Review: The Love Remedy by Elizabeth Everett

Posted February 14, 2024 by Lucy D in Book Reviews, Historical Romance / 0 Comments

Review:  The Love Remedy by Elizabeth EverettThe Love Remedy (The Damsels of Discovery, #1) by Elizabeth Everett
Series: The Damsels of Discovery #1
Published by Berkley on March 19, 2024
Genres: Historical
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley
amazon b-n

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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I loved the premise but I didn’t feel any chemistry between these characters.

Lucy Peterson, with her older brother, David and younger sister, Juliet, has been continuing her father’s legacy as an apothecary. She and Juliet apprenticed with their father and then attended the college of medicine. They are both accepted members of the Society of Apothecaries but that doesn’t stop The Guardians (a male hate group) from standing outside of their establishment protesting the unnaturalness of women holding a career or caring for women’s health.

Lucy’s heart is still stinging for falling for the lies of Duncan Rider. Not only did he promise marriage after their being intimate but he left with her formula for throat lozenges, which are currently making a small fortune for Duncan’s rival apothecary shop. Now her formula for croup medicine is also missing. A medicine parents would desperately pay a fortune for to soothe their sick children. A formula which would be all the difference to Lucy’s financially struggling apothecary.

Lucy engages the services of Jonathan Thorne, a private investigator, to find out if Duncan stole the formula and if not him, then who?

I really liked the idea of this story which features the struggles of the first women who were stepping into a male dominated field when women were still expected to be wives and mothers, or if they were of a class that need to work, they were to be governesses or chambermaids. Being an apothecary or learning science or medicine was more than just an uphill battle for women. If they could find someone who would allow them admission and a graduation, trying to find patients willing to trust a woman was almost impossible, especially when they were focusing on the care of other women. Good to see that nothing has changed.

What I didn’t like here was the main characters. Yes, I understand we need characters to grow but let’s start with the simple fact that these two didn’t really have chemistry which makes it hard to root for them. Lucy is a bright,  and very overworked, woman and initially, she falls for a pretty dimwit who is Duncan Rider. Really?  First, you don’t question that  a rival apothecary is trying to court you.  And then, you let him take your very promising formula for lozenges so he can help you experiment.  How pretty is he since Thorne pegs him as a dimwit within two minutes?  I am disappointed that Lucy fell for this moron while fighting for women to advance in science fields.  Shouldn’t she at least be offended that he is a “respected” apothecary while she has more intelligence and has to fight for respect?  She then falls for Thorne, and we will get to his issues in a moment.  Lucy has horrible taste in men.  Lucy also has a case of middle-child syndrome where she won’t ask for the much needed help from her sister and her brother.  While she works herself to the bone worrying about the family business, they go off doing things that interest them.

Thorne is supposed to be hot/grumpy but the more we learn about him, the less I like him. Thorne is the third son of a Baron and ended up as a boxer known as The Gentlemen Fighter, boxing to get out his anger issues. Between the boozing and debauchery, he met a former courtesan and had a child with her. After her death, he sobered up for his daughter and has become almost militant with the avoidance of drink, dancing and song, looking down on Lucy and her siblings, if they have a little fun.  If I can’t handle drinking, no one should enjoy it.  We also learn that some of those prejudices that Thorne learned as an aristocrat’s son are firmly in his psyche. He admits he would never have married his daughter’s mother since she was a former courtesan and men don’t marry their mistresses. And while he has no problem falling into bed with Lucy, we see those same thoughts arise about her, that a woman you married wouldn’t have condoms, let alone use them.

Thorne’s only redeeming grace is his love of his daughter. Thorne doesn’t get redemption until someone he thought he admired points a damning finger at his daughter since she is an illegitimate child of a former courtesan and mixed race. This person thinks she should realize her lowly future, and accept it, while Lucy and her sister had the young girl accepted to a school of science which challenged her and allowed her to dream big.  Once Thorne realizes that someone is wrongly judging his daughter does he look inward to his own judgmental prejudices towards Lucy.  I say  it’s a little to late buddy.

We met several characters in this story which appear to be part of a prior trilogy also incorporating the hidden worlds where women were secretly learning science.  It was an interest plot point but Lucy and Thorne were not drawing my into this world for more stories.

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