Wedding Belles

Wedding Belles

by Beth Albright


View All Available Formats & Editions


The Sassy Belles are back…

and this time, wedding bells are ringing!

Seven months pregnant and head over heels in love, Vivi Ann McFadden is busy pulling together the final details for her wedding to Lewis Heart, famous play-by-play announcer for the Crimson Tide. But with two wedding-planners-gone-wild, a psychic giving her advice, and the ceremony happening on the same day as the wildly popular Crimson Tide kickoff game, chaos reigns supreme. Luckily, maid of honor Blake O'Hara Heart is on the job. She'll tackle this wedding if it's the last thing she does!

But not everyone is cheering for the happy couple. News of the upcoming nuptials has brought Lewis's old flame back to Tuscaloosa—and she's got a secret that could mean the end of Lewis's marriage…before it even begins.

Sexy Southern fun…with a hint of magnolia!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778315292
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 07/30/2013
Series: Sassy Belles Series , #2
Edition description: Original
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 5.62(w) x 8.06(h) x 0.92(d)

About the Author

Beth Albright is a Tuscaloosa native, former Days of Our Lives actress, and former radio and TV talk show host. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Journalism. She is also a screenwriter, voice-over artist and mother. She is married to her college sweetheart, Ted. A perpetually homesick Southern Belle and a major Alabama Crimson Tide fan, she splits her time between San Francisco and, of course, Tuscaloosa.

Read an Excerpt

I still can't believe Myra Jean, the trailer park psychic, was right about everything! We wouldn't have even talked to the psychic in the first place if Vivi hadn't insisted on a reading as her wedding present. I mean, really, who asks for a visit with the town clairvoyant as a serious wedding gift from her matron of honor? And matron of honor would be me: Blake O'Hara Heart, attorney and lifelong best friend of the bride.

It all blew up after Vivi hung up from the "sample reading" phone call with Myra Jean. We were sitting in Vivi's kitchen at the oversized oak table that took up most of the room. She lived on a gorgeous plantation that had been in her family for generations. It was hot as hell in the middle of a Tuscaloosa summer. The air outside felt as if a dog were breathing on your face. Sweltering is too mild a word to describe the Deep South in early August. Still, nothing was hotter than Vivi's temper at the moment—and with a redhead, that's usually a dangerous thing.

"What the hell does Myra Jean mean, there's another woman?" Vivi slammed her hand on the table, fixin' to pitch a bridal hissy fit, which is actually in a category between hissy fit and conniption fit. Much worse than a plain ol' hissy, but not all day long like a conniption.

I watched Vivi jump up and start pacing. The sample reading had only been five minutes long, but Miss Myra Jean had given Vivi an earful, and it was enough to get her fuming. She blew a bright red curl from her eyes in frustration. Vivi Ann McFadden has been at war with her mop of red, wiry hair since childhood, always pushing it from her face or fighting with relentless tangles. But it looked striking against her year-round sheet-white skin. And she had sparkling emerald-green eyes, which she consistently paired with the reddest lips. I always thought she was just beautiful. She and I were best friends and true Sassy Belles. We'd made our little club called The Sassy Belles way back in junior high. We even had a motto: Be sassy, classy and a tad smart-assy. We'd done a pretty good job upholding that motto ever since, and considered ourselves Sassy Belle sisters in every way—except in the looks department. I'm taller by an inch—all of five foot four—brunette and busty and tan. My eyes are blue-green just like my grandmother's. But I love Vivi like she's my own flesh and blood. And I hated to see her upset like this, especially with her big day on the way.

In less than two months, Vivi was getting married to the love of her life, the Alabama Crimson Tide's star football announcer and my brother-in-law, Lewis Heart. She was due to have a full, proper psychic reading at her bridal-baby-bash shower later this month—yes, it was a combo shower since the bride would be nearly seven months pregnant at her wedding. She had thought it would be fun for everyone to have a reading as part of the shower festivities, but if this was Vivi's reaction to the sample, I knew we were in trouble.

Vivi stopped pacing long enough to get two glasses down from the cabinet and slam them on the counter. "I can't wait till my shower to see what else that woman has to say."

"Honey," I said, "she's all booked up till then."

