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Happily Never After
     

Happily Never After

5.0 5
by Kathleen O'Brien
 

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Members of the wedding party are starting to die.

No one could believe that Thomas Beckham was the kind of man to leave a woman at the altar, but he couldn't marry his bride-to-be. Not after what he'd seen her do. His only choice was to leave and never look back--and to keep to himself everything he'd witnessed.

After the wedding-that-wasn't

Overview

Members of the wedding party are starting to die.

No one could believe that Thomas Beckham was the kind of man to leave a woman at the altar, but he couldn't marry his bride-to-be. Not after what he'd seen her do. His only choice was to leave and never look back--and to keep to himself everything he'd witnessed.

After the wedding-that-wasn't, everyone, including Kelly Ralston, went on to other things. Or so it had always seemed. But ten years later, Kelly finds herself attending the funeral of another one of the bridesmaids--the third member of the wedding party to meet a tragic death. Kelly can't help but wonder if the deaths are a coincidence. Or are they linked? If so, who will be targeted next?

Thomas Beckham may be her only chance to find the killer. Before the killer finds her...

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426883590
Publisher:
Harlequin
Publication date:
11/15/2010
Series:
Signature Spotlight Series
Sold by:
HARLEQUIN
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
590,563
File size:
750 KB

Meet the Author

Kathleen O’Brien is a former feature writer and TV critic who’s written more than 35 novels. She’s a five-time finalist for the RWA Rita award and a multiple nominee for the Romantic Times awards. Though her books range from warmly witty to suspenseful, they all focus on strong characters and thrilling romantic relationships. They reflect her deep love of family, home and community, and her empathy for the challenges faced by women as they juggle today's complex lives.

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Happily Never After 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
The Mellon family of Cathedral Cove is one messed up bunch. Growing up in a house like Coeur Vole couldn't have been easy; neither, in fact, could having a father like Adler Mellon, who gained his pleasure by causing pain to his wife and children. Surviving matriarch Imogene is dying, and before she does, she wants her three children-Sophie, Sebastian, and Samantha-to find the happiness they so much deserve.

It's not an easy chore. Sophie, who has been in and out of mental institutions for the past decade, seems almost beyond hope. Left alone at the altar on her wedding day, she's never gotten over the fact that her intended husband, Tom Beckham, never showed up for their wedding. She's still sending him perfume-soaked letters on their "anniversary," and she's becoming more and more unbalanced.

As for Sebastian, marriage and children haven't stopped the demons that plague him. As his needs to follow in his father's footsteps and cause pain and suffering to those he loves increases daily, Sebastian is determined to somehow save his daughter and son from the same type of childhood that he had.

For Samantha, taking care of her terminally ill mother to the point where she has no friends or interests outside Coeur Vole is taking its toll. Sam has always lived in the shadows of her sister's wedding that wasn't, and of the accident that scarred her brother physically.

Tom has returned to Cathedral Cove, though, and all hell breaks loose. He's come at the urging of Kelly Ralston, the maid of honor of that long-ago almost-wedding-the same woman he developed feelings for shortly before the nuptials. Another wedding party member, Lillith, has died in a car accident, and Tom has returned to comfort her grieving husband, Jacob. Tom and Jacob were once good friends, but ever since Tom escaped the small town life for his high-powered attorney's job in Atlanta , they've drifted apart.

Now that Tom is back in Cathedral Cove, Kelly wonders if calling him home was a good idea. She fell in love with him ten years ago, when he was engaged to her best friend. Although they never acted on their attraction, Kelly has always felt slightly guilty-was the kiss they shared, and Kelly's announcement of love, the reason Tom ditched Sophie at the altar?

Strange things are happening around Cathedral Cove now that Tom is back. Since Lillith's accident, Kelly and Tom find out that other members of the wedding party have died in mysterious "accidents." Sophie isn't in the institution where she should be, Sebastian seems to be a washed-up imitation of the man he used to be, and Samantha is wilting under the stress of her mother's illness.

As Tom and Kelly become closer, realizing that the attraction they felt all those years ago is still going strong, someone seems intent on getting rid of the members of Sophie's bridal party one by one. As they try to get the authorities involved, they can't help feeling that time is running out-because if they're right, Kelly is going to be the next victim.

