I was going to write this review on Sunday, but the words just wouldn’t come because I was too busy wondering where the third book in the series is going to go. So of course, this led me to Courtney Milan’s website, which led to me re-reading the excerpt for Find Me she has posted, which led to me wanting to re-read both Hold Me and Trade Me. So at that point, I decided to shelve my review until I could extol the virtues of After the Wedding and not just rave about how everything that Courtney Milan writes is brilliant and amazing and you should read it all. Will this review still turn into that? Perhaps. But now, almost a full week after I finished After the Wedding, I think I’m much better equipped to talk about this book.
Before diving in, a quick note that After the Wedding was sent to me in exchange for an honest review by the author. Of course, I already had the book pre-ordered and the final copy hit my Kindle app Tuesday. Just so you have all the information you need, you know? Now that we’ve clarified that, let’s get started.
After the Wedding is a book about hope. It is full of all of these incredible lines that I have a feeling I’ll be quoting for ages. If you have been feeling some type of way about the state of the world or the state of your love life (same, hi, what’s up?), I think this book is perfect for you. Technically, you should not read this book as a stand alone, but I also think you really could do so if you wanted.
Our heroine is Lady Camilla Worth, but she’s currently a maid in threadbare clothes for a Rector being referred to as Half-Priced Cam because she’s literally being paid half of a wage because this pastor dude is a trash can. Sorry, but I have a lot of feelings about this dude. If you didn’t read the first book, Once Upon a Marquess (which you should), basically Camilla’s dad was a traitor to the Crown and so their family was ruined because England Times. (Are you all listening to the Heaving Bosoms podcast? If not, you should be.) Camilla left her siblings and went to live with her uncle, except her uncle sent her on to live with others and she got passed along and passed along, until she eventually wound up working as a maid. Quite a journey and not one I’d be particularly inclined to follow, myself. Camilla though clings to hope even when it gets hard.
Meanwhile, we have Adrian, who is a precious bean who just wants to believe the best of people, even when they don’t deserve it. A biracial man in England, not long after the Civil War, Adrian has to deal with racism and an uncle who refuses to recognize him as his nephew. Or rather, the Bishop is always like, “Someday,” or “When the time is right.” Seriously, the Bishop was immensely frustrating. Meanwhile, Adrian is a precious cinnamon roll and I adored him.
Camilla and Adrian meet at the Rector’s home and their meet cute is adorable. I loved and hated watching them flirt and then Cam’s immediate, “Oh, but I’m not to do this!” Honestly, society can be the worst! Despite the immediate flirting, this book is very much a slow burn romance between our love interests and they really do become friends before they turn into more than that.
I also really love the way Courtney Milan sets up the stories to come. I cannot wait to read about Grayson, Adrian’s brother, in the third book in the series. Or really any of the side characters. Milan crafts characters that feel so real to me, which is something I both admire and so appreciate.
I hope you’ll pick up this book, and if/when you do, please let me know what you think!
P.S. Read the Author’s Note.