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?
Well-grounded historic romance
I read this book through an interesting lens, because I was reading it in parallel with a how-to book on writing romance plots. And while I loved 90% of Lady’s Guide, the parts that clunked for me were all plot elements that the how-to book insisted were absolutely necessary plot elements in a romance. While that didn’t lessen my enjoyment of Waite’s book, it did lessen my inclination to take writing advice from the how-to book. This is a well-grounded historical romance between two women with unusual avocations: astronomical calculation and fine embroidery. In between we get an “undermine the patriarchy” plot, a sexy romance, and a fun last-minute twist. The requisite roadblocks to the romance center mostly around the characters’ pre-existing emotional damage, with a touch of disparity of economic status. The one that didn’t work for me was the last-minute fight/misunderstanding at a point in the plot where I felt an external conflict would have worked just as well (or even better) to move the plot where it needed to be. But the characters are engaging and the history, as I said, is solid – including the social context for women’s same-sex romantic experiences. Definitely recommended.
Loved this book
I was really drawn into this storyline and often found myself still up at 2 AM reading to the next chapter. The characters were well scripted, believable. Yes, a love story, but also a rich story of womens’ passions in the arts and sciences. The author’s writing style was wonderfully descriptive, and totally had me hooked.
Passions: Personal & Profession!
In the pursuit of legitimatizing intellectual and creative passions, a romance blossoms between Astronomer Lucy Muchelney & Artist Lady Catherine, Countess of Moth. It is a well-written, captivating premise with very light sexy times tale. It speaks to me especially with the invisibility of women and minorities' intellectual prowess as the theme. An enjoyable and intriguing historical story.