Weddings From Hell Mass Market Paperback – May 27 2008
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About 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.
Kathryn Smith has always loved happy endings. From the bedtime stories her wildly imaginative mother told, to the soap operas she wasn't supposed to watch, Kathryn loved to speculate as to how the characters would end up. Needless to say the entire Smith household heard about it when things did not go as young Kathryn thought they ought. Through her school years, Kathryn wrote stories and books for her friends to read. Even during college, when she studied journalism, her need to make up her own tales often drove her to late nights at the typewriter, writing about sexy men and the women they fell in love with. Fortunately, Kathryn's idea of sexy has changed over the years. Instead of rock stars and spies she writes about lords and...well, spies. The best part is she gets to share these stories with a few more people than were in her homeroom class!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
[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.
I have never read anything by Maggie Shayne or Terri Garey, but after Weddings from Hell, I intend to!
Jeaniene Frost and Kathryn Smith are two of my favorite series writers. They both do an excellent job by creating a new story line and characters never before seen in their series. And yes, for their die hard series fans, they even sneak a few of our favorite characters in for a scene or two. There is not a lot of focus on them but just enough to make you grin.
Maggie Shayne's story centers around an ancient Scottish family curse - their spouses' infidelity is deadly for the MacLellan brides. Shayne's a long time favorite of mine (love her vamps) but while the premise and the chemistry between the leads was good, the lightspeed dating was just a bit too fast to be satisfying. There were hints of reincarnation or soul mates but not tied together well enough to make the story really work for me. (3 stars)
Jeaniene Frost's contribution is set in the world of her Night Huntress series and has several brief pop-ins by that series' hero Bones. But the hero vampire Chance is an almost as luscious. As a favor to his sire (Bones), Chance steps in to save the lovely Isabella from a coerced marriage to a would-be B-movie type mafia boss and Chance finds himself attracted to her with an intensity he's never felt before in his very long life. Isabella and Chance are every bit as good as Bones and Cat, Frost does great heroes and competent intelligent heroines well. This was fun but trying to pull Bones in felt forced and a bit hokey to me. (4 stars)
Kathryn Smith's entry gives us a vampire romance which is spin off from her regency era Templar series, Brotherhood of the Blood. Smith did a good job with her commitment phobic immortal and the forthright young woman who is deterimined to convince him that living in fear of love is really not living at all. Smith fit alot of steamy stuff into her short space, but this one lost some points for me for a crude word or two. I hate the 'P'word - my problem I know, but it really pulled me out of the scene and since this was a short story there wasn't really time to get back into it. (3.5 stars)
My favorite of the four, terri Garey gives us a little vignette with her series' heroine ghostwhisperer Nicki Styx. Here Nicki's a last minute fill-in for her cousin's wedding - someone has to wear the bridesmaids' dress from hell and Nicki's 'it'. If the banana yellow Carmen Miranda dress isn't bad enough, Nicki ends up having to deal with the ghost of the dead bridesmaid. This one wasn't a romance, even though Nicki's boyfriend is on hand to provide some sweet talking and moral support. Garey's first Nicki Styx book is sitting in my TBR pile, but this story was a well done standalone so that I still enjoyed it even with no knowledge of the series. For you fans, I am sure that it would be even more fun. (4.5 stars)
If you enjoyed these shorts, you'll definitely want to check out the authors' full length novels -- which are even better. Here's a few to get you started.
Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 1)
One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 2)
Kathryn Smith (Brotherhood of the Blood - Templar vampires)
Be Mine Tonight (The Brotherhood of Blood, Book 1)
Night of the Huntress (The Brotherhood of Blood, Book 2)
Taken by the Night (The Brotherhood of Blood, Book 3)
Let the Night Begin (The Brotherhood of Blood, Book 4)
Dead Girls Are Easy (Nicki Styx, Book 1)
A Match Made in Hell
Eternal Love (Berkley Sensation)
Demon's Kiss (Wings in the Night, Book 1)
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.
I also recommend:
Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 1)
Holidays Are Hell
Hotter Than Hell
Darkling (Sisters of the Moon, Book 3)
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