A Publishers Weekly Best Books of Summer Selection
The sun is shining, the garden’s in bloom and every detail is perfect as the wedding of the year gets underway at the charming Bluebird Inn. But when the Big Day becomes an even bigger fiasco, the surprises unfold in four entwined tales featuring the unforgettable Loving family . . .
The moment for “I do” has arrived, and all eyes are on the bride . . . until she turns heel, hijacks a Ducati, and speeds out of town! Now everyone entangled in the wedding that wasn’t takes off on an unexpected adventure of the heart: A down-on-her-luck B&B owner who needs a little help finding her own bluebird of happiness. . . . A big city cop with small-town roots who pulls over the girl he could never have. . . . A jilted groom and a Type A wedding planner with mischievous twins who discover a little chaos can make life—and love—wonderfully exciting. And of course, the caterer—a hometown girl who risks getting burned when she reconnects with an old flame.
That loving feeling is sweeping through tiny Serendipity, Texas, and second chances are turning into happy endings as sweet as the bluebirds coming home to nest . . .
|Product dimensions:||4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lori Wilde is a fifth generation Texan, a registered nurse with a specialty in forensics, and a certified yoga instructor. She’s written over seventy-five books, most of them set in her home state. She loves creating stories of stalwart cowboys and heart-melting military heroes to share with her readers.
Janet Dailey’s first book was published in 1976. Since then she has written more than 100 novels and become one of the top-selling female authors in the world, with 325 million copies of her books sold in nineteen languages in ninety-eight countries. She is known for her strong, decisive characters, her extraordinary ability to recreate a time and a place, and her unerring courage to confront important, controversial issues in her stories. To learn more about Janet Dailey and her novels, please visit www.JanetDailey.com or find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/JanetDaileyAuthor.
Allyson Charles lives in Northern California. A former attorney, she happily ditched those suits and now works in her pajamas writing about men’s briefs instead of legal briefs. When she’s not writing, she’s probably engaged in one of her favorite hobbies: napping, eating, or martial arts (That last one almost makes up for the first two, right?). One of Ally’s greatest disappointments is living in a state that doesn’t have any Cracker Barrels in it. You can find her at www.allysoncharles.com or on Twitter @authallysoncharles.
Award‑winning author Stacey Keith doesn’t own a television, but reads compulsively—and would, in fact, go stark raving bonkers without books, most of which are crammed into every corner of the house. She lives with her jazz musician boyfriend in Civita Castellana, a medieval village in Italy that sits atop a cliff, and she spends her days writing in a nearby abandoned 13th century church. But the two things she is most proud of are her ability to cook pasta alla matriciana without burning down the kitchen and swearing volubly in Italian with all the appropriate hand gestures.
Read an Excerpt
At forty, Felicity Patterson knew how to take a licking and keep on ticking. Life had kicked her in the gut, the teeth, the kneecaps ... oh, just about anywhere it was possible to get kicked and survive ... and, against all odds, she'd managed to stay perky, plucky, and optimistic.
Her resilient ability to rebound, no matter what, was why most everyone in Serendipity loved her. In fact, she was so bouncy, people said her middle name should have been Super Ball.
Until the day Aunt Molly spilled the beans.
When it happened, Felicity and her aunt were standing amidst the metal folding chairs sectioned into rows and aisles underneath the newly installed pergola in the middle of the Bluebird Inn's backyard garden. On the morning Felicity's long-held dream of turning her struggling bed-and-breakfast into a wedding venue was about to come true.
It was late March, and spring flowers bloomed in wild profusion — yellow daffodils, grape hyacinth, pink petunias. The air smelled of honey, hope, and happiness. It was seven-thirty in the morning, barely light, but Felicity had already been up for three hours, prepping for the eleven a.m. society wedding. Her first at the Bluebird. The breeze was cool at sixty-four degrees, and the forecast promised clear skies and a high of seventy-five. Perfect weather for an outdoor wedding.
The only things missing from the garden were the bluebirds that had once been so plentiful on the grounds. Several years ago urban sprawl, and the common house sparrows that came with it, had driven the migrating birds from their natural nesting grounds.
