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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Make this a Guest of honour on your bookshelf!
Shane and Cara have just got engaged, and they are both over the moon. They've been together a few years now, and Cara is excited to walk up the aisle with the love of her life. When they tell their parents, they are expecting a joyous reaction, and for everyone to be thrilled for them. However, no-one reacts to their plans of a beach wedding very positively; Shane's...
Published 17 months ago by Chloe S "Chick Lit Chloe"

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars funny, sensible and supportive
The main characters in this book, the bride-and-groom-to-be, Cara and Shane, are somewhat bland and predictable but the subsidiary characters are far more interesting. Betty, mother of the bride, is an Irish matriarch with an opinion on everything pertaining to her family and with no reservations in voicing them. She wants a big family wedding with all the uncles, aunts...
Published 3 months ago by Jill Besterman


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Make this a Guest of honour on your bookshelf!, 12 May 2013
By 
Chloe S "Chick Lit Chloe" (Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Guest List (Paperback)
Shane and Cara have just got engaged, and they are both over the moon. They've been together a few years now, and Cara is excited to walk up the aisle with the love of her life. When they tell their parents, they are expecting a joyous reaction, and for everyone to be thrilled for them. However, no-one reacts to their plans of a beach wedding very positively; Shane's parents want a society wedding, and Cara's family want a big traditional white wedding in an Irish church, not to the mention the fact that Cara's pregnant younger sister Heidi is kicking up a stink about travelling in her delicate condition. The warring families soon put a wedge between the happy couple, and Cara and Shane are left wondering if a wedding is a good idea after all...

I have to say when I first read the synopsis for this book, I thought it sounded like a great idea and had potential for the story to be really interesting because weddings are of course a source of conflict for many people, and after reading it, I had to wonder how many people found their own stories to be similar to that of poor Shane and Cara! As the main two characters in the book, I thought they were a fantastic couple. They were likable, genuinely nice and in love people, and importantly, you as a reader will want them to have their dream wedding and happy ever after, and it makes you dislike their families even more for what they put Shane and Cara through in the build up. I especially liked Cara, she just loved Shane and was determined to marry him no matter what, and the fact she wasn't into big designer names or an expensive wedding was really great I felt, and I felt like I could relate to her in parts.

The fact that Shane and Cara were such nice people just made their families seem even worse if I'm honest! There's Cara's baby sister Heidi, newly pregnant and convinced she can barely breathe without posing risk to her unborn child. She is just an awful woman, but she is funny about it as well, you can't help but laugh at her ridiculous notions, although I thought she was horrid to Cara in parts. Shane's parents, in particular his mother, are even worse. They seem to be all about their own interests, never mind what the happy couple want, and Hill writes their upset so very well, some of the scenes are really awkward between the family members, it made me grateful that my own family would never be like that! You really do feel sorry for Shane and Cara, it just seems like everything is shattering around them, and you just want to bang all of their horrid families heads together and make them see what is most important about the whole thing.

Now, as I said, Melissa Hill's books usually have a twist in them that just doesn't become apparent until the end when you realise it's been slowly building, and I always love that element to her books. However, for the first time, I actually guessed the twist in this one. I don't know how, it wasn't obvious but for some reason I just picked it, and when it was revealed that I was right, I have to say I was a little disappointed, I did miss the surprise element of it that there usually is for me. That said though, it was well written and covered in the book, and I liked how the fall out of it was covered in the book. You're also left wondering if the wedding will indeed happen as you're reading, it isn't clear if there is going to be a happy ending or not for Cara and Shane, and I didn't want to put it down because I had to know how it would end!

I really enjoyed reading The Guest List very much, and liked how it slowly revealed its secrets, and the despair of poor old Cara and Shane who you can't help but really love the more you read on. With warring families, a beach wedding, and plenty of family shenanigans going on, there is lots happening in this book to make you want to keep reading, and by the time you reach the end, you'll be praying for a happy end to Cara's woes! A wedding is supposed to be one of the happiest times in a couple's life together, but Hill shows how quickly it can all go wrong. As usual, Hill's writing is a pleasure to read, and you can so easily lose yourself in the story, and the emotions which feel so real as you read along. The mystery and family secrets hidden inside are well worth reading for too, I wonder if anyone else will be able to guess it quite early on as I did?! A super read that's perfect for the upcoming summer months, or your holidays.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book, 9 May 2013
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This review is from: The Guest List (Kindle Edition)
Melissa Hill does it again with a brilliant unputdownable book. It follows the story of Cara and Shane trying to organise the wedding that they want, not the wedding everyone else wants them to have. I couldn't put it down and as usual there is a twist at the end. I would definitely recommend this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lighthearted, entertaining read xXx, 11 Sep 2013
By 
realovesbooks (South east London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Guest List (Kindle Edition)
I only read my first Melissa Hill book last year and I thoroughly enjoyed it so I couldn't wait to get my hands on her new release especially when I heard it was Wedding related.

When Shane proposes to Cara she is over the moon, but when their friends and family begin to "help" with the wedding plans things become more than a little stressful. Determined to have the Wedding they want they book their dream wedding but not everyone is pleased.

