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The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics

(Feminine Pursuits #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  6,525 ratings  ·  1,513 reviews
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.

ebook, 336 pages
Published June 25th 2019 by Avon Impulse
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  6,525 ratings  ·  1,513 reviews

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Elle (ellexamines)
Sapphic historical fiction.... truly the best thing since sliced bread
They were here all along: spotting comets, naming stars, pointing telescopes at the sky alongside their fathers and brothers and sons. And still the men they worked with scorned them.

A Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics is a historical romance novel about two girls who fall in unlikely love. Lucy is an aspiring astronomer whose father has recently died and whose lover has gotten married to a man she does not love.
K.J. Charles
Jun 25, 2019 added it
Shelves: f-f, regency
The love story is a delightful f/f romance set in Regency England (1816). The romance is slow-burning, passionate, caring, and intense. The women are both scarred by failed relationships, and their awkwardnesses and insecurities inform their behaviour, which is very real if a bit frustrating at times for the reader--but even when they don’t believe in their own relationship or the other’s love, they still have one another’s backs. It’s a glorious depiction of solidarity and female strength and k ...more
chan ☆
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing

this was such a lovely historical romance, truly the best i've ever read. AND IT'S SAPPHIC? i know. we're thriving in 2019.

such a perfect blend of plot (astronomy, fighting the patriarchy!!) and romance. what really stood out to me was how each woman was so thoughtfully written and given her own unique set of characteristics, interests, ways of interacting. romances are hit or miss with characters and olivia waite really went ALL THE FUCK OUT making these ladies unique
Joel Rochester
Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It took me two weeks to read this because of my book hangover after The Poppy War trilogy and also moving to University but OH MY GOSH THE WAIT WAS WORTH IT.

This story is so brilliant, so wonderful. It truly speaks to feminism in the long eighteenth century and how women supported one another through societies and from a literary-historical perspective, it is truly beautiful and a new favorite book of mine.

All the stars and I cannot wait to reread this in the future.
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Melanie by: Silvia

(This was such a thoughtful gift from Bethany!)

“We thought we were separate satellites, but we aren’t. We’re stars, and though we might burn separately, we’ll always be in one another’s orbit.”

I really loved this a lot! I especially loved all the different kinds of reclaiming in this story! Maybe all it took for me to fall in love with a historical romance was sapphics in STEM (and art)! Who would have guessed? :]

This was so feminist, so queer, so healing, and so beautiful. And I lo
I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via Edelweiss for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

I don't often read historical fiction but I've been trying to make exceptions for queer histfic, especially when they're f/f. And there's a special set of emotions I go through while reading, the most unpleasant of which is the fear that something bad will happen, that will make me recoil and make me want to put down the book not because it's not good but because of the
Lex Kent
4.25 Stars. This was lovely. In a few weeks the second book in Waite’s Feminine Pursuits will be released. While I wasn’t sure how connected the two books actually are, I wanted to read this, book one, first since I’m very careful about reading books in order. I’m glad I decided on this plan because this was a really enjoyable historic-romance.

This is exactly the kind of historical-fiction book that I love to read. I prefer them to be more feel good and less depressing, but while still having a
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Maybe more of a 3.5. I enjoyed this one, but I wanted more romance and less science! If you're someone that really enjoys science and math and stuff and are looking for a queer romance, you will probably LOVE this. ...more
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*3.5 stars*

I'm getting so into lesfic recently, and I knew it was time to crack open my signed copy of The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics. I was promised a geeky queer romance and that's exactly what I got!

I thought this book was lovely and I adored the feminist, academic feel of the story. The author really excited me because her characters were comfortable in their attraction, and I was happy to have a historical lesbian romance with little to no shame. The story had so many excellent com
Jan 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of lush, evocative romance & a figurative marriage between the sciences and the arts
Recommended to jade by: it came to me through the gay grapevine
“it was as though someone had taken the case off the universe, and let the reader peer at the naked machinery that powered the stars.”

this was a perfect book to start the year with, and with perfect i mean tenderly romantic and hopeful while still remaining realistic regarding its historical setting.

it’s the story of two women who fall in love in 1816, and bring the sciences and the arts together through their respective skills as an astronomer and embroiderer. the novel very much pu
The audiobook is finally out and narrated by Morag Sims. Who is Morag Sims? Besides my favourite reader, she read The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley - a ‘the butler didn’t do it’ murder mystery and A Little Light Mischief by Cat Sebastian, FF Historical Romance.