A dozen contract workers buzzed around, setting up the altar, arranging flowers, putting the finishing touches on the reception tables in the ivy-draped pavilion.
It had taken Felicity months to convince the wealthiest family in town to hold their only daughter's wedding at the Bluebird Inn. But now that she'd persuaded the Lovings (yes, they were descendants of the famed cattle baron Oliver Loving) that she was up for the task, the Bluebird was booked solid with weddings every weekend all the way through September.
What a blessing!
With more bookings and deposits coming in every day, for the first time since she and her husband, Steve, had opened the Bluebird Inn, it was running in the black. Steve would have been so proud.
At the thought of her late husband, Felicity's eyes misted. Steve had been gone two years, and, for the most part, she'd come to terms with losing him far too young, but there were times like this when grief still ambushed her.
She bit down on the inside of her cheek to stay the tears.
By all rights, Steve should have been here with her. The dream of running a B&B had initially been his. He was the extrovert who thrived on being around people. And while Felicity enjoyed people too, she was an empathetic introvert who needed to go off by herself from time to time in order to recharge her batteries. But she did love running the grand old Victorian and creating a hospitable environment for her guests.
"Sweetheart," Aunt Molly said, peering at her from behind gray, round-framed Oakleys that softened the rectangular shape of her face. "Please, don't expect too much to come of this wedding."
"What?" Felicity glanced up from where she was tweaking a large bow anchoring the aqua slipcover to a cushioned folding chair.
"I don't mean to be a downer." Her aunt's face was kind. "I just don't want to see you get hurt."
"Why would I get hurt?" Felicity cocked her head, confused. "Things have never been better. My business is booming. I've got more bookings than I can handle. Friends and family I love. I'm healthy as a horse. Life is pretty darn good."
Well, except there was no man in her world, but she wasn't sure she was ready to date anyway. Maybe she never would be, and Felicity was okay with that. She'd had her one great love. She wasn't greedy.
"Which is precisely why I'm worried." A frown knitted Aunt Molly's brow, and one side of her mouth kicked up in uncertainty. "Every time things are going good for you, bam! That old midwife's curse comes true."
"What midwife? What curse?"
"Oh." Aunt Molly exhaled sharply, shook her head, and the silver feather earrings nestled in her lobes trembled with movement. "Never mind."
Huh? Felicity straightened, squinted against the sun, scratched her head. "What are you talking about?"
"It's nothing." Aunt Molly pushed a hand through her coifed pageboy. "Do you need me to check on the caterers?"
"The wedding planner takes care of that." Felicity touched her aunt's elbow. "What did you mean by the midwife's curse?"
Aunt Molly shifted uncomfortably. "I'm being a silly old woman. Don't pay me any mind."
"You're only sixty. Far from old. What curse?"
"It's not a curse." Aunt Molly fidgeted, tugging at the collar of her blouse. "Not really. More like a prophecy."
Something niggled at the back of Felicity's mind. A memory of a disturbing encounter between her mother and an older woman who'd shown up at Felicity's high school graduation with a gift.
"You'll not poison the well, crone," Mom had hissed at the woman. Her mother was never rude, and her behavior had alarmed Felicity. "Your jinx didn't work. She's happy as a bluebird. Stay away from my daughter."
Then Mom had tossed the gift in the trash.
"Who was that?" Felicity had asked, looking longingly over her shoulder at the brightly wrapped package in the garbage can.
"A superstitious old fool," Mom had said. "Never mind her. Let's go celebrate your diploma."
Three weeks later her mother had been killed when the tractor she was riding on turned over in the pasture.
A light breeze stirred the hairs on Felicity's arms, and she shivered and met her aunt's Plymouth-blue eyes, a shade lighter than her own. "Just tell me."
"Your mother made me promise never to tell you. It was a slip of the tongue. It means nothing."
"If it doesn't mean anything, then why not tell me? All this mystery is making me itchy."
"Well, you are forty," Aunt Molly said. "Halfway through a tough life. I don't see any reason to keep it a secret any longer."
Felicity folded her arms over her chest, suddenly chilled to the bone. She wanted to go get a thicker sweater, but her aunt had perched on the edge of one of the folding chairs, blocking her way. She took a seat beside her aunt and waited.
