Weddings From Hell is another paranormal anthology in the vein of Dates From Hell and Holidays Are Hell. Pick a theme and throw some popular paranormal romance or urban fantasy authors at it. And just in time for wedding season we've got this collection of tales sure to make your horrific bridesmaid dress woes and cold-feet fly right out the window.
[Till Death by Maggie Shayne] is the first offering in the anthology. When a heartbroken witch of the McLellan clan lays a curse on the women of her family they are cursed to either die at the hands of their cheating husbands or never know love. When Aunt Iris passes away and Kira heads to Scotland for the will reading the last thing she expects is to encounter ghosts or start falling for handsome family friend Ian Stewart. Can she break the curse and find her happily-ever-after?
I've never actually read anything by Shayne, though I have several of her books waiting to be read. This story was short, cute and felt only slightly rushed by the limited time frame. But what really impressed me was her well written dialog, her Scottish brogue was near flawless and read so well! Can't wait to get caught up enough with other books so I can start reading hers!
[Happily Never After by Jeaniene Frost] is the second tale, when grandma Greta's grandson and grandaughter get into trouble with a local mob-wannabe she calls in a favor from her vampire buddy Bones. Happy to serve, Bones sends in Chance to look after Isabella and hopefully find her missing brother Frazier. Unfortunately Frazier is likely in the hands of Robert Bertini, who has strong armed Isa into marrying him. But Chance isn't about to let the strong and independant woman marry the murderous lout, especially not since he himself is falling for her. Will he be able to save her brother and prevent her from this forced marriage?
Another author I've not read, but she's on my wishlist. This story was amusing with its intentional mobster cliches and the banter between Isa and Chance. If the writing here is any indication of Frost's writing for her series I doubt I'll be dissappointed when I get my hands on it.
[Ghouls Night Out by Terri Garey] is the third story, introducing us to Nicki Styx (who has her own series--2nd book comes out later this month). When Nicki's cousin needs a bridesmaid who is she to deny the family, even if it means dressing up in a pineapple yellow dress meant for the bride's best friend Michelle who just so happens to be dead! Of course, no one knows about Michelle's death yet so when she appears to Nicki, she can't help but feel compelled to help find out what happened. Will Nicki find out what happened to Michelle before it's time to kiss the bride?
This story ended up being my favorite in the anthology. I've never read Garey's first novel as it never hit my radar, but now I'm thinking I should hurry up and get it going! The redneck comments got a little judgemental at times but the stereotypes were nicely handled. Anyone who has some redneck relatives will likely find the entire wedding planning to be realistic and amusing, bachelorette party at a country bar complete with Shania Twain karaoke and round after round of beer anyone?
[The Wedding Knight by Kathryn Smith] was the final story, rounding out the anthology with a historically set scene. When Payen Carr returns to London the last thing he anticipates is that he's arrived on the eve of Violet Wynston-Jones' wedding. When he realizes that her groom-to-be is a member of the Order of the Silver Palm--a group of former Templars seeking the Blood Grail and the destruction of the vampires who protect it--he can't let the wedding happen. But he has other reasons for wanting to stop the wedding as five years ago he and Violet shared one blissful night in which she proclaimed her love. If Payen stops the wedding will he be doing it to protect her from the Order or because of his own unspoken love for Violet?
Another author I haven't read, but have her series sitting on my shelves waiting--this short storty turned out to be my least favorite. I'm not sure if it was because of the historical setting or because I felt like I didn't get enough back story. Maybe a little of both. The dialog was a little dull and very little descriptive scene setting took place to frame out the world in my mind. I believe this story ties directly into her series though so fans of it might enjoy the side trip.
Overall this was a really enjoyable anthology. Three authors I was interested in and hadn't read gave me a good taste for what they write and an author I hadn't even noticed yet smacked me between the eyes and made me take notice. From what I do know of the authors and their series Frost's ties into hers as does Garey's and Smith's. I can't say about Shayne's but I get the impression this is just its own story but well worth reading to feel out her style.