29 April 2015

Book Review: Don't Tell The Brides-to-Be by Anna Bell

"With a baby on the way and her business starting to boom, has Penny finally found her happily ever after? 

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 fights 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."

Rating: 4.5/5

You can buy Don't Tell the Brides-to-Be as a paperback or an eBook now.

I read my first book by Anna Bell last year, when I read the second book in her 'Don't Tell...' series called Don't Tell the Boss. I really enjoyed that book, and was pleased to receive the third book in the series to review called Don't Tell the Brides-to-Be, complete with a really pretty blue cover that drew me in straight away. I was looking forward to catching up with these characters again, seeing the next step in Penny's life, and the story certainly didn't disappoint, I really enjoyed it!

Penny's new business Princess on a Shoestring, her wedding planning on the cheap venture, is going well and she's booking more weddings than she ever expected. Her husband is thrilled for her, and the pair finally feel like their marriage is on track. When Penny meets a rival wedding planner at a wedding fayre, and finds her to be less than nice, she realises she has to toughen up and keep her brides to herself, never mind the competition. But just as she sets her plans in motion, Penny making a discovery that threatens to ruin everything she has built up so far, and Penny has no idea how she is going to cope...

As I said before, I have read the previous book, but not the first one in the series, so you can certainly read this as a stand-alone, although it does of course work better if you read its predecessors first. There is plenty explained throughout the book though, so you shouldn't feel too lost when you are reading, and are able to catch up with what has happened before. I loved Penny once again, she's a brilliant lead character, always optimistic, determined to make her new business work, and her marriage too, and she never fails to make me laugh. Even when things look like they are going badly wrong, she's still determined to plough on and make the best of a bad situation, even if that means keeping a few things to herself.

The development of this story was really well done, and I liked the twists and turns it took as the book went on. I don't want to discuss too much about the plot, because I enjoyed reading about it as it unfolded, Suffice to say, however, Penny doesn't perhaps deal with the revelations in the best way, although you can understand her worry and nervousness especially as she has a fledgling business to take care of. There was a sweet sub-plot about her husband Mark's grandmothers illness, and this was a more serious storyline, it was well written and very emotional, it made me tear up occasionally as I read it and was a good addition to the story, we certainly saw a different side to Penny and Mark throughout this storyline.

Yes, the plotline was simple, and perhaps the obvious place for the series to go after the previous two books, but that didn't stop  me enjoying it at all - in fact, quite the opposite, I loved it! It was nice to see Penny working hard and making a success of her business, and the rivalry going on with the posh wedding planner was really quite funny too, I liked how Penny was determined not to let her win! The mentions of all the different wedding ideas going on were brilliant too, everything from a woodland wedding to an adult soft play idea, it's all in there! I hope this isn't the last book in the series, and we see more about Mark and Penny going on from the things in this book and how things work out for them! Anna Bell's writing is brilliant, so easy to read and the plot was so enjoyable, I couldn't put it down. A brilliant, light-hearted read that I loved.

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