HAPPILY NEVER AFTER is a wonderful romantic suspense story. Family secrets form the basis for the storyline, and with the revelation of each one, you'll be drawn farther into the story. The ending is a definite surprise, and the plot twists and turns through each page. This book is a definite winner, one that fans of the genre won't want to miss.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Mellon family of Cathedral Cove is one messed up bunch. Growing up in a house like Coeur Vole couldn't have been easy neither, in fact, could having a father like Adler Mellon, who gained his pleasure by causing pain to his wife and children. Surviving matriarch Imogene is dying, and before she does, she wants her three children-Sophie, Sebastian, and Samantha-to find the happiness they so much deserve. It's not an easy chore. Sophie, who has been in and out of mental institutions for the past decade, seems almost beyond hope. Left alone at the altar on her wedding day, she's never gotten over the fact that her intended husband, Tom Beckham, never showed up for their wedding. She's still sending him perfume-soaked letters on their 'anniversary,' and she's becoming more and more unbalanced. As for Sebastian, marriage and children haven't stopped the demons that plague him. As his needs to follow in his father's footsteps and cause pain and suffering to those he loves increases daily, Sebastian is determined to somehow save his daughter and son from the same type of childhood that he had. For Samantha, taking care of her terminally ill mother to the point where she has no friends or interests outside Coeur Vole is taking its toll. Sam has always lived in the shadows of her sister's wedding that wasn't, and of the accident that scarred her brother physically. Tom has returned to Cathedral Cove, though, and all hell breaks loose. He's come at the urging of Kelly Ralston, the maid of honor of that long-ago almost-wedding-the same woman he developed feelings for shortly before the nuptials. Another wedding party member, Lillith, has died in a car accident, and Tom has returned to comfort her grieving husband, Jacob. Tom and Jacob were once good friends, but ever since Tom escaped the small town life for his high-powered attorney's job in Atlanta , they've drifted apart. Now that Tom is back in Cathedral Cove, Kelly wonders if calling him home was a good idea. She fell in love with him ten years ago, when he was engaged to her best friend. Although they never acted on their attraction, Kelly has always felt slightly guilty-was the kiss they shared, and Kelly's announcement of love, the reason Tom ditched Sophie at the altar? Strange things are happening around Cathedral Cove now that Tom is back. Since Lillith's accident, Kelly and Tom find out that other members of the wedding party have died in mysterious 'accidents.' Sophie isn't in the institution where she should be, Sebastian seems to be a washed-up imitation of the man he used to be, and Samantha is wilting under the stress of her mother's illness. As Tom and Kelly become closer, realizing that the attraction they felt all those years ago is still going strong, someone seems intent on getting rid of the members of Sophie's bridal party one by one. As they try to get the authorities involved, they can't help feeling that time is running out-because if they're right, Kelly is going to be the next victim. HAPPILY NEVER AFTER is a wonderful romantic suspense story. Family secrets form the basis for the storyline, and with the revelation of each one, you'll be drawn farther into the story. The ending is a definite surprise, and the plot twists and turns through each page. This book is a definite winner, one that fans of the genre won't want to miss.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Mellon family of Cathedral Cove is one messed up bunch. Growing up in a house like Coeur Vole couldn¿t have been easy neither, in fact, could having a father like Adler Mellon, who gained his pleasure by causing pain to his wife and children. Surviving matriarch Imogene is dying, and before she does, she wants her three children¿Sophie, Sebastian, and Samantha¿to find the happiness they so much deserve. It¿s not an easy chore. Sophie, who has been in and out of mental institutions for the past decade, seems almost beyond hope. Left alone at the altar on her wedding day, she¿s never gotten over the fact that her intended husband, Tom Beckham, never showed up for their wedding. She¿s still sending him perfume-soaked letters on their 'anniversary,' and she¿s becoming more and more unbalanced. As for Sebastian, marriage and children haven¿t stopped the demons that plague him. As his needs to follow in his father¿s footsteps and cause pain and suffering to those he loves increases daily, Sebastian is determined to somehow save his daughter and son from the same type of childhood that he had. For Samantha, taking care of her terminally ill mother to the point where she has no friends or interests outside Coeur Vole is taking its toll. Sam has always lived in the shadows of her sister¿s wedding that wasn¿t, and of the accident that scarred