Aunt Molly rubbed her thumb across her chin and related the tale about the superstitious midwife and the circumstances of Felicity's birth. "Your mother didn't tell you because she didn't want you to believe you were jinxed and doomed to be unhappy. She didn't believe in the curse. Not for a second."
Felicity absorbed the information, felt it hit her like the bumping updraft of air turbulence. Dozens of images tumbled through her head, starting from the day she'd heard her mother was dead.
Mom's funeral. Discovering the dark secret that her biological father was serving a life sentence for murder. The visit to the prison, finding out her father was on dialysis and needed a kidney. Donating one of her kidneys. Only to have him die on the operating table.
More events piling up, one after the other.
Complications from donating the kidney. An infection that damaged her ovaries. Her first real boyfriend joining the military right after September 11, 2001, and dying in combat training from friendly fire. A year of therapy to help her deal with all that loss. Meeting Steve, the love of her life. Things finally looking hopeful. Trying to have babies. Several rounds of IVF until they were wiped out financially. Getting pregnant during that last ditch effort, only to lose the baby in her second trimester. Steve's parents killed in a car crash and leaving him the Victorian on Bluebird Way. Struggling to make a go of turning the house into a B&B. Feeling disheartened when the bluebirds disappeared. Steve contracting cancer. Watching him fade away ...
All this by the time she was thirty-eight. One of her favorite sayings was, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. She'd picked up the pieces and carried on as best she could. Titanium had nothing on her.
People kept telling her she should write a book about her life because she'd been through so much, and she hadn't let it dampen her fighting spirit.
That was only because her mother had instilled in her faith, hope, and love. But now, to find out she'd been jinxed from birth? If she let herself look for a pattern, it was certainly there.
It was a silly old wives' tale. Logically, she knew that, but a part of her couldn't help thinking that now there was an explanation for all the crappy stuff that had happened to her.
She shook herself, slapped her palms to her knees. She didn't have time to indulge in self-pity. Her future was riding on the success of this wedding.
"Thank you for telling me. I appreciate your honesty." Felicity brushed her hands together, put on her best get-'er-done smile. "Duty calls."
"Oh good." Aunt Molly exhaled. "I was afraid you'd believe you really were jinxed."
"My mother didn't believe it. Why should I?"
"You've had so much tragedy in your life." Aunt Molly lowered her voice, touched Felicity's shoulder. "Far more than your share."
"Maybe that's true," Felicity said, putting an efficient tone in her voice. "But not because a bluebird broke its neck against the window at the moment I was born. Now ..." She firmed up her chin. "Let's get back to work."
* * *
From the moment newly retired Army Major Tom Loving laid eyes on the sexy blond innkeeper, he was smitten.
She had a bright sparkle in her eyes and a winsome bounce to her step that immediately drew his attention and his interest.
And that voice!
She stood behind a reception desk in the small front room of the Victorian house turned B&B, rearranging a lush bouquet of white lilies and singing "All of Me" in an angelic voice that could have drawn tears of joy from John Legend himself.
Tom's forty-two-year-old heart skipped a beat, and he forgot to exhale.
When she looked up and spied him standing in the doorway, clutching his backpack in one hand, her full lips melted into the most genuine smile he'd ever seen. A wide tent of a smile, big and sheltering.
One look and she made him feel like he was the only person on the face of the earth. It was compelling, and more than a little intoxicating. Strangely, Tom felt as if he'd finally come home after an interminable journey.
Truth was, he wasn't from anywhere in particular. As the son of the black sheep, Carl Loving, Tom had been raised a military brat, and he'd easily followed in his father's wandering footsteps. His older half-brother, Joe, had gone in the opposite direction, making peace with their dad's family, taking up the Loving mantel, fitting right in with kith and kin.
Tom held no grudges. The feud between his father and his uncles had never been his battle. He preferred staying clear of emotional shrapnel. He and Joe had not ever been close. They were five years apart in age, had different mothers and vastly different personalities. Joe had a shoot-from-the-hip-take-no-prisoners style, whereas Tom was a strategic team player, who listened more than he spoke. In all honesty, he'd been pretty surprised to receive an invitation to his niece's wedding.
