Review – “Talk Sweetly to Me”

Book Review – “Talk Sweetly To Me (The Brothers Sinister, Book 5),” by Courtney Milan

51kuDbppVlL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Rose Sweetly is brilliant at math and astronomy, tasked with computing comet trajectories and looking forward to seeing the transit of Venus.  Life is complicated for an intelligent and unconnected woman, but more so for Rose, because she is a black woman living in England in 1882.

Stephen Shaughnessy, amusing rake, columnist for the Women’s Free Press, and a feminist (yay!).  He’s also had to overcome his own struggles (though nothing compared to Rose’s) to ascend to his current position.

Catching Rose’s eye on the street and chatting with her about math aren’t enough for Stephen any more.  He wants to get to know the very shy Rose better.  So, he devises a seemingly brilliant scheme – he hires her (through her boss, that cad!) to teach him mathematics and astronomy under the guise of conducting research for a novel.

But while her boss is fooled, Rose is not.  And being who she is – brilliant and beautiful – she has a lovely way of telling Stephen that she’s on to him.  She slaps his hand by having him calculate the chances they’d be alone, that she’d be stupid, that he’d be charming, that her father wouldn’t find out, and that she’d bit hit in the head with something heavy (to forget herself).

“Tell me Mr. Shaughnessy, what is the probability of all of those things occurring in conjunction?”

“Ah…” He had to use the paper to keep track.  “That would be…a chance of one in…a hundred billion?”

“Ooh.”  She winced.  “That’s a very small number.  I’m exceeding sorry for you, Mr. Shaughnessy.”

“It is.”  He looked at the figure.  “What, precisely, was I calculating/”

She looked up at him.  For one moment, he thought she was going to be shy again – that she would move away and shake her head rather than answer.  But even though her voice was low, she still said the words.

“That,” she told him, “is that chance that you’ll be able to seduce me.”  –“Talk Sweetly to Me,” Courtney Milan

And you thought you’d never use advanced math in the real world. 🙂

Anyway, I love this whole series – for the strong and smart heroines and the deviously smart and sexy heroes.  And of course, for the feminism.  Check it out, to find out if Stephen can beat the odds and win a place in Rose’s heart – spoiler alert: yes, of course. :p

I’ll leave you with one last, sweet quote for road from “Talk Sweetly to Me” –

“He swept his thumb along the side of her hand. ‘Sweetheart, if you don’t trust me yet, there’s no assurance I can give you that will put your mind at ease.  All I can do is keep on not hurting you, and keep on, until you know in your bones that I never will.”

Awww.  Sweet.  Five out of five stars for “Talk Sweetly to Me.”


4 thoughts on “Review – “Talk Sweetly to Me””

  1. Ah the Romance…and the math…and astronomy…its all pretty awesome. And intriguing to write from the POV of a black woman in Victorian(ish) England.
    If the quotes are any indication…this is a pretty good one. And has lots of unique aspects that make it and interesting spin on Romance. Good Review (as usual)

    Liked by 1 person

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