Something Blue

Say “I do” to this collection of sweet wedding-themed romcoms from the team who brought you the USA Today Bestseller Christmas Actually!

Petals and Playlists by Lacey Baker

Short-staffed and not in the mood for wedding day excitement, Emory Bellson is forced to DJ a reception or risk bad publicity from one of the most notable brides in Miami. When she’s somehow roped into standing in the line of single women and ends up catching the bouquet, she thinks the day couldn’t possibly get any worse. Except it does, the moment she notices the groomsman who catches the garter, Hayden Rivers, is also a guy she’d dated and ghosted three years ago.


Four Weddings and an Almost Funeral by Teri Wilson
The Custom-made Bridesmaid by Caro Carson
Something Borrowed by Cassidy Carter
Always You by Melinda Curtis
Love By Accident by Marianne Evans
The Wedding Rivals by Nicole Flockton
Second Chance Sweetheart by Shirley Jump
Something Lost Something Found by Makenna Lee
Wedding at Winding Woods by Janice Lynn
A Wedding at the USO by Tif Marcelo
Her Purrfect Plus One by Robyn Neeley
A Wedding to Remember by Annie Rains
Then, And Now by Susan Sands
Always & Furever by Victoria Schade
Wedding Veils & Puppy Tails by Lizzie Shane
The Groom That Got Away by Sasha Summers
The Perfect Fit by Roe Valentine


Something Blue


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Chapter One

            All the single ladies…put your hands up!

            Emory stepped back from the DJ table, watching as the crowd of women in the ballroom did exactly as she and the Beyoncé song encouraged them to do. With a smile and nod toward the group of three women dancing their way to the center of the room, she mimicked their movements by putting her hands up and bopping her head to the beat of the music.

While the reason she found herself at the Journey Sands Resort was a paying job for a high-profile client, everything she did standing behind that table, every song she cued via her laptop connected to the console, was second nature. Music was in her blood. Had been since she was a toddler moving her tiny body anytime her parents turned on a radio. It was no wonder she’d gone to college to study music and had opened a company that would allow her to be fully ensconced in her passion while putting food on her table.

The bouquet toss would take a few minutes as Kimberly’s bridal party had a dance and photo op planned for this segment of the wedding reception. Emory was thirsty and since she’d had to travel down to Key Biscayne to fill in for one of her staff who’d bailed at the last minute, there’d been no time to find an assistant to travel with her. But she’d done DJ gigs the four years she was in college and then the first two years she’d spent getting her business off the ground. She could handle one job alone after focusing the last five years on the administrative aspects of Worthy Entertainment. Besides, her equipment allowed for some pre-programmed songs and it wouldn’t take her that long to grab a drink and return.

All the single ladies! All the single ladies!

She sang along and danced her way over to the punch table where she picked up a glass and allowed the attendant behind the table to pour what she presumed was a fruity drink into it. Sipping and moving to the beat she looked around the room at all the people who’d traveled to this resort to celebrate the wedding of the senator’s daughter, Kimberly Roc and businessman, Martin Willis. Weddings were a big part of Emory’s yearly income, but she didn’t picture herself having one. Not after her parents’ divorce anyway.

There should be a law against parents stealing all the fanciful ideas of a princess-like wedding from their six-year-old daughter. Then again, it’d never seemed quite ordinary that a six-year-old had already thought extensively about what type of wedding she’d have. Emory blamed her huge Barbie doll collection for that. Just like she attributed her childhood loneliness to her father who’d remarried and started another family in Boston. In equal parts she held her mother accountable for dedicating every moment to her real estate agency and subsequently ignoring her only child. If it hadn’t been for her maternal grandparents, Emory might’ve starved or worse, thought that Ken and Barbie were actually her real family.

