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Having previously enjoyed the'WAG' books by the same author, I was drawn to this book by the amusing-sounding blurb and in the hope that it would be in a similar style to those books.
Kelly is just a regular girl living with her two best mates and working as a theatre administrator ... but with one major exception - she's dating world-famous movie star, Rufus George. When we first meet Kelly, the relationship is several months old but it's all a major secret and even her family don't know about it. She's just about to move into his luxurious home and isn't at all sure what to expect. Can Kelly cope with the reality of living with a huge celeb? Does she have any idea what she's letting herself in for?
If you've read the 'WAG' books by Alison Kervin, Kelly isn't a million miles away from Tracie, the lead character in that series, in that she's ditzy and at times rather naive but her heart is essentially in the right place. Kelly is a likeable enough character but at times I found her naivety a bit annoying and was quite amazed that she had assumed she could maintain a perfectly normal life despite moving in with an incredibly famous movie star! There were also times when I wanted to give her a good shake, particularly in her interactions with Elody's character but at the same time, I can understand why she acts in the manner that she does as to be honest, Elody isn't a particularly nice character and is quite messed up. Despite playing a prominent role in Kelly's life, Rufus is actually more of a bit character in the plot and is seen largely through Kelly's eyes. From what we do see, he was a likeable enough character, if a little perfect. I really liked Kelly's friends, Sophie and Mandy, and while they were a little odd, Kelly's family were amusing at times too.
The only real gripes I have with the book are rather petty. The title is rather misleading as despite being called Celebrity Bride, there is no wedding taking centre stage. I expected to be reading about the ins and outs of planning a wedding between a big celeb and a relative nobody and everything that could humourously wrong in that respect but largely the book deals with Kelly's relationship with Rufus gathering steam and her adaptation to her new life, while the blurb and title suggest that things have progressed far beyond this. I didn't find the book as amusing as others from the same author and I couldn't help but feel that if it had stuck to the plot indicated on the back cover, there would have been more scope for calamity to assue a la Tracie Martin in the WAG books.
My only other criticism is the slightly bizarre tangent that the plot takes towards the end, which seems a bit like it's being padded out and doesn't add to the plot in my opinion. Again, this probably wouldn't have been necessary had there been more emphasis on the wedding side of things.
Overall, I quite enjoyed the book and found it a decent way to pass the time on my journey to and from work. I didn't enjoy it as much as other books from the same author though but if you were someone who found Tracie annoying and over-the-top in the WAG books, you'd probably much prefer this book as Kelly is much more down-to-earth.
My sister recommended this book to me because when she asked for a book to borrow I raved about The WAGs Diary; she said this was by the same author (Alison Kervin) so I would probably enjoy it. Knowing this, I couldn't wait to get started; however with time being an issue it meant it was a few days before I could start the book.
The version I have is a paperback, the cover is interesting showing a bride in the middle with sunglasses on which I assume is to protect her identity. In the background you can see she is actually stood on a red carpet with lots of paparazzi surrounding her. Under the title there is a teaser about the story saying 'What happens when Mr Right is tall, dark and famous?' From this we can tell that the bride herself probably isn't actually famous. This teaser made me very intrigued by the story and made me believe it would be just up my street-an easy to read, fun and interesting story. Also on the cover there is a comment from Heat magazine saying the book is 'Very Funny', always a positive in my opinion!
The beginning of the book introduces us to Kelly Monsoon who is in fact telling her story, she tells us what has happened over the past few months and then present time kicks in and we see the story unravel at the same time Kelly does. The story is written in first person which I always find better as in my opinion it makes it much more personal and also allows the reader to relate and understand the main character well. So Kelly begins by telling us about her life, she is in her twenties and lives with her two best friends in a tiny flat. She works for a theatre company and is champion in 'malteser throwing contests'. She then tells us how one day, whilst at work she met Rufus George who is the most famous actor in the world. She also tells us how her and Rufus have been dating in secret for the last few months, she is very happy and they are due to move in with one another. The book kicks forward to present time on moving day, when Kelly is packing the last of her things with her two best friends Mandy and Sophie and then gets the bus up town to Richmond Hill when Rufus' multi million pound mansion is.
She couldn't be happier to be living with Rufus, however there is one slight problem, the paparazzi, every day there is some story about Kelly in the papers which is either completely false or an ex boyfriend kissing and telling. Kelly is upset about this but Rufus tells her to take it all with a pinch of salt and that if she can avoid it, try not to be spotted by the press. Hanging on Rufus' every word Kelly decides not to leave the house, meaning she becomes very isolated and only has Rufus and his staff for company. She gets on well with some of his staff like Henry, the driver but has some problems with others such as Christine the assistant. Rufus is keen to introduce her to his friends such as Elody Eloisse, a fashion designer. Although on the surface she seems nice we see over time that Elody is in fact a very nasty piece of work.
The first few weeks in the house see Kelly's life getting more and more difficult. She doesn't really get on with Rufus' friends, and those that she does are manipulating her, selling stories to the press or telling her she is fat. Rufus has to go away to LA to arrange starring in the next James Bond movie, leaving Kelly alone and isolated. She is also paranoid he is playing away due to what she has heard. To top matters off, her friends Mandy and Sophie are no longer answering her calls and she no longer has her job! She has no escape and is feeling rather low.