Jane Austen said "If a Book Is Well Written, I Always Find It Too Short"

Most of us said "I dread finishing a great book"

Partner said after hijacking the book from me and finishing it in a couple of hours "Absolutely great, let's get a copy f
“So I started thinking: maybe being an artist is also really about the work. It’s not about standing up and trumpeting one’s own genius to a throng of adoring inferiors, agog with admiration. Maybe an artist is simply one who does an artist’s work, over and over. A process, not a paragon.”

What a perfect book to start a year with.
And what a surprise. I would have never thought it will have this huge impact on me.

Wow. The end made me cry, and bringing emotions out of me is really hard
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics is an F/F historical romance set in England in 1816, and it's currently my favorite adult romance novel. It wasn't perfect, as I did struggle with the pacing as I usually do with this genre, but to read a novel like this one, about unashamedly happy queer women during the Regency era, was such a refreshing experience.

The main characters of this novel are Lucy Muchelney, an astronomer who runs away to London to translate a French astronomical text,
Ah, this cover does so much for the book but mostly as a disservice. Yep, it gets the point across that this is a historical read with an f/f relationship...

But, I think it also may scare people away that aren't looking for a completely fluffy, harlequin, or overly dramatic romance for their read. Basically, it sells the quality of the story short because this is, in fact, a very high quality story with superb writing. Don't pass it up!

Where does the title come from? The romance is between an as
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
I received an arc of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review

Original review posted on my blog : Word Wonders

CW: explicit sex scenes, talk of emotional abuse, mention of death, sexism, misogyny

This book refuses to leave my brain and I request a refund for emotional corruption. Thank you. No but seriously, I went into The Lady’s Guide to Celestial mechanics very cautious (as I’m new to the genre and author) but full of hope because it’s a romance between an
I loved, loved, LOVED The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics and I am thrilled that author Olivia Waite is going to publish a second one in this series in 2020.

“Sisters are doin' it for themselves.
Standin' on their own two feet
And ringin' on their own bells.”

That’s pretty much the theme of this wonderful novel. Women with brains and the means and the wherewithal to follow their dreams and make it happen. Oh, there is a lot of struggle along the way because the story plays in Regency times and w
Lea (drumsofautumn)
Video Review

This book is the wholesome sapphic Historical Romance I was waiting for!

“We are not simply minds, trained like lamps on the world around us, producing light but taking nothing in: we are bodies, and hearts, and hopes, and dreams. We are men, and we are women. We are poetry and prose in equal measure. We are earth and clay, but we are all – no matter our shape – lit with a spark of something divine.”

I think when it comes to queer books in general but especially one
Jude in the Stars
May 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After the death of her father, Lucy Muchelney’s days as an astronomer seem over. After all, as her brother so delicately put it, who would want a female astronomer? Her lover’s wedding to a man is the last straw for the young woman, who runs away to London. Her not-very-well-thought plan is to convince the Countess of Moth to allow her to translate a famous French astronomer’s groundbreaking book. Catherine St Day, the countess, was content with never having to support another scientist after he ...more
Lexxi Kitty

This book had two things working in its favor when I saw it and purchased it before it was even released: 1) historical fiction/romance set in the time period I normally read (Regency period); 2) lesbians. Recently that seems to be mostly what I read, not everything, but mostly I seem to be reading lesbian romance fiction (usually set in contemporary times), and historical fiction/romance (usually involving heterosexual people set in the Regency era (books sometimes try to sneak in an earlier o
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You know the saying 'Don't judge a book by it's cover' ?

Yeah.. That one applies here. Looking at the cover, I honestly didn't think I'd get to experience a book this rich. And am I ever so glad to be proven so wrong! Yes, the reviews were all very encouraging but something else always came up. It took a well placed offer or threat, depending on the way you look at it (Farah's a genius at nudging 😂) for me to sit myself down and read it.

