Bridal Bootcamp - Bella Bailey (2014)

If you believe, as many do, that weddings bring out the best and worst in people - then Bridal Bootcamp will confirm your fears. Yvonne and Simon, engaged after a year of dating, set out to plan their wedding. Like many couples, they have differing views of "need" versus "want" when it comes to dresses, bands, flowers and food. Yvonne's outrageous spending is the least of her troubles, though. A former romance of Simon's reemerges to cause problems, his sister turns out to be a jealous harpy, and Yvonne's "best friend" Rachel drops a bombshell of an announcement. Yvonne and Simon will find themselves confronting the reality of their relationship. Is it all about the wedding, or are these two in it for the marriage? The story here is entertaining, which is very good because the female characters are utterly detestable. Yvonne is exactly what people paint her to be: selfish, self-focused, and self-interested. Rachel is a vituperative witch, and Simon's sister Tracey is something akin to Satan's spawn. Simon, his best friend Ritchie, and Yvonne's friend Stephen are spared; they are likable, believable, and the sorts of characters you enjoy reading about, although you will occasionally wonder if Simon could be any stupider. Fortunately, though, Simon emerges as the heart of the novel, and because of him, we care. As loathsome as his fiancee may be, Simon pulls us into the story and keeps us there. This is a good book for those who enjoy the "anything that can go wrong will" sort of wedding tale. Parts of it are cute and sweet, but parts are eye-rollingly ridiculous. Thank goodness for Simon. (AP)

A previously published Irish author has released her first independent novel Bridal Bootcamp under the pseudonym Bella Bailey (2014) . The summary says: "When Yvonne's boyfriend, Simon, accepts her marriage proposal, she resolves to give her family and friends the best wedding imaginable! And if the little matter of money gets in the way ... well, she'll worry about that later. Besides, it's not as if she has nothing else to fret about - Simon's twin sister, Tracey, is hell-bent on finding a way to stop the wedding. When Simon's ex, Sandra, returns from the past and reveals that Simon is the father of her baby, it looks like Tracey might get her wish - especially as Sandra is demanding a kidney from Simon for their gravely ill child. And that's the easy part ... what Yvonne doesn't know is that her best friend, Rachel, is harbouring a deadly secret that has the potential to obliterate Yvonne's relationship with Simon forever - a secret that comes to light in a dramatic crescendo on their big day in front of everyone they know. The power of this young couple's love is put to the test again and again, and they embark on a journey of discovery about their relationship. The issues they face force them to evaluate what's really important to them - their wedding, or their impending marriage."

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