Sunday, May 1, 2016

Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan

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 fact that he's so charming and so forbidden causes Rose no shortage of concern - especially now that he seems to have taken it upon himself to court her in a bizarre fashion: by soliciting her for mathematical tutoring.

It was so great to see a nerdy heroine who actually walked the walk. Rose is such a nerd. The nerdy jokes and scientific banter in TALK SWEETLY TO ME were great. I could relate so hard to being interested in something that makes most people roll their eyes and say, "Oh, there she goes again." (In my case, it's books.) Milan hit the nail on the head there.

Like all of Milan's heroes that I've encountered so far, Stephen is a delightful beta hero. Very sweet and attentive, despite an active sexual history. There are only one or two sexual encounters between them, and they were well written, albeit abridged and a little tepid. Stephen was a little bland for my liking...I think I liked Robert in THE DUCHESS WAR more because we got more time to explore his character, and he had a moody backstory and a bit of an edge, which is always exciting in a hero. Still, nobody writes beta heroes like Milan. I didn't even think that I liked them until I read Milan.

That said, TALK SWEETLY TO ME is probably my least favorite Milan book I read. HER EVERY WISH, a novella in her Worth series, does a much better job of giving backstory and providing steam in a short amount of time. But don't be alarmed: saying that this is my least favorite Milan book is a little bit like saying, "This is my least favorite glitter." Glitter is always going to be sparkly and fun, so even if it's your least favorite glitter, the fact that it is glitter means that, by nature, it's always going to be at least somewhat amazing. (By the way, for some interesting images, do a Google search of "ugly glitter.")

I enjoyed reading TALK SWEETLY TO ME. I'm not sure I'd read it again, but it was a charming bit of fluff that brightened my day with its sparkle and its charm. What more can you ask of glitter?

3 out of 5 stars.

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