I adored this book. I felt there was always something going on from start to finish and I always wanted to keep reading. Although I believed the plot would be very predictable, it actually wasn't and there was a massive shock in the book about ¾ of the way through which made the book very exciting and interesting, at this point I could not put the book down!
The character of Kelly is extremely loveable, primarily because you can see she is just like everyone else. She is a normal size 12 and loves her family, even her Great Aunt Maude who is incontinent and still thinks the war is going on. She loves Rufus very much and although to begin with she tries to ignore the gossip that Rufus will be playing away, her curiosity gets the better of her and she really begins to panic.
The plot moved along nicely, and there was so much more to this book that what I initially thought it would be about. Along with the usual ups and downs of moving in with someone, Kelly has to deal with so much more due to her other half (and herself) being plastered all over the tabloids every day. We can see her longing for a sense of normalness and because her old best friends appear to have cut her off, this appears to be difficult. However, whilst Rufus is away she becomes friendly with his staff as, in her eyes they are just like her.
I think this book was very well written and would appeal to most. If you have read WAGs Diary by the same author and didn't like it, don't be put off of this book because it really is quite different. The main character is actually realistic and lifelike and there is a much deeper and more in depth plot in this novel. Although the plot is humorous and there are a good few moments which make you giggle, it is not the brash comedy that was in WAGs Diary.
Published: June 2009
Author: Alison Kervin
Publisher: Ebury Press
Available: Amazon currently have this book for just £4.51
I really enjoyed this book and thought it was a perfect chick lit. The plot was well thought out and had unexpected twists and turns which deviated well from the usual predictable chick lit book. I loved the character of Kelly and really rooted for her throughout, as I expect most of those who read it have done. I recommend you to read this book if you haven't already done so as I thought it was very interesting, exciting and also humorous.
Update: There is a follow up book due for release in June 2010 called My Hollywood Husband
It's the celebrity wedding of the season...
The news that Hollywood bad boy Rufus George is finally settling down has caused a media storm. Especially since his bride is a civilian - a nobody. Kelly Monsoon is a pretty, curvy theatre administrator. She never expected to meet a mega-star like Rufus let alone have him fall in love with her. And when Rufus asks Kelly to come and live with him, in his magnificent mansion, she feels like it's a fairytale come true.
Only this Prince Charming comes with a 12-person entourage, a bevy of beautiful ex-girlfriends and the world's press camped on his doorstep. But when Rufus proposes Kelly accepts and the media interest in this new couple hits the roof. However, the small, intimate wedding Kelly always dreamed of is taking on Hollywood epic proportions...Rufus's manager is trying to book Buckingham Palace for the wedding reception and all Kelly's mum wants to know is where to buy a nice hat.
It's a clash of cultures: British versus American, celebrity versus civilian - with poor Kelly stuck in the middle, not knowing where she belongs. Will this celebrity bride ever make it up the aisle?
Celebrity Bride is Alison Kervin's third novel after A WAG's Diary and A WAG Abroad - both which I enjoyed immensely. Celebrity Bride is also the first of Alison's novels not to star Tracie Martin (of A WAG's Diary and A WAG Abroad fame!). It tells the story of Kelly Monsoon - a nobody - who is in a relationship with the hottest film star on the planet Rufus George.
I really enjoyed Celebrity Bride. It was very easy to get into and very easy to read as it's told in the first person. It's the plot everybody dreams of: going out with/marrying somebody incredibly famous when you're a "nobody". I have no idea how a famous person marrying a nobody actually works but thought Alison did a fabulous job portraying the celebrity lifestyle.
I found Kelly a bit irritating at first - her naivety was shocking and I couldn't believe how easily led she was by Elody. However I warmed to her more as the novel progressed - especially how she was during the horrible time she had after the twist in the book (which, by the way, I didn't see coming!)
As the book was told from Kelly's point of view we didn't really get to know the other characters, bar Elody (a stylist who becomes a friend of Kelly's although I use the term friend loosely), that well. While the synopsis says it's the wedding of the season and mentions a lot of talk of a wedding, I felt the wedding was more of a backburner to the novel. Especially since we didn't start reading about the wedding until a fair way into the book. The book seemed more focused on Kelly entering into the world of Celebrity and how she dealt with that. It also focused on Kelly and Elody's friendship (again, I use the term loosely) and how Elody tried to turn Kelly into someone she clearly wasn't.
I felt Rufus wasn't really in the novel, which was a shame, I would have loved more interaction between Kelly and he to see how they worked together outside their home. I also found the fact he was called a "bad boy" on the blurb to be completely strange. He didn't come across that way at all.
It was a very easy read but it was the twist that really hooked me into the book. I was all ready to review the book saying how irritating I found Kelly when bam! the plot twisted and changed and all of a sudden Kelly seemed a much better character. I guessed the answer to the twist, though, I must say!
I really enjoyed the scenes in the rose garden Kelly and Rufus frequent (particularly near the end of the book). I also liked how the manipulation of Kelly by Elody was found out and, although I knew what Elody had done, liked the way it was written and how Kelly dealt with that. I liked reading of Kelly's friendships, especially how difficult they became because of Elody, during the book.
It was a really enjoyable book - very amusing in parts. It wasn't what I expected when I read the blurb on the back but I still loved it. I can't wait for the sequel! If it's as good as this one I know I'll really enjoy it.
Also posted at http://chicklitreviews.wordpress.com