|Author||L. J. Smith|
"So far, what I can tell you is that the story starts the week when Jenny is about to marry Tom. (In different versions, she varies from 18 to 20--but anyway, her parents think her too young.) Jenny and her mom have a fight, Jenny storming that she's been in love with Tom since elementary school and her parents got married after knowing each other only six months.
Jenny has grown stronger and kinder since the first book, but she still has flashes of temper. She intimates in her fight with Mom that in accordance with their strongly maintained family beliefs she's still a virgin, but that that's likely to change in the next month, whether she wears a veil and stands before a minister or not. Her parents finally cave and Jenny begins to rush around--late again--for one of the most important days of her life. Zach takes over sending the invitations, Tom works with the wedding theme designer while Dee and Audrey and Summer and Jenny pick out their multi-bridal finery. Since it's high summer, they're all in white, but below the white chiffon, Dee is in shimmering mint, Audrey in demure jasmine, and Summer in soft cornflower. Michael acts as gopher. But when the wedding is only four days away, Jenny wakes up (alone!) in her bed. Something on the pillow comes gradually into focus. And then her breath stops and her heart seems to stop with it. As completely awake as if she'd been doused with the remains of an ice-bucket, Jenny can only stare at the object for long, long minutes. Finally, moving nothing but her eyes, she looks around her single dorm room in terror, peering into every sunlit corner. Her sense of hearing seems to have increased to an almost painful state, but there is no sound. She can't bear it any longer. She abruptly slides off the bed and then whirls around, her heart hammering, to confront . . . nothing.
The room is empty except for herself and nothing has changed in it except the silver rose on her pillowcase. Jenny reaches for the phone, then stills. Moving slowly and almost hypnotically, she strips the cover off a pastel yellow pillow and then uses the cloth to pick the silver thing up. It’s heavy. Real silver, solid silver. Sleek, glimmering, its bud halfway open, like lips open for a kiss. She remembers how it had felt in her hand the first time, in the caverns of the dark elves. She needs help with this, she’s not so irrational as to deny it. But right now she feels strongly that she has to examine this object further. Rationality wars with post-hypnotic suggestion. At last a flash of light reveals the message she somehow knew was there. It’s engraved onto the stem in minuscule letters, barely scratches. All I refuse . . . Jenny has known who sent the rose—or brought it, more likely—ever since her vision made it out clearly lying four inches from her face on the pillow. Nevertheless, the words from the past are too much for her. She faints, grazing her head on her nightstand. She wakes to Dee’s anxious face and a broken door. When her friend could hear Jenny’s cell ringing inside but Jenny not answering it, she got anxious. On two subsequent days there are two more roses, engraved “. . . And thee I chuse.” And “Sworn Mine”. On the morning of Jenny's wedding there is nothing, which is almost more frightening than any message. But Jenny sets her teeth and lets Audrey and Dee help her into her finery. Tom was missing from last night’s rehearsal (an emergency phone call from a partner at the law firm where he’s working as a summer associate).
But he makes it back the next morning for a quick whiskey and a cold shower and then music is playing and Jenny’s father is walking her down the nave and Jenny can sense the tears in his eyes, even if her veil is too thick to allow her to see them. But if anyone thinks that Julian plans to step back and let Jenny marry Tom, they obviously haven’t read THE FORBIDDEN GAME. He hasn’t even begun to wreak his special kind of havoc on Jenny’s wedding day. And there are other kinds of mischief afoot. Who was the slender, delicate cloaked figure who carved Julian’s name back onto the Stave of Life? And who (I wonder to myself) is planning on invading Earth?"