Thomas Beckham was hours away from marrying Sophie Mellon when he discovered a lurid secret and bolted. Ten years later, he returns to Cathedral Cove after a tragic death and unresolved secrets draw him back.

Seeing Kelly Ralston, a bridesmaid at that long-ago "happily never after," brings back many memories, the most painful being that he'd desired her more than his intended.

Though they never acted on their attraction, it's long been rumored that their unrequited desire is what destroyed the wedding and ultimately drove the bride to madness. (In truth, Sophie's lineage is tainted.) Now someone is killing the members of that ill-fated wedding, and Kelly and Tom must band together to survive.

O'Brien pens her first "big" book away from Harlequin Superromance and absolutely nails it. The mistress of mood creates a haunting, palpable tension that's deliciously unrelenting. Darkly gothic and disturbing, Happily Never After is a thrill ride reminiscent of V.C. Andrews' Flowers in the Attic, with the added appeal of a robust romance and an unnerving mystery that will leave you guessing until the very end. Quite simply, you must say "I do!" to this book. (Aug., 304 pp., $5.99)
Reviewed by: 
Terri Clark