“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?”
A year on from marrying the love of her life, Mark Robinson, Penny still hasn’t quite been let go by the wedding bug. As the story opens, she’s been helping someone else plan their dream on a shoestring, whilst also running her super-saver-wedding-tips website, and she’s promised Mark that this wedding will be her last. But then she meets Henri, a tempestuous beauty with a familiar-looking fiancé – Nick, from Penny’s gambling group, which explains why the exquisitely-dressed Henri is being forced to plan her wedding on a budget (or ‘beau-jay’).
Penny begs Mark to let her help Henri, who acquiesces, on the proviso that it doesn’t come in the way of her day job – particularly when she gets offered a promotion, and has to compete with Shelley at work for the role. Penny is however given her chance to shine when their boss asks her to plan a company bonding fitness survival camp, and sets to organising. A slightly unnerving hitch comes in the form of Penny’s colleague, whose secret other company, which she has been running in office hours, is discovered, and she is fired for moonlighting. Trying to shake off her worries that she will be discovered too, Penny keeps her calls in office hours down to a minimum and puts the finishing touches on the survival camp, which both her boss and CEO will be attending.
All is going well, until the survival camp is moved to right before Henri’s wedding – and Henri finds out that her sister slightly under-exagerrated her dress size, requiring a new dress. Coincidentally, the only dress within reach is in a shop near Penny’s fitness survival camp – all she has to do now is find an hour to get away and to try and buy it. It’s not tricky, but Penny pulls it off, not knowing however that there are two much larger hitches on the way – one for Henri, and one for Penny herself… Will the wedding be the day of Henri’s dreams, and will Penny’s secret wedding plan service go undiscovered?
Don’t Tell The Boss stays true to the charming, quirky and funny writing style that Anna Bell displays in her debut novel Don’t Tell The Groom. A enjoyable, feel-good read.
Many thanks to Quercus for the review copy.