Book Review: Don’t Tell the Brides-to-be by Anna Bell

Title: Don’t Tell the Brides-to-be
Author: Anna Bell
Published: 12th February 2015
Publisher: Quercus

Twitter: @AnnaBell_writes


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 its 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.


Thanks to Quercus for providing me with a copy of ‘don’t tell the brides-to-be’ in return for an honest review.
First, from a purely aesthetic view, I love the cover! It is delightfully pretty and whimsical, a perfect fit for the tone of the book.
From the very beginning, the reader is thrown head first into Penny’s mad world and, believe me, there is never a dull moment to be had when Penny is around!
A newly-wed herself, Penny has started a business for cash-conscious brides and is doing remarkably well for herself. This abruptly stalls after a run in with another wedding planner who takes umbrage at Penny’s ‘budget wedding’ philosophy and is determined to see her ruined. This is complicated by a couple of unexpected personal situations.
Penny is a great character. She loves her job, her husband and her friends, however her life is never plain-sailing. She has an enthusiasm which is infectious, however you get the impression that she will always manage to get herself “into a pickle” (as my grandma would say!).
Georgina Peabody is a great villain to the story, however I did feel that she could be left as that person rather than being personalised more at the end of the story. I didn’t want to start feeling sorry for her!
Each chapter starts with tweets between Penny and/or her budget brides-to-be, which is a lovely touch by Bell and which gives an indication of what may be occurring in the chapter.
The plot is fairly straightforward and you quickly guess who is causing Penny problems. However, the writing involves the reader and the story just stops from being too obvious, partly because of a couple of surprises thrown in along the way.

On a personal note, I have a friend who is a CRAZY Matt Goss fan, traveling to Las Vegas every few months to see him perform. As such, I really loved the little mention of Mr Goss within the book!
I believe that this is the third book in the series by Anna Bell and the first of the series that I have read. The book itself works as a standalone novel. There are references to the earlier books, however those references are always explained so the reader does not feel as though they have missed anything important by not reading the earlier books first.
This is a perfect example of chick-lit. It’s light-hearted and fun, whilst also dealing with some more serious issues in a sensitive and realistic fashion. I thought that this was a really good read and thoroughly enjoyable, a perfect Sunday afternoon read.
I thoroughly enjoyed Anna Bell’s style of writing and found it very moreish. After reading don’t tell the brides-to-be, I have now downloaded the earlier books, don’t tell the groom and don’t tell the boss, onto my Kindle and look forward to reading them.
I finished the entire book in about 3 sittings and sincerely hope that there will be another one on its way shortly. We need to see how Penny copes as a new mum!

Rating: 4 out of 5

The book is released both in paperback and in electronic format, the latter being available at Amazon UK.

About the Author

Anna Bell currently writes the weekly column ‘The Secret Dreamworld of An Aspiring Author’ on the website Novelicious ( and reviews modern women’s fiction for the website the Chicklit Club ( She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writer’s Scheme.

Anna is a full-time writer and loves nothing more than going for walks with her husband and Labrador. She has published three romantic comedies.

You can find out more about Anna at her website:


post signature

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s