“You are forever loved though this life fades away... You will forever be my beloved, my immortal betrothed, my enduring flame,my guiding light, my compass rose.” ~ Thomas Earl Hopson Jr.
'A Most Unusual Wedding' by Nancy Griffis picks up where the prequel leaves off, with Leo and Gerald making plans for their wedding. They are still receiving resistance from Leo's cousin Mark, who has several heated discussions with Leo and Gerald as well. Leo makes it clear that he will not tolerate any interference which doesn't sit very well with Mark. Leo wants to have more to do with the wedding plans, but with his position of Mage, he's obligated to help, especially when a crisis takes place. Gerald tries to be understanding and not interfere, seeing Leo when he can, but he misses him a great deal.
Leo has his hands full at the hospital where the physicians are stumped with the recent plague which is rapidly taking over. He misses Gerald too, but the work is too important to be put off. He tries his best to make time for Gerald, but it isn't easy with being pulled in so many different directions. At least Gerald has his old friend, Harry, to keep him company and his grandfather, Daniel, as well. Both men are absolutely delightful in their own ways. Daniel is always there for Gerald. Daniel goes above and beyond doing whatever he can with whatever means available, legal or not, but still likes to harass him playfully, by poking him with his cane. Harry is a sailor and is there on leave for the wedding. He and Gerald are best friends and love each other very much. Harry has a good amount of magic of his own which he doesn't hesitate to use when necessary to defend his friends and family. He's particularly useful when helping Leo by adding his skills to Leo's presenting a stronger and more effective front. Leo and Harry clash at first, but soon become friends, united by their love and concern for Gerald and his grandfather.
As the clues fall into place, Leo delves into them, particularly when they realize that it's dark magic which is in play. Finding a cure for the plague is paramount, especially when magic doesn't work. All mages know how difficult it can be not to give in to the dark side and constantly guard against it. In order to neutralize the forces of darkness, Leo is greatly affected by them. It drains Leo and causing him to be useless, magic-wise. With rest he recovers, but each time becomes more difficult than the previous. With the wedding so close, Leo is determined to get as much business as he can behind him before the wedding so he and Gerald will be able to have their honeymoon.
Nancy has done a fantastic job of world-building, making 19th century London sound realistic, while fitting in the magical element seamlessly. It was easy to slip into the mind set of Mages, magic light and dark along with the customs of the times. Although raised in the upper crust of society, Leo does not behave in a snobbish manner, but he does, at times, drop back into the proper rules of society. Gerald, may physically be larger than Leo, but he is a quiet man, who is happy in the background. However, the biggest mistake anyone could make is to equate Gerald's gentleness with weakness. As Leo soon learns, Gerald can be a force to be reckoned with.
Although this story can be read alone, I suggest that you read 'A Most Unusual Courtship’ first in order to see how this love affair began. If you enjoy a love story with mages, magic, spells, mystery, suspense, good conquering evil, and true love, then you may like this book. Thanks, Nancy, for the exciting adventure!