"Well, she's just gonna have to unbook somebody." Vivi yanked open the refrigerator, whipped some ice into the glasses, then sloshed some tea on top. Some of the tea even made it into the glass. "I won't sleep a wink till I know what the hell she's talking about."

Vivi tore off a couple of mint sprigs from her plant in the kitchen window like she was ripping off Lewis's limbs. "He wouldn't do this to me," she said, slam-dunking the sprigs into our glasses. And I had to agree, after all these two lovebirds had been through, it was hard to imagine Lewis being unfaithful. I hadn't always been his biggest cheerleader, though. When he and my husband, Harry, had their falling-out years ago, I took Harry's side immediately. I'd spent years viewing Lewis through Harry's eyes, but I'd learned recently what a mistake that had been. It took a long time for me to realize just how jaded Harry was, but now that we'd separated, I'd finally begun to think for myself again. And that's when I began to see what a good man Lewis really was.

"This other woman… Maybe it's the baby," I said, trying to throw something out there that would settle Vivi down. "You've been saying all along that you just know it's gonna be a girl. Maybe Miss Myra Jean is talking about that other woman—your baby girl."

"A woman and a baby are two different things." Vivi sat at the table and crumpled up a cloth napkin before finally exhaling. "Oh, you're probably right. It's gotta be the baby. What other female would my Lewis have in his life besides me."

Vivi's voice trailed off and she looked out the huge kitchen window above the sink. She didn't look completely convinced, and, in my heart, I wasn't so sure I was right. I was just hoping Vivi could get past this news from the reading. Otherwise, that's where her mind would be till she got her answer—and right now I needed her mind on better things.

See, in the Deep South, women can wring your neck, hug your neck and bless your heart all in the same day. So I was hopeful we'd be moving away from the whole "wring your neck" mood pretty quickly. At least if she'd just say, "that ol' Myra Jean—bless her heart," then I'd know she was moving past this. I tried to change the subject.

"You know these psychics, Vivi," I said. "They always word things in the most mysterious ways—and most of it's just a bunch of malarkey anyway. Besides, we've got so much else to think about right now. I have a conference with some new clients later this afternoon, but first I'm off to meet up with the Fru Fru Affair boys to plan your shower. It's gonna be quite the shindig. They're just full of ideas and are so looking forward to doing your wedding, too." I was trying to get Vivi's mind on something other than the psychic, but I've known her for twenty-five years and she was not about to let this little bombshell go.

"But, Blake, Miss Myra said there is another woman involved. Is. That means current, like now. I'm going crazy." Vivi took a sip of tea, then got up to grab the phone. "I'm gonna call Lewis and ask what he thinks. I'm sure he can explain all this."

Oh, Lord, please don't let him answer. I crossed my fingers under the table. My prayer was answered. Lewis didn't pick up. Vivi left a message and sat back down, ready to chew on the subject some more.

"I love you, Vivi, but I have to run. Don't worry," I said. I knew that was like telling the Pope not to be Catholic.

I kissed her cheek. "Everything's gonna be fine. I promise. Lewis loves you like he's never loved anyone. You know that. I'm sure it's just the baby. And is would be the word the psychic used 'cause that baby is on the way. She's alive and kicking. I felt her myself."

"Don't forget you're meetin' me at the courthouse later to witness us getting our wedding license. Oh, Blake, I'm so excited I can hardly stand it."

"I'll be there, sweetie, wouldn't miss that for the world." The wedding was only a couple of months away, but it already looked like it might be the longest two months of my life.

I grabbed my purse and headed out the front door to my car, waving to Arthur, the gardener and Vivi's longtime friend. He waved back with a smile. Arthur had lived with Vivi's family on the planation since Vivi was a child. They'd always been close, but now that her father had passed away and her mother was living out at Splendor Acres retirement home, Arthur was the closest thing Vivi had to family out at the plantation. Over the summer, Arthur had been building a barbecue business on the side property, getting it ready for the Alabama Crimson Tide kickoff game on the first of September. That would be here before we knew it.

I drove down the gravel drive to the plantation gates and headed to my grandmother Meridee's house, thinking all the while about Miss Myra Jean's comments.

