Review: After the Wedding by Courtney Milan

Reviewed by Jen

Let me be honest. When I started this book I had absolutely no recollection of the first installment in the series. I wasn’t even sure if I had read it until I went back and looked on Goodreads. No wonder I had forgotten. It’s been three years since Courtney Milan wrote the beginning of this series. But don’t worry, you don’t need to remember of have even read that book in order to jump right into this one.

This is an interracial historical romance, which is a bit of a rarity. But one of the things I like best about it was how low key the race element was. Yes, the hero and heroine are of different ethnicities, but this love story isn’t about their race. It was about love and acceptance. About choosing someone to love and who chooses to love you in return.

The heroine, Camilla, has spent the last nine years praying for someone to love her. I didn’t even have to be romantic love. Just a friend or really anyone who wanted to keep her around. After an estrangement from her family, she was shuffled from home to home to home. As the story begins, she is essentially a servant in the house of a rector. And though she wanted nothing more than to keep her nose clean and live in a way that could make the man proud, she ended up a pawn in a scheme to hide some of his wrongdoings.

The hero, Adrian, is the nephew of a bishop. All his life, he’s yearned for his uncle’s love and acceptance. But the man was too worried about appearances. You see, the bishop is white and Adrian’s father is black. Time and time again, Adrian has begged and scraped to please his uncle. Now the man wants him to go undercover as a valet to uncover secrets about one of his rivals. That is how he crosses paths with Camilla.

A short time after they meet, they are forced into marriage by the rector. Literally at gunpoint. Camilla doesn’t really mind the possibility of a future with Adrian. But he takes exception to being forced into marriage with a stranger and sets off to get an annulment. Unfortunately, his uncle won’t help with that until he gets the evidence he was sent to retrieve in the first place.

So basically the entire book, these two are married, but it is an epically slow burn because if they make any moves to consummate their marriage, it cannot be annulled. And it’s so sad, because Camilla yearns so deeply to be wanted and loved. She thinks the world of Adrian and you can tell that he has regard for her. It’s just not enough to stay married.

There’s this running thing in the book about falling in love slowly and how they both deserve that. And it’s exactly what ends up happening. I had so many feels for poor Camilla. She is so ratchet and broken inside as the book begins and she really comes into her own. There is not a lot of sex or romantic overtures. This is a relationship born through growing friendship. I thought it was quite well done…. even if I did not remember Camilla’s family history.

Props to the altar for the diversity here, not only with race, but a bisexual heroin and other LGBT characters. And I got a little thrill to find out that the couple in Milan’s Hamilton anthology were ancestors of Adrian.

In an author’s note, more installments in this series are promised ahead. Hopefully it won’t take as long for us to revisit the series.

Rating: B/B+

*ARC provided by author

Click to purchase: Amazon

After the Wedding
by Courtney Milan
Release Date: April 24, 2018

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