He'd almost not come, but in the end sentimentality won out. Maybe it was time to start building bridges, reconnecting with family after a lifetime of being on the move.
The Army had taught him how to pack up, pick up, never look back, and just keep on going forward. But it had not taught him how to linger or develop deeper relationships. The ability to skim the surface was the reason he'd shaken off his divorce without too much drama. Of course, Heidi claimed that detachment was the reason for the divorce. As if sleeping with his best friend hadn't had anything to do with it.
Heidi was right about one thing. Staying in one place was hard for Tom, and two weeks into retirement, he was already at loose ends. Even though his Loving ancestral roots were sunk deep in Texas soil, and he'd been born in Wichita Falls, just south of the Oklahoma border, he'd never considered the Lone Star State home.
Serendipity, he thought as he peered in the gorgeous blonde's big blue eyes, and laughed. It was crazy really, but he couldn't help what he felt.
"Hello," she said in her soft Texas drawl, and he could hear her heritage in the way she drew out the long O. "And who might you be?"
"Running late," he said.
"Now that's an odd name, Mr. Late," she teased. "Welcome to the Bluebird Inn. Are you with the wedding party?"
He deposited his backpack on the ground, grinned like a fool at her corny joke, and strode forward, hand outstretched. "Tom Loving. I should have been here last night, but my flight out of LaGuardia got canceled. I'm sorry to have missed the rehearsal dinner. But, hey, I'm just the uncle. Hopefully, my absence was easily overlooked."
"I seriously doubt you've ever been overlooked, Mr. Loving," she said, and shook his hand with a firm, yet delicate grip.
"Flattery will get you everywhere, Miss ..."
"Mrs. Patterson," she said. "Felicity."
Fantasies that he didn't even know he was having dropped and shattered against the hardwood floor. She wasn't wearing a wedding ring, and he'd just assumed she was single.
"Your husband," he blurted, "is a very lucky man."
"I'm a widow," she said, and for a fraction of a second her dazzling smile slipped, but she quickly hoisted it up again.
Widow. A sad word, especially for a woman so young and full of life. Was it wrong that his dreams hopped right off that floor and jumped back into his chest?
"Do you have a car that needs to be valeted?"
"Oh," she said in a tone that he couldn't decipher. Did she disapprove? Or was she impressed? "Harley?"
Another tone that told him nothing. She was good at hiding her opinions. Cagey, this one. "I parked under the carport next to a green Prius. Yours?"
"Ahh," he said, serving cagey right back to her.
She smiled, a slight, but definitely amused smile. "The other members of the wedding party are already here. Some of them are in the meditation room. Others are walking the gardens. Your niece, her mother, and the bridesmaids are upstairs in the bridal suite getting ready."
"And my brother?"
"I'm not sure where Joe is at the moment. Let me show you to your room, Mr. Loving, so you can get settled before things kick into high gear. It's already nine-thirty," she said in an efficient voice, and reached for his backpack.
"No, ma'am. I'm not letting a lady carry my baggage." He grabbed for the backpack at the same time she did.
Their fingers touched.
Electricity arced between them. The old AC/DC song "Thunderstruck" bulleted through his head with the power of raw lightning, hot and powerful and stark. His heart pounded; his knees quivered; he broke out in a cold sweat.
Her eyes widened, and she jerked her hand back, tucked it into her armpit as if she'd received a jolting shock and didn't know how to shake it off. "Yes, well, okay," she mumbled, and backed up. Stuck her hands in the pockets of her blue dress with its wide, swingy skirt. "This way."
Like a cowboy taking one last deep breath before pulling up his bandana as he moved a high-plains herd, Tom inhaled from the base of his belly all the way up to his throat and followed those lovely, swaying hips.
Cowboy metaphors? Lord help him, he had been back in Texas for all of two hours, and already he was falling into the old family ways.
And for the life of him, Tom couldn't figure out if he was happy about that or not.CHAPTER 2
The Saturday morning edition of the Serendipity Gazette — yes, there was still a charmingly antiquated town newspaper sporting a surprisingly robust subscriber rate of two thousand in a town triple that population — declared it the wedding of the decade and cleared its front page to describe the setting for the union of Serendipity's hottest bachelor, Dr. Chance Worthington, to Savannah Loving, daughter of the famed ranching family.
