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The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics

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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 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?


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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 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?

30 review for The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics

  1. 5 out of 5

    ⚔ Silvia ⚓

    I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via Edelweiss for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. I don't often read historical fiction but I've been trying to make exceptions for queer histfic, especially when they're f/f. And there's a special set of emotions I go through while reading, the most unpleasant of which is the fear that something bad will happen, that will make me recoil and make me want to put down the book not because it's not good but because of the u I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via Edelweiss for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. I don't often read historical fiction but I've been trying to make exceptions for queer histfic, especially when they're f/f. And there's a special set of emotions I go through while reading, the most unpleasant of which is the fear that something bad will happen, that will make me recoil and make me want to put down the book not because it's not good but because of the unnecessary bad stuff (read: homophobia, transphobia, racism, violence against women, etc) that traditionally has been associated with historical fiction. It's realistic, you say, to which I say: ✨fuck off✨ This premise just so I can talk about what it did to me to go into this book and soon realize I needed to stop bracing myself for the stuff I mentioned above, because, amazingly, it kept not coming. And there's a lesson for histfic authors: you don't have to pretend that historical times weren't a cesspool of misogyny, homophobia and racism, but it's entirely possible to write a book for the people who have historically been hurt and marginalized that focuses on the good stuff instead of on the awful. This book is proof of that. It's not that this book shies away from a lot of stuff including misogyny and the fact that the two women won't ever be able to live their relationship publicly. But it's written so delicately and carefully that as long as you know the content warnings you don't have to be scared that things are going to get bad. In fact, things get so, so good. This is a romance that's certainly good and wholesome and that made me so happy. But the romance is almost secondary to the beautiful messages this book sends about art, science, and the presence and importance of women in both fields, and how this presence has always been there, whether we care to know it or not. And, you know, this is a book about two cis, white women. But it manages to be intersectional and acknowledge issues that wouldn't necessary touch the lives of the two main characters, in a way that makes anybody feel welcome while reading. I can't stress enough how books like this are so important. The relationship itself was very cute and while the MCs got together a little soon for my liking (with necessary later drama), I still liked everything about it. Catherine, the widow, had never explored her attraction to women and although she's older than Lucy she is kind of the more inexperienced of the two. I really liked that and it was so great to see them explore consent in every scene together. There's also a little bit of an age gap (I think it's about 10 years, Catherine is 35 and Lucy 25), which is not something I usually love in romance, but the fact that they're both relatively older and both have experience in love/dating, as well as their own interests and expertise made me enjoy it and not really care about the gap at all. They both had things to teach each other and they helped one other out in so many ways, not in a "love fixes everything" way but in a way where they both figured out who they want, who they deserve to be and that was so beautiful to see. I also loved the writing style so much I actually got mad that I was reading this with a read-out-loud app because I couldn't highlight the best quotes. But that also means I definitely want to reread it sometime when time will allow me to, because it was so atmospheric and at times poetic, I just have to sit down and read it with my own two eyes. Sometimes the endings of romance books can seem a little weak, but not this book's. It was actually one of the most satisfying endings ever (and I'm not only talking about the romance but the actual plot too). Everything came together so nicely and I might or might not have started bawling my eyes out while I was finishing washing the dishes because it was just THAT good. So, if it's not obvious, I think if you are uncertain whether to buy this book or not you should definitely go for it. If you don't normally read historical romance, let this one be your exception. If you're a historical romance veteran, go for it without a doubt. If you're craving sapphic romance, this is your fix. You can thank me later and scream @ me about how good it is. CW: misogyny, talks of homophobic mentality, mention of past nonconsensual sexual acts, mention of a dead parent _________ “f/f historical romance about a lady astronomer and an explorer’s widow” 👀👀👀👀👀👀 Wake me up when this is on netgalley Y'ALL I GOT APPROVED BY EDELWEISS THIS NEVER HAPPENS I'M THE HAPPIEST PERSON IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    They were here all along: spotting comets, naming stars, pointing telescopes at the sky alongside their fathers and brothers and sons. And still the men they worked with scorned them. A Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics is a historical romance novel about two girls who fall in unlikely love Lucy is an aspiring astronomer whose father has recently died and whose lover has gotten married to a man she does not love. Catherine is a widower of a famous scientist whose anger at her often outweigh They were here all along: spotting comets, naming stars, pointing telescopes at the sky alongside their fathers and brothers and sons. And still the men they worked with scorned them. A Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics is a historical romance novel about two girls who fall in unlikely love Lucy is an aspiring astronomer whose father has recently died and whose lover has gotten married to a man she does not love. Catherine is a widower of a famous scientist whose anger at her often outweighed his kindness. The thing is that as well as living in a society that enforces strict homophobia, Catherine and Lucy live in a society that devalues relationships that do not end in marriage. So though the two have a loving, mutually trusting relationship by around 50% of the way through the book, each is quite convinced that the other will, at any moment, leave them. I was deeply impressed by how the author pulled this off: there’s no dramatic miscommunication, per se, but instead an expression of anxiety from both sides that leads them both to understand the relationship as meaning less to the other person than it does to them. Celestial Mechanics manages to pull this off in such a matter-of-fact, honest manner that it’s impossible to read as a trope. It’s simply an expression of the honest insecurities of these two characters, and esolutions come when character growth comes, rather than when the plot calls for it. There’s something Silvia said in her review that I really wanted to quote: “...I realized I needed to stop bracing myself for the stuff I mentioned above, because, amazingly, it kept not coming. And there's a lesson for histfic authors: you don't have to pretend that historical times weren't a cesspool of misogyny, homophobia and racism, but it's entirely possible to write a book for the people who have historically been hurt and marginalized that focuses on the good stuff instead of on the awful. This book is proof of that.” Because that is one of the things that amazes me the most about this book: it focuses on and deals with homophobia in a culture and how it is internalized by the lead characters, but it focuses that energy towards development and crafting tenderness and love between these two characters. I think there is a lot of value in lit that talks about and deconstructs historical homophobia, but it should be noted, in saying that, that much of this type of literature is written by and for the heterosexual lens. This book is absolutely not that. Side queer characters are involved and given their own non-tragic stories; Catherine’s aunt is notable in that. And the pain and trauma of homophobia is only used to explain the character’s internalized homophobia and build their characters, and only subtly. That is not to say stories involving homophobia on-page cannot be worthwhile — past homophobia can and should be explored in a way that puts queer people front and center — but I loved that this one avoided it entirely. Celestial Mechanics also impressively targets not only the devaluation of the work women do in their selected fields, but also how “women’s fields” which actually require great amounts of talent are systematically devalued. Catherine’s work as an embroiderer is simply not respected, while Lucy’s work is given to men to receive credit; each of them, however, suffer from a devaluation of craft. This becomes a major element of their relationship and of each’s character development and I thought it was wonderful. Also, I am a total nerd about translated work, and the fact thatthe politics of translation became such a major narrative in this book was so entertaining. Something I genuinely loved about this story was the way in which Catherine’s characterization was crafted. Catherine’s husband, we learn fairly quickly on, was prone to rage. So Catherine, within the first half of the book, is constantly on edge around others, expecting that they’re about to snap at any second. It is only after spending a great deal of time with Lucy in which Lucy does not snap that she begins to regain trust. I thought the narrative dealt with this with a degree of respect for both Catherine and Lucy that is frankly and tragically unprecedented. Oh god, um, I know I’ve said a lot about this book being excellent, but it’s also just… a really good romance? I frankly don’t read a ton of romance as it’s not my gig and also there are no sapphics in romance ever, but this! romance! was so tender and full of so much kindness and care between these two characters. It’s just angsty enough to get you immediately invested but not so angsty as to be upsetting; each character is so well-crafted and well-respected by the narrative. Also, it’s just really fucking well written. I think I might end up going back to my kindle notes after I post this review because I think I highlighted half of the book (it’s actually a little embarrassing). In case you didn’t notice. I really loved this book. I didn’t want this book to end. I delayed reading the last 5% simply because I didn’t want it to end and I never do that. This is a very very special romance and I would highly, highly recommend it. *Thank you so, SO much to Macmillan for the arc. Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Spotify | Youtube

