a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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A Season of Flirtation (2023)
Julia Justiss

Lady Laura Pomeroy's interest in mathematics makes her an unsuitable romantic interest in the 19th century:

(quoted from A Season of Flirtation)

Few gentlemen, himself included, could view as a prime matrimonial candidate a female who preferred immersing herself in mathematical theorems over managing a household and seeing to her husband's concerns. Intrigued he might be, ...

She does not want to give up this intellectual hobby and so does not think about romance for herself. Yet, as she tutors her friend in matters of flirtation, she finds herself attracted to her friend's brother, a banker.

Harlequin Romance novels are not known for their surprising plot twists. So, you can probably already guess the arc of the story. At first, the brother dislikes her. (He attends the flirtation lessons only in the hopes of catching Laura in an error which would justify him firing her.) Of course, by the end they are madly and passionately in love.

In between, she begins to feel more comfortable talking to him about her interests:

(quoted from A Season of Flirtation)

'You would truly wish to attend Cambridge? Why?'

'So I might study at Trinity College-Sir Isaac Newton's school. Others have further developed his theories, but he was one of the inventors of calculus. I've always been fascinated by numbers, but at that excuse for a ladies' academy we weren't even permitted to study basic mathematics. What I know of geometry and higher maths, I've taught myself from books. I've just learned that Mr Babbage, Mr Herschel and Mr Peacock published a translation of Monsieur Lacroix's lectures on calculus, which I intend to obtain from Hatchard's-'

She halted abruptly, a blush colouring her cheeks. 'Please excuse me! I don't usually prose on about my studies! I suppose knowing you are a banker and deal with numbers all the time, so presumably enjoy them, I got carried away...'

Moreover, he begins to appreciate her not only as a lover but also as a potential bank employee:

(quoted from A Season of Flirtation)

With her mastery of mathematics, she would do well, able to calculate interest, risk or potential return like the sharpest of brokers. Never had a broker been so lovely. He was lucky she possessed so sharp and unusual an intellect,...

As romance is really not my preferred genre, I do not feel that I can properly comment on the quality of this book. If you are someone who enjoys reading both mathematical fiction and romance novels, please write to let me know what you thought of this one. I'd be happy to post your comments here.

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Works Similar to A Season of Flirtation
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. A Perfect Equation (The Secret Scientists of London) by Elizabeth Everett
  2. The Bed and the Bachelor by Tracy Anne Warren
  3. A Study in Seduction by Nina Rowan
  4. The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan
  5. Duke with Benefits (Studies in Scandal) by Manda Collins
  6. All Scot and Bothered by Kerrigan Byrne
  7. The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite
  8. The Lady's Code by Samantha Saxon
  9. The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn
  10. Unlocked by Courtney Milan
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GenreHistorical Fiction, Romance,
MotifFemale Mathematicians, Romance, Ada Lovelace,
TopicMathematical Finance,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)