"Lookie!" Aunt Molly waved the paper under Felicity's nose. "You made the front page!"
Indeed, two days ago a reporter had come out to photograph the grounds. The interview complimented the renovations that Felicity had undertaken in order to restore the inn to its Victorian grandeur. At the end of the article, the reporter declared the Bluebird fit for royalty and Lovings alike.
What the piece did not say was that Felicity had sunk every last penny of a hundred-thousand-dollar loan into the improvements. If the gamble didn't pay off, she could lose everything.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "A Wedding On Bluebird Way"
Copyright © 2018 Kensington Publishing Corporation.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reading ' A Wedding on Bluebird Way" by Lori Wilde and fellow authors Janet Dailey, Allyson Charles and Stacey Keith; was so much fun! This book had four parts to it and each part was written by a different author. This book was based in the town of Serendipity, Texas. Lori started the book with " The Wedding that Wasn't." This story was about Felicity Patterson and Retired Major Tom Loving. Felicity is the owner of the Bluebird Inn and Tom is the uncle of the bride Savannah Loving. The wedding of Savannah Loving and Dr. Chance Worthington is to take place at the Bluebird Inn and is the social event of the town! Felicity is counting on this event to help her to start up her new business. Chaos begins when the bride runs away! A chain of reaction affects each couple in each 4 parts to this book! Will Felicity and Tom find true love? Each has past issues that they will need to overcome before they find love! Next is Allyson Charles' " There Goes the Bride"; this story is about the runaway bride Savannah Loving and a friend from her past, Deputy Hank Evans. Hank decides to help out Savannah after she runs away from her wedding from Dr. Chance Worthington. She needs to think about her next move and to decide how to handle the mess that she has created. Hank is there for her when she most needs him and this is a surprise to them both. Will they be able to deal with the consequences that has set about a chain reaction and find love? The next story is about Hailey Deacon and her former lover, Joshua Loving. Hailey is from the poor part of town and works several jobs to make ends meet. She lives and takes care of her eccentric grandmother. Joshua is from the wealthy Loving family and is back in town for his sister's wedding. This couple have been in love since they were teenagers but circumstances came into play and Joshua went to college and left town. Hailey is working is working the wedding as a server and they meet up again. This story is about if they can overcome past obstacles and find a loving future together. The last story is by Janet Dailey and is called "Bachelor Honeymoon". This story is about Dr. Chance Worthington, the jilted groom and the Wedding Planner, Harper McClain. Chance realizes that maybe Savannah's actions may have been the best thing for both of them. He notices Harper at the wedding and is very attracted to her. Harper also thinks that Chance is very attractive also but she has her hands full with the wedding disaster! The day of the wedding has been crazy for Harper; her babysitter bailed on her and she had to bring her 4 year old twin daughters, Jessy and Jenny to the wedding. Needless to say, things start to go down from there! Her daughter's hi jinx lead to Chance saving the day and Harper and Chance meeting each other. Will their courtship end in a Bachelor honeymoon? Read this book to find out if all of these couples find their true loves and a happy future; this delightful book is well worth it!
ARC for honest review with no compensation received from NetGalley. 4.5 stars This book was a collection of four intertwined stories by four authors, Lori Wilde and Janet Daily whom I have read before and two new to me authors, Allyson Charles and Stacey Charles whom I definitely be reading again! It's well written and takes you a journey...following each couple so they can find true love, happiness and a wedding to tie it all together!
A Wedding on Blue Bird Way is a compilation of 4 amazing authors that I avidly follow. You get 4 short stories that focus around the Bluebird Inn in Serendipity, TX and the Loving Family. You get a runaway bride and so much more. My favorite quote from the book is "What takes courage is standing up for things you believe in". I received an Advanced Reader Copy from NetGallery and volunteered to write a review.
This is a collection of four wonderfully written short stories each highlighting one couple involved in a wedding that was suppose to be held at the Bluebird Inn. The authors did a fantastic job of blending all the stories as the effects of the cancelled wedding trickled down to each couple. Each of these stories are fantastic and all together they give you a very relaxing read. I highly recommend this book.
