Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
Stats for my copy: Mass market paperback, Harper, 2008.
How acquired: Bought.
TILL DEATH, by Maggie Shayne
This is my first time reading Maggie Shayne, though a quick count shows I have around 12 other books in my TBR by her, although half of those seem to be omnibuses with other authors.
When Kira was seven her mother died in a freak accident, and her father took his own life not long after. Now, eighteen years later, Kira receives a call from Scotland, advising her that a relative has died and she needs to come to Scotland for the reading of the will. There she meets her mother's family for the first time – several assorted, unmarried aunts – and learns of a curse placed on the family line – that MacLellan women are always killed at the hands of their husband. She also meets Ian, one of her family's solicitors, who she is instantly attracted to. A short novella but with so much packed into those 91 pages. I really enjoyed it and obviously need to read more of Ms. Shayne.
HAPPILY NEVER AFTER, by Jeaniene Frost
This story is the reason I bought the book. I love Ms. Frost's Night Huntress series, so I was looking forward to this story set in that universe. It's been awhile since I finished the Cat and Bones books, but I think Chance and Isabella, the hero and heroine of HAPPILY NEVER AFTER, had made an appearance in one of the books. I vaguely remember their names.
Isa is engaged to the local mob boss, Robert Bertini. Or at least Robert thinks she is. Isa's brother, Frazier, has disappeared, after begging Isa to go along with the engagement for the time being. So while she can't stand Robert, she's pretending to be love struck. Meanwhile, Isa's grandmother, Greta, knows something's up, but doesn't know what. So she contacts her old friend, Bones, a vampire, and ask him for help finding Frazier. Bones passes the assignment on to another vampire, Chance. I liked Isa, and I liked Chance. He's no Bones, but then who is? I enjoyed the story, and for readers who've not yet been introduced to the Night Huntress series, it's a good peek at what kind of vampires inhabit that universe. But it didn't quite grab me the way the Cat and Bones books did.
GHOUL'S NIGHT OUT, by Terri Garey
This story just blew the others right out of my head. I'm very anal about reading series books in order, and I had looked up each story ahead of time, but somehow I missed the fact that this story was part of a series. Otherwise, I would not have read it until I found the rest of the Nicki Styx books and had read them in order up to where this one comes in (number 2.5 per Goodreads). But I am really glad I read it because I loved it. I loved Nicki. I loved the idea of her seeing spirits and reluctantly helping them with whatever they need help with before they can go into the light, ala Jennifer Love Hewett in “Ghost Whisperer”, which I just happen to be streaming on Netflix.
In this story, Nicki's cousin Debbie has asked her to be a last minute bridesmaid in her wedding. Nicki doesn't want to, especially after seeing the hideous dress she must wear, but she knows her late mother would expect her to. While at a fitting for the dress, Michelle walks in and demands to know why Nicki is wearing her dress. Turns out Michelle was supposed to be the bridesmaid, but after a fight with Debbie she stormed off and was never heard or seen from again. Nobody realizes that she's dead, including herself.
I loved Nicki, and her interactions with Michelle. I loved the way Michelle's appearance changed depending on her mood or what she remembered. We also meet Nicki's boyfriend Joe, and while he didn't actually appear until halfway into the story, I loved him.
I started drifting away from paranormal romance because I got burned out on vampires, but ghosts still fascinate me,and I am very eager now to find the rest of the Nicki Styx books.
I did not read the fourth story in the book, THE WEDDING KNIGHT, by Kathryn Smith, because I know it's part of her Brotherhood of the Blood series, and I have the first three books already, so I plan to come back to this book and read THE WEDDING KNIGHT when I reach that point in the series. I know, I know, when these stories appear in these omnibuses like this they're supposed to work as standalones, but still.