Tucking that memory firmly in the back of her mind where it belonged, Emory took a long swallow of the juice that she was certain would turn her tongue red. For like the hundredth time in the past hour and a half, she glanced around the ballroom. The Journey Sands Resort was the epitome of luxury nestled along the coast of the five-mile barrier island of Key Biscayne. In addition to extensive meeting spaces, an array of recreational activities and restaurants including five-star oceanfront dining, there was a picture-perfect oceanfront wedding venue. After she’d arrived earlier this afternoon, she’d come straight to the ballroom to get set up. But since there’d still been time before the wedding, she’d also made her way outside to where rows of white cushioned chairs had been neatly lined to face an arch covered in pink and white roses and ranunculus. Just beyond that arch was a stone walkway of about eight to ten feet that gave way to the sand and the sparkling blue water that stretched to the horizon.

The sight had taken Emory’s breath away and circled her mind back to the wedding she’d once dreamed of, but knew she’d never have. With that very cynical and also very true thought, she emptied the glass of punch with another gulp and then made her way back to the table. But before she could slide behind it, a hand touched her shoulder.

“Oh no you don’t, you can’t escape,” an exuberant woman wearing a cotton candy pink gown signifying that she was part of the bridal party, slipped her arm around Emory’s shoulders and turned her toward the dancefloor. She was Bridesmaid Number Five—named that because she’d been fifth on the list Emory had read from as they walked into the ballroom about an hour ago. There’d been other names on that list, a lot of them. One in particular that she’d also tried to brush off.

“We want all the single ladies on the floor!” Bridesmaid Number Five continued, effectively snatching that wayward thought of the familiar name from Emory’s mind.

“Wait? What? I’m the DJ,” was Emory’s quick and slightly confused reply. “I do the countdown to the toss.”

Bridesmaid Number Five shook her head, shoulder-length auburn curls bouncing with the motion. “Nope! Not this time. Kim says she wants all the single ladies on the floor to try and catch the bouquet.”

They were steadily moving, albeit without Emory’s verbal consent, to the center of the room. At first glance it looked like at least fifty women were already standing on the dancefloor after having watched the bridal party dance around Kim who beamed in her pristine white sweetheart gown.

“How do you even know I’m single?” Emory asked and resisted the urge to make a scene by forcefully yanking away from this woman’s grasp.

Bridesmaid Number Five jovially pointed at Emory’s left hand. “No ring! Now come on, she’s about to make the toss.”

No ring could’ve meant she wasn’t married, then again, it didn’t really signify that. Lots of women didn’t wear wedding rings. Right? Well, for certain, lots of men didn’t. Anyway, Emory could’ve walked off the floor. She could’ve reminded the woman about something called personal space and told her that she was only here to do a job, not be a full participant in the wedding activities. But then, the check for payment of services made out to Worthy Entertainment had been signed by Nathaniel Roc, U.S. senator and founder of Roc & Associates, the prestigious law firm where his wife, Joleen, was a principal partner. Two very influential people who could make or break Emory’s career in the event entertainment industry if they had bad comments to share about their only daughter’s wedding.

Great. The word sarcastically bounced around in Emory’s mind as she rolled her eyes and came to a stop front and center on the dancefloor where the studious bridesmaid deposited her.

In addition to not wanting to piss off the senator and his wife, Sutherland Events was Miami’s premier event planning company. Ralf, one of the lead event planners from Sutherland was in charge of this wedding. It had taken Emory eighteen months to land on their preferred vendor list. This was her fourth event with them under that status and the last thing Emory wanted was a complaint from a client to get back to Sutherland. So, she stood there and even managed a stiff smile as the photographer snapped one photo of the group after another.

An extremely southern-accented voice sounded throughout the room just as the music stopped and Emory glanced over to her table to see the very pregnant Bridesmaid Number Two standing with the mic in her hand. Ralf, with his toothy smile and blush-colored suit, stood beside her. Emory hoped that meant he approved of them dragging her onto this floor.

“Alright y’all, let’s get this rollin’,” Bridesmaid Number Two said. “Kim you ready?”

Kim held the smaller version of the bouquet she’d carried down the aisle, filled with pink and white ranunculus, and ivory baby roses. Her long ginger-colored hair had been piled on top of her head in a messy bun that perfectly showcased the diamond-encrusted tiara she wore. “I’m ready!” Kim yelled. “Are y’all ready?”

