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Bad Heir Day: A Comedy of High Class and Dire Straits
     

Bad Heir Day: A Comedy of High Class and Dire Straits

2.3 58
by Wendy Holden
 

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"Deliciously wicked and hugely entertaining."
Booklist

Anna's boyfriend is impossibly handsome, impossibly rich, and generally just impossible. When he inevitably dumps her, she vows to give up men and throws herself into her career as an aspiring novelist. Which is how she ends up working for Cassandra.

Overview

"Deliciously wicked and hugely entertaining."
Booklist

Anna's boyfriend is impossibly handsome, impossibly rich, and generally just impossible. When he inevitably dumps her, she vows to give up men and throws herself into her career as an aspiring novelist. Which is how she ends up working for Cassandra.

The social climber from hell, Cassandra has a huge mansion, a philandering rock star husband, Satan for a son, and a bestselling writing career that has massively stalled.

So when dashing Jamie, charming heir to a castle in Scotland, offers Anna an escape beyond her wildest dreams, she can't believe her luck. And she probably shouldn't...

"A romp of a novel...Wendy Holden writes with delicious verve and energy."
-Mail on Sunday

"Well observed and witty."
-Mirror

"Laugh-out-loud funny...a treat."
-Express

Wendy Holden, author of Farm Fatale and Beautiful People, is a master of the sweetly savage satire and is the author of nine top-ten UK bestsellers.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Pure entertainment. " - A Curious Statistical Anomaly

"I was expecting this book to make me chuckle and it did...a lot... surprising and hilarious." - Books Like Breathing

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402257049
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
09/01/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
File size:
1000 KB

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter One


The bride had still not arrived. Beside Anna, Seb fidgeted, sighed and tutted, and the surrounding cacophony of wailing babies and coughing increased. There seemed, Anna saw as she glanced round the candlelit chapel, to be an awful lot of people there. All better dressed than herself. As she caught the haughty eye of a skinny and impeccably turned-out brunette, Anna dropped her gaze to her feet. Realising that there had been no time even to clean her shoes, she immediately wished she hadn't.


Everything had been such a rush. After breakfasting at his usual leisurely pace, Seb had glanced at the invitation properly for the first time and, after much panicked scanning of the Scottish mainland, eventually discovered the location of the wedding in the middle of the Atlantic.


"Fucking hell, I thought it was in Edinburgh," he roared. "It's practically in Iceland." Seb thrust the AA Road Atlas at her, his stabbing finger a good quarter inch off the far northwest coast of Scotland. Anna stared at the white island amid the blue, whose shape bore a startling resemblance to a hand making an uncomplimentary gesture with its middle finger. She glanced at the invitation.


"Dampie Castle, Island of Skul," she read. "Well, I suppose getting married in a castle is rather romantic


"Castle my arse," cursed Seb. "Why can't they get married in Knightsbridge like everybody else?"


"Perhaps we shouldn't bother going," Anna said soothingly. After all, she had met neither component of the unit of Thoby and Miranda whose merger they were invited to celebrate. All she knew was that Thoby, or Bollocks, as Seb insisted on calling him, was a schoolfriend of his. There seemed to be very few men who weren't. While his habit of referring to Miranda as Melons confirmed Anna's suspicions that she was one of his ex-girlfriends. Again, there seemed to be very few women who weren't.


Seb, however, was hell-bent on putting in an appearance. Abandoning plans to drive to Scotland, they flew first class from Heathrow to Inverness instead and drove like the wind in a hired Fiesta to the ferryport for Skul, Seb in a rage all the way. Being stopped by a highway patrol car and asked, "Having trouble taking off, sir?" had hardly improved his temper. In the end, they had arrived at Dampie too late to be shown their room, too late to look round the castle, too late to look at the castle at all in fact, as darkness had long since fallen. Too late to do anything but rush to the chapel, where the evening service would, Seb snarled as they screeched up the driveway, be halfway through by now at least. Only it wasn't.


