There Goes the Bride

Title: There Goes the Bride - Book #1
Series:
Published by: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: March 1, 2007
Pages: 385
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There Goes the Bride

Legend claims this antique Irish wedding veil can grant your heart’s deepest desire. But be careful what you wish for…

The moment Texas socialite Delaney Cartwright touches her veil, she knows she can’t go through with her wedding. And it’s not just because she envisioned a stranger’s dark eyes and irresistible lips the second her fingers touched lace. But she can’t simply call it off. This wedding to her nice, predictable childhood friend is the social event of the season (not to mention her mother would freak). So she hatches an escape plan: she’ll hire her own kidnapper. How hard could it be? After all, she already had a practice run when she abducted her fiancé for a night of romance. Okay, so she accidentally grabbed the wrong man. It wasn’t her fault Detective Nick Vinetti with the sizzling and oddly familiar eyes and crossed her path—and looked game for all kinds of sexy fun. Now, with an altar to avoid and a cop to dream on, this runaway bride is feeling for real—and hoping a little Irish magic will unveil the true destiny of her heart.

Praise

Lori Wilde always generates a thrilling read for her readers. This one is riveting and extremely exhilarating. I found Delaney a very likeable character that is full of compassion. Nick oozes with alluring charm and one can really feel the pain that he endures with his injury not to mention what the cards have dealt for him. There Goes the Bride has tight dialogue, with some humor woven through on every page. The engaging read keeps the reader’s attention in this smooth flowing page-turner. Evan and the other well-rounded cast of characters spin a passionate, well-crafted story that is full of heart.”
4 cups—Cherokee, Coffee Time Romance

“I adored this book! I even kept it in my purse in the hopes that I would have a few minutes in which to squeeze a paragraph or two. The feelings between Nick and Delaney are immediate but I loved that they were two strong moral characters who couldn’t betray Delaney’s commitment to another man. They weren’t kept apart by any dumb misunderstandings but by circumstances that they felt were out of their control. The plot was well written and very entertaining. The characters were real and believable and I was empathic for them. I can’t wait to read the next in this wonderful new series, “Wedding Veil Wishes” from Ms. Wilde. Superb!”
4 1/2 stars—Jennifer Harden Romance Reader Connection

“This is a dynamite novel that readers will treasure for years to come. Wilde blends paranormal and mild chick lit elements, great humor and some suspense with wonderfully developed characters. Readers can really relate to them and will find themselves easily swept into this combination of Runaway Bride, Sex and the City and magic.”
4 1/2 Stars—Romantic Times

“This was a fun, sweet romance. The plot kept moving and the characters were interesting and likeable. There Goes The Bride is the first in a series. I’m looking forward to the second installment due out in 2008. If you believe in “magic”, you’ll enjoy this book.”
5 stars—Armchair Interviews

Excerpt

The summer issue of Society Bride declared the marriage of Houston’s hottest bachelor, Dr. Evan Van Zandt, to his childhood sweetheart, oil heiress Delaney Cartwright, a classic friends-to-lovers fairytale.

Texas Monthly, in its folksy way, decreed their union the high society equivalent of beef barbecue and mustard potato salad. Delaney and Evan simply belonged together.

A sentimental write up in The Houston Chronicle dubbed their romance a heartwarming Lone Star love story.

Delaney’s mother, Honey Montgomery Cartwright, pronounced them the perfect couple. Lavish praise indeed from a Philadelphia blueblood with impossibly high standards.

Her father grumbled, “This thing’s costing us more than her liberal arts degree from Rice,” as he wrote out a very large check to cover the nuptials.

And Delaney’s long deceased sister Skylar, who occasionally popped up in her dreams to offer unsolicited advice, whispered with unbridled glee, that the ceremony was a glorious train wreck just waiting to happen and she insisted on front row seating.

Skylar, being dead, could of course sit anywhere she chose. Everyone else had to cram into the River Oaks Methodist Church.

The cherry wood pews overflowed with five hundred guests, including a dozen members of the press and a sprinkling of enterprising wedding crashers. The laboring air conditioning system was no match for the double punch of a too thick crowd and sweltering, one hundred degree heat.

“Who gets married in Houston during August?” Delaney heard a woman murmur.

“I’m getting a heat rash in these panty hose,” another woman replied.

Feeling chastised, Delaney ducked her head. She stood just outside the open door of the chapel waiting for the wedding march to commence, her arm looped through her father’s.

“I heard it was originally supposed to be a Christmas ceremony, but the bride postponed it twice,” the first roman said. “Do you suppose we’ll have a runaway situation?”

“Hmm, now that would make an interesting spread in the tomorrow’s society page.”

At that comment, her father tightened his grip. No turning back now, his clench said.

Delaney’s hopes sank. Her mind spun. A coyote would gnaw her paw off.

