Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Honeymoon Roulette by Irene Woodbury - Book Tour

To marry or not to marry Connor J. Barrington?

That is the question…

By Irene Woodbury

Author: Irene Woodbury
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 180
Genre: Women's Fiction / Dark Humor

To marry or not to marry Connor J. Barrington? That is the question Roxy Drake faces one hour before her wedding, when she discovers her handsome fiance may have murdered his first two wives. Did Connor kill Annie and Charlotte, or simply let them die? Does Roxy become wife number three, or the runaway bride from hell? Find out in the darkly funny Honeymoon Roulette.


Honeymoon Roulette is funny and off the average track of love and romance stories. Honeymoon Roulette was a very quick and fun read. It was impossible not to love Roxy and share in the troubles she got herself into at every turn. There is plenty of romance but no vulgar sex scenes or cursing going on, only lots of good clean reading. This book is perfect for an afternoon at the pool or a relaxing day snuggled in front of the fireplace. Irene Woodbury has created great characters and a plot that leaves you wanting more. I am hoping for a second book so I can continue to follow my new friend Roxy's life. Do not pass up Honeymoon Roulette - it is a winner.”

Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review

*  *  *  *    Chapter  1   *  *  *  *

         Drybar blow-out:  check.

         MAC make-up session:  check.

         Heirloom pearl strand:  check.

         Designer wedding gown:  check.

         It was January 14, 2017, and Roxy Drake was all set to marry Connor J. Barrington in just one short hour. But then the phone rang. Mom was on the other end, breathing fire. 

         “Sweetheart, whatever you’re doing, stop, and get your buns down here, pronto! There’s something urgent we need to discuss with you.”

         Oh God, what now, Roxy thought, rolling her eyes at her best friend and maid of honor, Amy Powell, lounging on a sky-blue love seat across the room.

         “Mom, you’re scaring me. What is it? Please, just tell me.”

         “No, darling, not over the phone. Come to our suite—now--and bring Amy.”

         Roxy quickly slipped on ivory-satin pumps that matched the voluminous wedding gown that now engulfed her. Then she and Amy, who was decked out in mauve silk-taffeta, head-to-toe, dashed out the door. Down a plushly-carpeted Caesar’s Palace hallway they scurried to an ornate, marble elevator that ferried them to the sixth floor.

         One more crimson-carpeted hallway later, they were standing in front of the Drakes’ elegant suite. Feeling strangely nervous, Roxy knocked on the door. In seconds, her father opened it. Tall, silver-haired Tom Drake was always a commanding presence, but this morning he appeared disheveled and out of sorts. Roxy was alarmed at how stressed out he seemed. A control freak honed by years of pressure as general manager of an upscale Chicago hotel, he shared his wife’s unbending will and overbearing ways. But now the bloodshot eyes and creases in his ruddy cheeks shook Roxy to the core.

         “Mom, Dad, what’s going on?” she asked, tossing her hands up, looking back and forth nervously between the two. “This better be good. Amy was just about to touch up my pedicure.”

         “Honey, this is far more important than your toenails,” petite, auburn-haired Margo Drake, clad in a chic mother-of-the-bride suit, shot back.

         Roxy’s stomach lurched. Dear God, she thought, what is this? Then her mom started to speak.

         “You see, sweetie, your dad and I felt we didn’t know enough about Connor. It bothered us more and more as the wedding got closer. So a few days ago we bit the bullet and rang up Roy Hopkins, you know, our old detective friend in Peoria. We asked him to take a peek at Connor’s background, even though we were confident there would be nothing. But we wanted to be sure. This is a big step you’re taking. You may be 25, but you’re still our baby girl. We’d hate to see you make a terrible mistake.”

         Roxy’s heart dropped. In an instant, she’d been blindsided and now was mad as hell. Folding her arms against her chest, she stepped back and returned their steely gaze.

         “You did what?” she bristled. “Called a private detective to investigate the man I’m marrying in one hour? Oh my God, this is insane! You’re both totally out of line. I’m the one getting married here, not you. Don’t you think I’m capable of making my own decisions?”

         “Yes, honey, of course,” Roxy’s mom assured her. “But Connor will be a member of our family, too, and sometimes love is blind.”

         Roxy rolled her eyes.

         “Okay, so what did you find out?” she demanded, hands on hips, defiant and breathing fire. “That he stole a lollipop at the candy store when he was six years old?”

         “Don’t be flippant with us!” Roxy’s dad cut in. “This is serious stuff. That piece of scum you’re about to marry was a murder suspect. He was under investigation for killing two women back in Colorado, one in 2003, the other in 2007. And both times the victim just happened to be his wife.

         “Yes, Roxy, Connor had two wives before he met you, and both of them died early in the marriage under strange circumstances. One of them on a honeymoon ski-trip, the other in her own home. Hear us out, sweetheart:  he was a person of interest in both deaths.”                                                                                                    

         The old man halted to let the bombshell sink in. Stunned by the revelations, Roxy teetered on the brink of collapse. Biting her lip, she clutched Amy’s arm for support.

         Now it was her mom’s turn to pile on, and she was every bit as outraged as her father. 

         “When Roy called this morning and broke the news, we were stunned,” she said in a rush of words. “Honey, we can’t let you marry this man today, or any other day. We would both be very poor excuses for parents if we did. You need to talk to Connor and get the truth, if he’s even capable of that, and then weigh it all carefully before moving forward.”

         Roxy was flabbergasted. In a matter of minutes, her world had been blown apart. Was her beloved Connor a committed husband-and-family-man-to-be, as she had always believed, or a wily, scheming wife-murderer? The two ideas were so completely at odds, she couldn’t figure out which one to believe. Her first instinct was to attack the messengers.

         “All my life, you tried to stage-manage everything I did,” she lashed out at her parents. “Then I met Connor and things changed. I finally got to run my own life and make my own decisions. That drove both of you crazy, and now you’re trying to wreck my wedding.”

         “Nice try,” Roxy sneered, “but I don’t believe you for an instant. None of this could possibly be true. Connor would never murder anyone--he wouldn’t hurt a flea. He’d never be involved in something dark and evil like this, and, if he were, he surely would have told me. This is a horrible mistake, some hideous mix-up. There must be another Connor J. Barrington out there. Your private eye investigated the wrong guy.”

         Now it was time for big brother, Wes, to join the fray. Bounding from a nearby sofa, he barked, “Why don’t we call lover-dude and get his ass down here right now to settle this?”

         As a shoeless, tieless Wes grabbed the phone and called Connor, teary-eyed Roxy turned to Amy for comfort, the pair clutching each other like two lost souls in a Jane Austen novel.

Luckily for all you fans of romantic fiction, Irene Woodbury knows that what happens in Las Vegas doesn’t have to stay there. The Denver-based author has captured the heart and soul of Sin City in four colorful, suspenseful novels.

In the gritty, engrossing Romeo Stalker (2021), a Vegas showgirl’s life is plunged into stalker-hell when her ex returns from prison and learns she has a new boyfriend. Love and Payback (2021) is a dark, dramatic look at a married woman’s mysterious death in Sin City, where she has gone to meet an Internet love.

In the darkly humorous Honeymoon Roulette (2021), a bride goes rogue after learning her handsome fiance may have killed his first two wives. And A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis (2021) is the vibrant, funny story of a mixed-up newlywed who goes to Vegas for a girls’ weekend that never ends.

Irene, a successful travel writer whose favorite destinations are London and Las Vegas, is currently working on another novel.

You can visit her website at www.irenewoodbury.com or connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.


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