-- -- -- -- --


Ten more brideless minutes passed, during which a small, sailor-suit-clad boy in front of Anna proceeded to climb all over the pew and fix anyone who happened to catch his eye with the most contemptuous of stares. Anna returned his gaze coolly as he bared his infant teeth at her. "I'm going to kill all the bridesmaids," he declared, producing a plastic sword from the depths of the pew and waving it threateningly about.

"I'm feeling rather the same way towards Melons," murmured Seb, testily, when, after a further half hour, the bride was still conspicuous by her absence. "Then again, she always did take bloody ages to come." He sniggered to himself. Anna pretended not to have heard.


"Thoby should think himself lucky," whispered a woman behind them as the vision in ivory finally appeared at the door. "Miranda is only fifty-five minutes late turning up to marry him. She's always at least an hour late whenever she arranges to meet me!"


"There's probably a good reason for that," muttered Seb.


"Shhh," said Anna, digging him in the ribs and noting enviously that Thoby clearly did think himself lucky. His inbred features posi­tively blazed with pride as Miranda, her tiny waist pinched almost to invisibility by her champagne satin bustier, drew up beside him at the altar on a cloud of tulle and the arm of a distinguished-looking man with silver hair and a second-home-in-Provence tan.


"Stella McCartney," whispered the woman behind.


"Where?" hissed her companion.


"No, the dress, darling. Achingly hip."


"Aching hips, as well, I should think. It looks like agony. Poor Miranda."


"Still, it's worth it. Mrs. Thoby Boucher de Croix-Duroy sounds terribly grand. If not terribly Scottish."


"No. They're about as Scottish as pizza," whispered the second woman. "Hired this place because Miranda was desperate to get married in a castle. And I hear Thoby isn't quite so grand as he seems anyway. Apparently he's called Boucher de Croix-Duroy because his grandfather was a butcher from King's Cross."


"Yes! Shush, we've got to sing now. Damn, where is my order of service?"


As everyone vowed to thee, their country, Anna sneaked a proud, sidelong glance at Seb and felt her stomach begin its familiar yoyo of lust. His tanned neck rose from his brilliantly white collar, his tall frame, drooping slightly (Seb hated standing up), looked its best in a perfectly cut morning suit innocent of the merest hint of dandruff and his long lashes almost brushed his Himalayan cheekbones. He might make the odd thoughtless remark, but he was the best-looking man in the chapel by a mile, even-Anna prayed not to be struck down-counting the high-cheekboned, soft-lipped representation of

Jesus languishing elegantly against his cross. Seb was gorgeous. And, source though that was of the fiercest pride and delight, it was also rather terrifying. Seb attracted women like magnets attracted iron filings-and in about the same numbers. If being in love with a beautiful woman was hard, Anna thought, it was nothing to being in love with a beautiful man.

Meet the Author

Wendy Holden (UK) was a journalist on the Sunday Times, Tatler, and The Mail on Sunday before becoming a full time author. She has now published nine novels, all top 10 bestsellers in the UK. Her novels include Beautiful People, Farm Fatale, Simply Divine, Gossip Hound, The Wives of Bath, The School for Husbands, Azur Like it, and Filthy Rich.


Wendy Holden (UK) was a journalist on the Sunday Times, Tatler, and The Mail on Sunday before becoming a full time author. She has now published nine novels, all top 10 bestsellers in the UK. Her novels include Beautiful People, Farm Fatale, Simply Divine, Gossip Hound, The Wives of Bath, The School for Husbands, Azur Like it, and Filthy Rich.

