What is a Victorian lady’s formula for love? Mix one brilliant noblewoman and her enigmatic protection officer. Add in a measure of danger and attraction. Heat over the warmth of humor and friendship, and the result is more than simple chemistry—it’s elemental.Lady Violet Hughes is keeping secrets. First, she founded a clandestine sanctuary for England’s most brilliant female scientists. Second, she is using her genius on a confidential mission for the Crown. But the biggest secret of all? Her feelings for protection officer Arthur Kneland.

Solitary and reserved, Arthur learned the hard way to put duty first. But the more time he spends in the company of Violet and the eccentric club members, the more his best intentions go up in flames. Literally.

When a shadowy threat infiltrates Violet’s laboratories, endangering her life and her work, scientist and bodyguard will find all their theories put to the test—and learn that the most important discoveries are those of the heart.


Audiobook review


4 stars


This was part of a book club read and a charming story.


I must say that the British accent of the narrator, even going for the Scottish brogue of Arthur Kneland certainly added to my enjoyment and helped me “be” in past London


The love story is certainly one of the main story arcs and, who knew sex scenes could be so hot when punctuated with words like “pearly white skin” and “cleft” and “corsets” I think these scenes were even more erotic than some modern sex scenes I have read by authors known for the heat!


Parallel to the love story is of course the secret club that Violet founded

This book focuses heavily on inequality.


You have of course gender inequalities.

These brilliant women had to gather in secret as no man would have liked to have their genius eclipsed by that of a woman!

General opinion would see a woman worthy by her children and by her ability to host balls and discuss chiffon. Yet, all the ladies at the club were talented scientists.

I laughed at their personalities and sometimes unfortunate discoveries, like using a spray cannister to paint teapots in pink.


Inequality in social standings too.

Not only do we follow a rebel group determined to fight for the worker’s rights but Arthur sees himself unfit for Violet’s station and love.

It was unconceivable that a Lady could waltz with a commoner.

Even if Arthur was brave, loyal, courageous and an honorable man, society frowned upon such behavior.


As you can see, we have some serious topics intertwined with the romance.


Violet was an admirable woman.

She had an incredible mind and a gentle soul. It was really crushing to hear about her past husband slowly crushing her spirit, leaving her a shadow of herself, doubting her own worth.

Building the Venus club and having Arthur around her helped her finally becoming who she was meant to be.


Last of course is trying to find who wants to hurt Violet and rob her secret formula!


All in all, I had a good time listening to that historical romance.


Thanks for reading!



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  1. Oh man, now I wish I had waited to listen to it. I thought it was a pretty good read but think I would have loved it even more if I had done the audiobook instead of the e-arc.

  2. I’ve been on the fence about this one ever since I checked its Goodreads reviews, but your review is definitely encouraging me to give it a try! (: