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The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics

(Feminine Pursuits #1)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  3,835 ratings  ·  996 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.

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published June 25th 2019 by Avon Impulse
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 ·  3,835 ratings  ·  996 reviews

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Elle (ellexamines)
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. Catherine is a widower of a famous scientist whose anger at her often
K.J. Charles
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

(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
chan ☆

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
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)
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.
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
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
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
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
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, age-gap
Sooooo... I'm not sure exactly what made me pick this book up, since historical books tend to not work for me. Take my review with a grain of salt!

The writing style was very fluid and the pacing was on point, but I didn't enjoy this one as much as I had hoped. I think it was a bit due to the time period that the story was set. Honestly, this book is more of a statement on feminism than a romance in my opinion, which isn't a bad thing at all. Just know that going in.

I enjoyed it, but the time per
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
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 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book both angered and buoyed me. What women went through way back in the day just to be heard and not seen as a piece of furniture really made my skin crawl. Astronomical intelligence that was quashed and silenced by inferior men, or worse yet, them taking credit for work they didn't do. I had many an anger-ball moment. 

But this was very well written and the to MCs, Catherine and Lucy, stole my heart. What strong, resilient, courageous women! They found a deep, respectful and loving relatio
prag ♻
this book should be marketed as gentleman jack meets lady's guide to petticoats and piracy because that's exactly what it is and i love it
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


Update: Yes, yes it was.

When I saw a synopsis of this book, I knew I had to read it. F/F romance set in a regency era? Between a rich widowed countess and a girl astronomer? My instant reaction was HOW FUN - COUNT ME IN.

This story turned out to be so much more than that. I love reading books - I have fun doing it, whether it's a delighted pleasure taken in discovery of something amazing or twisted satisfaction in finishing a
This book makes me so, so happy. I felt like I was floating away on a soft cloud the entire time I was reading it, or maybe slightly tipsy on champagne. I read this one evening curled up on a hammock and hated myself for not taking breaks (so I wouldn’t finish so fast!).

Not officially reviewing this one for SBTB, but here are some brief comments:

1) Beautiful, gorgeous prose. For the most part, I don’t care much about prose. Either the voice works for me or it doesn’t. And when it does, the prose
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lucy Muchelney is the daughter of an astronomer, and a passionate astronomer herself, who had been doing essentially all the work of her father for years before his death. Lucy has also been in a long term relationship with a woman, but that abruptly ended when the woman married a man. Then an opportunity comes up when the Polite Society commissions an English translation of a revolutionary French astronomy text, and Lucy jumps at the opportunity. Which leads her into contact with the widow Cath ...more
If you’ve been looking for a historical lesbian romance with all of the “smash the patriarchy” feels, this is the book for you. Lucy is plucky and brilliant, refusing to be put in her place by her brother or the Polite Science Society. She also has a worthy champion in Catherine, who uses her money and influence to support Lucy in translating and expanding on one of the greatest scientific texts of their time, ensuring it’s accessible to any reader, including (gasp) women. And yet, while the pat ...more
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My tattered soul is healed after reading this heartfelt, thoughtful, fiery triumph of queer historical romance!

It was purely cathartic to see these two intrepid, brilliant women loving each other, supporting each other, and believing in each other no matter what. Where the rest of the world tells them no, they tell each other yes and challenge each other to dream bigger. There are times when you just need someone to tell you than you CAN and who is confident that you will find your own way, and
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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)

Articles featuring this book

It's no secret that mainstream romances have traditionally skewed very straight. But the romance genre is slowly becoming more inclusive of...
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“Once people saw what I did, really saw it and acknowledged it, they’d believe other women were capable of thinking, of learning, of discovering the world in the same way that men are. But tonight I learned that there were other women before me. So very, very many of them. 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. Scoffed at them. Gave the credit and the glory to the men who stole their work—or borrowed it or expanded it. Rarely cited it directly.” 5 likes
“How much of your innocence can I ruin in the course of one evening?'

'I’m already reasonably ruined.”
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