two have a reputation for more mistakes than successes
Wilhemina “Willy” Smythe = partners with Milly, accidentally exploded something while Arthur was guarding Violet
Letida “Letty” Fenlay = petite, mathematician, club secretary, blonde, tells Arthur to stay away from Violet because Violet cannot have a scandal. She is not aristocracy, treated poorly by Earl Melton, tried to help Athena’s Retreat by selling items the ladies create.
Lady Phoebe Hunt = Club President, in the gossip columns often, daughter of Marquess of Larkhrough, Violet suspects her father abuses her. Dated Grantham until dad approved of him and then ditched him. Has anger in her heart and betrays Violet in the most unimaginable way possible.
Althea Dertlinger = being harassed by Henderson
Viscount William Hughes Grecliff = aka “Grey” Violet’s step-son, tells Arthur that his step mother is dear to him and that he disliked his father. Left information for Arthur that he was coming back and details about some of the ladies.
Henry/Henrietta Winthram = doorman for Athena’s Club, tells Arthur about some of the secrets in the Club, disowned by family. Violet rescues Henrietta from a mob at one point and then the two of them have to be rescued. Gives Arthur information on her brother
Daniel = Violet’s late husband, judgmental, hoped remarrying young would result in more children, when it didn’t he shut out Violet and blamed her
Alice = interested in mechanics
Thomas = Arthur brought him in as a new servant at the Club, trained in domestic operation, previously took Arthur under his wing and trained Arthur
Lady Potts = elder member of the Club, her tarantulas got out, Arthur owes Thomas for that
Caroline Pettigrew = member of the Club, ruined all the dishes, attaches a mace to the door for protection. Married to Reginald and has to worry about his reputation and job. Creates a hairspray type creation that Reginald loves.
Adam Winters = Winthram’s brother, influential member of Chartist movement, had an inside member of the club who ended up threatening Violet
Earl Grantham = aka George Willis, came to help Violet in social circles, trying to get Violet to leave Beacon House and Athena’s Retreat to be his wife. Grew up as the son of one of the tenant’s of Violet’s father’s estate.
Lady Elva Perllan = new member of the Club, interest in botany, from Herfordshire