Romance Holly McQueen Confetti Confidential

ISBN 13: 9780099545750

Confetti Confidential

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9780099545750: Confetti Confidential

Having realized that fashion design may not be the best profession for her, Isabel Bookbinder has made another career move - this time, into the world of wedding planning! She's still the ditzy, adorable heroine that we love, and her early misadventures include brides being delivered to the wrong ceremony, brides not actually turning up at all – that sort of thing! But despite all that, she is really beginning to get quite good at her job. She's landed a big celebrity client, and she's moved in with her perfect lawyer boyfriend, Will - and this time, it's for good.  So when her best friend gets engaged to her brother, it seems like the universe is finally aligning in Isabel's favor - that is, until Will becomes increasingly reluctant to discuss their future...

Will Isabel be able to pull off the wedding that could make or break her career?  Can she ever measure up in her father's eyes? And will she ever have a wedding day all of her own? 

With her characteristic humor, charm, and tendency to stumble into sticky situations, Isabel Bookbinder is an irresistible heroine you’re sure to fall in love with.

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About the Author:

Holly McQueen is the author of four novels—The Glamorous (Double) Life of Isabel Bookbinder, Fabulously Fashionable, Confetti Confidential, and There Goes the Bride. She lives in London with her husband.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One

THIS IS A BIG day for me and I really, really don’t want to screw it up.

The moment my alarm clock went off this morning, I was up, out of bed, and into the shower. A swift, invigorating lather-up with a zingy grapefruit shower gel, followed by an equally invigorating scrub-down with one of those weird oily salt rubs that people keep giving me for Christmas, and I was fresh out of the bathroom less than ten minutes after getting up.

I do kind of wish I hadn’t bothered with the weird oily salt rub, though. It left this slick, slightly smelly layer all over my skin, and I had to spend another ten minutes blotting myself with a paper towel just so that I didn’t look (and smell) a little bit like I spent the night sleeping in a giant frying pan.

Once I’d blotted myself off and thrown on my lovely cosy waffle-knit bathrobe, I headed for the kitchen to make myself an energizing cup of coffee. Well—I say “headed” for the kitchen. My flat is so tiny that I’m actually in the kitchen the moment I step out of the bathroom. In fact, even calling it a flat is generous. It’s what the estate agent I rented it from euphemistically called a studio and what Mum and Dad unappealingly call a bedsit. I’m not wild about either term, to be honest, because the former makes me sound like I live here surrounded by half-painted canvases and empty bottles of absinthe, and the latter like I live here surrounded by half-written philosophy essays and empty cans of Strongbow cider. Neither of which is remotely close to the truth.

Anyway, while I was waiting for the kettle to boil, I started up my laptop and had a little nose through the online tabloids. This might just look like idle time-wasting, but in fact it’s an extremely important part of my job. If I’m ever going to make it as a Top Wedding Consultant, it’s absolutely vital that I’m up to date on the tiniest developments in celebrity relationships. Even after just a couple of weeks on the job, I can already see that competition for the best clients is pretty brutal, so I’ll need to be all geared up and ready at the slightest sign of any imminent engagement announcements. Think how impressive it would be if, only hours after you let the world know you’d decided to take the plunge, a wedding planner was calling you with a fully developed plan for your big day. Perhaps a plan with lovely personal references to some of your favourite hobbies, and maybe incorporating elements from your recent romantic getaways in the Seychelles and Mauritius.

Though I’d have to be careful not to come across like a dangerous stalker at that point, obviously.

So. What relationship-related news is out there today? Well, I see from the Daily Mail that the nice lady who presents that neighbors-from-hell program on the BBC has been photographed coming out of the gym with a sneaky cigarette in her hand. And the Mirror is simply beside itself with excitement that somebody who almost made it through to the boot camp stage of The X Factor has admitted to recreational drug use and an addiction to lap dances.

Well, you don’t always strike gold. Besides, if everything goes well at my meeting today, I may not need to trawl about the tabloids trying to detect imminent celebrity engagements anymore. I could find myself automatically catapulted to the very top echelons of the Wedding Consultancy circuit, the first port of call for any self-respecting star who’s planning to get married.

Which would be completely brilliant, obviously.

While my cafetiere was steeping, I made myself a quick piece of toast, and then went to eat it on my Power Plate machine. That isn’t me having some bonkers, LA-style eating disorder, by the way, where you can only eat carbohydrates if you actually burn off the calories while you ingest them. It’s simply because I have this great big Power Plate machine that I bought a few months ago, and there’s literally nowhere else I can put it. With hindsight, it probably wasn’t the smartest way to invest nine hundred quid, but I was working in the fashion industry at the time, and I was just getting a little bit tired of always being the only person in any given room with a muffin top creeping over the tops of my jeans. Though obviously, giving up on actual muffin tops might have been a more sensible way to treat my neurosis.

