A Perfect Equation (The Secret Scientists of London)

Written by Elizabeth Everett
Review by Trish MacEnulty

Elizabeth Everett’s Secret Scientists of London series focuses on a group of women who congregate at a club called Athena’s Retreat. This is no ordinary ladies’ club. The women who meet there are engineers, chemists, physicists, and mathematicians. Instead of drinking tea and sharing decorating tips, they explore theorems, design bridges, and sometimes blow up things.

Her second book in the series revolves around Letty, a disgraced shopkeeper’s daughter who happens to be brilliant at math, and Lord Greycliff, a viscount with a secret pastime. The two have a history of animosity, and when they are called upon to manage Athena’s Retreat together, sparks fly—literally. The plot thickens when a 19th-century version of the Proud Boys causes trouble for these women who have the audacity to believe they can contribute to the betterment of the world.

The book has more substance than a standard romance, thanks to the vivid descriptions, political intrigues, and social justice themes. With all the elements of a steamy “enemy-to-lover” story, the book also shows the enormous obstacles women had to overcome just to be able to use their brains.