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    Maybe more of a 3.5. I enjoyed this one, but I wanted more romance and less science! If you're someone that really enjoys science and math and stuff and are looking for a queer romance, you will probably LOVE this.

  4. 4 out of 5

    chan ☆

    JANE AUSTEN WISHES!!!!!!!! this was such a lovely historical romance, truly the best i've ever read. AND IT'S SAPPHIC? i know. we're thriving in 2019. such a perfect blend of plot (astronomy, fighting the patriarchy!!) and romance. what really stood out to me was how each woman was so thoughtfully written and given her own unique set of characteristics, interests, ways of interacting. romances are hit or miss with characters and olivia waite really went ALL THE FUCK OUT making these ladies unique JANE AUSTEN WISHES!!!!!!!! this was such a lovely historical romance, truly the best i've ever read. AND IT'S SAPPHIC? i know. we're thriving in 2019. such a perfect blend of plot (astronomy, fighting the patriarchy!!) and romance. what really stood out to me was how each woman was so thoughtfully written and given her own unique set of characteristics, interests, ways of interacting. romances are hit or miss with characters and olivia waite really went ALL THE FUCK OUT making these ladies unique and interesting. i also loved how supportive of each other they were in their career pursuits. it was *chefs kiss* perfect. 10/10 recommend this. i will note though, that this is not a campy/fun historical but a slightly more serious jane austen angsty kind. so basically, perfect.

  5. 5 out of 5

    K.J. Charles

    The love story is a delightful f/f romance set in Regency England (1816). The romance is slow-burning, passionate, caring, and intense. The women are both scarred by failed relationships, and their awkwardnesses and insecurities inform their behaviour, which is very real if a bit frustrating at times for the reader--but even when they don’t believe in their own relationship or the other’s love, they still have one another’s backs. It’s a glorious depiction of solidarity and female strength and k The love story is a delightful f/f romance set in Regency England (1816). The romance is slow-burning, passionate, caring, and intense. The women are both scarred by failed relationships, and their awkwardnesses and insecurities inform their behaviour, which is very real if a bit frustrating at times for the reader--but even when they don’t believe in their own relationship or the other’s love, they still have one another’s backs. It’s a glorious depiction of solidarity and female strength and kindness that I really enjoyed. If you’re reading for the romance, this is a very engaging and likeable story. The astronomy plot is about the male bias and oppression that stands in the way of Lucy’s astronomy career. Lucy's brother tells her "nobody is going to employ a woman as an astronomer". When she goes to the science society meeting, men laugh at the idea of a woman astronomer and debate “firstly whether women are capable of astronomy, secondly whether they would offer any particular benefit to astronomy”. The plot arc peaks with Lucy’s discovery that women have been erased from the history of astronomy, depriving them of credit and her of the role models she needed. The thing is, at this time, Caroline Herschel (sister of William, the discoverer of Uranus) was a famous and respected astronomer, in regular correspondence with the major names across Europe. She discovered eight comets, of which the first made the newspapers as “the first lady’s comet”. Her paper on it was the first ever paper by a woman to be read to the Royal Society (1787) and she became Britain’s first professional woman scientist when George III paid her a (meagre) salary. She was active as an astronomer in 1816, and would go on to be awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society a few years later. A real Lucy would unquestionably know her work, as would all the men of the astronomy society. Caroline Herschel was not erased from astronomy in her lifetime. She is erased in this story, in which no such figure exists. Does this matter? God knows I am used to historical romance treating my country as a fictional construct. There’s plenty of space in romance for inserting MCs into history as main actors, or playing with “suppose X happened, not Y”. And this isn’t presented as accurate history: the science society is entirely fictional. I get all that. I wouldn’t care if a book made its hero Prime Minister, in part because that’s obvious fictionalising, and I would go squealing mad for a book that put a heroine into Herschel’s place and gave the poor woman a HEA. But this does bug me, because the counterfactual telling will leave readers who don’t already know about Herschel (which is probably most readers) under the impression that this landmark figure in the history of women in science never existed. And I could not quite get around erasing a woman scientist in order to make a point about the erasure of women scientists. Eh. I loved everything else about this book: the writing, the romance, the diverse cast, the discussion of where craft meets art and art meets science. For me the rewriting of history went a step too far in this specific area; others may very reasonably feel that Historical Romance Britain is generally so entirely dissimilar to Actual Historical Britain that it's hardly fair to quibble at this instance. Up to the reader, I guess.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Acqua

    4.5 stars The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics is an F/F historical romance set in England in 1816, and it's currently my favorite adult romance novel. It wasn't perfect, as I did struggle with the pacing as I usually do with this genre, but to read a novel like this one, about unashamedly happy queer women during the Regency era, was such a refreshing experience. The main characters of this novel are Lucy Muchelney, an astronomer who runs away to London to translate a French astronomical text, 4.5 stars The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics is an F/F historical romance set in England in 1816, and it's currently my favorite adult romance novel. It wasn't perfect, as I did struggle with the pacing as I usually do with this genre, but to read a novel like this one, about unashamedly happy queer women during the Regency era, was such a refreshing experience. The main characters of this novel are Lucy Muchelney, an astronomer who runs away to London to translate a French astronomical text, and Catherine St Day, the widowed Countess of Moth, who accompanied her scientist husband on travels around the world and now lives in London, free of that emotionally abusive marriage. I had never read about a romance with a ten-year age gap before (Lucy is in her mid-twenties and the Countess is 35, I think), so I was a bit hesitant, but I ended up liking these characters' dynamic - they were good at communicating and solving conflict; the moments of miscommunication never lasted long. I also thought that the sex scenes were well-written, that one bad simile notwithstanding. One of the first things that stood out to me about this novel was the writing: it's so detailed and atmospheric that I wanted to make an aesthetic board for this book, and I would have were I able to do that kind of thing. From star charts to libraries, from embroidery to seashell art - there was so much beauty in this book, and I knew me and it were going to get along from the moment I knew that one of the heroines was a scientist and that the other was an artist who liked to embroider plants (and the Tapeinochilos ananassae is objectively a good subject, Catherine is right). More than anything, The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics is a story about art and science, their similarities and differences, and the ways women were excluded from them through time. It's not a book that tries to tell you which of the two is more important, it's a book that talks about the importance and beauty of science while talking about how men in this era did many unethical things in the name of it, it's a book that talks about the complexities of art while also pointing out that the forms of it that were associated with women (like embroidery) weren't seen as art at all. I loved this message. For what didn't work for me as much - well, the characters get together before the 40% mark, which is... really early for a romance novel, or any novel, one could say. And while I did appreciate how the conflict in this book wasn't internal to the relationship, the book did seem kind of aimless around the halfway point. The ending, however, made up for it. Another thing that I could have done without was the part in which they called an Italian character "Contezza". Will Americans ever not disappoint me like that? (It's "Contessa", and even google translate can tell you that. "Contezza" means "knowledge" or "awareness" and even then, it's a word I've never seen anyone use.)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lea (drumsofautumn)

    ♦ Video Review ♦ This book is the wholesome sapphic Historical Romance I was waiting for! “We are not simply minds, trained like lamps on the world around us, producing light but taking nothing in: we are bodies, and hearts, and hopes, and dreams. We are men, and we are women. We are poetry and prose in equal measure. We are earth and clay, but we are all – no matter our shape – lit with a spark of something divine.” I think when it comes to queer books in general but especially ones with a h ♦ Video Review ♦ This book is the wholesome sapphic Historical Romance I was waiting for! “We are not simply minds, trained like lamps on the world around us, producing light but taking nothing in: we are bodies, and hearts, and hopes, and dreams. We are men, and we are women. We are poetry and prose in equal measure. We are earth and clay, but we are all – no matter our shape – lit with a spark of something divine.” I think when it comes to queer books in general but especially ones with a historical setting, it is so important to talk about how the queerness is handled. This could've focused on homophobia but THANK GOD it didn't. Yes, they have to hide their relationship but the people that do find out are all supportive and accepting. We definitely know the homophobic people exist but we don't need to read their words. And hey, if it's your jam to read about (real) queer people in History and how they were treated, there's books out there for you too! I just don't think that queerphobia and tragic gay stories have ANY place in Romance novels! “The point of fashion is not for gentlemen: they call it trivial because they cannot bear the thought of women having a whole silent language between themselves.” With this being about Lucy being an astronomer, there's also a lot of misogyny and that definitely plays a bigger role in this book but even that is handled in a way that feels so bearable. While women are very blatantly excluded from the scientific field, there are so many hopeful moments and the men's behaviour is mostly portrayed in a comedic way instead of having them threaten the women. It was great to see this book talk about women in science in general and that they did exist back in the day, it's just that they were hidden behind acronyms or their brother's/father's name. And this also had a side character that was a woman of colour in science! “It was like every touch of Lucy's hand was a silken thread, painting a sunsrise one skein of warm light at a time.” This book put a lot of emphasis on consent and that even if someone is verbally consenting, it is important to pay attention to their body language as well.There are so many different aspects of consent and a lot of them were brought up, like the fact that it doesn't mean anything that your partner has already been with someone for a long time, or that they're older. It was lovely to see Lucy, the younger woman, take care of Catherine, who had never been with a woman before. It also talked about Catherine's former husband enjoying giving and receiving pain during sex but that Catherine never consented to it. I liked that the book talked about the fact that it's totally okay to enjoy it, it's just that all parties need to be consenting and there was a scene later that reinforced exactly that. “She'd believed she could bear a widow's loneliness more peacefully than the misery of a bad marriage. But that was like choosing whether hemlock or belladonna was the better poison. In the end, they both sapped the life from you.” I do think this had more potential for a slow burn romance and it definitely would've been a 5 star in that case. But then again, it felt so good for this romance to just kinda happen without much of the angst we're used to? It felt so very easy but in a good way. There is obviously some angst later on and your good old misunderstanding trope but it honestly always feels refreshing to me to see those tropes used in "out of the norm" books. “Then Aunt Kelmarsh grumbled something about the food, and Catherine laughed gently, and Lucy found herself back on earth. But a different earth than the one she'd walked just a few hours before. A wider earth, with more space to expand and grow into the best version of herself. She couldn't wait to begin.” So overall, I am highly recommending this book. It is a really wholesome read, with a wonderful romance and an interesting, but hopeful, look into women in science back in the day. Please pick this up and show publishers that we want more sapphic Historical Romances! ♦ Booktube Channel ♦ Twitter ♦ Instagram ♦ I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    F/F HISTORICAL ROMANCE, IS THIS EVERYTHING I'VE EVER DREAMED OF OR WHAT Update: Yes, yes it was. When I saw a synopsis of this book, I knew I had to read it. F/F romance set in a regency era? Between a rich widowed countess and a girl astronomer? My instant reaction was HOW FUN - COUNT ME IN. This story turned out to be so much more than that. I love reading books - I have fun doing it, whether it's a delighted pleasure taken in discovery of something amazing or twisted satisfaction in finishing a F/F HISTORICAL ROMANCE, IS THIS EVERYTHING I'VE EVER DREAMED OF OR WHAT Update: Yes, yes it was. When I saw a synopsis of this book, I knew I had to read it. F/F romance set in a regency era? Between a rich widowed countess and a girl astronomer? My instant reaction was HOW FUN - COUNT ME IN. This story turned out to be so much more than that. I love reading books - I have fun doing it, whether it's a delighted pleasure taken in discovery of something amazing or twisted satisfaction in finishing a book that makes me want to fling my e-reader across the room. However, the type of...kinship and emotional fulfillment I felt while reading "The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics" is extremely rare and precious. This is certainly a love story, between Lucy Muchelney, an astronomer who has recently had her heart broken, and Catherine St. Day, widowed countess whose marriage was a constant streak of personal unfulfillment and emotional abuse. After her father’s death and her lover taking a husband, Lucy sets out to London with an ambitious goal of translating work of esteemed French astronomer. Catherine, aka Lady Moth, agrees to take her in as a guest, and, after members of Polite Science Society turn out to be anything but polite, offers to sponsor and publish her translation on her own. And thus, begins a bisexual awakening of Lady Moth and a blooming romance between the two. Now, let me count the ways I loved this romance. First of all, the apparent respect and support between Lucy and Catherine. While Lucy is ten years younger than Catherine, she’s the one more experienced in having a relationship with a woman. That’s not to say Lady Moth is an innocent miss straight out of schoolroom. No, she’s been married for fifteen years and even had an affair after her husband’s death (HUGE kudos for including that!) and she has a baggage of her own. They both do. Which is why I absolutely loved how they took things slow. And when they finally got together, I could feel how they cherished each other and their closeness. Secondly, this is not just about the romance. The outstanding theme, actually, at least to me, is women supporting and loving women. Women helping each other achieve their dreams and goals and realize that there is more to life than living in the shadow of men. “She ought to have paid more attention to her own self before now. She ought to have allowed herself to want things.” When Lucy and Catherine take a leap and begin a relationship, they don’t only embark on a journey towards love. No, they embark on a path of self-discovery and self-acceptance. And it’s beautiful and oh-so-heart-warming to read about them uplifting each other and being there for each other. Apart from this, I really have to applaud the author for the way she handled the issue of homophobia in XIX century. Personally, at least, I found it to be the perfect balance between so-called historical accuracy and respect for queer readers. Do I want to read about two ladies getting it on in Regency era? HELL YES. Do I want to be brought down by “historically-accurate” mentions of how they are scorned and ostracized because of their love? NOPE. In this book, we do have mentions of homophobia – it would be impossible not to include it when writing about a time when it was systematic (sex between two men was criminalized). But just because a society you write about is homophobic as a rule, doesn’t mean your characters need to be as well! And I’m glad the author understands that. Not only are there mentions of other F/F and M/M relationships throughout the book, the characters that find out about Lucy and Catherine don’t react with scorn – they turn into allies. “They don’t let you have anything whole, you know. If you don’t follow the pattern. You have to find your happiness in bits and pieces instead. But it can still add up to something beautiful.” Lucy and Catherine? In the end, they don’t need to satisfy themselves with scraps of happiness, no matter how beautiful. In the end, they take it all – love, science, art, permanence, sense of security. To a large extent, this book also deals with sexism and misogyny. But again, the way it’s done leaves you feeling uplifted, not discouraged (and I don't want to spoil but there's a plot twist at the end that makes it even more amazing). Lucy ends up making a place for herself in a field that is almost entirely ruled by men. Catherine decides to follow her dreams in a field that has been discounted as a trivial female pursuit. Both of them team up to help other women have their voices heard. And just like with their relationship, they have allies here too. “But there is no brilliance of thought, no leap of logic that can take place without the power of imagination. Our learning requires intuition and instinct as much as pure intelligence. We are not simply minds, trained like lamps on the world around us, producing light but taking nothing in: we are bodies, and hearts, and hopes, and dreams. We are men, and we are women. We are poetry and prose in equal measure. We are earth and clay, but we are all - no matter our shape - lit with a spark of something divine.” I think there is only one thing in this book that made me recoil as I read it: “First, I would have to count myself in very good company: many of our greatest thinkers through history have been as famous for their mistakes as for their insights. Didn’t Copernicus believe the sun revolved around the earth?” NO. No, he did not. That is, in fact, factually incorrect statement. Mikołaj Kopernik aka Nicolaus Copernicus was XV/XVI Polish astronomer who was one of the very first to introduce heliocentric system, so a system in which it’s the Earth that revolves around the Sun while at the same time turning daily on its axis. It’s just one sentence but I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t point this out and given the focus this story has on astronomy, it’s a factual error that shouldn’t have been made. Going back to the good things though – I absolutely recommend this book. It was beautiful and emotional and simply a delight to read. Trigger warnings: mentions of emotional abuse, sexism, misogyny

  9. 5 out of 5

    Fadwa (Word Wonders)

    This book is just. so beautiful

  10. 4 out of 5

    aarya

    This book makes me so, so happy. I felt like I was floating away on a soft cloud the entire time I was reading it, or maybe slightly tipsy on champagne. I read this one evening curled up on a hammock and hated myself for not taking breaks (so I wouldn’t finish so fast!). Not officially reviewing this one for SBTB, but here are some brief comments: 1) Beautiful, gorgeous prose. For the most part, I don’t care much about prose. Either the voice works for me or it doesn’t. And when it does, the prose This book makes me so, so happy. I felt like I was floating away on a soft cloud the entire time I was reading it, or maybe slightly tipsy on champagne. I read this one evening curled up on a hammock and hated myself for not taking breaks (so I wouldn’t finish so fast!). Not officially reviewing this one for SBTB, but here are some brief comments: 1) Beautiful, gorgeous prose. For the most part, I don’t care much about prose. Either the voice works for me or it doesn’t. And when it does, the prose usually isn’t that enchanting or well-crafted. Here, it’s impossible not to notice how much care and love is imbued into every sentence. “Each edge of the shawl glittered with comets, icy silver spheres made of spiking stitches, a few with long wispy tails of single strands stretching out toward the center of the fabric. Arranged in a line, they formed shapes like classical columns, or arches on some Palladian monument. Between these edges was a vast, starry expanse, tiny glass spangles scattered across the blue like diamonds on velvet. Lucy’s trained eye picked out the familiar patterns at once—there was the boxy bulk of Ursa Major, and spiky Cassiopeia the jealous queen, and the broad shoulders of Orion the hunter. She looked back again in wonder at the comet border, marveling at the subtle color variation in the silk threads. Silver and white and gold and even a hint of palest green, each thread as precisely placed as a brushstroke on a portraitist’s masterpiece, giving the impression that each comet was still somehow streaking across the nighttime sky on its impossible journey.” Honestly, I flipped to a random page and chose a paragraph to showcase. Every description made my heart soar and my soul sigh dreamily. See how lame my words are? That’s because I’m a terrible writer. I promise you the book’s prose is better than my lame praise of it. 2) I’m a sucker for people being hurt by previous relationships and then discovering love with a new partner. Both Lucy and Catherine have suffered different kinds of relationship tragedies, but watching them discover love anew is so heartwarming. 3) So, I’ll admit it. I think astronomy is boring. I once fell asleep on a field trip to the planetarium where they made us lie down and look at the stars. My conspiracy theory is that none of these constellations actually exist because I can never, ever connect the dots and figure out which star pattern matches the freaking drawing. Yet somehow, the book represented astronomy in such a way that even me, a complete cynic, fell in love with the stars. Don’t ask me how. I think black magic was involved, because I really don’t like astronomy. Maybe I should give the planetarium another try. 4) I expected science when I started this book, but I did not expect the fascinating discussion of what art is and isn’t. Not to spoil too much (as I think you should discover this for yourself), but this is easily my favorite part of the book. Also, I want a comet dress. Avon should design astronomy-themed dresses as swag and give them out during RWA. Or something to do with embroidery. 5) THE ROMANCE 😭❤️😭❤️😭❤️ 6) Please give me more non-cishet people falling in love in historicals. Please. Especially f/f. I enjoy m/m, but do confess to loving f/f even more. This is Avon’s first f/f historical and I sincerely hope that they’ll publish many more. I have a strict no-buying arcs policy (mostly because I’m a broke college grad with student loans!) but I’ll probably make an exception for this book because I really want to support this book and let Avon know that there is an audience for f/f historicals. I really hope there’s a sequel.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Racheal

