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The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows

(Feminine Pursuits #2)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,597 ratings  ·  418 reviews
When Agatha Griffin finds a colony of bees in her warehouse, it’s the not-so-perfect ending to a not-so-perfect week. Busy trying to keep her printing business afloat amidst rising taxes and the suppression of radical printers like her son, the last thing the widow wants is to be the victim of a thousand bees. But when a beautiful beekeeper arrives to take care of the pest ...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published July 28th 2020 by Avon Impulse
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  1,597 ratings  ·  418 reviews

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K.J. Charles
Jul 29, 2020 added it
Shelves: regency, f-f
A delightful extremely slow-burn f/f historical set in the tumultuous times between the Cato St Conspirators' execution and the death of Queen Caroline. I absolutely loved the historical background here, it's one of incredibly few Regencies I've read that really understands what a terrifying, repressive time it was for ordinary people, with grotesquely draconian laws arbitrarily enforced. We're genuinely afraid for Agatha, the printer, trying to make a living without falling foul of the laws and ...more
Lex Kent
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.75 Stars. Another good WLW historical romance read. This is the second book in Waite’s Feminine Pursuits series. While I’m sorry to say that I didn’t love this like I did book one, The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics, I’m happy to say that I did still enjoy this. I like this world of strong women fighting for love and happiness.

I am very OCD when it comes to reading series books in order, but order is not important here at all. While a couple secondary characters from the first book are c
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*3.5 stars*

So. Many. Plotlines.


I really, really like Olivia Waite, and I LOVE how she is writing the smart F/F historical romances that we all want to read. I adore historical romance, and I love nerds, so I'm always dying when I read about each upcoming book from this author. However, I think this author gets in her own way a lot of the time.

The good news is that we have two older MCs, a lovely slow-burn romance, and some explicit sex on page, though we have to wait ages to get it. Also,
Sep 17, 2020 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Melanie by: Landice (Manic Femme)

(This was such a thoughtful gift from Landice!)

1.) The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics ★★★★

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2020 Fall Bingo (#fallintorombingo🍁): ‪Older Heroine

I had the lowest of low expectations because people repeatedly told me that this is really slow and not as good as the first one. I postponed my intention to read it because I was nervous for my reaction. Finally, I decided to conquer my reluctance so I could make progress on my owned-in-kindle tbr. Also, it fit my Older Heroine bingo square perfectly and I didn’t have alternatives. 😅

Honestly, I love this book. It doesn’t feel slow at all.
Jude in the Stars
May 26, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am, it seems, one of a few who enjoyed this book more than the first one in Olivia Waite’s Feminine Pursuits series (both books can be read as standalones). While I liked The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics a lot, I pretty much fell in love with Penelope and therefore with her story.

Set four years after The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics, The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows brings Agatha Griffin, a secondary character in The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics, to the forefront. Ag
Elle (ellexamines)
I am once again reading sapphic historical romance by Olivia Waite
Renaissance Kate
3.5 stars!

In this tale of a country beekeeper falling in love with the widowed owner of a London-based print shop, Olivia Waite’s writing is all-around incredible. While the first book in this series received a lot of well-deserved love, I actually enjoyed this second installment in the Feminine Pursuits saga even more. If you’re in the mood for a historical romance, this is the perfect summer read. It will transport you to the picturesque town of Melliton to stroll through the countryside with
I was sent this book as an advance copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

4.5 stars

I was really looking forward to this sequel ever since reading The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics and it met all expectations.

Agatha and Penelope immediately seemed like real people to me, their different experiences and personalities made them come to life right away. They are both sapphic women in their 40s (Penelope is a lesbian and Agatha bi or pan) and
This author and these covers. It’s laughable how much they misrepresent the characters and solid story behind it. Again, don’t judge a book by its cover.

I was able to listen to the audiobook version on Scribd and the narrator did a superb job. How she slips between the very distinct accents of our leads while also giving unique voices to the rest of the cast is beyond me. Really well done.

This is the 2nd book in the series though this can be read as a standalone.