Heaven help us, they just couldn't be true. Sure, Lewis did have a reputation as a ladies' man. After all, he was tall and masculine, with wavy dark hair and adorable dimples, and his blue eyes were just too gorgeous to belong to a man. Women love his confidence and flirty personality, but it was clear to all of us that he really loved Vivi.

But between managing the wedding planning and an emotionally high-strung pregnant bride, I was beginning to feel like a ringmaster overseeing a three-ring circus gone wild. And now, because of Vivi's meltdown, I was probably going to be late to meet with the event planning dream team.

Coco and Jean-Pierre, who we'd hired to plan the wedding and shower, were meeting with me at Meridee's about Vivi's upcoming bridal-baby-bash. They owned an event planning and catering business called A Fru Fru Affair, and their choice of a company name pretty much summed up their fun flamboyant personalities.

In high school, they were known as Craig and John-Paul, but in the process of launching their business, they decided they needed something with a little more style. Now almost no one called them by their given names except for my grandmother Meridee and my mother, Kitty, who had both known the boys since they were children.

Coco and Jean-Pierre always disagreed about taste and style, but somehow, in the end, they would pull off the most amazing events. Some of their ideas were totally off the wall. Like the time they wanted the groom to skydive into the ceremony…but his aim was a tad off and he ended up in the Warrior River. Another time they threw a Tarzan-themed wedding and the bride was supposed to swing in on a vine. She hit the minister by mistake. Vivi's dream was much simpler—and a whole lot safer. She only wanted to be a princess, and it was my job to make sure they didn't have her ride down the aisle bareback.

A pregnant woman should not be on a horse.

Yet even with this meeting to keep me occupied, I had to admit, I couldn't stop thinking about this other woman the psychic mentioned. I had known Miss Myra Jean most of my life and, strange as it may seem, she was usually right…in her own special way.

Well, I told myself for the hundredth time, Vivi is getting her wedding license in just a few hours and then the other woman, whoever she is, won't matter. I kept repeating that, but somehow I wasn't totally convinced.

I arrived before Coco and Jean-Pierre, entering the kitchen where Meridee was standing in her apron at the stove, humming "Summertime." I felt that instant sedative that always kicks in the second I enter Meridee's house and see her busy making something delicious to eat. Being here always settled my nerves, no matter what was going on.

"Hey, Nanny." (Hey is the way we greet each other down South. I can't remember anybody ever saying Hi. And hey is almost always followed by a hug, unless you're a man.) I leaned in and hugged her hello. She smiled and kissed my cheek just as the Fru Frus rang the doorbell.

"Hey, baby girl," Coco called, then shot me an air kiss as he stepped inside. He took in my red pencil skirt, sleeveless navy blouse and white pearls. "You are rockin' the patriotic look big-time today."

He hugged me, then stepped back. "Are you wearing MAC Red Ruby Woo lipstick?"

Stunned, I nodded my head.

"I knew it. That is the best 1940s red I have ever seen."

Jean-Pierre walked in right behind Coco. "Oh, precious, that red, white and blue outfit is so summer, so July, so America, so…future senator's wife."

Cringing a bit, I hugged Jean-Pierre, too. Harry's run for senator was exactly the reason we'd kept our separation a secret. Despite our differences, I still wanted to support Harry through this major turning point in his career. And I knew how difficult it would be for him to present himself as Senate material with nasty divorce gossip spreading all over town. We'd decided not to announce anything about our split until after the election. And that meant suffering quietly through awkward moments like this one.

He inhaled deeply. "Miss Dior perfume. Heavenly," he said all singsongy.

He hugged Meridee next. "Oh, my, and you are wearing Charles of the Ritz. I am inspired by you already."

They were a sight for sure, both of them tall and skinny and immaculately dressed. Coco had long sandy hair and beautiful ocean-blue eyes. He had an angular jaw and a wide, warm megawatt smile. He was so tan. He loved wearing bright-colored skinny jeans and striped short-sleeved shirts. He usually wore a long knotted scarf around his neck and a beret on his head. He just loved his namesake, Coco Chanel. And French was his style in a nutshell.

Jean-Pierre was a little more understated. He had long spiky dark hair and green eyes. His clothes were usually less flashy, but still fashionable. Today he wore skinny black jeans and a dark dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up, his arms full of books and planning agendas. He looked more studious in his black thick-rimmed glasses. He was sarcastic and dry, while Coco was more quick and funny and much louder.

