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Talk Sweetly to Me

(Brothers Sinister #4.5)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  4,404 ratings  ·  553 reviews
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 th
Kindle Edition, 109 pages
Published August 18th 2014 by Courtney Milan
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Venus Stephen works for Free's newspaper and was childhood friends with the love interest of her novel.…moreStephen works for Free's newspaper and was childhood friends with the love interest of her novel.(less)

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Average rating 3.68  · 
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Start your review of Talk Sweetly to Me (Brothers Sinister, #4.5)
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
WARNING: This review is nitpicky, cantankerous, and possibly even querulous. Proceed at your own risk.

I had high hopes for Talk Sweetly To Me, but today they were dashed--dashed I say--against the unforgiving shores of reality. Here in no particular order I present my grievances:

1. Sloppy editing. Stephen's name is--have you guessed it?--Stephen, yet at one point the author refers to him as Patrick. At another point Rose marvels "You've mounted an entire theodolite telescope mounted in the windo
Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell

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Rose Sweetly is a brilliant, scientific mind whose efforts go mostly unrecognized because she is a) a woman and b) black. Most people roll their eyes a little once she starts to talk "Sweetly" (a.k.a. go on a major geeky bender), but not Stephen Shaughnessy.

Stephen is the columnist (Actual Man) for women who want to ask men questions and have an "actual man" respond. He's also a bit of a rogue and a rake, though not a rapacious one. The
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish
Without fail, Courtney Milan gives me stories I can get lost in and amazing characters I can fall in love with! Talk Sweetly to Me is a charming, romantic, passionate tale of two people who could be poster children for 'opposites attract.'

A full review may come later, but the bottom line is that historical romance fans will love Ms. Milan's writing, and those who are not fans of the genre should give her a try anyway - and prepare to be wow'd!
Written December 28, 2014

3.8 Stars - Charming with several important topics

Book #4.5

This was the last part in the amazing well done Brother Sinister series. A quite short novella (3:50 hrs) I buddyread (me listening...she reading) together with my 'Milan'-friend Sofia.

description description description description

A lot of happy roses...
A worthy conclusion to a fantastic HR series. So very well done and romantic as ever.
“I’m merely making you comfortable with the notion of failure,” she told him, looking down. “When it comes to me, yo
Milan’s ingenious recipe for a charming, short read...

An African American woman – the very clever and gifted Rose Sweetly...
A scrumptiously delicious Irish, Catholic male... Mr. Stephen Shaughnessy...

Toss in...

Mathematics, astronomy, humor, seduction, and a few surprises along the way....

And, of course, the main ingredient...

The very talented pen of Courtney Milan...

The Results...

An appealing, engaging love story featuring two very lovable characters resulting in a sweet, fun romance.
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a short and sweet (sorry!) coda to Ms Milan’s superb Brothers Sinister series which features the rakishly charming Stephen Shaughnessy, one of the secondary characters from The Suffragette Scandal and author of the controversial Ask A Man column in the Women's Free Press .

As with all the books in the series, the novella packs a serious political message in amongst the wonderful writing and the love story. Here, we have an Irishman with feminist sympathies and a young Black woman who h
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Romance novels are an escape for me. I turn the news off. Tune out the kitchen table talk of girlfriends. Bow out of the supper club nights of my social circle. I plug in my earbuds on the commuter bus, shut the bedroom door to the kids, hideaway from all of the troubles of the world and get lost in books. That's what romance novels are for in my world.

Like many women of color romance readers, I've lamented that there are too few historical romance novels featuring non-white women. Its kind of o
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Courtney Milan could make a priest reading the phonebook to a nun sound like sexual banter....or something like that. You know what I mean, Milan knows how to use words between couples. Was too short, I'm aware it's a novella but I'm a greedy obsessed fan.

When does the next Milan book come out?

This was just as fun, heartwarming and sweet as I imagined it would be. I mean it's inevitable when you pair a heroine who is so unashamedly a maths geek (to those who care to listen to her anyway) who has to live in a world that is, at best, indifferent to her as a black female mathematician, with a hero whose devil-may-care rakish sardonicism hides a world of hurt and a yearning for love buried so deep even he can't recognise it anymore.

I loved Stephen well before TSTM,
Starr (AKA Starrfish) Rivers
I seem to like the novellas a lot better than the full-length novels in this series. This was a great book!

I like how CM finds unique (very smart, or damaged or brave) characters and bring them to life.

Rose Sweetly is an black woman who is also a genius mathematician. Stephen Shanghessy is a white Irish Catholic man and a genius with the written word, I suppose, since he's a writer for a woman's newspaper column and a successful novelist.

They are both in their early twenties to boot.

Stephen is
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Short and certainly sweet, Talk Sweetly to Me is a historical romance novella following Rose Sweetly, a quiet yet brilliant Black young woman with an interest in mathematics and astronomy and Stephen Shaughnessy a notorious Irish-Catholic rake with a heart of gold who can't get enough of her. He woos her with a telescope for viewing a celestial phenomenon and they both make wonderfully bad mathematical jokes. It's very cute.

But this also addresses the fact that Black women often receive lower-qu
Talk Sweetly to Me is the last Brothers Sinister addition, and this little novella was a lovely finale to the collection. Readers were introduced to Stephen Shaughnessy in The Suffragette Scandal , as the “Actual Man” that offers advice in Frederica Marshall’s newspaper. In Talk Sweetly to Me, Stephen has met his match with Miss Rose Sweetly, an extraordinary mathematical genius, who is quite opposite to Stephen’s carefree attitude.

Rose, like the all of the women featured in the Brothers Sini
I need to sleep over this. Review to come!

I normally like Milan's books, they vary from 3 to 4* for me usually--mainly because she writes genuinely strong heroines who tend to be at least still partially true to their era. And she tends to have heroes who aren't outright dicks or completely bland apart from their looks, titles and riches. So far I took the slight preachiness and the usually very atypical sex in stride, a minor price to pay for something somewhat different than the mainstream.

Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Like The Suffragette Scandal, this politics of this novella are almost impossible to separate from its fictional merits. The heroine, Rose Sweetly, is a brilliant black mathematician; the hero Stephen, a feminist Irish Catholic writer. Both are practicing their craft in Victorian London despite the prejudices of the time. Their love story is a rousing cheer for diversity and overcoming the limits of the society in which they live. I liked both Rose and Stephen tremendously.

This is not Ms. Milan
Jan 17, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

While I appreciated Courtney Milan to write interracial relationship - and kudos for Rose to bring up the problem that they would be facing to Stephen, who seemed didn't even think about it in the beginning - but I felt that the novella ended up more about the prejudice that Rose's older sister was facing with that a$$hole of a doctor.

Also, I never got that vibe of Stephen being a rake in the previous book; so for him to be described that in this novella felt weird. The story probably
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I wanted more. That's my big issue with this novella. I wanted more information on Rose's background. I wanted appearances by the other Brothers Sinister. This book didn't feel part of that universe at all. That said, I enjoyed Milan touching about race relations in the 1800s and throwing some mathematical and astronomy our way via the heroine.

Rose Sweetly does her best to keep Stephen Shaughnessy out of her mind. He has a reputation from the articles he writes, and Rose knows her duty is to ma
Nov 04, 2014 rated it liked it

A nice short, not as fully developed as her longer work or as her The Governess Affair.

What this reminded me most of was me taking my eight year old son to see the transit of Venus across the sun back in 2004 at the telescope set out in Sliema. Nice memories. This story infact recounts the same transit of Venus which happened before the 2004 one that is on 6th Dec 1882. Plus it also opened my eyes about the existence of 'computers'.

More on the transit here.

BR with Ingela

3 reasons for the 3-star rating:

1. This is a novella.
2. The heroine was a bit annoying, especially towards the end, when she kept blaming Stephen for merely wanting to seduce her instead of marrying her, while all along it was her who was afraid to trust him and take the next step.
3. Stephen is too good for words. He deserved a full-length novel of his own.
Lexxi Kitty
Stephen Shaughnessy, who appeared in the prior Brothers Sinister work as someone needing to be saved (though somewhat barely making an appearance in the story), stars in this shorter work. With him in the starring role is Rose Sweetly. I’m fairly certain Rose hasn’t appeared in this series up to now. Both have POV’s.

Stephen, as those who might remember from the prior book, is a newspaper columnist with a column titled ‘Ask a Man’. This story here adds 4 novels to his writing career. To add to hi
Sam (AMNReader)
A cute and funny but unfortunately sightly too shallow and unexplored novella. The modem (though I'm sure they aren't just modern at all)parallels (guessing intentional, but no more in author's note on it) for physicians and those in medicine not taking black women's pain and symptoms seriously is well done. ...more
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
The final story in the Brothers Sinister series centers on Stephen Shaughnessy, who has the barest of connections ever to the core three Brothers Sinister - he writes the "Actual Man" column for Free's newspaper, and Free is Oliver's half-sister. So really, no relation at all. Stephen's a carefree chap, but I didn't get the sense from the last book that he was an unrepentant lady's man. Oh, no, don't get me wrong. He doesn't pursue all those women he sleeps with. They pursue him. So it's okay. * ...more
2.5 Stars

TW's: Racism

I decided to start reading this novel mainly because it features a character that first(?) appeared on the previous book of the series, "The Suffragette Scandal", namely one Stephen Shaughnessy who in that book was the target of a villain.