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Bad Heir Day: A Comedy of High Class and Dire Straits 2.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
susan2845 More than 1 year ago
So far I've been disappointed in this book. While the writing is good, the plot isn't what I was hoping for. I'm unable to feel sympathy for any of the characters, due to their extreme shallowness. I don't much care for people who behave in this manner (children included!) and don't watch "reality" tv, so I am having difficutly in reading this book. I've been sticking with it hoping the story improves, since bits and pieces of it give me hope. However, it appears that this one will definitely be going in the Archive-Don't Reread it section!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If I hadn't bought this as an e-book, I would say that this wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. I found it failing my expectations, which were very low to begin with. -- Catwak
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The sample started out promising with a great character in quirky Brit Anna. It starts falling apart in ch. 3 and ultimately failed to deliver.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought the fowl language was unnecessary. I deleted it after the first chapter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Neverending ridiculousness. After 75 pages there was still no discernable plot. Too bad I couldn't give it ZERO stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because it was a 99¿ book & was highly rated but it was a complete let down. By far the worst book i've bought on my nook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
$0.99 was too much for this book. Nothing redeeming about this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting but too negative and repulsive to continue reading. Deleted from my library. Couldn't get past the vulgar language.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very depressing character. I kept waiting for something good to occur, or a happy ending. But the grass was always greener for someone else. Don't read unlesss you are looking for a depressing, not well written story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That this is also adult rated
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not the best book nor the worst. I did relate to the plight of a budding author & what it takes to survive.
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Sherri_Hunter More than 1 year ago
I immediately got a clear sense of how miserable Anna’s life is when I began this book. The author doesn’t waste precious time or pages dragging the reader through a maze of miscommunication and inner dialogue to bring us to the conclusion that Anna’s life is crap. I rather enjoyed that this information is thrown into the mix right from the start. It’s important that I learned this sooner rather than later because only then would I understand how Anna could end up working for Cassandra Knight, a vile, cruel, rude beyond belief, arrogant witch of a woman who is so full of herself it will make you sick. Anna takes a job with this horrible person, thinking the position will be as an assistant to a best-selling author. Instead, she somehow gets roped into being the nanny to Cassandra’s son, Zak, who is just as vile as she is. Unfortunately, desperate times call for desperate measures on Anna’s part. Even as horrible as Anna’s time under the Knight household is, this book made me laugh deeply and loudly at some of the antics going on. Cassandra takes center stage with her drunken outbursts and anger management issues. Her son, Zak, is a spoiled brat who behaves like a troll, while managing to deflect it back onto his mother. Then there’s Cassandra’s husband, Jett, an aging rock-star, who can’t seem to keep his trousers on. Throw into the mix several supporting characters who I found to be quite interesting makes for an enjoyable story. I liked this book. The story does a good job of making the reader forget her troubles for a while by bringing to light a whole new dysfunctional group of people. It made me laugh a lot and I am still amazed that there wasn’t any bloodshed in the Knight home. I cheered Anna on when she finally gets the opportunity to leave but continued to empathize with her situation when it appears she jumped from the frying pan straight into the fire. This story has many twists which make the plot so interesting.  Fans of chick-lit will enjoy the snarky British humor laced throughout the story, but be prepared for the profanity that comes along with it. It didn’t offend me or pull my attention out of the story at all, most likely because I, myself, was directing quite a few profane statements in Cassandra’s direction. This was my first book by Wendy Holden and I am looking forward to reading more from her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The sroyline was all over the place. From the description you think there is only one main character, but there are actually two. It was nice to see Anna grow up into an independant person.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
waste of money
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cannot finish this one and I can suffer though anything.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this a while ago, thought it sounded cute, i wanted a nice lil romantic comedy, but this is nothing like what i thought. It was horrible most of the way through, with the main character going from one bad situation to a worse one and it wasnt even in a funny way, i just felt so sorry for her, i kept reading cuz i thought its gotta get better, but it didnt... besides just the plot overall kinda sucking, the language was horrible, probably half the book is swearing, especially the further u go, and other crude comments and situations, detailed sexual encounters, as well as people doing stuff to themselves, i was disgusted by the continual appearance of the little boy doing stuff to himself and how crude he was. This was definately like an R rated kinda book, and where i like to stick to pg13 stuff, i wish i had known before i bought it. Ive never written a review before and always thought it was better to keep my opinions to myself, but i really wish i had had a review like this so i wouldnt have bought the book in the first place, hopefully this helps someone else like me...
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