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The Italian in Need of an Heir (2020)
Lynne Graham

Maya is a beautiful British "maths whizz" who, if she had her way, would be working in an academic job doing research. She also is usually unwilling to put up with men who boss her around. But, her family is desperately poor and so she essentially has no choice but to wed a gorgeous, wealthy, and arrogant Italian man who (for purely financial reasons, of course) must quickly marry and produce an heir.

Since this is a romance novel -- it's Book 2 in Harlequin's Cinderella Brides for Billionaires series, to be more precise -- you can probably guess how that works out. Actually, that's all I'm able to do since I haven't read the entire book. If you have then please write to let me know more, especially anything related to math(s)!

I did read the opening pages which were available for free at Amazon. So, I know that we are first introduced to Maya's brilliance as follows:

(quoted from The Italian in Need of an Heir)

Maya had completed two doctorates in mathematics at university after first graduating at eighteen. Being a prodigy from an early age had only two benefits that she recognized. Firstly, academic brilliance had enabled her to finance her studies by allowing her to win scholarships and prizes and, secondly, it had given her higher earning powers in part-time jobs and projects that required a maths whizz.

After reading that, I just find myself wondering "Why did she get two doctorates in mathematics?" I know a few people who have two doctorates in different disciplines, and one person who obtained a second doctorate in mathematics in the USA (and basically hid the fact that he'd obtained one previously in another country). But, why would one brag about having two? Why would a second one be necessary unless there was something wrong with the first?

I also learned that math is extremely easy for her even though her friends think she must be working very hard:

(quoted from The Italian in Need of an Heir)

Her peers preferred to believe that she had to swot from dawn to dusk to gain the results that she did, and she let them believe that even if it was a lie. Evidently a nerdy swot was more acceptable than someone gifted at birth with a photographic memory and an IQ that ran into the highest possible triple figures. Maya had been doing algebra at the age of three; she didn't need to swot.

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Works Similar to The Italian in Need of an Heir
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Principles of Emotion by Sara Read
  2. The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
  3. The Code for Love and Heartbreak by Jillian Cantor
  4. A Study in Seduction by Nina Rowan
  5. A Perfect Equation (The Secret Scientists of London) by Elizabeth Everett
  6. A Season of Flirtation by Julia Justiss
  7. Gödel Incomplete by Martha Goddard (Writer and Director)
  8. Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant
  9. The Hurricane by R.J. Prescott
  10. Break Your Heart by Rhonda Helms
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MotifProdigies, Female Mathematicians, Romance,

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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)