The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by: Olivia Waite

” 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? “

Potential triggers…

  • Abusive/toxic past relationship discussed
  • Trauma/anxiety due to abusive/toxic relationships
  • Death of a parent

A few years ago I heard about this book while listening to The Heaving Bosoms Podcast. As I was looking for books to read, for Pride, this one popped up in my recommends and I thought it was long past time I read it. I will say, I struggled to read the mass market copy, the words are so tiny it was messing with my ability to concentrate. After attempting a few chapters I finally gave in and used the Libby app to check out a digital copy from my local library. Being able to read bigger font was just what I needed.

Do you ever find characters that deeply irritate you and then realize it’s their similarities to you that you actually find irritating? Catherine, the Countess, is deeply insecure about her place in the world and lacks pride in her own talents. It took me two thirds of the book to realize my biggest issue with her was she reminded me of myself. So many random insecure thoughts that Catherine would have…I found myself wanting to shake her and say STOP YOU’RE CREATING DOUBT WHERE IT DIDN’T ALREADY EXIST! All the while flashing back on my own moments of doubt and weakness…creating issues where none originally existed.

Many who read this book may not realize it but Catherine’s ex-husband caused her trauma. I grew up around someone who could go from happy to irate in seconds…someone you constantly needed to study to see if you were safe or if their mood would soon turn. Catherine is used to having to be vigilant in her observations to ensure she could keep her ex-husband’s outbursts aimed only towards her and not towards the servants or anyone else. Having to constantly deal with someone like that takes a toll on you…and it makes it hard to see that not everyone is like that.

I do appreciate that although Catherine has deeply insecure thought’s, due to her past, she never really attacks or accuses Lucy outwardly. Catherine seems to understand that these issues could just be her own so instead of constantly lashing out at Lucy she tries to keep her thoughts, and insecurities, to herself.

Overall I really enjoyed the story of Lucy and Catherine. Not only do we get a sweet love story but we also get two strong and talented women who cheer each other on and show the other they do have talent and worth. I look forward to reading more of Olivia Waite’s historical romances!

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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