Still, I will get around to using my Power Plate at some stage. And for the time being, seeing as I don’t really have room for an actual table, it really is a jolly handy place to sit and eat my toast.

Anyway, now I’ve taken my nice steaming cup of coffee back up to my bedroom on the mezzanine level, so I can have a look in my wardrobe and decide what I’m going to wear today.

Actually, let me rephrase that—what I’m going to wear with my black suit today. Because black suits seem to be what all the Top Wedding Consultants wear. My new boss, Pippa Everitt, who’s right up there with the very best in the field, never comes to work in anything else. Obviously, seeing as I’m not yet a completely fully fledged Consultant myself, I’m not usually required to wear anything other than jeans and a freshly pressed T-shirt, but today I’m going to be conducting an important client meeting of my own. Correctly styling my brand-new Karen Millen suit might make all the difference between getting the gig, or not getting it at all.

Right. I think I’ll team it with this nice, crisp white shirt, some minimal, elegant jewelry, and these sensible black peep-toe heels I bought en route to my boyfriend Will’s office Christmas do when I suddenly panicked that the skyscraper red heels I was wearing made me look less like a tax lawyer’s girlfriend and more like a tax dodger’s bit-on-the-side.

Then, because I’m worried this whole Look is just far too trainee accountant, I abandon the minimal jewelry and sling on a huge pair of chandelier earrings and a bright turquoise bangle.

Which just makes me look like a trainee accountant on dress-down Friday.

So I replace the crisp white shirt with a slouchy gray V-neck T-shirt, ditch the boring black courts for my favorite spiky black stilettos, forget about jewelry altogether and just accessorize it all with the lucky Mikkel Borgessen clutch bag that has got me through big meetings before.

Yes. That’s more like it. This is the Look that will catapult me out of the realms of assistanthood and into the top echelons of celebrity wedding planning.

The thing is, when I took the job with Pippa Everitt, I knew it was going to sound like a bit of a backward step. I’ve spent the last year working as Deputy Creative Director to a top fashion designer, no less, so stepping into the role of Pippa’s assistant was always going to look retrograde. But you can’t afford to be snooty about that kind of thing if it’s going to help you get where you want. And being a Top Wedding Consultant is what I really, passionately, want to do, more than I’ve ever wanted anything else before. And all right, as my friend Lara pointed out, that’s pretty much exactly what I said about novel-writing when I really, passionately wanted to be a novelist, and it’s certainly a lot like what I said about fashion designing when I really, passionately wanted to be a fashion designer. But this is completely different. And I’ll take any low-rung job if it gets me on the ladder.

Though if I could skip up a couple of rungs, that would be fantastic, too. Which is why I need to just spend a few minutes tidying up some very important work right now in time for my big client meeting.

I head down the stairs into my living “area,” reach for the leather conference file on the coffee table next to the sofa, and open it up to the notes I finally finished printing out at two o’clock this morning.

Though in some ways, I don’t like to think of them as just plain notes. I like to think of them as more like an agenda. Or a strategy, perhaps. Or even—and I wouldn’t admit this to just anyone—a kind of manifesto.

Because honestly, this is what got me all fired up about weddings in the first place. When my old boss, Nancy Tavistock, suddenly announced back in May that she was getting married, only a couple of months after her divorce was finalized, I immediately volunteered to help her out in any way that I could. And even though she hired Pippa Everitt to pull together a spectacular big day on spectacularly short notice, Nancy needed all kinds of extras that Pippa didn’t and couldn’t provide. Like, to-ing and fro-ing with Nancy’s lawyers to make sure all her legal affairs were tied up before she jumped into marriage with a penniless twenty-three-year-old male model. Like, tracking down a top personal trainer to make sure Nancy looked her absolute best in her own-label wedding gown (and, I suppose, before she jumped into bed with a twenty-three-year-old male model). Like, speaking repeatedly on the phone to Nancy’s sisters in Chicago, and finally persuading them that even though they’d been jealous of her all their lives, they’d regret it if they didn’t take up the invitation to fly first-class to London and watch their little sister walk down the aisle. And then, a couple of weeks later, as I watched a serene, newly toned, blissfully happy Nancy setting off to Syon House to get married, I realized that some of her serenity, and a little bit of her happiness, and pretty much all of the toning, was down to me.

So when Pippa took me aside between the dinner and the dancing to mention that she’d been impressed by my work, and would I consider coming and working as her new assistant, I jumped at the chance.

Because it’s just so obvious that there’s this huge gap in the market—not for plain old ordinar...

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