Miss Milton Speaks Her Mind - Carla Kelly 3+/3.5-ish stars. A traditional Regency with a very subtle and low key romance between a successful mid-40s mill owner and a 29-year-old poor relation in an aristocratic household.

The romance, which features elements of the beta hero, gentle giant, friends-to-lovers, and the pining hero, may actually have been a little TOO subtle, to be frank. There weren't enough opportunities for us to see Scipio's pining (and, in fact, there was no hero POV at all in the book), although the internal narrative from Jane was well done. The romance may have felt too subtle because I thought the other plot elements and the background stories (namely, the life in the mills and the reminiscences of the "war in the colonies") were very strong and fleshed out well, leading those aspects of the book to take a dominant role in the story over the romance itself. I initially thought Jane was a bit bland and doormat-y in her poor relation role, but it helped to see her gain confidence in her narrative and watch as her personality blossomed as she began to "speak her mind" over the course of the story. This book also includes one of my least favorite romance elements: nasty, mean, and spiteful relatives. *shudder*

On a side note, while very finely detailed in historical elements as you may expect of a Carla Kelly book, this story nevertheless disappointed me a bit because of its sloppy editing. I'd come to expect better editing from Signet than to have missing quotation marks or wrong spellings of characters' titles. Alas, even ol' faithfuls can make missteps, I suppose.