Title: Talk Sweetly to Me
Author: Courtney Milan
Series: Brothers Sinister, book 4.5
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Courtney Milan
Source: Review copy from publisher
“Nobody knows who Miss Rose Sweetly is, and she prefers it that way. She’s a shy, mathematically-minded shopkeeper’s daughter who dreams of the stars. Women like her only ever come to attention through scandal. She’ll take obscurity, thank you very much.
All of England knows who Stephen Shaughnessy is. He’s an infamous advice columnist and a known rake. When he moves into the house next door to Rose, she discovers that he’s also wickedly funny, devilishly flirtatious, and heart-stoppingly handsome. But when he takes an interest in her mathematical work, she realizes that Mr. Shaughnessy isn’t just a scandal waiting to happen. He’s waiting to happen to her…and if she’s not careful, she’ll give in to certain ruination.”
Rose Sweetly’s is not an ordinary woman; first, she is smarter than most men in an era where women are expected to be nothing more than mothers and wives. Secondly, she is of African descent, a black woman in a racist society plagued with prejudices. Despite those limitations Rose does what she loves, she works for an astronomer doing mathematical calculations.
Rose might be an analytical woman, but that doesn’t mean she cannot admire her neighbor, the known rake, Stephen Shaughnessy.
Stephen knows he doesn’t have the best reputation, he writes a scandalous column for a women’s newspaper and has well-earned fame as a rake. Stephen has always liked women, but has never been intrigued by one as he is by Rose Sweetly. He loves the way she looks and loves the way her mind works.
Stephen wants Rose in his life and is willing to do anything to win her heart, even if that means learning mathematics.
I liked Stephen in The suffragette Scandal (book 4th in the series), but I adored him in this book. Stephen is a good man. He has a big heart and he’s very caring. He’s funny, smart, witty, honest and sinfully handsome. I loved how he was able to see the real Rose and how he was there for her when she needed him most.
Rose is one of those heroines that are very easy to like and to admire. She is not just an intelligent woman, she is a genius. She is caring, strong and reserved. She knows she has to be more careful than most because of her race, notwithstanding the limitations society has placed on her, she has a good life and is successful at what she does.
Rose and Stephen had already met when the story starts. Rose likes Stephen from afar, she knows there are many factors against them and a relationship between them will be almost an impossibility, for that reason she tries to keep her distance from him. Something very difficult to do with a man as persistent as Stephen.
Stephen knows what he wants and he wants Rose. He’s a dreamer and doesn’t worry unnecessarily. He doesn’t consider the discrimination Rose experiences until he sees it first hand.
Their romance is sweet and fun. Their mathematical banter is hilarious, it made for very interesting scenes. Seeing them fall in love was a very nice and fun treat.
Rose and Stephen know their future won’t be an easy one; a mixed-race couple in the 1880s is not a normal occurrence, but they are together and willing to fight for their love. They know that together they are stronger than alone.
As with previous books in this series Mrs. Milan gives us strong characters and social problems of the time.
Talk Sweetly to Me is the first historical romance I read with a black heroine and I can only hope more writers follow Mrs. Milan example. Kudos to her for her originality and for giving us an interracial couple in a historical romance book. *applauds*
Talk Sweetly to Me can be easily read as a standalone, but I recommend you to read previous books first, especially The suffragette Scandal (book 4th in the series) where Stephen was first introduced.
I’m sad to see this series come to an end, but I’m happy Mrs. Milan ended it with such a cute couple as Rose and Stephen.
My Verdict: 4 Paws
Other books in the series
The Governess Affair (Prequel novella)
The Duchess War
A Kiss For Midwinter (Novella)
Talk Sweetly to Me (Novella)
Other reviews Goodreads