May 14 2013 1:00pm

Jilted at the Altar from Authors Bell, Kennedy, and Maguire

Down for the Count by Christine BellJilted, rejected, abandoned, left at the altar, deserted, however you want to term it, having it happen on your wedding day is not a cool thing. It is what happens directly afterward that most interests me. I love to see the heroine jump back into things. Seeing her thumb her nose at her ex, leave with another man, have a honeymoon in spite of the jerk, really fall in love and find happiness; all of these things make for a wonderful HEA.

Most of the books of this plot type, that I have read, are based off of the groom cheating on the bride. I would love to be able to find a “Runaway Bride” type book but for the plot to really work for me, the groom has to be a dastardly jerk. If he isn’t cheating or horrible how can I possibly justify the heroine hooking up so quickly afterward? Here are a couple of books that I have found with this theme:

Down for the Count by Christine Bell — Lacey finds her groom in a supply closet with one of her bridesmaids so what is she to do? Well she goes on her honeymoon with her best friend’s older brother. Galen happens to be a boxing stud with a bit of a reputation but Lacey does not care. All she wants is a good time and Galen is there to provide it.

The beauty of Down for the Count is that it combines several of my favorite tropes into one book. Jilted heroine, boxer hero, and hero having always wanted the heroine. The book has also some sneaky moments of humor that really add to the story.

Hotter Than Ever by Elle KennedyHotter Than Ever by Elle Kennedy — Claire’s groom is a no-show and it is left to his bother to tell her the wedding is off. To make matters worse, Claire and the brother, Dylan, do not like each other. Dylan still feels a sense of responsibility towards Claire so he offers up his house as a temporary getaway. The initial plot isn’t based upon cheating, but we do find out later that it might have been involved also.

If you have ever read Ms. Kennedy before you know that her books are off the charts hot and this one is no different. Along with the offer of a place to stay comes Aidan, Dylan’s lover and roommate. If you like the jilted bride theme plus go for m/m/f, then I would highly recommend reading this book.

The Wedding Fling by Meg MaguireThe Wedding Fling by Meg Maguire — Leigh and her fiancée have slowly drifted apart and she is hurt when she learns about his girlfriend. The morning of her wedding, she run off by herself and heads to Barbados on what was to be her honeymoon. Will is the pilot who flies her there; and now Will is the man with all the good gossip on the jilted celebrity.

The Wedding Fling is a fun read. Will starts off a bit sarcastic, but eventually becomes very sweet and loving. Leigh is humble for being a star and in the spotlight so much. It made her likable and down to earth. The ending is very well done and so romantic. I really enjoyed it.

One I haven’t read but have heard good things about is Mr. Rebound by Michael Cain. Has anyone read this one? What about other recommendation on the jilted theme? What are your favorites?


Jen loves a broody, alpha book boyfriend and the St. Louis Cardinals, not necessarily in that order. You can find her at Fiction Vixen and @FVJen_Cardsgirl

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Jennifer Proffitt
1. JenniferProffitt
I've read some women's fiction in the past that deals with jilting, and have occassionaly read historicals that feature this theme but by far my favorite treatment of it is in contemporaries! I know I have three new books to add to my TBR pile now!
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
I read the Wedding Fling, and I liked it--not as much as I like Meg Maguire's alter ego, Cara McKenna, but I did like it. It had a lot of real struggles for both characters to go through.
Jennifer Proffitt
3. JenniferProffitt
@MFrampton: Mind blown. Meg Maguire=Cara McKenna? Who knew! (You obviously...)
4. Scarlettleigh
I just have read several where the jilting is at the end - so I can't give you names of the books since it would spoil it. Jill Mansell is a favorite Chick Lit author and in A Walk in a Park there is a secondary romance that results in a jilting - the woman does it. In Perfect Timing, by Jill Mansell also, Poppy is a run away bride. In Beth Harbison new book Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger the heroine finds out from her future brother-in-law that her fiance has been cheating on her.
Patricia Wilkerson
5. Proofreaderpat
One of my favorites is A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh.
Jennifer Myers
6. jennyb845
@JenniferProffitt Do you remember any of the historicals? I love reading this theme.
Jennifer Myers
7. jennyb845
@MFrampton Normally I prefer Cara McKenna too because those books are steamier but have you read The Reluctant Nude? Holy smokes. Loved.
Jennifer Myers
9. jennyb845
@Proofreaderpat I know everyone loves Mary Balogh but I haven't read her yet. Maybe that is a good place to start.
Jennifer Proffitt
10. JenniferProffitt
I know Tracy Anne Warren had one, The Wedding Trap, that was a woman breaking off the engagement but she was vaguely engaged for the majority of the book. Infidelity in books is usually a deal breaker/hot spot for me in romance but I think arranged marriages of any kind, but especially in historicals, doesn't count, right? Or at least not the same way. And then there's Julia Quinn's On the Way to the Wedding, but I think that might be a broken engagement, but I can't remember exactly, @jennyb845! Let me go through my library and get back to you! I know I've read more!
Megan Frampton
11. MFrampton
@jennyb845 I have read the Reluctant Nude--that one was great. I do like the Maguire books a lot--I really liked the one set in New Zealand, Headstrong? And Trespass is awesome, too.
But I LOVELOVELOVE the McKenna books.
Jennifer Myers
12. jennyb845
Thanks! I enjoy Julie Quinn. I think I am only on book 6 of the Bridgertons though.
Jennifer Myers
13. jennyb845
@MFrampton "But I LOVELOVELOVE the McKenna books."

This is me. I am total fangirl over her books. Willing Victim- OMG.
Jennifer Proffitt
14. JenniferProffitt
@Jennyb845, yeah I think On the Way to the Wedding is like the 7th or 8th book. It's Gregory's story so he's the second youngest Bridgerton sibling.
15. pamelia
I enjoyed "Simply Irresistible" by Rachel Gibson -- bride who leaves her older fiance at the altar and takes up with a hockey star.
16. nl_bookreader
I'd suggest 'Trust Me" - it's an older novel by Jayne Ann Krentz that is a bit o' fun. I find that Krentz's work in the 90's was lighter and more fun than her more recent stuff. This is a good example of her trope of a strong woman rescuing an equally strong but emotionally maladjusted man. In Trust Me, Sam Stark gets jilted at the alter and 'Desdemona' is the wedding planner looking to get bad regardless of the wedding's cancellation. HEA is guaranteed.
17. nl_bookreader
oops! in my previous comment, the sentence should read "Sam Stark ... wedding planner looking to get PAID regardless of the wedding's cancellation." Freudian slip, maybe :)
18. Aly P
I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips' book "Call me irresistible" where the groom is dumped at the altar beacause the bride has 2nd thoughts.
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