Brilliant, ambitious, all around kind Lucy was the perfect
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Picked this one up based solely on the reviews. And it was surprisingly good and well written. I usually find theses types of historical fiction stories to be long winded and slightly boring. But not this one! The book had great characters and pacing. The sex scenes were another pleasant surprise. With the story set during the Victorian age, I expected mostly demure cheek and hand pecks. Nope! Fairly explicit sexy times(Thank you!). Highly recommend.

4.5 stars
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Farah's exceptional review which I 100% agree after reading it, I don't think I need to add anything else. Instead I'll put her review here for everyone to read. :)

Basically, this book is Austen-esque but with loads of brilliantly described intellectual pursuits by women, and it's a bloody lesbian romance!! Written with zest, sensuality and commanding fervour!! Also, FYI, Lucy's past really reminded me of Anne Lister whose long-time lover did the same thing to her (no, not Ann Wal
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
I got this book from the library on a whim because I’m trying to read all of the 123 LGBT books my library holds. As with Seven Husbands (another library checkout) I’ve seen this book around but the cover never really did anything for me so I was never interested. Well I was in for a surprise with this one too. ‘The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics’ is beautifully written romance set in the Regency days.
I almost feel bad writing that because it was a lot more than that too. It’s about scienc
Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨

Yup, this would not be the time, when I FINALLY found a good F/F romance. I don't know why I keep being disappointed. I can find plenty M/M historical romance that I love, but so far, no F/F... The ratings for this book had me thinking that I had finally found it, but I am clearly not that easy to satisfy 🤷‍♀️

👎 What I Disliked 👎

Caroline Herschel: I listen to an amazing podcast named What's Her Name. This podcast is dedicated to telling the
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, read2019
The more romance I read, the more I start to learn about the tropes. I haven't read a lot of male/female regency romance but apparently this counts as regency, between a countess widow and a female astronomer who is also skilled at translating. There is a thread in this story about artistic embroidery that may have been my favorite part (and not just one character doing it!) I then read an overall positive but fact-checking review from another romance writer, KJ Charles, who pointed out that in ...more
Feb 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, sapphic
fun and feminist!!
Gaby LezReviewBooks
What a fantastic story. I'm not a fan of lesbian historical fiction books because they normally portray hard times to be a woman, let alone a lesbian, but this one is a gem. It is as feel-good as it gets in the 19th Century.

Lucy Muchelney is an apprentice astronomer who has recently lost her father and mentor. After her ex-lover marries a man, she decides to go to London offering her services to translate a groundbreaking French astronomy text to the Countess of Moth. When both women meet, they
Anne Boleyn's Ghost
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
3.5 stars.

On a totally shallow note, what a positively GORGEOUS cover.

The writing in The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics was also gorgeous. Really, gorgeousness abounded:
*Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Women in 19th century England faced barriers to entry and discrimination. Lucy knew more about astronomy than most men but lacked work opportunities without her father, and widowed Caroline had shelved her own dreams to serve as a dutiful wife. Together they rediscovered old passions and f
Tyler J Gray
I freaking loved this! I adored the characters, especially Lucy. A very strong woman who knows what she wants and doesn't take crap. Don't get me wrong, she has her insecurities for sure, but she still has a strength within her than shines. Catherine has been hurt in the past and is very insecure in the beginning despite having the countess act down in public. She hides it well but she's hurting. I loved her character arc and seeing her grow stronger. Both women have their own interests and pers ...more
Jacob Proffitt
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steamy, romance, lgbt
Let's just get this out of the way up front: this is a gorgeous cover and it doesn't hurt that it's a great indication of the contents.

Okay, this was a great romance, though with a few flaws I'll get to. Catherine has one of those rare titles that allow inheritance through the female line so she owns her title outright. And her mother was foresightful enough to tie her fortune to her as well. So her now-dead husband was restrained from blowing through it the way he wanted to and had to comply wi
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Olivia Waite writes erotic, historical, and paranormal romance -- sometimes all three at once. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with the love of her life and their mischievous miniature dachshund.

Other books in the series

Feminine Pursuits (3 books)
  • The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows (Feminine Pursuits, #2)
  • The Hellion's Waltz (Feminine Pursuits, #3)

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