Read Thirteen Weddings Online

Authors: Paige Toon

Tags: #Fiction, #General

Thirteen Weddings

BOOK: Thirteen Weddings
11.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Praise for Paige Toon:

 

‘A brilliant piece of chick-lit’
Fabulous Magazine
,
Sun on Sunday

‘This sparkling, sun-drenched romance is just what you need to welcome in summer’
Closer

‘Another perfect summer page-turner from Paige Toon’
Mirror

‘I loved it – I couldn’t put it down!’
Marian Keyes

‘Wonderful, addictive, sharp and sexy’
Cosmopolitan

‘Laugh-out-loud funny and touchingly honest. This is summer’s poolside reading sorted!’
Company

‘Charming and romantic. Real old-school chick-lit, like they used to make in the old days’
Lisa Jewell

‘Unashamedly girly, this is a book to bring a smile to the face of anyone who has been unlucky in love... Chick-lit at its very best’
Daily Express

‘Pure, sun-drenched escapism... the perfect summer holiday read’
Heat

‘A sun-drenched slice of chick-lit bliss”
New

Also by Paige Toon

Lucy in the Sky

Johnny Be Good

Chasing Daisy

Pictures of Lily

Baby Be Mine

One Perfect Summer

One Perfect Christmas
(eBook short story)

The Longest Holiday

Johnny’s Girl
(eBook short story)

The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson
(Young Adult)

First published in Great Britain in 2014 by Simon & Schuster UK Ltd
A CBS COMPANY

Copyright © 2014 by Paige Toon

This book is copyright under the Berne Convention.
No reproduction without permission.
All rights reserved.

The right of Paige Toon to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act,
1988.

Simon & Schuster UK Ltd
1st Floor
222 Gray’s Inn Road
London
WC1X 8HB

www.simonandschuster.co.uk

Simon & Schuster Australia, Sydney
Simon & Schuster India, New Delhi

A CIP catalogue copy for this book is available from the British Library.

ISBN: 978-1-47111-341-3
eBook ISBN: 978-1-47111-342-0

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to
actual people, living or dead, events or locales, is entirely coincidental.

Typeset by Hewer Text UK Ltd, Edinburgh
Printed and bound in Great Britain by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon CR0 4YY

For my husband Greg.
Bronte may not believe in
marriage, but I do.
You’re my Nathan/Johnny/Luis/Ben/Joe/Leo
all rolled into one . . .

Contents

Prologue

A YEAR AND A HALF LATER

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

The Thirteenth Wedding

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Epilogue

Prologue

I am
nowhere near
drunk enough. I stare with a sinking heart at the sea of neon-wearing, tutu-donning, permed-haired Madonna-in-the-Eighties wannabes going absolutely
hysterical on the dance floor below. A DJ is whipping them up into a frenzy as he hands out fluffy white tiaras to a frightening number of brides-to-be.

‘WHO ELSE IS ON THEIR HEN NIGHT?’ he shouts, and I cringe from the sound of screaming behind me.

‘HERE! UP HERE!’ Michelle yells at the top of her voice as she herds a red-faced, laughing Polly past me to the stairs. We’ve just walked in through the door on the upper
level.

‘GOOD LUCK, LADIES! ENJOY YOUR EVENINGS’, the DJ shouts, and then the bright lights over the dance floor dim and the music cranks up. Michelle’s moan at not getting downstairs
quick enough is cut off by Polly’s sudden squeal when she realises whose song is playing.

‘IT’S KYLIE!’

She clutches at me with fevered delight and drags me onto the dance floor where I plaster a grin on my face and do a reluctant Locomotion with my fellow countrywoman. I wonder how soon I can
blame my jetlag and call it a night.

‘I wish we’d dressed up’, Michelle squeals with annoyance as an Olivia Newton-John lookalike in legwarmers shimmies past.

Michelle and I are not on the same wavelength.

I don’t know her. At least, I didn’t, not before tonight. I’d never met Kelly, Bridget or Maria before, either. Polly, on the other hand, I know well. But right now, I almost
wish I didn’t.

We’ve been friends since high school in Australia, but two and a half years ago she came to the UK to work and went and got herself engaged to a Pom. They’re getting married next
week, and unfortunately, I wasn’t involved in the hen party planning, otherwise I would have made sure we were a hell of a lot drunker before dragging everyone to an Eighties club.

‘Who’s up for a shot?’ Bridget yells before the song is out.

‘ME!’ I reply, darting off the dance floor. ‘I’ll give you a hand.’

We head to the bar. ‘Shall we do tequila or vodka?’ she shouts over her shoulder.

‘Whichever’s strongest!’ I shout back, getting a look from a guy standing nearby. I smirk at him and he shrugs hopelessly in return. Hmm, he’s a bit of a hottie,
actually. His dark hair is a little longer on top and styled back off his face and he’s wearing black jeans and a light-coloured shirt with the sleeves rolled up.

‘Here you go!’ Bridget shouts, distracting my attention as she passes me a shot glass. Wow, that was quick. ‘Cheers!’ she says.

‘Aren’t we waiting for the others?’ I ask.