Coco scanned the room, looking beyond the doorway, as well. "Is this the venue for the big double event? We can work with this, sugar! So much space."

"We can even use the big yard outside," Jean-Pierre said.

My grandmother laughed. "Oh, gosh, honey, not outside unless you want big ol' mosquito bites all over our momma-bride. That yard is a feeding ground this time of year!"

"She sure would be a sight," Coco said. "I hear welts are the new black."

Jean-Pierre smiled. "Very funny. Indoors it is. What are we talking about for space?"

"Mostly the living room, kitchen and dining room," I said. "Meridee has given us the go-ahead to decorate anything we want. We should talk about the shower theme, though. I want it to be really fun."

"Honey, there's no way it won't be a blast," Coco reassured me. "I've already come up with an invitation idea. Picture this…" He gestured as if reading from a theater marquee. "The Bride We Are Lovin' Has a Bun in the Oven. Don't y'all just love that?" Coco was so proud of himself.

Meridee stood in the living room doorway, her eyes bugging out of her head.

"Oh, my, we'll have to talk about that a bit later," I said, trying to be nice. "That theme might need a few revisions."

"Can we run down and see the basement?" Jean-Pierre said. "We wanna party all over this house."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Wedding Belles 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Richard1 More than 1 year ago
Beth Albright is clearly among the up and coming authors. She carried the characters over into this book from her original book: Sassy Belles. As a reader of both books I believe this one surpassed the first one in terms of literary content. Beth is a great story teller and all southerners can relate to the characters in the book. As a football fan I found Lewis, the Tide Announcer, very interesting. A GREAT READ for all who love mystery and intrigue!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Again these belles have me under their spell!  This hilarious, heartwarming and suspenseful book has it all – some hot and heavy romance, an intriguing mystery and laugh out-loud comedy .  We pick up the story of Blake and Vivi – two southern belles we met in the awesome prequel “The Sassy Belles.”  This time wedding plans go awry when pregnant bride Vivi unveils (so to speak) her  groom to be’s (the Crimson Tide’s radio play by play announcer)  secret past.  The fun just takes off from there.  There’s a trailer-park psychic, some outrageously flamboyant wedding planners and enough down-home southern charm that even made this “Yankee” long for a life below the Mason Dixon.  Albright captures it all with witty dialog, and page-turning suspense. I got hooked on these characters when I picked up my wife’s copy of “Sassy Belles” and I have to admit that I went out and bought 2 copies of “Wedding Belles” – one for her and one for me. The southern flavor is everywhere – in fact there’s even a deep-south smorgasbord of recipes in the back of the book!  With a homemade fried green tomato in one hand and “Wedding Belles” in the other,  this is about as close as you can get to Tuscaloosa without actually stepping foot in Bama. Pass the cobbler and bring me the next installment!!      
HarlequinJunkie_ More than 1 year ago
In Wedding Belles by Beth Albright, It's a good thing Blake O'Hara Heart dearly loves her best friend Vivi Ann McFadden, considering the chaos she's enduring to create the wedding of Vivi's dreams. Vivi is finally tying the knot with her longtime love, and baby daddy, Lewis Heart in their hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. But of course nothing can be simple. Ever. From the moment they get their marriage license the drama begins and poor Blake, being the matron of honor, has to keep everyone and everything on the straight and narrow. The work just never ends as Blake also has to deal with clients at her local law firm and help Lewis figure out what an estranged woman from his past really wants. In the midst of the wedding drama, she's worried about her soon-to-be-ex-husband's senatorial race and how to stay away from the hunky homicide detective she's attracted to. Throw in a psychic and meddling family members, and you've got a recipe for some Thelma & Louise type of fun and insanity. Wedding Belles was an absolute hoot! Beth Albright has pulled me into another Sassy Belles novel and managed to not only keep me completely entertained but she also left me wanting more. (This was book two, and there is a book three, by the way...Sleigh Belles.) I love her writing style. It's full of Southern charm with witty, snappy dialogue and lots of slapstick humor. And not only is this a story about friendship and romance, but there is also a whodunnit aspect to the plot as well. This is written from Blake's point of view again and I must say, she hasn't lost any of her sarcasm or sisterly love for her best friend Vivi. Reading about all of their trials and tribulations on their