A Love by Design
Author: Elizabeth Everett
What I’m Talking About:
Let me begin by saying I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to love this novel. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two in this series and was super excited to receive this installment, but overall the book fell flat for me. The concept is spot on: old flames literally stumble into each other and find hope, healing, and forgiveness. However, the process of getting there was rather bland for me. Earl Grantham is funny and swoony and Maggie is smart and beautiful. They should go together like the puzzle sitting on my table. They get there eventually, but my struggle is that the book is full of Maggie’s interpersonal issues, and rather than deal with them head on, she mainly avoids or “deals” with them in her head making for a lackluster storyline. I want the fire and heat of the previous stories in the series. Yes, I realize Maggie is a different kind of scientist, but she has passion, and we see very little of it in this novel. Even Grantham has to beg for it, and while that can work once in a book it doesn’t work for me throughout what felt like the entire novel.
Overall, A Love by Design was okay, fine, adequate, a solid C but it lacked the usual page turning excitement of the last two books. There were literal laugh out loud moments in the novel, and I ADORED Earl Grantham and I really like Maggie. I just want her to get out of her head and ask for help when dealing with some major morality defining moments in her life. Yes, she gets there, and she even finds the help she needs, but UGH this could have been so much less painful. So I’m giving A Love by Design a C and hoping the next book, assuming there is one, will bring back the excitement and adventure of the first two.
My Rating: C
About the Book:
You couldn’t design a better hero than the very eligible and extremely charming Earl Grantham. Unless, of course, you are Margaret Gault, who wants nothing to do with the man who broke her youthful heart.
Widowed and determined, Margaret Gault has returned to Athena’s Retreat and the welcoming arms of her fellow secret scientists with an ambitious plan in mind: to establish England’s first woman-owned engineering firm. But from the moment she sets foot in London her plans are threatened by greedy investors and—at literally every turn—the irritatingly attractive Earl Grantham, a man she can never forgive.
George Willis, the Earl Grantham, is thrilled that the woman he has loved since childhood has returned to London. Not as thrilling, however, is her decision to undertake an engineering commission from his political archnemesis. When Margaret’s future and Grantham’s parliamentary reforms come into conflict, Grantham must use every ounce of charm he possesses—along with his stunning good looks and flawless physique, of course—to win Margaret over to his cause.
Facing obstacles seemingly too large to dismantle, will Grantham and Margaret remain forever disconnected or can they find a way to bridge their differences, rekindle the passion of their youth, and construct a love built to last?
Release Date: January 17, 2023
Publisher: Berkley Publishing
Series: The Secret Scientists of London #3
Genre: Historical Romance
Format(s): paperback (352 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Amazon (affiliate link)