I always know that when I pick up a book by Ms Wilde, I am in for a treat. This one proved my theory. To make it even better, her story is the start of a series of stories by other talented authors, all intertwined with the wedding that wasn’t. Ms Wilde’s story, takes place in the Inn belonging to Felicity Patterson, a widow who is counting on the success of this wedding to take her Inn out of possible bancrupcy and Retired Army Major Tom Loving, uncle of the bride. I really loved that the author gave us characters in their 40s. The story was heartbreaking but also heartwarming. Allyson Charles gives us the runaway bride’s story. Loved Savannah and Deputy Hank Evans story. They were perfect for each other. Hank wanted her to be herself and not someone else just to please her parents . Great chemistry between them. Continuing with the same thread of the wedding that wasn’t, Ms Stacey Keith gives us Hailey Deacon and Joshua Loving. He is from a very prominent family and she is from the wrong side of the tracks. But they have a history. They have a history . Will they find their HEA or will they go their separate ways? Lastly, the groom that was left behind gets his story. His will be with a stressed out Harper, the wedding planner. Kudos to all the authors for creating stories that were interwoven and entertaining. I was entrusted this copy by Netgalley. The opinions expressed are solely my own.
A Wedding on Bluebird Way (Kindle Edition) by Lori Wilde, Alyson Charles, Stacey Keith and Janet Dailey.. All four stories were great and tied it all together charmingly. I am thankful to #NetGalley for getting to preview this book. THE WEDDING THAT WASN'T by Lori Wilde ...Felicity and Tom... THERE GOES THE BRIDE by Alyson Charles.. Savannah and Hank.. LOVING HARLEY by Stacey Keith... Harley and Joshua... BACHELOR HONEYMOON by Janet Dailey.. Chance and Harper (Jenna and Jesse) This book has all the feels, tears ...laughter...and Bluebirds...and of course HEA's....
Four Novellas – Four Romances – One Theme ~ WOW ~ Four wonderful stories surrounding a wedding that never happened and four couples that found love in spite of the epic event’s failure…or was it a failure indeed…that I could not put down and had to finish to find out how each story ended. The book begins with a prologue that is almost like that of a fairytale with an omen of dire events to come – but – can a jinx be nixed? Read the stories to find out! THE WEDDING THAT WASN’T by Lori Wild: Felicity has had a run of bad luck since her mother died. She has lost much but never lost her ability to bounce back from adversity. Her B&B is soon to be “THE” place for weddings and she is sure all will be well. And then…perhaps not. Tom Loving, one of the guests at the B&B, takes a fancy to Felicity, settles in to help bring back the bluebirds and the two hit it off…until something happens… This story has a slightly older couple that so deserves the HEA that they finally get! THERE GOES THE BRIDE by Allyson Charles: Savannah Loving is the runaway bride who takes off on her uncle’s motorcycle only to be pulled over for speeding. Hank Evans remembers his younger brother’s classmate, provides her with a safe place to stay and then…fireworks occur between the two of them. This story had me smiling and oh so very happy as I read of Savannah leaving behind who her parents wanted her to be while returning to the feisty strong woman she was always meant to be. LOVING HAILEY by Stacey Keith Hailey Deacon and Joshua Loving are the story of young love with a second chance. The two were a couple at eighteen and opposites not only in economic status and social standing but also in other ways – and yet – at eighteen they knew they were meant to be together. Of course something happened or there would be a second chance for the two of them and what a powerful story this one was as the two find a way for a future together! BACHELOR HONEYMOON by Janet Dailey Even the groom is given the opportunity for a HEA ending in this collection of stories as Dr. Chance Worthington finds himself helping the wedding planner, Harper McClain, out with her charming twin daughters. He is not a fan of children but when one issue after another has to be dealt with he finds himself more and more entranced and charmed by Harper and her daughters. A great addition to the collection that had me smiling often. The epilogue tied up all the loose ends in a great big happy bow leaving me eager to find out if there might be another collection to read by this group of authors. If not, I hope to find books by each of them to read in the future! Note: Sometimes I like one story more than the other in a collection like this but I have to say that I loved each and every one of these! Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars