About the Book:
How do you solve the Perfect Equation? Add one sharp-tongued mathematician to an aloof, handsome nobleman. Divide by conflicting loyalties and multiply by a daring group of women hell-bent on conducting their scientific experiments. The solution is a romance that will break every rule.
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?
Letitia “Letty” Fenley is one of the founding members of Athena’s Retreat, a haven for female scientists and scholars – a safe place where they can conduct experiments as well as socialize, far from disapproving male scrutiny. This place is especially dear to Letty, since she is no longer good society, thanks to an unfortunate romance when she was only seventeen. Letty gave herself wholeheartedly to a young nobleman who promised her marriage, only to find out his true colors when they were confronted by his father. Thanks to some rumors circulated by him, Letty’s good reputation was lost, and she gave up on her wish for a happily ever after. She concentrates now on entering the Rosewood competition, where she’ll present her theories while disguised as a young male. Her plans are interrupted, and the very retreat she loves, comes under threat, and she is forced to work closely with a man whose shaming words still haunt her, though it’s been six years.
William Hughes, Viscount Greycliff, has big plans. For years, he has worked for an organization called The Department, one which works with the government and wields much influence. His father’s cousin, who is also his godfather, is the current leader, and plans soon to retire. He plans to name William as his successor. William anticipates no problem being approved, but a surprise rival turns up. Armitage’s political views are directly opposed to William’s, and he has a particular hatred of Athena’s Retreat, spouting nonsense about how it’s destroying families and taking jobs away from men. To muddy up the waters even further, William has been acting as a temporary administrator at Athena’s, while one of the other founding members takes a leave of absence.
William and Letty have a complicated past. He happens to be cousin to Nevin, the young man Letty loved six years ago, and he believed the lies that Nevin’s father, his own mentor and godfather, spoke. He verbally thrashed Letty, saying some very cruel things which cut her deeply. Since then, he has acted civilly, since they have the mutual connection of Athena’s Retreat, which they are now both running. Their encounters are tense, as Letty is still hurting from the insults he hurled at her. Eventually, he apologizes, and they come to a truce, of sorts. Once their animosity has been put aside, they begin to see each other through fresh eyes, and they both like what they see. Mutual attraction grows, but the political climate seems to only highlight their differences. William’s rival amps up his opposition, and is believed to be behind the attacks on Athena’s Retreat. William has to make the decision whether to close down the retreat in order to keep the women safe, or put them in danger. It seems like a no-win situation.
I love Letty, who, in addition to being a brilliant mathematician, is a closet romantic, despite her unhappy past. Though she didn’t have her own happy ending, she adores the scandalous novels where the heroine always wins. I admired how she was willing to forgive William for his past cruelty and give him another chance. Behind her bravado, Letty is a vulnerable woman with a heart of gold. William’s childhood was plagued by illness which led to rejection by his own father. His godfather’s encouragement and caring helped him to grown into the strong man he is today. Unfortunately, he also became rigid in his habits, his plans, and his goals. Letty was good for him, showing him that he had more options, and causing him to reexamine his life and how he wanted his future to play out. Their romance is decidedly steamy, and it was wonderful seeing it turn into genuine love and caring. A PERFECT EQUATION is so many things – heartwarming, informative, well written, interesting, and definitely hot. Be prepared to become immersed in an encompassing and satisfying read. ~Rose