After the Wedding
Summary: Adrian Hunter has concealed his identity and posed as a servant to assist his powerful uncle. He’s on the verge of obtaining the information he needs when circumstances spiral out of his control. He’s caught alone with a woman he scarcely knows. When they’re discovered in this compromising circumstance, he’s forced to marry her at gunpoint. Luckily, his uncle should be able to obtain an annulment. All Adrian has to do is complete his mission…and not consummate the marriage, no matter how enticing the bride may be.
Lady Camilla Worth has never expected much out of life—not since her father was convicted of treason and she was passed from family to family. A marriage, no matter how unfortunate the circumstances under which it was contracted, should mean stability. It’s unfortunate that her groom doesn’t agree. But Camilla has made the best of worse circumstances. She is determined to make her marriage work. All she has to do is seduce her reluctant husband.
|Rating: 5 stars|
Review: Could there possibly be two more Hufflepuff main characters? (Answer: no.) I submit into evidence Exhibit A: this quote from Camilla:
“We’re all self-serving.” Camilla shrugged. “It’s just a matter of what we do to others in service of ourselves.”
-Camilla, After the Wedding by Courtney Milan
It takes a whole lot of heart and a fierceness of spirit to maintain the kind of trust Adrian has and the kind of hope that Camilla keeps when the world repeatedly grinds you down, when people show you again and again their ugliest selves. I just… I can’t… Words escape me. I want to gather Camilla and Adrian close and wrap them up in a big Hufflepuff hug huddle. As I’ve said in previous reviews, wanting to be friends with the main characters is a major key to a five star rating for me. I love Camilla and Adrian so much, and several of the side characters really won be over too (especially Theresa and Mrs. Beasley!) that I’d give this, oh, six or seven stars, if that were an option. ALL THE STARS!
The way the relationship between Camilla and Adrian plays out is so wonderful to watch grow. For all of the hardship these two go through, this is a relatively low angst story that is beautifully told. For those who love a good slow burn friends to lovers story, this book is for you! Cam and Adrian are two kindred spirits who get thrown together in circumstances that would break many people, and they continue to trust and hope and love with this quiet, golden strength that I truly admire and can only hope to emulate in my own life. Plus, the level of flirt and sass in Camilla cannot be squashed by any number of jerk-faces.
“That would no doubt be engraved on her tombstone: Camilla tried to be good, but not for very long.”
– Camilla, After the Wedding by Courtney Milan
I really appreciated a Regency romance with representation outside of the Heyer-esque white cis characters you often see depicted: notably Adrian and his black family and how his family (with a black American father and a white English mother) is treated by English society; the diverse cast of characters who work on the design team at Adrian’s manufactory; and the sexual preferences of Mrs. Martin and others.
This is the second book in the Worth Saga, but it can be read as a stand-alone. However, there are some spoilers for the first book, Once Upon a Marquess (though not much more than you’d get from reading the back cover blurb). There is also a certain amount of lead up to what had dang well better be a future book in the series about Theresa!