A Love by Design

Berkley. (Secret Scientists of London, Bk. 3). Jan. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780593200667. pap. $17. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Lending a fresh perspective to historical romance, Everett’s latest installment in her “Secret Scientists of London” Victorian series (following A Perfect Equation) centers on Margaret Gault. Recently widowed, she has returned to London to fulfill her dream of starting her own engineering firm, but she did not count on reuniting with her childhood love, Earl Grantham. Readers familiar with the series will recognize both from previous books, but here they take center stage for a charming story of second-chance love. This book is an excellent entry point to the series, but longtime fans won’t find that Everett simply re-treads the same ground. Grantham and Margaret’s struggle between their conflicting dreams and desires makes for excellent tension. Everett skillfully creates character moments, building a reunited-lovers scenario that allows both parties to have been wrong and right in past actions, and creating a lasting connection between her characters as they come together once again.
VERDICT Enjoyable characters and an avoidance of many of the most common tropes of historical romance enliven Everett’s novel; a must-read for those looking for STEM romances.
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