    5 full stars! I absolutely adored this book! It was so satisfying on so many levels for me - I honestly haven't quite felt this way about a historical romance since Courtney Milan's The Duchess War first opened that door for me (although KJ Charles and Cat Sebastian definitely get an honorable mention). It was just so much more than I was expecting. First, of course, it's a really wonderful, unique romance between a brilliant astronomer and a widowed countess. The whole time I was reading it I h 5 full stars! I absolutely adored this book! It was so satisfying on so many levels for me - I honestly haven't quite felt this way about a historical romance since Courtney Milan's The Duchess War first opened that door for me (although KJ Charles and Cat Sebastian definitely get an honorable mention). It was just so much more than I was expecting. First, of course, it's a really wonderful, unique romance between a brilliant astronomer and a widowed countess. The whole time I was reading it I had my heart in my throat, hoping and wishing and waiting for these women, so stepped on by society, to find the love and connection they deserved. I'll take a quote from the book itself to say that it has a "sense of awe and wonder and delight, without being at all childish". But beyond the romance, this book is also a fantastic character study of a woman who was emotionally abuse by her late husband and who is struggling to find her way forward in the years after his death. Watching her character arc as she changes and grows into herself was such a fucking treasure. It's also about how women and people of color were systematically excluded from the sciences, and how they found ways to do the work anyway. There's a discussion that comes up annoyingly often in The Discourse™ about realism in historical romance, and it's never used as a way to discuss how few Dukes there actually were in history, how unlikely it is that they would be rich, good-looking, feminist, and would be interested in falling in love with a plain, penniless woman. No, it's always used as a way to argue that LGBTQ+ folks and people of color don't deserve uncompromising happiness in romance. And yet history is full of marginalized people who lived their lives and did amazing things, found happiness, etc. Why, in a romance novel, would we elide those stories and instead focus on the negative to the exclusion of all else? We certainly don't in straight, white romance. So it is with the greatest joy that I say that this book is also about marginalized folks finding ways to connect to each other, to protect and support each other, to give each other the space and courage they need to become their authentic selves. The books I've read that have been this satisfyingly feminist have mostly been hyper angry, "burn it to the ground!" sorts of stories. While I love me some Bitch Planet, I love that this manages to give me that feeling while focusing on building the world into something better. And if all that wasn't enough, the writing is also really well done; it strikes the perfect balance between light and serious, between tightly crafted and emotional. It is remarkable how she was able to draw such a beautiful, healthy relationship without sacrificing the passion, romance, or overall sexiness. I just- UUUUH I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH

  12. 5 out of 5

    alexis

    F/F HISTORICAL WITH AN ASTRONOMER HEROINE IS EVERYTHING I'VE EVER DREAMED OF

  13. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    New to me author and historical f/f. I really enjoyed this one!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Helen Kord

    TWs/CWs: past spousal abuse, sexism The word encompassing this book is beautiful. The prose, the imagery, the relationship, the message it conveys, it’s all beautiful. It’s hard putting into words just how beautiful this book is. Our two heroines, Lucy and Catherine, are two deeply complicated women, who have been hurt by those in their life who should have cherished them, and now must learn together what love really is about. They both bring realistic baggage to the relationship: Lucy has been th TWs/CWs: past spousal abuse, sexism The word encompassing this book is beautiful. The prose, the imagery, the relationship, the message it conveys, it’s all beautiful. It’s hard putting into words just how beautiful this book is. Our two heroines, Lucy and Catherine, are two deeply complicated women, who have been hurt by those in their life who should have cherished them, and now must learn together what love really is about. They both bring realistic baggage to the relationship: Lucy has been thrown aside by her lover, has been ridiculed and dismissed by her older brother, has been erased from her accomplishments by her father. Catherine is starting to grapple with the fact that her late husband was abusive, and that she didn’t deserve such treatment. The way this book handles learning to reclaim themselves, their bodies and soul, is breathtaking. It’s realistically slow going, but step by step, they get better and better. Often, we see characters change for their partners. Even when it’s for their betterment, there’s something insidious about changing yourself just to please someone else, and this story calls it out. Catherine spent years twisting herself into someone she wasn’t for her husband, but she is done with that, and she will now live for herself and her own joy. Lucy may be a big part of said joy, but she’s not all of it. Catherine’s character arc is beautiful and much needed. What this book has to say about arts and crafts feels like a culmination of centuries worth of debate about the devaluation of traditionally “feminine” crafts and I’m so here for it. Catherine is a master embroider, who is so skilled she can create gorgeous anatomically correct flowers and portraits (portraits!!!!!!!!!!!) yet it takes her a long time (and a lot of Lucy’s enthusiastic arguing) to accept she is an artist. Her acts of love, embroidering a shawl and dresses with celestial designs for Lucy, were some of my favourite parts of the book. Speaking of celestial designs. God the way astronomy was portrayed was heart-achingly beautiful. The way Waite shows Lucy’s yearning for the stars made me want to drop everything and lay in the grass, gazing at the starry night sky and point out constellations. The imagery is, and I know I keep repeating myself, absolutely beautiful. There’s something about astronomy in historical romances that makes them immediately 5000% better. For me, the combination of idealistic dreaming and rigorous science is absolutely magical. Did I have some quibbles? Yes, absolutely. I felt quite uneasy about Lucy’s plan to rewrite Oléron’s book without permission. And while I understand why she did it, the book brings attention to the fact she doesn’t have a permission, which then made me very anxious, waiting for the metaphorical shoe to drop. And while the “dark moment” between Lucy and Catherine was very realistic, the fact that it hinged on a misunderstanding (at least that’s how it felt to me) and then any attempts on conversation were completely stonewalled by one of the characters left me a bit queasy. The argument was realistic, but it also hit way too close to home for comfort. Finally, there’s a line about charming the “King of Bohemia”, and I will forever curse Arthur Conan Doyle for bringing this nonsense into vernacular, because there was no “King of Bohemia”. In the broad sense of the word, there hasn’t been any Bohemian kings since 1620, in the accurate sense of the word, there has never been a king of “Bohemia”, because that is only a small part of the actual country (even today when the country is much smaller, Czech Republic consists of Bohemia, Moravia and Salesia) and none of our kings were kings of just that one part. And yes, this is just a small throwaway line for flavor, but it’s so common and INNACURATE that it always makes me feel very bitter towards the book it’s in. But honestly? That’s all they are. Quibbles. This book was everything I hoped it would be, that the stunning cover promised it would be. A marriage of science and arts, of two souls growing stronger together; uplifting their community of women and queer people and fighting the patriarchy. It was beautiful and I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

