Published by Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date – 13 May 2021
Source – review copy
Sophie Breeze is a brilliant bridesmaid. So brilliant, in fact, that she’s made it her full-time job.
As a professional bridesmaid, Sophie is secretly hired by brides to be their right-hand woman, ensuring their big day goes off without a hitch. From wrangling rowdy hen dos to navigating last minute portaloo cancellations, there’s no problem she can’t solve.
So when she’s employed by an actual Marchioness to help plan the society wedding of the year, it should be a chance for Sophie to prove just how talented she is.
Of course, it’s not ideal that the bride, Cordelia, is rude, difficult and determined to make Sophie’s life a nightmare. It’s also a bit inconvenient when Sophie finds herself drawn to Cordelia’s posh older brother, who is absolutely off limits. And when a rival society wedding is announced, things get even more complicated . . .
Can Sophie pull off the biggest challenge of her career, follow her heart and maintain her reputation – all while keeping her true identity hidden?
Sophie Breeze is a professional bridesmaid and she’s very good at her job. So good that fellow guests at the weddings she helps don’t even know she’s a bridesmaid for hire. Want your bridesmaid to dress as a fictional furry animal? No problem. Need a doughnut wall hanger? She’s your woman. But she may have met her match with Cordelia who is determined to shake Sophie off. Can Sophie win Cordelia over, try and persuade her she can’t have Oasis as her wedding band and manage not to fall for Cordelia’s playboy brother Tom?
The first thing that struck me when I started to read The Secret Bridesmaid was the humour. I knew from the outset this would be a fun book to curl up with and I was right. I absolutely adored this book.
The chapters end with interactions with other brides and wedding accoutrement companies, very funny exchanges at that. The humour throughout is observational and simple, from misunderstandings to the kind of humour frequently seen between family members.
Cordelia is sharp. She has closed herself off to everyone except Jonathan her fiancé and her brother. Her relationship with her mother is spiky and her mother’s hiring of Sophie doesn’t help. However, there is more to Cordelia than meets the eye and it takes Sophie’s vision and kindness to help her. Sophie is funny, devoted and passionate about her friends and her job. She doesn’t want to upset anyone, even her ex-boyfriend when he decides to invite her to his wedding.
There are a whole host of fabulous side characters, from Sophie’s cousin who provided her with the inspiration to become a professional bridesmaid, to the florist who is more of a performance artist than a flower arranger.
There is a wonderful sense of humour weaved throughout the book. There were points where I laughed out loud. In fact at one stage I woke my husband up as I tried to simultaneously stop myself from guffawing and wipe the tears of laughter away. It is light-hearted but never frothy. Romantic but not doe-eyed. It is the perfect feel-good novel.
Sometimes we need a book that is there to simply entertain us, to keep us hooked as we become friends with the characters, an invisible uninvited guest to nuptials of Cordelia and Jonathan. I wanted to keep on reading and I looked forward to getting back to the story when I wasn’t. If that isn’t the sign of a good book, I don’t know what is.
Accept the invitation and join Sophie on her journey to planning the wedding of the year.
About the Author
Katy is the author of several young adult novels including The It Girl series, the Hotel Royale series and Morgan Charmley: Teen Witch. She is the co-author of the middle grade Lightning Girl series and Star Switch with Alesha Dixon, and the Find the Girl teen series with YouTube stars Lucy and Lydia Connell. Katy was proud to be the author of a retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma for the Awesomely Austen series, a collection of Austen’s novels retold for younger readers. She has also written a non-fiction book, How to be a Princess: Real-Life Fairy Tales for Modern Heroines. Katy lives in London with her partner, Ben, and her rescue dog, Bono. The Secret Bridesmaid is her first adult novel.