Weddings from Hell

( 25 )

Overview

Some marriages are made in heaven . . . Some are not.

What happens when "the happiest day of your life" turns into a nightmare? Forget the drunken best man or the bridesmaid dresses from the '80s . . . none of these wedding day disasters can compare to a cursed bride determined to make it down the aisle, or a vampire who is about to disrupt your wedding.

Join New York Times bestselling authors Maggie Shayne and Jeaniene Frost, USA Today ...

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Weddings From Hell

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Overview

Some marriages are made in heaven . . . Some are not.

What happens when "the happiest day of your life" turns into a nightmare? Forget the drunken best man or the bridesmaid dresses from the '80s . . . none of these wedding day disasters can compare to a cursed bride determined to make it down the aisle, or a vampire who is about to disrupt your wedding.

Join New York Times bestselling authors Maggie Shayne and Jeaniene Frost, USA Today bestseller Kathryn Smith, as well as Terri Garey in four unforgettable tales of unholy matrimony . . . where the grooms are dark, dangerous, and mostly dead, and to love and cherish till death takes on a whole new meaning.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061472688
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/27/2008
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 617,250
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 6.68 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeaniene Frost is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress series and the Night Huntress World novels. To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to nineteen different countries. Jeaniene lives in North Carolina with her husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling—by car. Airplanes, children, and cookbooks frighten her.

A Southern girl with an overactive imagination, RITA® and PRISM Award winner Terri Garey lives in Florida, where anything weird is considered normal. A former computer analyst, she left the dry world of logic behind in order to write novels filled with fantasy, romance, and happily-ever-afters.

My husband says I have the best job in the world. The only thing that could top being paid to do what I love is if Avon Books decided that all their authors had to be hand-fed chocolate by Hugh Jackman, Gerard Butler, or John Cusack. But my husband probably wouldn't think so much of my job then, so instead I'll let him feed me chocolate and go on being forever thankful that I have the best job—and husband—in the world.

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Read an Excerpt

Weddings From Hell

Chapter One

London, 1879

"And of course you know that Violet is to be married next week."

Payen Carr froze, a large bite of rare steak halfway to his mouth. He raised his head to smile pleasantly—falsely so—at the elderly woman across the table. "Who?"

Lady Verge fixed him with a vaguely chiding expression, as though she thought him deliberately obtuse—which, of course, he was. "Violet Wynston-Jones, the Earl of Wolfram's ward. You do remember dear Violet, do you not?"

Payen shoved the steak into his mouth and chewed thoughtfully, savoring the rich juices as they embraced his tongue. Remember "dear" Violet? Damn it all, he couldn't seem to forget her. She was the reason he had left England five years ago, and now on his first night back in the city, she was the first subject he heard spoken of. He began to cut another slice of meat.

Married. Good. At least she hadn't been sitting around pining for him as he'd feared. Not pining at all if she had met someone she liked the look of enough to marry. Enough to share a bed with.

"Payen."

Who was she marrying? Some rich young buck, no doubt. Handsome, he'd wager. Human—that went without saying. And probably hung like a stallion.

"Payen!"

He looked up just as his dinner plate shattered. He had driven his knife right through the fine china. Oh, hell. Shame-faced, he met Lady Verge's wide blue gaze. "Sorry, old girl. Wasn't paying attention."

"I'd say it is safe to assume that you do remember Miss Wynston-Jones after all."

A gentleman should remember the womenwhose beds he shared, especially the virgins. Especially those named Violet.

"Of course I remember the girl."

Lady Verge watched him with a gimlet gaze, her eyes unnaturally bright in her pale, English rose complexion. He had met and befriended Lord Verge some forty years past and remained a friend right up until the man's death eight years ago. The most painful drawback of immortality was watching one's friends age and die. Once, Payen had determined to never befriend a human again. That resolve hadn't lasted more than ten years—a damn sight longer than most vows he made.

One vow he took very seriously was his promise to look after Margaret—Lady Verge—not that she needed his assistance. She was one of the few humans who knew that he was a vampire. At first she'd been a little afraid of him, and more than a little disgusted, but once she'd realized that he wasn't some undead fiend, preying on children, and came to know him as a person, she accepted him as her husband's friend, and her own. Payen had never bothered to tell her that he was part demon, turned that way by willingly drinking from a chalice that contained the essence of the Vampire Queen, Lilith. He had done so to protect that same chalice from others who would use it for some unknown dark purpose, but that didn't change the fact that as a "child" of Lilith he had been cursed to walk in darkness by the Almighty. It was a long story, as most of the good ones were, and he really didn't want this church-going woman thinking he was an affront to her God.

"I take it that you have not been invited to the happy occasion?"

"Must have gotten lost in the post."

"Yes," she agreed politely. "It must have, indeed."

Appetite now lost, his plate in ruins, Payen placed his knife and fork neatly together across the ruined china and dabbed at his mouth with his snowy white napkin. "Miss Wynston-Jones's fiancé, is he a good man?"

"He is." Damn it all, that wasn't sympathy in her eyes, was it? Because it shouldn't be there—wouldn't be there if she knew that he had robbed Violet's soon-to-be husband of his wedding night prize. And no one knew that he and Violet had shared a bed one glorious night. No one but the two of them.