Stephen writes a column for Free's _Frederica's _ newspaper. He's the man behind the "actual man" column, in a time when propriety was still much alive:

“I’m Stephen Shaughnessy,” he said. “Actual Man.”

Stephen has all the elements to b
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Rose Sweetly is a Victorian heroine like no other. She's a genius and she's nerdy, which makes her awesome, and she's also black. And our favorite Actual Man, Stephen Shaughnessy, is utterly taken with her. So much so, he devises a way to spend more time with her under the guise of researching a novel. Since Rose is a genius, she sees through his ruse, and though he's pretty dreamy, his reputation as a ladies man, and her need to watch out for men who'll treat her badly because of her race, put ...more
Quinn's Book Nook
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Historical Romance 101 was one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had regarding this blog, and one of the benefits is discovering new historical romances. When Amanda mentioned Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan in one of her HistRom101 posts, I immediately went to Amazon and downloaded it. This turned out to be an excellent decision because I LOVED Talk Sweetly to Me, and it will not be the last Courtney Milan book I read.

Talk Sweetly to Me is a novella done right! The two protagonists of
I liked this novella with a young Black woman who is a mathematical genius, and an Irishman who is a journalist, author and a complete rake. The story highlights prejudice and the difficulties of interracial marriage. I liked the MCs as characters but I couldn't ever warm up to the Hero. He has a "hard earned" reputation with the ladies and he is a charming jokester who got on my nerves. The constant mentions of his sordid (and well documented in the papers as well as his own column) past affair ...more
This last book in the Brothers Sinister series was cute, but a definite let-down after the last two books, which were practically perfect. I really liked both main characters, and they had some really cute banter, but honestly the main thing that earns this three stars instead of four is that the dude kept telling the lady to "talk Sweetly" to him, which was cute the first time (because her last name is Sweetly, and she talks about math and science all the time), but every time after that, I jus ...more
I tend to need to pace out my reading of Courtney Milan's work. She intoxicants me. I get drunk. Her books are so rich that I must take small bites.

This novella is her usual amazing fare.

An English woman of African decent who is a mathematical genius and her Irish Catholic nieghbor (a writer by trade) fall in love.

Wit, astronomy, dedication to family, prejudice, opportunity, charm and and sheer attraction come together in a perfect romance.

Come gaze at this star.
Linda (un)Conventional Bookworms
4.5 stars
Talk Sweetly to me had a different feel than the other novels. There was just as much romance, but a little less action. The main characters were lovely, especially Stephen! Of course, Ms. Sweetly was really something too - but the way he managed to see how important women were in society made him awesome!
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I find myself utterly charmed by the notion that the Brothers Sinister novellas shine brighter than their full-length companions. Whether it be The Governess Affair, A Kiss for Midwinter, or--now--Talk Sweetly to Me, each of these three novellas have contained tender, heart-tugging romances whose brevity worked to their advantage. That's not to say I don't adore the novels which make up this memorable quartet (or that I treasure A Countess Conspiracy or The Suffragette Scandal any less), but it ...more
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Romance Book Budd...: February 17: Talk Sweetly To Me 16 4 Mar 05, 2019 06:24PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 23, 2015 06:35PM  

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Courtney Milan’s books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller and a RITA® winner.

Courtney lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband, an exceptionally perfect dog, and an attack cat.

Before she started writing historical romance, Courtney got a graduate degree in theoretical physical chemistry from UC Berkeley. After th

Other books in the series

Brothers Sinister (4 books)
  • The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister, #1)
  • The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister, #2)
  • The Countess Conspiracy (Brothers Sinister, #3)
  • The Suffragette Scandal (Brothers Sinister, #4)

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“I would never interrupt you," he told her. "I love it when you talk Sweetly to me.” 2 likes
“You're trying to charm me with mathematics," she said.

"It's it working?"

She looked up at him. Yes, said her dark eyes, shining up at him. Yes, said the past of her lips, the fingers that drew up to brush her hair. Yes, said the tilt of her body in his direction.

"No," she told him with a firm shake of her head. "It isn't.”
More quotes…