The Devil Comes Courting

Self-published. (The Worth Saga, Bk. 3). Apr. 2021. 488p. ISBN 9781666276176. pap. $17.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Captain Grayson Hunter is determined to create a worldwide telegraphic network. He needs help to devise a telegraph code for Chinese characters while he’s laying cable at sea, so a friend tells him of a person who’s capable of the task and would be open to working for a Black man. However, his friend didn’t mention that the candidate is a widow who isn’t looking for a job. Amelia Smith was adopted from Shanghai and raised by English missionaries who believe she needs to find another husband, not a career. Defying her mother’s wishes, Amelia agrees to work on Captain Hunter’s project. The distance between Amelia and Captain Hunter only brings the two closer, as they discover through telegrams, letters, and in-person meetings that their relationship may be more than a business transaction. The third book in Milan’s “Worth Saga” (after After the Wedding) can be read as a standalone but does have a secondary plot relating to characters introduced in previous novels. Themes of colonialism, racism, and gaslighting are discussed thoughtfully and with nuance in this Victorian epistolary romance. The gentle support and encouragement the protagonists give each other, as they process loss, heal from trauma, and discover connections, will have tender-hearted readers grabbing tissues, laughing at the bursts of levity provided by witty and lovable Amelia, and celebrating their union.
VERDICT A must-have on historical romance shelves.
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