"They had their photograph taken for the engagement. Perhaps after dinner you would like to see it?"

No. He'd rather eat this broken plate. Rather stick this fork into the soft, squishy part of his eye. "Of course."

After a dessert he barely tasted—it might have been dirt for all he knew—Payen followed his hostess to her favorite parlor—the one dripping in lace and painted the most nauseating shade of powdery pink—and sat while she poured them both a glass of sherry. His mind remained focused on the same topic during the entire ordeal.

His Violet was getting married.

That meant she wasn't his anymore. That was supposed to be a good thing. It was. It was a bloody good thing.

Margaret—he was never to call her Maggie, or worse, Peg—joined him on the sofa a few moments later with a glass of sherry, which might as well be water as far as the effect it would have on him—and a small framed photograph. Despite the wine's lack of potency, he took a drink before looking at the picture.

Black, white and gray did nothing to capture the essence of Violet, yet there she was all the same. A kick in the chest would have affected him less. In a tightly fitting gown with a demure square neckline and lace at the elbows, and her thick hair piled up on top of her head, she looked every inch the proper young woman. Only he knew there was nothing demure about her, nothing at all. But where was the gleam in her eye that he so adored? Why wasn't she smiling and turning her cheeks into little apples he so loved to nibble upon? She looked so serious, so mature. He may as well be looking at a stranger with black hair, gray eyes, and pale gray skin, garbed in yet more gray. This was not his vibrant Violet.

And he blamed the equally colorless man seated in front of her.

Weddings From Hell. Copyright © by Maggie Shayne. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 25 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    An Even Split between fantastic and dreadful

    Maggie Shayne "Till Death" I've never read anything from this author but I found her story extremely predictable. Kira Monroe aka Kira McLellan has been notified that her maternal family in Scotland that she had no idea existed, has had a death in the family and she stands to inherit a sizable inheritance. However, there are some stipulations to the will that may either cost Kira her life or end the family curse once and for all. Most of the McLellan women die way before their time, due to a curse put on them by a scorn ancestor. 2.5/5

    Jeaniene Frost "Happily Never After" I loved this story. I got this book soley for Jeaniene's short story and I was not disappointed. Greta, an old friend of Bones has contacted him and asked that he help out her grandkids who are having a bit of trouble with the local mob. Bones delegates the request to his trustworthy friend Chance. Isabella, Greta's granddaughter, is being bullied by a local mobster into marrying him and using her brother, Frazier's safety as leverage. This was a great story; Chance and Isa have great chemistry. Jeaniene was able to build this story w/ a bit of background, action, mystery and touch of romance, I was pretty impressed. Cat wasn't in this one but it was still nice to get a little taste of Bone's twisted sense of humor. 5/5

    Terri Garey "Ghoul's Night Out" This was another good story. Nicki Styx, has the ability to see dead people. Nicki has been roped into being a bridesmaid for her cousin. Not only is she forced to where the world's fuglist dress, but now she's being stalked by a dead girl. Nicki puts two and two together and realizes that this ghost was the original bridesmaid she's filling in for. After hearing about the ghost's untimely demise, Nicki sets out to help her solve her own murder. I've never read anything from this author but I enjoyed this story so much, that I will definitely read her Nicki Styx series. 5/5

    Kathryn Smith "Wedding Knight by Kathryn Smith" This story was my least favorite. I had a very hard time getting into it. It was completely boring and the epitome of dull. I've never read anything from this author and probably won't again in the future. 1/5

    As far as anthologies go, this one was successful. There were two duds but overall I enjoyed myself. I recommend this anthology and Jeaniene's entire Night Huntress series.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2013

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    I Also Recommend:

     I only got this collection because it had a story from Jeanine

     I only got this collection because it had a story from Jeanine Frost. One of my favorites.




         It's always a risk when you pick up any story collection in finding one that is mostly composed of stories you enjoy. This was a typical, average collection. Not bad, but not great either. Average. It's common theme was weddings with supernatural problems.




         Since this only contains four tales, I'll look at each story.




         The first tale is by Maggie Shayne. It's about a family curse. As I read this story, I thought , ok, interesting, but as I found out the exact specifications of the curse, the movie Practical Magic came to mind. The curse was different but still connected to husbands, and cast by an ancestral witch. It could have been more inventive. Fell short.




         The second tale is by Jeanine Frost. I read her Night Huntress series. The first is Halfway to the Grave. This tale is about a vampire who has been asked to find a missing Grandson and stop a wedding. This story could have been better if it was set in an earlier time. Its a little far fetched that in this day and age, that some one could get away with forcing someone into marriage, by holding a family member hostage, without providing proof. A few changes to the story, and it would have been better. 




         The third tale is by Terri Garey. Girl dies, comes back as a ghost whisperer. Throw in a hillbilly cousin's wedding, and a ghost, then you have a decent tale of finding justice and putting a spirit to rest. 




         The fourth tale is by Kathryn Smith : Vampire meets girl, leaves girl after she declares her love for him. Comes back and stops her from getting married to someone with a past connection to him. Not a bad tale. I thought slut was a more modern word, and if your going to use the word arse don't add hole to it. It's weird and doesn't look right.This story needed a bit more to it, expand a little with the big confrontation, ending felt to predictable, could have been done differently, creatively. Otherwise like the others, not bad.
         

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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