The Secret Bridesmaid by Katy Birchall

Sophie Breeze makes her living as a professional bridesmaid. Posing as a friend or relative of the bride, she is employed to take the stress out of organising the wedding, but no one else can know who she really is. When hired to assist at Lady Cordelia Swann’s wedding, Sophie has no idea what she has let herself in for. Determined not to quit in the face of Cordelia’s appalling behaviour, Sophie’s patience and professional skills are pushed to the limit. Will she stay the course, or give up her chance to further her career?

Laugh-out-loud funny in places, cringeworthy in others, The Secret Bridesmaid is a wonderful celebration of female friendship. The romance is understated, and not the main focus of the story. Sophie and Cordelia start off at loggerheads, but slowly begin to change their opinion of each other.

The outrageous demands of some of the brides are very funny – my favourite is the Star Wars character – and the emails between the chapters only go to emphasize their ridiculous behaviour. The cast of supporting characters are well written and believable, even the horrible ones. The plot, though predictable in places, but in a good way, would make an excellent movie.

I really enjoyed The Secret Bridesmaid, found it both amusing and thought provoking, and would not hesitate to recommend it. Thanks to Bookends and Hodder for an uncorrected proof in exchange for an honest review.