She knocks hers back and winces. Apparently not. I raise my eyebrows and do the same. Urgh. Straight vodka. The barman lines up six more shot glasses and fills them up. ‘I think you and I
need extra ammunition,’ Bridget says with a wicked grin, passing me three glasses and nodding in the direction of the others.

I glance at the hottie, but he’s staring straight ahead, looking utterly fed up.

We reach the other hens and hand out the shots. A couple of the girls look a bit reluctant, but drink up anyway, and then A-ha’s ‘Take On Me’ starts to play. It may be the
vodka, it may be the fact that I love this song, or it may even be because there’s at least one good-looking guy in this dive, but I feel like the night is looking up.

And then a cowboy dances into our circle and starts to gyrate against Michelle.

And – oh God – she lets him.

Bridget flashes me a ‘WTF’ look and I mirror her expression before taking in the scene. Boys are few and far between, but I can see two Michael Jacksons from ‘Thriller’,
and a Michael J Fox from
Teen Wolf
in a yellow bomber jacket and impressively hairy werewolf gloves. A man-size can of Bud beer is dancing enthusiastically with Batman and Robin a few feet
away and his costume-enclosed face is hot and sweaty.

Suddenly I miss Jason. And I really don’t want to.

My eyes involuntarily seek out the guy by the bar. He’s still there, leaning back against a pillar with his legs casually crossed, playing with his iPhone. He looks totally out of place. I
wonder what he’s doing here? I bet he didn’t come willingly.

I nearly jump out of my skin as Batman appears in front of me, the bottom of his masked face mostly taken up by a ludicrously cheesy grin as he starts to boogie on down in front of me.

I don’t think so, buddy... I duck away from him to Bridget and she gives me the universal signal for ‘another shot?’ I nod eagerly.

‘Anyone else want a drink?’ I ask the others.

Polly and Maria opt for cocktails, but Kelly and Michelle decline.

Bridget and I head back to the bar.

‘I’ll get these,’ I tell Bridget as she tries to flag down the barman. There are a few more people waiting to be served, but the bar is surprisingly not that busy. ‘You
want a cocktail as well as a shot?’ I ask Bridget.

‘Sure. Whatever you’re having.’

‘So how do you know Polly?’ I ask her.

‘Through work.’

‘What do you do?’

‘I’m a travel writer.’ She sweeps her wavy, medium-length dark brown hair over her shoulder. ‘I did a review on one of her hotel chains in Barcelona last year.
She’s sorted me out for a few freebies since.’

‘Cool.’

‘What can I get you?’

The barman has materialised in front of us so I lean across the bar and place our order.

‘Angry Birds?’
I hear Bridget exclaim after a moment and look over my shoulder to see that she’s plucked the phone straight out of the hottie’s hands. He gives her
that cute, hopeless little shrug and she hands him back his phone in mock disgust.

‘Anything to pass the time,’ I hear him reply in a deep, gently sarcastic voice.

‘What are you doing here?’ she asks.

‘Stag do.’

‘Who’s the groom?’ I chip in, passing Bridget a shot glass.

He points at the dance floor with the hand holding his phone. ‘Somewhere over there.’

‘You don’t feel like dancing?’ I ask him as Bridget sinks her shot.

‘Not drunk enough,’ he replies.

‘We can rectify that,’ Bridget says flippantly, leaning past me to speak to the barman, who’s currently shaking the shit out of a silver cocktail shaker.

‘I’m never drunk enough,’ he mutters to me.

‘I’m Bronte,’ I tell him, knocking back my own shot and grimacing. ‘Yuck.’

‘Alex,’ he replies with amusement. His eyes are blue, I think, but it’s pretty dark in here so it’s hard to tell.

‘We’re on a hen night,’ I tell him. ‘My mate Polly’s getting married next week.’ I point her out. ‘The blonde chick with her hair up in a
ponytail.’

‘You Australian?’ he asks.

‘Yep.’ There goes my accent again, giving me away. ‘I’m over for the wedding.’

‘Where are you from?’

‘Sydney.’

‘Here you are,’ Bridget interrupts with three more shot glasses.

I’m going to be off my face at this rate.
Clink!
Down they go.

The barman needs paying so I settle up, my head spinning.

I hear Bridget laugh as I try to juggle the four cocktail glasses and give up, passing one to her.

‘Catch you later,’ she says. I flash the guy a smile as she turns away and meets my eyes.

‘Phwoar!’ she mouths. ‘He’s gorgeous. Have you got a boyfriend?’ she asks as we make our way back to the girls.

‘Nope.’ Not any more. ‘You?’

‘I’ve just started seeing someone,’ she replies regretfully, adding, ‘unfortunately, otherwise I’d be majorly on the pull tonight. You should get in
there.’

BOOK: Thirteen Weddings
11.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

A Good Day's Work by John Demont
Cunning (Infidelity #2) by Aleatha Romig
Murder on Waverly Place by Victoria Thompson
One With the Darkness by Susan Squires
A Wizard's Wings by T. A. Barron
Military Daddy by Patricia Davids
The Stars Shine Down by Sidney Sheldon