Review by Veronica

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Series Name: The Secret Scientists of London, #2

Nowhere other than in the pages of her formulas did Letty find such comfort. In her novels, the righteous were triumphant over the evildoers and there was always a way out of even the worst of situations. She clasped those happy endings tight to her chest as if they were charms. 

As if, someday, she could use them to call forth a happy ending of her own. 

A Perfect Equation is full of smart women, corsets, and smouldering kisses.

Six years ago, Miss Letitia Fenley made a mistake, and she’s lived with the consequences ever since. Readying herself to compete for the prestigious Rosewood Prize for Mathematics, she is suddenly asked to take on another responsibility—managing Athena’s Retreat, a secret haven for England’s women scientists. Having spent the last six years on her own, Letty doesn’t want the offers of friendship from other club members and certainly doesn’t need any help from the insufferably attractive Lord Greycliff.

Lord William Hughes, the Viscount Greycliff cannot afford to make any mistakes. His lifelong dream of becoming the director of a powerful clandestine agency is within his grasp. Tasked with helping Letty safeguard Athena’s Retreat, Grey is positive that he can control the antics of the various scientists as well as manage the tiny mathematician—despite their historic animosity and simmering tension.

As Grey and Letty are forced to work together, their mutual dislike turns to admiration and eventually to something… magnetic. When faced with the possibility that Athena’s Retreat will close forever, they must make a choice. Will Grey turn down a chance to change history, or can Letty get to the root of the problem and prove that love is the ultimate answer?

A Perfect Equation is the second book in The Secret Scientists of London series. This book can be read as a stand-alone, but I would highly recommend reading the first book first (which is also just a fabulous read). I always get nervous when I read the second book in a series; there is this fear that it won’t live up to my expectations, and I will be so disappointed. I can happily say that A Perfect Equation lives up to every expectation I had for this book. Elizabeth not only manages to keep her readers entertained with an exciting and engaging story, but this book is also bursting with well-crafted characters that you can’t help but love. I once again found myself laughing at all the chaos at Athena’s Retreat, and I loved how Elizabeth was able to weave so much wit and passion throughout the dialogue in this book.

Letty is a wonderful heroine. She has this fierceness about her that just draws you to her. She is smart, and behind that tough exterior is the heart of a true romantic. I loved how Letty’s character had so many layers. I felt like I learned something new and unexpected about her with every page I read. I also thought it was adorable that she secretly reads romances and believes all heroines should always get the happy ending that they deserve. I wasn’t too sure if I would like Lord Grey; I thought his character would be predictable. But I couldn’t be more wrong; he is a fabulous character with so much depth and a perfect hero for this romance story. The scene where he took part in Willy and Milly’s experiment melted my heart. I think that was when I fell in love with him. The pure boyish joy he showed when things started to explode was just so heartwarming.

The secondary characters added so much richness to this story. I was so happy that Elizabeth gave more time to the women at Athena’s Retreat in this book. All these women are fun, quirky, and oh so smart. I don’t think I will ever get tired of spending time with them. Their passion is addictive, and it was so much fun watching them conduct their experiments.

My favourite scene in this book was the carriage ride with Letty, Grey, Sam (Letty’s brother), and Margaret. Grey, Sam, and Margaret all made fun of Letty because she reads cheesy romances. But after reading some of her romance book aloud during their carriage ride, Letty’s friends find themselves in a heated discussion about the book. Will the couple end up together? Who is the true hero and villain? I ate this scene up with so much glee and happiness.

I adored the relationship between Letty and Lord Grey. It has an enemy-to-lovers/ forced proximity feel to it. I loved the banter and dynamic between these two, there is just so bent-up tension between them, and you knew sparks would fly when they would finally get together. Besides the delicious spice in their relationship, there were also a lot of fun moments between these two. Lord Grey’s comments about how short Letty is or Letty’s comments about how “big” Grey’s head is, always had me smiling,

A Perfect Equation is an unapologetic feminist romance with plenty of wit, spice, and chemistry.

Thank you, Berkley Publishing Group, for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.