A Perfect Equation by Elizabeth Everett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brilliant Petite Scientist + Sardonic Alphahole = Love Match

Enemies to lovers, forced proximity, and a setting in a Victorian STEM institute run by women–A Perfect Equation has many things going for it. The book was laugh out loud funny from the get-go with an action-packed introduction and wonderful steamy tension.

What happened to our heroine, Letty Fenley, six years ago? The answer, when he finally understands it, will bring our hero Grey (the Viscount Greycliff) to his knees and give him a glimpse of what it is like to be a woman in a world which many men believe is theirs by right.

“Lord save us from men who have all the answers,” Letty huffs at Grey. It is satisfying to see Grey’s transformation from a hero who very much believes he has all of the answers into a slightly gentler, slightly more humble man. However, it is also difficult to get over Grey’s original harshness, his essential slutshaming of a seventeen year old girl from a much less privileged class than his own, and his innate instinct to be self-serving at the cost of the Athena Society for large parts of the book. For this reason, I found Letty a much more sympathetic character and had a harder time appreciating Grey.

Letty’s brother and the rest of this cast of eccentric and charming friends also add a much needed dose of comfort to a book that contains a great deal of stress-inducing, all-too-realistic sexism. Grey is a forceful, alpha hero who falls hard when he finally admits he is falling, and the outstanding banter between Grey and Letty is cackle-worthy. If you enjoy enemies to lovers, this is one where the trope is strong and the writing excels.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance readers copy of this book!

Outstanding Quote: “Yet once Letty did become irresistible, like everyone had told her to, she was punished for it.
Be pretty, but not prettier than the others. Look like you want their attention, but turn away from it when offered. Act as though you wish to kiss him, but do not do it. Spend your time and money to get them to want you, but then you must deny them. Make him love you, but do not act upon it.
A cunning trap for girls who listened to their hearts instead of the messages not so subtly communicated by society.
In the pages of a book, love is its own reward.
In the real world, it was a transaction.”

Steam Level: Steamy

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