Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan


Grade: A
Hotness Level: Blaze
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Historical, London
Series: Brothers Sinister #4.5
Published: 8/19/14
Reviewed by Anne

I saw “Courtney Milan” and “novella” and “mathmetics” and I was in!  I have a good history reading Milan and enjoying her stories.  I’m not a huge historical fan anymore, but Milan + math was enough for me.  I was right, too, this story did not disappoint.

Rose is a “computer,” a person who does math for a researcher.  She’s a genius and really enjoys her work.  She’s a bit shy and shocked to find herself attracted to her neighbor, the scandalous Stephen Shaughnessy.  He’s an advice columnist and a known rake and he’s surprised to find himself falling for her.  As a way to spend more time with her, he manipulates her into giving him math lessons.  This leads to some incredible math innuendo!

Stephen and Rose are wonderful characters.  I was pleasantly surprised that the Rose is black!  That was new for me in a historical.  Stephen is white.  He seems untroubled by their differences, but Stephen is not a worrier by nature, and he’s not experienced the discrimination that Rose is used to, both for her gender and her race.

Rose is very intelligent and comfortable with it.  Stephen is entranced by her and her abilities.  He appears to be quite shallow, and as it turns out, he has a pretty light hearted approach to life, and he doesn’t feel bad about that.  It’s who he is.  It does turn out to be an obstacle between him and Rose, though.  He’ll have to convince her that he’s serious about her.

This was a wonderful historical novella, and I highly recommend it to historical or math lovers.  I think it’s the very first historical nerd-mance I’ve read!  And the math jokes abound and are awesome!


“You’re not going to multiply with me?”

“No,” she said somewhat severely. “You’re going to multiply on your own.” p. 20



“All you had to do was look up a number in a table.  Was that too difficult for you?”

“A great and might table, ringed by fearsome logarithms, with their terribly, terrible…” He trailed off.  “Oh, very well.  Set me another problem, Miss Sweetly.  My resolve is firm and my angles are acute.  But beware — if I have to draw another diagram, things may become graphic.” p.32


I will say, despite the cover, it’s not a ballroom and opera historical.  Stephen and Rose are solidly middle class.  It’s a great story, though!

This is the last installment in the Brothers Sinister series.  I haven’t read any of the others, and I still loved this one, so jump right in!

I only read historical romance occasionally.  How about you?  Do you enjoy historicals?  If so, do you prefer ballrooms and opera?  Pioneer America?  Medieval?  What’s your favorite?

One thought on “Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan

  1. I used to read a lot of historicals, but not so much any more. I think it’s because they’re usually not steamy enough. I prefer the wild west time period and if it’s a marriage of convenience, I’m hooked.

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