The Potion by RG Emanuelle is a historical romance that is as potent as the potion the two women are trying to create. From luxurious historical features to lush environmental descriptions, Emanuelle gives us a mystery where the women must discover the unscrupulous plots of learned men and begin to trust one another to secure their future together.
Vera Kennedy wants to be a scientist. After assisting her husband, Professor James Kennedy, with his experiments, she has learned everything she could through his unintended tutelage. In the wake of his death, she continues his work. But soon Vera strays onto her own path, a path that could lead to an unholy creation and drive her to be consumed to the exclusion of everything else, including love.
Georgette Harris, widow of Professor Roland Harris, has been left destitute in the wake of her husband’s death. He amassed mountains of debt and left Georgette to pay it. When a medicinal company wants to purchase a formula that Roland had proposed to them, Georgette feels her prayers have been answered. However, Roland’s work is incomplete. After Georgette’s desperate search for the missing piece comes up empty, she discovers evidence that her husband had worked with James Kennedy. Armed with this information, she seeks the help of Vera.
But Vera is not one to give up secrets easily, though she is inexplicably drawn to Georgette. She considers Georgette’s request, and they soon discover that both their husbands were involved in an experiment layered in deception and danger. Together, they must uncover what their husbands were doing and what that outcome was supposed to be. And in the process, they may discover something far stronger between them.
Emanuelle gives us strong women in this story, who despite their circumstances refuse to be helpless and bow down to the odds stacked against them.
Vera and Georgette are both victims of the secrets their husbands kept from them and are paying dearly. Vera has an incomplete potion due to James’ secretive experiments. Georgette is left destitute as a result of Ronald’s reckless spending on the same experiments. Despite these insurmountable odds, both women have strength of mind and heart to keep pushing against the world. They refuse to concede defeat and do what must be done to not only solve the mystery their husbands left behind, but they must also fight for what they both desire: a life together.
In addition to these two strong protagonists, Emanuelle gives us two other women who I don’t think will get enough credit. Mrs Bell and Mrs Trimini are the servants who take care of Vera and Georgette, respectfully. Both of these women have a deep affection for their charges and want nothing but the best for them.
Mrs Bell shows her love for Vera by keeping after her to eat and making sure she doesn’t expend herself with her experiments. Or at least she tries.
Mrs Trimini, while on the quieter side, has an inner strength that comes out at the right moments. Her actions at times may be questionable, but there her motives are true in wanting what is best for Georgette.
All of these women have a force of will that should not be ignored by anyone, especially the men who try to push them down.
The Writing Style
What I love about Emanuelle’s writing in this particular instance is she gives such lush and rich detail that I was able to immerse myself in this story. I could hear the thunder claps outside Georgette’s house. I could see the beakers and vials lining the table in Vera’s lab. Emanuelle enabled me to be in 19th Century Boston, exploring the markets, hearing the carriages as they passed, and savoring a scrumptious dinner for two in a high-end restaurant. Most importantly, she allowed me to feel the passion and desire Vera and Georgette expressed towards each other, giving me a delectable treat that tantalized all of the senses.
Sheena: I just need to butt in and say how much I loved the chemistry – this book is all about it. The incredibly chemistry between the characters. The chemistry involved in Vera’s work as she works on her life changing potion. And the mix of characters, mystery and rich descriptions of the world that Emanuelle creates.
I really loved how Emanuelle establishes both Vera and Georgette as women who fancy women prior to their marriage. I feel that knowing their past with women and the female form is helpful in seeing them as true lesbians instead of women who are raging against society standards because of their current situation as widows.
My only con for this story is a case of missed opportunity. Emanuelle references a certain item throughout the entire story (Want to know what that item is? Go read the book). So much so, I believed it was the key to completing Vera’s potion. Alas, that was not the case. While it would have been a cool little twist, it wasn’t needed to make the story amazing.
Emanuelle gives us a rich, vibrant story with an underlying mystery that will have you clamoring for the next clue and savoring every detail. From strong-willed women to mystical potions to strange sounds behind a locked door, The Potion will keep you intrigued until the very last page.
Excerpt from The Potion by RG Emanuelle
In the weak sunlight from the window, Mrs. Harris’s eyes were a vibrant blue. Her face was pale, and her cheeks particularly sharp. Her eyes had puffed up from tears but they still shone with life. Her bright crimson lips suggested that she had been biting them, and the tip of her nose was reddened as well. While not an exceptional beauty, she was attractive in the way that strong, proud women were. Vera wondered what she would look like in the moonlight…or by candlelight while lying across her bed.
Taking in the rest of Mrs. Harris, and unexpected ripple of pleasure rushed through her. It had been a long time since she’d experienced something like that. Mrs. Harris’s shoulders, beneath the thinning fabric, jutted sharply, threatening to poke right through the dress. The sleeves hung loosely, intimating that her arms were as thin as rails. Her body would probably be crushed by the pressure of an amorous embrace, and her legs were likely to break if…
Vera looked up to find Mrs. Harris watching her, waiting for a response. For a second, Vera forgot what they had been talking about. Mrs. Harris blinked and a tear streaked down her face. Ah, yes. Her problem.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781947253230
- Publisher: Dirt Road Books
RG Emanuelle Online
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