Truly Sweet End to Brothers Sinister Series
TALK SWEETLY TO ME is billed as a coda to the fabulous Brothers Sinister series. The novella tells the story of Stephen Shaughnessy, who was introduced in THE SUFFRAGETTE SCANDAL. Stephen writes a column for a women’s newspaper. (As an aside, the column is hysterical and THE SUFFRAGETTE SCANDAL is worth reading just to catch up on them.)
In this novella, Shephen meets Rose Sweetly. Rose is a mathematician who helps with calculations regarding astronomical issues. Stephen and Rose live close to one another and Stephen loves to hear Rose talk about mathematics. Rose is intrigued with Stephen, but she is wary of him because he has a reputation as a rake and also because she is of African descent, she fears that he might believe she has loose morals.
This novella is short, but I loved the interaction between Rose and Stephen. Rose is brilliant and Stephen is clearly entranced with her. The story between the two is sweet and caring. The story reminds me somewhat of THE COUNTESS CONSPIRACY, but with much less angst and pain.
The edge in this story comes from the racism and sexism of the society at large. What brings the characters together is that they both represent outsiders in society. Rose is black and is a brilliant female in a predominately male field. Stephen writes for a feminist newspaper and is an Irish Catholic. At one point, Rose points out that any children they would have would be black Irish Catholics and all of their lives would be immensely difficult.
Milan writes original stories. It is difficult that seduction and romance can be expressed through mathematics, but that is exactly what happens here.
This novella doesn’t have the complexity of a full-length novella, but I found it a beautiful addition to THE SUFFRAGETTE SCANDAL. There are no appearances by other characters of the series so fans may be disappointed, but new readers can pick this one up without missing much (although it is best read after THE SUFFRAGETTE SCANDAL because a reader will get to know Stephen better).
NOTE: I received a ARC copy of this book through Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.