Friday, February 27, 2015

Book Review: Don’t Tell the Brides-to-Be

By Becky Gulc

Last year, I really enjoyed reading Don’t Tell the Boss, the second book in the ‘Don’t Tell the…’ series by Anna Bell (reviewed here). So when approached, I jumped at the chance of reviewing the next book in the series, Don’t Tell the Brides-to-Be. Here is the synopsis:

‘Things are looking up for Penny Robinson. She's kicked her gambling addiction and even started her own business: Princess on a Shoestring, an all-inclusive service for brides-to-be looking to pinch pennies on their big day.

Between family rows and wardrobe calamities, wedding planning is no piece of cake... but Penny's got it all under control. That is, until a rival planner decides to take her down - one hard-won bride at a time.

Now Penny must fight to save her reputation and her livelihood before it’s too late. But when a romantic weekend away has some unexpected consequences, Penny's expectations for her career are brought back down to earth with a bump.’ (Courtesy of Amazon UK.)

Penny is just beginning her new business as a budget wedding planner. She’s confident, enthusiastic and willing to work hard to make this succeed, but when she meets a rival ‘luxury’ wedding planner, someone is clearly determined to hinder Penny’s business in a whole range of ways. Can Penny overcome the many obstacles thrown in her way? And just how much is too much for Penny when secret surprises and past addictions present their own issues for our lead character?

Penny is just as lovely as I found her to be in the previous novel, she’s a wonderful character to spend time with, key for when the book is her narrative alone. When the rival planner starts to make trouble, I was rooting for Penny all the way. There were some great twists in this story, just when you think this rival planner can’t do any more, here comes something else.

There were some very comical moments in the novel, generally centred around when Penny was getting involved in taste testing and hen do’s whilst trying to hide quite a big secret from the brides-to-be. There are also some very moving scenes, heart-warming and emotional, in particular around the scenes involving Nanny Violet, Penny’s husband’s Nan.

Once again I enjoyed reading a novel where the central character is already loved up and happily married. I knew I didn’t have to worry about this pair and that’s quite refreshing. This is a novel about a strong woman trying to make her passion a career and the ups and downs that come with that, and the day to day issues that affect family life.

Even though this book is part of a series, you don’t need to have read either of the previous two books to enjoy it. I still haven’t read the first book (Don’t Tell the Groom) but I’m very intrigued to based on the references to Penny’s own wedding build-up and her gambling addiction in the subsequent novels. I also want to go back and spend time with some of the key characters from this novel such as Penny’s husband’s Nanny Violet.

Once again I found this to be an engaging and warm read, I enjoy Anna’s style of writing (including the use of tweets at the start of chapters), I like spending time with Penny and the supporting characters. I’m looking forward to Anna’s next book already. I would definitely recommend this series.

Thanks to Quercus for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Anna Bell:

1 comment:

Janine said...

Great review. Thanks for the recommendation.