  15. 5 out of 5

    milou ☁️

    You could take a robin, put it in a cage, and carry it around the world – but if you never opened the cage door, how much of a difference would you have made to the robin’s life? All it would know was the view through the bars. After Lucy watches her ex-lover getting married to a man she packs all her belongings when she receives a letter from the Countess of Moth to help her with the translation of a French astronomy text. Lucy quickly makes it to London where the Countess allures her from t You could take a robin, put it in a cage, and carry it around the world – but if you never opened the cage door, how much of a difference would you have made to the robin’s life? All it would know was the view through the bars. After Lucy watches her ex-lover getting married to a man she packs all her belongings when she receives a letter from the Countess of Moth to help her with the translation of a French astronomy text. Lucy quickly makes it to London where the Countess allures her from the start. Their relationship is tested when even Catherine cannot take her eyes from Lucy. ─── ・ 。゚:☆. *.☽ .* :☆゚. ─── This is the wlw historical regency book that we’ve all been waiting for our entire lives and it might have killed me a little. This is the first book by Olivia Waite that I’ve read, but it sure promises something for her future works. The cover and the synopsis alone should be enough to lure you in. It doesn’t falsely promise you something, because it delivers. 🔭Lucy Muchelney: Has been assisting her father with his astronomy work for years. Just came out of a relationship and only ever has eyes for girls. 🔭Catherine St Day : is the Countess of Moth and the late wife of George St. Day. Has always lived her life to please others and especially her former husband. One of the things that I liked most about this book is how both Catherine and Lucy were their own characters and were unique in every way. While Lucy is an extremely talented astronomer, Catherine finds out she has a talent of her own which Lucy brings to light. Even in a world where ninety percent of all men are pigs they are fighting the patriarchy. Fuck men. Almost as soon as Lucy arrives in London the desire and lust that the two women have for one another begins, which might have been a bit of insta love to me. But their love doesn’t begin instantly it grows over a period of time which gives it a more honest and sweet feeling. ”We thought we were separate satellites, but we aren’t. We’re stars, and though we might burn separately, we’ll always be in one another’s orbit. ↠ Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance ↠ Reputation: Bisexuality and a Lesbian ↠ Pov: Third Person – Female Duo ↠ Type: Book 1 in the Female Pursuit Series ↠ Rating: 4 stars Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Last.fm

  16. 5 out of 5

    mahana

    ARC kindly provided by Avon Impulse in exchange for an honest review. (failed) buddy read with ari 💖 I hate DNF'ing ARCs, but I seriously think I would've given this an exponentially low rating if I had continued reading. We'll leave it with my somewhat positive opinion of it so far instead of lowering it even further. There is someone out there interested in tedious stories about astronomy, and that person is not - and will never be - me. I'm not sure why it's an unwritten rule that every f/f bo ARC kindly provided by Avon Impulse in exchange for an honest review. (failed) buddy read with ari 💖 I hate DNF'ing ARCs, but I seriously think I would've given this an exponentially low rating if I had continued reading. We'll leave it with my somewhat positive opinion of it so far instead of lowering it even further. There is someone out there interested in tedious stories about astronomy, and that person is not - and will never be - me. I'm not sure why it's an unwritten rule that every f/f book must be dull and slow-moving, but 98% of them are just boring. I'm not sure why I still have insomnia after reading so many insufferably monotonous books lately. After Lucy's father passes away and Lady Catherine Moth sends a letter looking for someone to translate a French tome on astronomy that her husband acquires, Lucy leaves her life behind to complete it herself. Running from a now married ex-lover, and a brother who wants to find her a man to marry, she falls for Catherine quickly. I'll get the positives out of the way first so the people who are genuinely interested aren't deterred from this book. I firmly believe that certain people will enjoy this, but not me. It's really a matter of your own personal interests and whether you like slow stories. I loved the establishment of the f/f romance and Lucy's discussions about being attracted to women. I definitely appreciated that they began their affair earlier in the story, rather than waiting until 99% (like every other f/f romance book inevitably does). The writing was also amazing and I highlighted many, many stunning passages. I have no issue with the execution of the story or the romance, it was rather certain aspects of the story I wasn't sold on. Here's the thing: I don't care about astronomy. I will never care about astronomy. Kudos to the author for obviously writing about something they're interested and knowledgeable in, but did it have to encompass so much of the plot? My interest in the book was rapidly jumping up and down. When the two characters initiated contact or a relationship, I was engaged. Then, they'd spend double the time talking about the translation and other things I simply didn't care about. Furthermore, I've always been apprehensive about reading historical romance because I'm not a fan of how women were treated at the time and I don't want romance books to follow those procedures. However, I do applaud this author for pointing out the inequities between men and women in the 1800s, especially with their inclusion in science or astronomy. Though - and you're going to get sick of me saying this - I was honestly bored of being constantly reminded about the prejudices against women. There were lines on literally every page about it and I understood their merit, but it was too repetitive for me to appreciate it. Even though I loved the romance and thought the sex scenes were well-written, I hated how most of them were fade to black. Do you mean to tell me the only part of the book I was interested in was cut short every single time sex was initiated between the main couple? Overall, I would cautiously recommend this to people, but it definitely wasn't for me. I don't want to sound like a) a broken record or b) someone trying to ease the hurt in a breakup, but: it's not you, it's me. The writing was amazing and the romance was developing wonderfully, but the focus of the plot definitely wasn't something I was interested in reading. Again, I do applaud the author for writing about something they genuinely loved because you could feel it in the story on a sincere level.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    “We thought we were separate satellites, but we aren’t. We’re stars, and though we might burn separately, we’ll always be in one another’s orbit.” LADIES FALLING IN LOVE THROUGH ART AND SCIENCE ALL WHILE HAVING LOTS OF REALLY HOT SEX WITH FEELINGS; THIS IS LITERALLY EVERYTHING I COULD’VE WANTED IN A BOOK. I did knock off a star only because some of the scientific details came across as wordy or just plain hard to follow for a layman like myself, which led to me skimming through most of those passa “We thought we were separate satellites, but we aren’t. We’re stars, and though we might burn separately, we’ll always be in one another’s orbit.” LADIES FALLING IN LOVE THROUGH ART AND SCIENCE ALL WHILE HAVING LOTS OF REALLY HOT SEX WITH FEELINGS; THIS IS LITERALLY EVERYTHING I COULD’VE WANTED IN A BOOK. I did knock off a star only because some of the scientific details came across as wordy or just plain hard to follow for a layman like myself, which led to me skimming through most of those passages in the end. And the last minute understanding just didn’t need to be there, in fact it nearly killed my good book buzz, but at least the make-up scene (IN THE LIBRARY NO LESS) made it sort of worth it. Nitpicks aside, I have no doubt that Lucy and Catherine’s romance will be staying with me for a good long while after this and I cannot wait for the next book in this amazing series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Book Minx

