To celebrate Women’s History Month, every Saturday in March we’re posting a top-six list of some of our favorite heroines. Since we’ve got history on the brain, books are listed in loose chronological order by setting.
First up: Lady Scientists.
A Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite
Astronomer Lucy Muchelney has been her father’s right hand woman for years – completing calculations, spending hours at her telescope, and writing up his theories. So she knows she’s qualified – perhaps uniquely qualified – to translate an important astronomical text into English, and is a little bit shocked when the Science Boys Club ices her out. In A Lady’s Guide, Waite crafts not just a fabulous love story, but also a thoughtful discussion of the subtle (and not so subtle) ways that women were historically blocked from scientific endeavors.
The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan
Botanist/geneticist/Darwinist Violet Waterfield, Countess of Cambury, deals with the inevitable backlash to a female Victorian scientist by having a man act as her front; even if people revile him for his scandalous adherence to Darwinism, at least the theories get listened to. It should come as no surprise that this story also grapples with sexism, but despite heavy themes, The Countess Conspiracy is not a downer; and you know that if we’re recommending it, there’s a banging love story.
Some Like it Scandalous by Maya Rodale
Chemist Daisy Swan uses her scientific know-how to make the perfect face cream. And with the help of her fake fiancé/mortal enemy/business partner, she is going to make the world a better place by helping women feel beautiful.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Mathematician Stella Lane is killing it in the work department. It was really refreshing to read a heroine who was super-successful and stable in her career – Stella’s struggle is on the emotional side of things. While Stella’s work doesn’t play a big part on the plot, which centers on her relationship lessons with Michael, her analytical mind is an important part of who she is.
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
Epidemiologist Naledi Smith is kind of struggling as she works her way through graduate school. There’s the usual bullshit with her sexist boss in the lab; and her economic insecurity; and these scammy emails claiming that she’s a long lost princess who just needs to provide 18 forms of ID and a bank account in order to claim her throne.
Sharp Change by Milly Taiden
Geneticist Sophia Reece sequences the genome for turning people into shifters…and then accidentally infects herself. Whoops. Plus some bad guys are out to get her research, because sequencing the genome for shifters is hella lucrative. Double whoops. This is an utterly ridiculous and fun shifter romance, though your mileage may vary – Erin loved it because it introduced her to some fabulous tropes.