path to get Vivi and Lewis to the alter was beyond hysterical. I mean, from the Fru Fru boys planning the wedding to Harry, Dog, it was laugh-out-loud fun. But I can't neglect to mention that there are also plenty of heartfelt moments mixed in with Southern traditions, a strong sense of community and love. Lots and lots of love. It is mainly about Vivi's wedding, after all. ;) We also get to see Blake and Sonny's relationship grow and change in this installment of the Sassy Belles series. They have a complicated past, which when coupled with the current status of Blake's marriage, makes for a drama filled story. I truly enjoyed Sonny's character. I think he's portrayed well, showing his tough homicide detective side at work and his flirty, sexy side when he's with Blake. Their dialogue, in particular, was enough to make a girl swoon. Or at least need a tall glass of sweet tea! I highly, highly recommend Wedding Belles. If you're looking for a fun contemporary romance that is a quick, enjoyable read, full of sisterhood, definitely look into this series. Now I can't wait to dig in to book three! And as the Sassy Belles motto goes: 'Be sassy, classy and a tad smart-assy.'
CatmomJD More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It's full of great southern charm and lots of fun. It has a little bit of everything for any reader to enjoy. Vivi's wedding day is coming up and all sorts of events take place trying to ruin the day. Will she pull it off or will it be bad luck as the psychic claims? There is a murder mystery which has ties to Lewis, Vivi's future husband. Can they solve the mystery before the big day? Blake is in love with Sonny, but married to Harry until his political campaign is over. They have to keep it quiet because nosy Dallas, the news reporter, has been looking for a big story. But, Blake has too many feelings about Sonny's job as a homicide detective. Can she trust him enough to stay with him or will she call it quits because of her fears of losing him? I can't say too much without giving away too many spoilers. So, I will leave it this. Read this book. You'll love it. Wedding Belles is the second book in the series. I didn't read the first before reading this one. But, I totally fell in love with the characters. I will definitely go back and read Sassy Belles and can't wait to read Sleigh Belles.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has it all!!! Mystery Romance and laugh out loud dialog! I loved this book and cannot wait for more from the new hilarious souther author!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wedding Belles was the fun, sexy book I needed to get me through the August heat.  Beth Albright knows how to keep me i suspense and laughing right up to the final moments of the big wedding on the afternoon of the opening of football season for the University of Alabama football team.  These sassy belles come alive for me as the handle or mishandle love complications, pregancy, the wedding planners--the Fru Fru Boys, and the disturbing revelation about the groom to be.  Meanwhile a  torrid love affair goes on with Blake and and old flame from her college days.  Every chapter ends with a zinger to keep me reading.  I liked Sassy Belles and love Wedding Belles.  Oh yes, the recipes at the end of the book sound pretty good and easy to give me a tast of the deep South. 
SharonRedfern More than 1 year ago
They’re baaaccckk-the wacky duo from “Sassy Belles” Blake O”Hara Heart and Vivi Ann Macfadden, return in another book about life in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Being a New England girl, I love reading books about life in the South. Blake and Vivi have found love in their lives and Vivi is getting ready to marry her man, Lewis when they discover he has been legally married to a stripper he pretend married in college. Vivi is pregnant so a delay in the nuptials is not an option and Blake, along with her lover Sonny, ends up as part of an investigation into the background of Lewis’s long forgotten “wife”. Sonny is the head of the local law enforcement and he and Blake reconnected in the previous book. Blake is technically still married to local politician Harry Heart but only until the election is over as their marriage is dead in the water. I really enjoyed the machinations that Blake and Vivi went through to get Vivi and Lewis to the altar. The wedding planning with the Fru Fru boys was hysterical and the villainess Dallas Dubois also makes a return appearance. Blake and Sonny are a great couple with a lot of heat between them. Vivi and Lewis are just too cute together and the events leading up to the wedding give a perfect look at what their lives will be like together. This is a really good summer read. I would recommend reading Sassy Belles first if possible because it fills in a lot of the history between all of the players. The third book in the series “Sleigh Belles” is due in September. If it is anything like the first two books it should be a fun book to read