    Update: knocking off a star after reading another reviewer’s commentary about Caroline Herschel - a very real woman astronomer that has (one assumes unintentionally) been erased from this plot about erasing women in science ... and that feels gross. ___ Simply divine and I devoured this, nearly in a single sitting. The romance was superb and I loved that women had some unflinching support of each other, even when things were a bit rocky in their relationship. Very evocative of the period and preva Update: knocking off a star after reading another reviewer’s commentary about Caroline Herschel - a very real woman astronomer that has (one assumes unintentionally) been erased from this plot about erasing women in science ... and that feels gross. ___ Simply divine and I devoured this, nearly in a single sitting. The romance was superb and I loved that women had some unflinching support of each other, even when things were a bit rocky in their relationship. Very evocative of the period and prevailing attitudes toward women in the sciences, though as noted in my update, unfortunately missing a big piece of the women in astronomy puzzle.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nadine Jones

    I can’t decide if I want to read this. The title says “yes!” and the blurb says “yes!” but the cover says “use extreme caution, this will be cheesy and sappy.”

  20. 5 out of 5

    Flor

    5 stars for this absolutely wonderful f/f historical which has quickly become one of my favorites in the genre. I actually can't wait to read it again and again.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Lady scientists and artists taking down the patriarchy!!! It was amazing!! (Which is all I have right now bc I’m waiting on an Amtrak train that was supposed to arrive at 830pm and now won’t get here until almost 11pm and I’ve been stuck in this crappy train station since about 5:30pm. This book kept me from murdering people.)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Review to come, I have to stop squealing about it first. I received an advance copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review, and Olivia is in my book club. This is my first historical f/f, but if they're all as fantastic as this, it won't be my last. Lucy has spent her life in the country, her scientist father's loyal assistant, and more-than-friends with another woman. But when that woman gets married, and Lucy's father dies, she's heartbroken. However, her father had been presented with t Review to come, I have to stop squealing about it first. I received an advance copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review, and Olivia is in my book club. This is my first historical f/f, but if they're all as fantastic as this, it won't be my last. Lucy has spent her life in the country, her scientist father's loyal assistant, and more-than-friends with another woman. But when that woman gets married, and Lucy's father dies, she's heartbroken. However, her father had been presented with the opportunity to translate a new scientific paper, and unbeknownst to his colleagues, Lucy had been doing the majority of his work for years. She knows the science as well, if not better than he did, and the praise heaped on him belonged to her. Determined to chase this chance, Lucy takes herself to London, where she shows up at the Countess of Moth's door, offering her services. Catherine, Countess of Moth, is finally free of her husband. She spent their marriage trailing along behind him as he sought scientific fame around the world, minimizing her desires and talents in order to support him. And now that he's gone, Catherine is disinclined to be involved with science ever again, until a determined country girl appears. With some doubt, she allows Lucy to stay and pursue the translation, and presents her to the scientific community her husband was a hallowed member of., When she and Lucy are scorned as women, Catherine takes herself and her money and dedicates it to Lucy's translation project. But it's not only her money that ends up dedicated to Lucy. Lucy has known who she is for years, but Catherine is only now finding the space to identify her desires. But with Lucy's love, Catherine is able to find her passions, both in and out of the bedroom. This was so great. It has everything I want in a romance: angst, secret longing, lady scientists, women showing up historical misogynists. While I have the digital ARC, I will be purchasing a hard copy as well to loan out (read: push at my friends). Highly recommended.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Galloway

    Brilliant characters, science, and a sweet romance -- of course it was wonderful.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Monique

    When Lucy Muchelney's lover of five years, Priscilla got married to access her trust, Lucy's heart broke. Lucy's father had died only six months before, she had been doing most of his mathematical work by then, but no one knew. She had received a letter from Catherine St. Day, the Countess of Moth, asking for a reliable translator for the first of five tomes of Oléron's Mécanique céleste. Lucy knows she is fully qualified, so she travels to London to meet the countess in person to convince her t When Lucy Muchelney's lover of five years, Priscilla got married to access her trust, Lucy's heart broke. Lucy's father had died only six months before, she had been doing most of his mathematical work by then, but no one knew. She had received a letter from Catherine St. Day, the Countess of Moth, asking for a reliable translator for the first of five tomes of Oléron's Mécanique céleste. Lucy knows she is fully qualified, so she travels to London to meet the countess in person to convince her that she can do it. Lucy and her brother Stephen need the money, he isn't selling many paintings aren't selling. Lucy is pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the countess is, but business comes first. Lady Moth's marriage to George was a miserable one, and while relieved she doesn't quite know what to do with herself since she's become a widow. Catherine had had some vague crushes on women, but she did not explore her attraction. But with Lucy, it's different. Their initial interaction is a bit awkward, no words are uttered, but soon they know. They are from such different worlds: the glamorous, well-travelled aristocrat and the scholarly country girl, but as intelligent, gifted women, they have much in common. When faced with one more affront because of their sex, Catherine reacts. She has the means to effect changes, and by helping Lucy, she also finds herself as well as love. THE LADY'S GUIDE TO CELESTIAL MECHANICS is a vibrantly nuanced portrait of Regency society, highlighted by Olivia Waite's exquisitely eloquent prose and scintillating dialogues. The segments on embroidery are sheer poetry, as are Catherine's Aunt Kelmarsh's letters, and the fictional Obéron, translated by Lucy - but in English for us - is absolutely stunning! I loved the diversity of characters: the men who thwarted women's ambitions - George and Stephen - those who encouraged them in their scholarly pursuits, like Lucy's father Arthur; Narayan, Catherine's lady's maid, the lovely Mr. William Frampton, a mathematician whose mother hails from Saint-Domingue - and I hope there's a story for him in the future. All the secondary characters are marvellously defined. THE LADY'S GUIDE TO CELESTIAL MECHANICS is how I perceive the first successful feminists would have acted. These are strong, determined women who take matters into their own hands and make things happen. It is an exhilarating story where you cheer because you feel that these women are doing it right. I was outraged at how the women were treated at the Polite Science Society because it feels so real, and it's so crisply described. I was dumbstruck at the men's pettiness - except the darling Mr. Frampton - and awestruck when Catherine fought back in the most dignified and significant manner. And the glorious moment when Lucy and Catherine realise how they feel about each other! Although I have read many m/m romances, I had read only a few f/f romances before but THE LADY'S GUIDE TO CELESTIAL MECHANICS came highly recommended from a favourite author of mine, someone I admire and respect, and I tried this new-to-me author. What a wonderful discovery! This is such a beautiful romance, where respect reigns supreme, where kindness and tenderness are freely given, where the characters are really attuned to each other and listen with their bodies and their hearts. I find that queer romances have much more interesting conflicts, this book is no exception, and what a spectacular plot twist at the end! THE LADY'S GUIDE TO CELESTIAL MECHANICS is a celebration of women, knowledge, and the arts; a love letter to embroidery; insightful asides on the perils of translation. On that note, I hope that in the final version, the Italian countess is a contessa, not a contezza.The writing is indescribably beautiful, lyrical, and Ms. Waite is able to convey myriad emotions with a few well chosen words. The author's total mastery of the English language, her nearly encyclopedic knowledge of Regency society, arts and sciences, the breathtaking descriptions, the fabulously well fleshed-out characters all contribute to make THE LADY'S GUIDE TO CELESTIAL MECHANICS an outstanding book. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  25. 5 out of 5