And that said, I do think the
The worst thing about a slow-burn romance is not the frustrated longing for that first kiss, but the melancholy certainty that such a lovely, delightful, heartwarming story must come to an end. I adored Agatha and Penelope so much, I would have resented Olivia Waite for forcing us to bid them adieu if I didn’t love her so much for introducing us in the first place.

Like The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics before it, this second Feminine Pursuits novel is the very definition of a slow-burn rom
Gaby LezReviewBooks
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is number two in the ‘Feminine Pursuits’, a lesbian historical fiction books series set in England in the early 1800s. Olivia Waite normally writes m/f romances so she was unknown to me until she wrote ‘The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics’, book one in the above-mentioned series. Even though this is a standalone romance, I recommend reading book one too as they are both fantastic novels. There’s no need to keep order in the series as the author says she conceived the books as a carousel ...more
Nov 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. Another cleverly well written historical romance. Although I enjoyed the first book “The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics” a bit better, this book is certainly well worth the read, especially if you like historical romances. This book can be read as a standalone.

The two mains, Agatha and Penelope, are both middle aged women (~45), one living in London and one in Melliton (a village not too far from London). Agatha Griffin is a widow who’s trying to keep her printing business afloa
May 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-review-copy
ARC via Netgalley. A lovely and slow-moving romance between two middle-aged, middle-class women in early 1800s England. This is a very plot-heavy book for a romance novel, with an interesting focus on contemporary political issues that I didn't know much about -- sedition laws and especially George IV's attempt to divorce his wife, Queen Caroline. One of the protagonists, Agatha, is a widow who runs a printing press, while the other, Penelope, is a sailor's wife who happens to be her village's e ...more
C. S.
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, netgalley, fiction
Just as adorable, lush, and incisive as the first book in the Feminine Pursuits series.

I really admire the way Waite draws parallels between circumstances facing the characters to issues faced by women and other marginalized identities today. In Celestial Mechanics it was doxxing, dogpiling, and false accusations; in Waspish Widows it was the way changing political tides can bring out the absolute worst in people.

In some ways I liked the romance more in this book, even though it wasn't as stea
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This title alone should be enough to make you want to read this historical romance. I wasn't sure what to expect after reading the first book in this series. I don't think I rated it as high as many people but after reading this one, I am thinking I need to reevaluate so I will likely go back and read the other one soon. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. As soon as I started reading this one, I was taken with the story. I could not put it down. It was all one would want to read in a romance ...more
So first, if you find this cover not great and it is holding you back from reading, please ignore it. The book itself is wonderful, and while the color scheme itself is appropriate for a book about bee keeping, the quality of the photoshop here is not a reflection of the contents.

Second, this book is the slowest of slow burns and if that is not your thing, you are probably not going to enjoy reading.

Third, this was LOVELY. This features the right amount of showing someone's work and how that wo
Jul 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 30plus-romance, lgbtq
If you are looking for a thoughtful, thematically rich, slow-burn, f/f historical romance featuring middle-aged women, then this is definitely worth checking out. There's a lot to like here, although for a romance it does feel a bit bloated and has some pacing issues- dragging through the middle and then breezing through the last 25% or so. And it takes FOREVER for the romance to get going! Although once they finally admit their feelings for each other, it's fantastic.

The Care and Feeding of Wa
This one I'm ambivalent about. I was excited to listen after being a big fan of The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics, and though there were some real positives with it, the experience was still just "meh" for me. I enjoyed that one of the main characters, Agatha Griffin (first introduced in Mechanics) ran a printing business in London owned exclusively by her after the death of her husband. Certainly unusual in the late 1700s. There was also a well-known lesbian couple in the community that p ...more
4.5 Stars for The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows: Feminine Pursuits (audiobook) by Olivia Waite read by Morag Sims. I’m really enjoying this series. The writing is clever and fun. I’m really looking forward to the next book. I love the narration too.
Jul 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-books, ff-romance
I loved Olivia Waite’s debut last year, The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics, so I was quite eager with this one. Alas, the sophomore book didn’t charm me as much. I struggled to get through the first part of this book. I thought there were too many things that happening, it muddled the romance. Most especially everything related to the Royal Scandal of King George IV and Queen Caroline.

