13 September 2014

Book Review: Don't Tell The Boss by Anna Bell

"When newlywed Penny turns her hand to some casual wedding planning she only wants to help other women afford the big day of their dreams. 

But taming bridezillas turns out to be a full-time occupation, and what began as a hobby becomes a personal and professional nightmare. 

Soon Penny is struggling to keep her day job and prevent her own marriage from collapsing under the strain: tired, stressed and knee-deep in ivory satin, is Penny's life and livelihood hanging by a thread?"

Rating: 4/5

You can buy Don't Tell The Boss as a paperback or an eBook now.

When I finished the last book I was reading, I decided that I was going to pick the next book from my shelf, but it had to be something I had been sent a while ago to review, but had never got around to reading. This book caught my eye because I follow Anna on Twitter and have been meaning to review one of her books for a while. This book was sent to me by Quercus a while ago, so I decided it was the perfect one to try, and I'm so pleased that I did. It was a funny, enjoyable and easy read, and now I want to read more by Anna Bell!

Penny's a newlywed herself, and enjoys weddings so much, she's decided to going to be a casual wedding planner too, as well as her dayjob. However, she has to keep her second job secret because she knows her boss won't like her working alongside the day job, but it quickly becomes harder and harder for Penny to keep the two parts of her life separate. When she takes on yet another wedding, Penny is sure it will be easy, a wedding on a budget is exactly her cup of tea. But Penny doesn't realise the strain her two jobs are putting on her marriage, and how much of her energy is going to be used up in keeping bride-to-be Henri happy, and not give herself away at work too....

This is the follow-up to Anna's first book Don't Tell the Groom,  which I haven't read so I was a bit apprehensive going in to this that I would struggle with the story. However, with any good author, they give you enough information to tell you what happened in the previous book without making you feel like you missed out and that's exactly what Anna has done here. I got the gist of what went on in the first book, so could just enjoy this story without worrying I'd missed out too much. Penny is now married in this book, so we get to see her settled down with her husband, although their marriage isn't as perfect as Penny might expect due to her juggling her two jobs with her husband's disapproval always following her around.

Penny is a good character to read about - you can tell she absolutely loves weddings and lives for them - I was certainly wondering why she hadn't just jacked in the day job long ago to go after her dream job of wedding planner to be honest. However, it was amusing to see her try to juggle both jobs quite unsuccessfully, and it led to quite a few funny moments, especially towards the end on the team-building course Penny has to organise! I liked the scenes set at her workplace but I far more enjoyed reading about her planning Henri's wedding. Penny is clearly in the know when it comes to weddings, especially budget ones, but it seems like Henri is the bride-to-be from hell, she was so annoying!

As you'd expect, it isn't plain-sailing for Penny when she's organising this wedding, and I really enjoyed reading all about the build-up to it. While there was a bit of a twist at the end, I had guessed what it was before it got there, but that didn't matter to me, I'd still enjoyed the anticipation of finding out whether I was right. While Penny is the main character of the book, there's lots of others in here to keep you interested, although I did feel her husband Mark could have been a bit more supportive towards Penny when she's only doing what she loves! I especially enjoyed the side plot of Penny being a mentor to a young gambler, and how hard she was finding it to connect with her and deal with the situation. It was well handled and a bit more of a serious plot for a light-hearted book. This was a really good read, it was easy to follow and the story was enjoyable from start to finish. Anna Bell's writing was good to read, I liked her narrative and was always engrossed in the story whenever I was reading. Recommended, and I look forward to more from Anna Bell!

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