Every one of what now realistically looked like about thirty women around her, cheered in response. Emory folded her arms over her chest, then immediately dropped them when she glanced up to see Ralf staring directly at her. Great. Now, he was watching her.

She let her arms fall to her sides and squared her shoulders. Willing another smile to spread across her lips she stared straight ahead, fully intending to watch that bouquet soar high over her head and into the hands of one of these other enthusiastic single ladies.

But something else happened. As Bridesmaid Number Two gave Kimberly the countdown starting at five, Kimberly reared her arm back and let that bouquet fly on the count of four instead of waiting until her bridesmaid got to number one. This—which was most likely the intent—caught everyone off guard and sent the women closest to Emory scrambling in front of her to make the catch. But instead of any of them grabbing the prize, they tripped over each other and hit the floor in a pile of frilly pink bridesmaids’ gowns and other formal wear, while Emory stood there, hands still at her sides.

The bouquet smacked her against the side of her head. On reflex her arms shot up creating a cradle for the bundle of flowers to land safely.

“Oh look! Our fabulous DJ has caught the bouquet!” Bridesmaid Number Two squealed.

Emory looked down at the flowers and her arms shook with the urge to let them fall to the floor. It was the applause from the guests and quick arrival of Ralf by her side that kept her from doing so.

“Marvelous! Simply marvelous!” he crooned. “I love how you totally get into the spirit of your events.”

A nervous chuckle bubbled up from the center of her chest. “Yeah, I uh…love it too.”

That lie carried her back to her table, along with the bouquet, as she refocused her mind and immediately cued the music for the garter toss. At least this was one thing she felt safe nobody would come and drag her onto the floor to participate in.

She half-heartedly paid attention to the garter toss, preferring to stare at the music line-up she’d gone over with Ralf two days ago. There were three songs programmed after this, then the cake cutting, and then they’d get back into party mode. She had line dances and the bride and groom’s favorite 90’s tunes on tap to carry them through the rest of the evening. Then the part she loved most about DJing would kick in—she’d get to interact with the guests in a way she was familiar with. Through the second language of her life—music.

Out of the corner of her eye she caught a glimpse of pink. That bouquet was really pretty close up. The flowers were fresh and smelled like spring. The mixture of hot pink and the cotton candy pink that matched the bridesmaids’ gowns perfectly, with the soft touch of the roses, was simply lovely and somewhere deep inside she sighed.

Her colors were going to be yellow, blue and white. The palest yellow like butter and the blue that matched the sky. As she’d lain on the floor on her stomach walking her dolls into the toy dream house she’d gotten that Christmas, six-year-old Emory had told herself she loved those colors and that they’d look lovely for her big day.

“Twenty-seven-year-old Emory needs to get a grip,” she mumbled and pushed the bouquet back behind the control deck.

Out of sight. Out of mind.

Except Ralf was at her side once again, tugging on the sleeve of the ivory jacket she wore. “C’mon, you have to take pictures with the guy who caught the garter.”

No way. The two little words were on the tip of her tongue, when she watched Ralf snatch up the bouquet and thrust it toward her.

“Let’s go!” He clapped and turned to walk away while Emory once again held the flowers in one hand.

With her free hand she initiated the next song, then stepped away from her table again, this time following Ralf to wherever these pictures were being taken. A few quick shots and she’d be back to work.

She planned to smile prettily and perhaps pose a bit in the new pantsuit she’d worn today. She even had on a pink camisole beneath the jacket. Her way of matching the color scheme. That had been a good choice since she’d noticed Ralf had done the same.

“Okay, we’re gonna need you two to get close and smile like the next bridal portrait will be your own!” Ralf was talking to the lucky garter catcher just as Emory stepped around him.

As she’d just told herself, she was already prepared to smile and get this over with when her gaze met the guy’s holding the garter. “Hayden.”

end of excerpt

Something Blue

is available in the following formats:

Artistry Publishing

May 17, 2022



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