The bridesmaids’ reached their places. Her best friend, Tish, wedding videographer extraordinaire, was filming madly. Every gaze in the place was glued to Delaney.

Everything was perfect. It was a true celebrity style wedding, just as her mother had planned. The purple orchids, accented with white roses, were on lavish display—in bouquets and boutonnières, in vases and corsages. Her size four, ten thousand dollar Vera Wang wedding dress fit like a fantasy. The flower girl was cute. The two-year-old ring bearer even cuter. And both children were on exemplary behavior. Delaney’s antique wedding veil fetchingly framed her face, even though her scalp had been tingling weirdly ever since she’d put it on.

This was it.

Her big day.

The seven-piece orchestra struck the first notes of the wedding march. Dum, dum, de-dum.

Delaney took a deep breath and glanced down the long aisle festooned with white rose petals to where Evan stood at the altar looking stunningly handsome in his tux, love shining in his trusting blue eyes.

Her father started forward.

But Delaney’s beaded, white Jimmy Choo stilettos stayed rooted to the spot. No, no this was all wrong. It was a big mistake. She had to call it off before she embarrassed everyone. Where was her cell phone?

“Delaney Lyn Cartwright,” her father growled under his breath. “Don’t make me drag you.”

A hard throb of distress surged through her temples. What have you done? What have you done? What have you done?

She forced herself to move forward. Her gaze searched for the exits–two on either side of the altar. And of course, the one directly behind her.

But Daddy wasn’t letting go.

Closer, closer, almost there.

Evan made eye contact.

Guilt whirled like a demon tornado in the pit of her stomach. She dragged in a ragged breath.

Smiling brightly, her husband-to-be held out his palm and her father put her hand in Evan’s.

Delaney’s gaze shifted from one corner exit to the other. Too late. It was too late to call this off. What time was it anyway?

“Dearly beloved,” the portly minister began, but that’s as far as he got.

A clattering erupted from behind the exit door on the left. And then, there he loomed. Dressed head-to-toe in black. Wearing a ski mask. Standing out like crude oil in a cotton field.

Thrilled, chilled, shamefaced, Delaney held her breath.

The intruder charged the altar.

The congregation inhaled a simultaneous gasp.

The minister blinked, looked confused.

“Back away from the bride,” the dark stranger growled and waved a pistol at Evan.

Excitement burst like tiny exploding bubbles inside her head. Prop gun, Delaney thought. Nice touch.

Evan stared at the masked intruder, but he did not move, apparently he had not yet realized what was transpiring.

“Move it.” The interloper pointed his weapon directly at Evan’s head. “Hands up.”

Finally, her groom got the message. He dropped Delaney’s hand, raised his arms over his head and took a step back.

“Don’t anyone try anything cute,” the man commanded at the same moment he wrapped the crook of his elbow around Delaney’s neck and pressed the revolver to her temple. The cold nose of it felt deadly against her skin.

Fear catapulted into her throat, diluting the excitement. Delaney dropped her bouquet. It was a prop gun, wasn’t it?

The crowd shot to its collective feet as the stranger dragged her toward the exit from whence he’d appeared.

“Follow us and the bride gets it,” he shouted dramatically just before the exit door slammed closed behind them.

“You’re choking me,” Delaney gasped. “You can let go now.”

He ignored her and just kept dragging her by the neck toward the white delivery van parked at the back of the rectory.

A bolt of raw panic shot through her veins. What was going on here? She dug her freshly manicured fingernails into his thick arm and tried to pry herself free.

He stuck his gun in his waistband, pulled a pair of handcuffs from his back pocket and one-handedly slapped them around her wrists.

“What is this?” she squeaked.

He did not speak. He wrenched open the back door of the van just as the congregation came spilling out the rectory and into the street. He tossed her onto the floor, slammed the door and ran around to the driver’s side.

Delaney laid face down, her knees and elbows stinging from carpet burn. She couldn’t see a thing, but she heard anxious shouts and the sound of fists pounding the side of the vehicle.

The engine revved and the van shot forward, knocking her over onto her side.

“What’s going on?” She struggled to sit. The veil fell across her face. She pushed it away with her cuffed hands and peered into the front of the van. “What’s with all the rough stuff?”

He didn’t answer.

She cleared her throat. Perhaps he hadn’t heard her. “Nice execution,” she said. “Loved the toy gun, but the handcuffs are a definite overkill.”

He hit the street doing at least fifty and she tipped over again.

Her heart flipped up into her tightly constricted throat. She dragged in a ragged swallow of air. This guy was playing his role to the hilt.

When they made it to the freeway entrance ramp, he ripped off the ski mask, threw it in the seat beside him and then turned to look back at Delaney.

Alarm rocketed through her. Saliva evaporated from her mouth. Something had gone very, very wrong.

The man who’d just taken her hostage was not the kidnapper she had hired.