I understand that this book was set around that time, and with Agatha Griffin worked in printing business,
AnnMaree Of Oz
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book features the printmaker from book 1, Mrs Agatha Griffin who helped the MC's from the first book in printing their Ladies Guide To Celestial Mechanics.

In the years since the first printing Mrs Griffin finds herself widowed with a 19 year old son. Eliza the former maid from book 1 is still working steadily in her apprenticeship and a romance for her is forming as well.

But the big romance is that between Agatha and a merchants daughter who is keenly interested in beekeeping. Penelope Flo
Jul 26, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: sapphic, lgbtqia
beekeeping is inherently gay

Waite will always be my go to author for F-F historical romance.
The romance is always written so well and filled with emotions. It never just feels like a M-F romance masked as F-F romance. Penelope and Agatha’s chemistry was palpitating and I always loved the scenes they are alone in.

My reasoning for not giving it a higher rating was because I wanted a more romance centric plot. There is lots of side plots and other characters which lots of other people will enjoy.

A special should out to the
Alicia Bayer
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have to admit that I only requested this book because of the ridiculously over the top cover. This is not the sort of book I ordinarily read and I expected something totally campy because the cover is so cringe-worthy. Perhaps I'm especially harsh because my family and I do a lot of period reenactment so I know a bit more than most what clothes and hairstyles should look like in 1800's England, but come on. The cover shows what looks like two young women with one in a tacky prom dress and one ...more
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: f-f, lgbtq-read, 2020-arcs
I was so happy to get my hands on an ARC after loving the first book in the series, The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics. I dove into this one knowing one of the main character and expecting to learn a few things about bee-keeping.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The romance was what interested me the most even though I liked the plot as well. I ended up rating it four and not five stars because it was too political for my taste. I didnt care at all about the Royals and I wish the story
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Overall, this book does a lot of things right. The character work is deep and brilliant, the historical context is plentiful and guides readers along even if they know nothing, and the writing is so beautifully done. Like I mentioned above, the overall pace of the story didn’t bother me, just the pace of the romance. If that would have been sped up, this would be a near perfect book for me. I still recommend it, but you need to go into this expecting the slowest of slow burns.

Full review: https:
Landice (Manic Femme)
Waspish Widows is a slow burn, friends to lovers rural romance with two middle aged protagonists. I loved this book more than I thought possible!

ARC provided by Avon Impulse via Netgalley (but I absolutely also bought my own paperback copy, because I loved it so much). Full review to come!

Do you also love sapphic books? Let's be friends! Bookstagram | Book Blog | Twitter
Norah Gibbons
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book to read through Edelweiss+ in exchange for a fair review. The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows is the second book in Olivia Waite’s delightful Feminine Pursuits Series. The books in the series can be read as stand-alones, but I really enjoyed The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics and do recommend reading it also. Widow Agatha Griffin discovers a swarm of bees has infested a storage area in her print shop and seeking to remedy the situation she is referred to be ...more
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Agatha Griffin runs a successful printing company in London. Successful enough to have a workshop outside of London in the village of Melliton. While visiting there she discovers a portion of her storage has been taken over by a wild honeybee hive. The local beekeeping expert, Penelope Flood arrives to help and the two begin a wonderful friendship that eventually develops into something more.

But this all set in the backdrop of the arrival of Queen Caroline back in England and the widespread civi
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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 Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics (Feminine Pursuits, #1)
  • The Hellion's Waltz (Feminine Pursuits, #3)

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You know the saying: There's no time like the present...unless you're looking for a distraction from the current moment. In that case, we can't...
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“Riots were a proud country tradition, and long practice had worn them into a comfortable pattern: you showed up, you shouted and waved a banner or two, you went home once you’d made your point. Perhaps you did a bit of conscientious liberating of property—Penelope remembered one such occasion, when the mob had seized Squire Theydon’s corn from a Sweden-bound ship. They had sold it at once to local farmers and villagers at traditional prices, they’d given the squire his profits afterward, and nobody at all had been hurt. It had all been very disciplined and neatly organized.” 1 likes
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