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Monday, October 6, 2014

Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan

Talk Sweetly to Me is the story of a womanizing journalist named Stephen and his mathematical genus neighbor Rose. When I say Rose is a genius, I mean exactly that. She works as a human computer for her boss and has a love of astronomy during a time when it is still very much a man's world. Oh, and did I mention that she is also a black woman living in 1882? Stephen is a typical rake, who loves women and they love him back. He's attracted to Rose, her intelligence and sweet demeanor. In his efforts to seduce her, Stephen manages to get Rose to act as a tutor (with a clueless chaperon in tow of course). Stephen is Irish Catholic and he a white man, which adds to her hesitancy regarding interaction between them considering the time period that they live in.
This book is a hit and a miss for me. I found the idea of interracial relationships back in the 1800s to be fascinating. Rose wasn't his slave or former slavem so there was no imbalance of power other than the natural one that would came from being of two different races during that time. The racial conflict was introduced and handled perfectly. It didn't feel like a lecture but a sad reality and one that Stephen needed to see first hand. He was dogged in his pursuit of Rose, but not in a creepy way. I don't think that he truly understood her concerns until he witnessed the prejudice in real time. Most importantly, I loved that Rose was such an intelligent woman. Unapologetic and nerdtastic! I would love more heroines who are like this. Variety, dear authors, is the spice of life and interracial romance books could use a little more

I didn't like that the story was so short. I sound like a broken record, I know, but some stories deserve more depth and this was one of them. In the few 100 or so pages of this book there just wasn't enough time to tell a story that made a romance between these two believable. It wasn't enough to show me when and why they fell in love and it definitely wasn't enough to prove to me that Stephen wouldn't jump ship when a life with Rose got to be too hard.

For the most part I did enjoy this story. I felt it was well written and had many enjoyable aspects, although I wish there were more about how and why they fell in love with one another (I can see why he fell for Rose, but why would Rose fall in love with him?). It's my hope that there will be more, diverse stories like this in the future. I'm giving this a 3 out of 5 rating.

* I received a copy of this book from the author through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Rating 3 out of 5
Published: August 18, 2014
Current Price:.$0.99

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