Review of Don’t Tell The Brides-To-Be by Anna Bell

Published: 12th February 2015
Publisher: Quercus
Pages: 436


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.


Thank you to Quercus for kindly sending me a review copy. This is the third in the Don’t Tell series; Don’t Tell The Groom (#1) and Don’t Tell The Boss (#2).

Penny is officially a wedding planner and not only that, but she’s in demand! The opening chapter shows her at work in a gorgeous French hotel, helping a bride with a last minute dilemma. With all the talk of weddings, Penny is already desperate to renew her vows with her husband Mark after a year and a half of marriage – will they?

It was very easy to fall back into Penny’s crazy world and with Anna giving new as well as old readers an understanding of what has previously happened, I felt as ease and in the safe hands of a great author.

“This is what it’s all about: the romance; the sparkle.”

When the rival wedding planner kicks up a fuss on the first day of a wedding fair, I just knew she’d be the bitch of the plot and to my surprise; she was a bitch and then some! Oh how she irritated the life out of me, but props to Anna for writing her part so well. I desperately wanted Penny to stand up to Georgina and tell her that she wasn’t a push over and that there was plenty of room for them both in the wedding planning world. Grow some balls Penny, please!

Anna’s writing style is really easy to enjoy as she doesn’t throw everything into the readers face at one – her narratives are perfectly timed with characters who are familiarly comfortable and full to the brim with personality. Sometimes, we were told Penny’s emotions and thoughts, but I wanted to be shown them. Readers are far from stupid and can quite easily work plots out – that’s the fun of a great book!

“I stopped at Costco after golf. You have a year’s supply of ginger nuts. Therefore, I’m eating one.”

The battle to being the best wedding planner (only secretly formed by Georgina) really heated up towards the end when Penny wakes up to find herself in a lot of trouble. When it does reach breaking point, does she tell her devoted husband Mark and ask for help? Aside from the wedding planning and a growing secret, Penny and her husband’s family suffer with a form of heartbreak and I can’t quite believe Anna wrote what she wrote. It was written really well and had a strong sense of sadness throughout that particular scene.

Overall, I think this is Anna’s best Penny tale yet. I was heavily involved with the Robinson family. The plot was filled with both light and dark moments which goes to prove how realistic the characters all are – no family is perfect (minus the Beckhams). Within 29 hours, I had devoured the book simply because it was incredibly well written and one which I could enjoy. I can’t wait to see what Anna does next – will Penny’s life in books ever come to an end?

Twitter: @AnnaBell_writes