her brother physically. Tom has returned to Cathedral Cove, though, and all hell breaks loose. He¿s come at the urging of Kelly Ralston, the maid of honor of that long-ago almost-wedding¿the same woman he developed feelings for shortly before the nuptials. Another wedding party member, Lillith, has died in a car accident, and Tom has returned to comfort her grieving husband, Jacob. Tom and Jacob were once good friends, but ever since Tom escaped the small town life for his high-powered attorney¿s job in Atlanta, they¿ve drifted apart. Now that Tom is back in Cathedral Cove, Kelly wonders if calling him home was a good idea. She fell in love with him ten years ago, when he was engaged to her best friend. Although they never acted on their attraction, Kelly has always felt slightly guilty¿was the kiss they shared, and Kelly¿s announcement of love, the reason Tom ditched Sophie at the altar? Strange things are happening around Cathedral Cove now that Tom is back. Since Lillith¿s accident, Kelly and Tom find out that other members of the wedding party have died in mysterious 'accidents.' Sophie isn¿t in the institution where she should be, Sebastian seems to be a washed-up imitation of the man he used to be, and Samantha is wilting under the stress of her mother¿s illness. As Tom and Kelly become closer, realizing that the attraction they felt all those years ago is still going strong, someone seems intent on getting rid of the members of Sophie¿s bridal party one by one. As they try to get the authorities involved, they can¿t help feeling that time is running out¿because if they¿re right, Kelly is going to be the next victim. HAPPILY NEVER AFTER is a wonderful romantic suspense story. Family secrets form the basis for the storyline, and with the revelation of each one, you¿ll be drawn farther into the story. The ending is a definite surprise, and the plot twists and turns through each page. This book is a definite winner, one that fans of the genre won¿t want to miss.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When attorney Thomas Beckham left his heiress bride at the alter, he vowed to keep silent about dark things he'd witnessed. He left the sleepy Georgia town and never looked back. The other wedding party members, including bridesmaid Kelly Ralston, also went on to other things. Now, ten years later, Kelly attends the funeral of her friend Lily, another of Sophie Mellon's bridesmaids, and wonders if it's just coincidence or a sinister design that has members of the wedding party dying one by one? Tom Beckham may provide the answers she's looking for, but he's the last person she wants to see. Though many years have passed, Kelly lives with the guilty secret that she fell in love with her friend's fiance. Multi-talented Ms. O'Brien has penned a suspenseful masterpiece in Happily Never After. Skillful prose and tight plotting kept my interest level high as each twist and turn of this character-driven story added suspects to a growing list of villains. If anything seemed stereotypical in this departure from Ms. Obrien's more homespun romances, it was the Victorian Gothic house, a character in itself. However, each antagonist's good/evil mix led to a conclusion that was as surprising as it was satisfying. Highly recommended, but give yourself plenty of time to savor this well-told story. I guarantee that once you've begun Happily Never After, you won't want to put it down. Kudos to Ms. O'Brien for yet another stellar achievement.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Thomas Beckham thought Sophie Mellon was the most beautiful woman he ever met. He courted her and proposed to her she accepted. However, as the wedding day grew nearer he saw a dark insane side to his fiancée. She also pales in comparison to the sweet kind hearted bridesmaid Kelly Carpenter. Unable to marry his lunatic betrothed and half in love with Kelly, Tom flees New York for Atlanta. Though most members of the Mellon wedding party assumes the runaway husband fled with the bridesmaid that everyone could see he ogled, Tom and Kelly went their separate ways in spite of their attraction to one another. Neither thought it appropriate to build a relationship off the misery of someone else. A decade has passed when someone begins killing the Mellon wedding party. Kelly fearing for her life and thinking Tom must be a target too looks him up. Though ten years since they have seen one another, both have thought of the other many times and realize the desire is as strong as ever. Assuming unhinged Sophie went off the deep end, they team up to keep one another safe while trying to stop a matrimonial serial killer. --- HAPPILY NEVER AFTER is an exhilarating romantic suspense with a strong cast that will have the audience reading the novel in one sitting to learn why Tom jilted Sophie and whether Sophie is, as the lead couple suspect, the killer wiping out her extended Mellon family. Though the motive seems twisted, the story line never slows down gripping fans until the end. Kathleen O¿Brien writes a solid contemporary romantic thriller, which asserts you can¿t go home. --- Harriet Klausner