    c,

    I am tired of twisting myself into painful shapes for mere scraps of respect or consideration. Tired of bending this way and that in search of approval that will only ever be half granted. On my blog. Rep: lesbian mc, wlw mc, mixed race (black) side character Galley provided by publisher It feels like all the romance books I’m reading at the moment are “it’s not you, it’s me” books, because I can tell for the right person they’ll be great. But I’m not that person. The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Me I am tired of twisting myself into painful shapes for mere scraps of respect or consideration. Tired of bending this way and that in search of approval that will only ever be half granted. On my blog. Rep: lesbian mc, wlw mc, mixed race (black) side character Galley provided by publisher It feels like all the romance books I’m reading at the moment are “it’s not you, it’s me” books, because I can tell for the right person they’ll be great. But I’m not that person. The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics follows Lucy Muchelney, an astrologer, and Catherine St. Day, a widow who is funding the translation of an astrology text from French. When Lucy’s lover gets abruptly married and she finds a letter asking for help on a translation on the same day, she travels to London, to try convince the Countess of Moth, Catherine, to let her do what she always dreamed of doing. But when the men of the Polite Society harshly rebuff her appeal, she resolves, with Catherine’s help, to publish a translation of her own. I like my romances, historical ones in particular, to be slowburning. And I mean excrutiatingly unbearably tensely slowburning. Where they don’t even do so much as almost kiss until the last third of the book. Because it’s historical fiction, think of the social norms! And yet, in this book, they’re kissing at 28%, declaring they can’t live without each other at 50%. I wouldn’t have minded so much if I’d had some reason to actually want them to be together at this point. There wasn’t nearly enough development on that front for me. I loved Lucy and I guess I liked Catherine (though, again, didn’t get much of a chance to develop an opinion of her), but they got together before I could see anything in their relationship. Okay, so there was some instant attraction, but it wasn’t enough. I needed pining and growing feelings. Because once a couple gets together in a romance, I get bored, to put it bluntly. I need that development, that promise of tension and endgame to keep me going. It helps me grow to love the characters and their relationship. And that wasn’t here. Instead, I just spent the majority of the book bored. It’s not a bad book. It really isn’t. The writing is good, but writing alone is usually not enough to sustain my interest. And then, because of the lack of time spent developing a relationship, the angst just felt stupid. It was all because of a misunderstanding but if they’d just spent time talking to one another and getting to know each other before falling into bed, it wouldn’t have happened. Which is the worst and most tedious kind of angst. It’s also angst that’s over within about a chapter, even though they never actually talk things out. So yeah. Stupid. Ultimately, all that meant that I honestly didn’t care enough about the characters to give a monkey’s about what happened to them. It’s women doing science! It’s women destroying men who say they can’t! I should have loved it! But I didn’t.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Miyanomori

    A W|W REGENCY NOVEL IVE BEEN WANTING IN MY LIFE FOR AWHILE granted there might not be as much smut as i have wanted and the misunderstanding towards the end was frustrating to read but the science was kind of interesting to read (i enjoyed the various strong women in this story and i adored catherine a lot.) plus honestly i read it all in one setting so i couldn’t give it any less than 4 stars. HOPEFULLY WE WILL GET TO SEE MORE LESBIAN HISTORICAL ROMANCE NOVELS IN THE FUTURE.

  27. 5 out of 5

    prag ♻

    this book should be marketed as gentleman jack meets lady's guide to petticoats and piracy because that's exactly what it is and i love it

  28. 5 out of 5

    Adriana Martinez Figueroa

    *SCREAMS IN GAY* what a great way to end pride month

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jinni

    SUPERB. I AM JUST. OVERWHELMED WITH LOVE. 10/10 This book is such an enchanting depiction of two women who are hard-working, sensitive, intelligent, and caring. I don't know how I am supposed to live in a world without more Catherine and Lucy content. I fell head over heels for the two of them. I adored that no second of the book made me unhappy. Even the conflicting feelings regarding how to secure that "forever" and permanence felt sweet. I adore this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Norah Gibbons

    I received an ARC of this book to read through Edelweiss+ in exchange for a fair review. The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite is the first book in what looks to be an intriguing new series The Feminine Pursuit Series. My New Year’s resolution is always the same Try New Things and this book fits that perfectly with a new to me author and a new genre F/F romance and getting to read this book was definitely a win for me because not only did I find a new author to enjoy as well as I received an ARC of this book to read through Edelweiss+ in exchange for a fair review. The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite is the first book in what looks to be an intriguing new series The Feminine Pursuit Series. My New Year’s resolution is always the same Try New Things and this book fits that perfectly with a new to me author and a new genre F/F romance and getting to read this book was definitely a win for me because not only did I find a new author to enjoy as well as a new genre but reading it sent me off to the library to look up more about women and science and it while of course there are some horrible stories of men taking credit for work that is not theirs it was quite eye opening and I look forward to discovering more stories…. but back to this story Lucy Muchelney a brilliant mathematician is at a bit of a loose end, her astronomer father has passed away leaving her feeling purposeless without work to do and her beloved accepted a marriage proposal without even informing Lucy of her decision. When a letter arrives from the Countess of Moth, Catherine St. Day looking for someone to translate a French Astronomy text she immediately heads to London in hopes of finding purpose and to recover from her broken heart. Lucy finds all of that and much more. While this book is a historical romance it explores issues that are still of burning importance today and I found that as well as being an extremely entertaining read with a beautiful love story it also gave me lots to think about. I highly recommend reading it. Medium Steam. Publishing Date June 25, 2019 #Edelweissplus #OliviaWaite #AvonBooks #AvonImpulse #HarperCollinsCanada #HarperCollinsPublishers #TheLadysGuidetoCelstialMechanics

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