I absolutely loved this book and I devoured it in one sitting! All of the characters are very down to earth and the storyline is believable and because I am planning my wedding I could really relate to the story. It is nice to know even fictional characters have friends and family who like to take over when it comes to weddings!
I loved Kim who is Cara's sister in-law she was a very friendly, genuine and supportive character which is more than can be said for her spoilt sister Heidi, every time she appeared in the book she got my back up!
As the book moved along I couldn't put this book down I needed to see what on earth the families were going to say or do next and whether or not they would actually end up tying the knot!

I was pretty sure in my mind that I was going to be rating this an easy 4 star review but that all changed. Any of you who follow my reviews will know that I love unpredictable twists, well there is a shocking one in this book (I will be saying no more otherwise it will be a big spoiler alert) I really didn't see this one coming and so this blew the 4 star out the window and made this a 5 star read.

This is a fantastic light hearted, entertaining read that has family battles and I nice little hidden twist.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 5 July 2013
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This review is from: The Guest List (Kindle Edition)
I started this book on a Saturday morning and had finished it by 2am! I couldn't put it down and just needed to see what happened. The characters were brilliant, especially the not so nice ones. Have read all of Melissa Hill's books and this has to be one of the favourites. Love her books and the twists in them. Can't wait for the next book in October!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The guest list, 19 Jun 2013
By 
M. Perry (england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Guest List (Kindle Edition)
Brilliant book couldn't put it down from beginning to end another winner for Melissa Hill. If you are a fan of hers and haven't yet read this book then do so now!.

In a nutshell this was a lovely book about a woman about to get married how she and her husband to be wanted !and the obstacles the families from either side put in the way, very true to life with many twists and turns would be a lovely book to read by the pool or anywhere come to that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb read, I adored it!, 17 Jun 2013
By 
This review is from: The Guest List (Paperback)
Title: The Guest List
Author: Melissa Hill
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: April 2013

When funny, kind and gorgeous Shane proposes, Cara is over the moon, and can't wait to share the news of their engagement with all their friends and family.

Excitement, however, quickly turns to apprehension when it seems that everyone has a fixed idea of the perfect wedding and offers to 'help' with the planning. With tussles over the ceremony and the size of guest list, sibling rivalry and insistent-in-laws-to-be, Cara can see the vision she has of her big day being ripped to shreds.

So she and Shane determine to make a stand and do things their way. But when they announce their plans for a beach wedding on a beautiful Caribbean island, there is uproar. Threats are made, family secrets are revealed, and things turn decidedly stormy.

Will Cara and Shane manage to overcome all obstacles? or will their dream wedding turn into a nightmare?

I am such a huge fan of Melissa Hill's books, when I found out about this I was so excited and couldn't wait to read! The book cover is just so cute, Very girly and easily attracts people's eyes when on shelves in bookstores or supermarkets.

So we meet Cara who is very much happy in love with Shane Richardson but he soon proposes to her and Cara is over the moon and cannot wait to share her excitement with all their friends and family, but once they tell everyone, their families try and interfere by telling them what their dream wedding should be like, leaving Cara feeling very down and not what she was hoping...

I loved this so much, made me feel very happy and warm inside because I love a good wedding and throughout the book I was rooting for Cara and Shane to have the wedding of their dreams. I wasn't a huge fan of Shane's parent's at first they came across as very selfish but my mind was changed again later on in the book. You can simply warm up to all the characters in this book and feel part of the book.

I totally didn't expect the little story-line bomb near to the end, Melissa you really threw me completely, totally had me surprised, never expected to see that coming at all.

St Lucia for a perfect wedding scene for the book great choice definitely, while reading I was dreaming I was there too on the golden warm sandy beach with beautiful blue sky no cloud to be seen and very bright sunshine, very relaxing picturesque scene. Melissa certainly knows ways to get you wanting to be in the glorious Caribbean.

I always love books by Melissa because with her style of writing,m she always gets her readers hooked and excited with her books and always has pretty book covers that you just cannot resist.
I urge you all to go grab your own copy of The Guest List because has plenty of Irish-ness, Laughter, Love, Family affairs, Sadness, Friendship & A wonderful beach wedding...what not to miss!!

You Can Buy Right Now!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Complicated, Captivating and Magical, 19 July 2014
This review is from: The Guest List (Paperback)
The Clancey family is one of the most crazy yet loveable family that you will read about. Cara and Shane have been together for three years and after receiving a wedding invitation from a friend of Cara's, Cara beings to question whether or not Shane will ever propose. Though after a some confusing events, Cara is more sure than ever that Shane with not propose but all that doubt is quickly pushed aside when he finally asks Cara to marry him.

Although, Cara and Shane want a simple no fuss wedding, their families do not agree with them at all. Cara's mother Betty is pushing for a wedding that would involve a big fluffy wedding dress and three hundred plus wedding guests which is nothing that either of them want. Lauren, Shane's mother is no better wanting their wedding to be the highlight of the year, with them being very well known and having many influential friends it is mandatory to invite as many people as possible. Even though, they do not want to disappoint or upset their families, they want a wedding that they dreamed of and nothing that their mothers have suggested is even close to their ideas of a wedding.

Though Cara and Shane's upcoming wedding is not the only thing their family is celebrating, Heidi Cara's little sister and Kim, their sister-in-law who is married to their older brother Ben are both pregnant. Kim is such a laid back and loveable character that you can help but want to be friends with her. She makes running her own business and dealing with two children, seem like a breeze in the park, this baby will be Kim;s and Ben's third child adding to their two daughter that they already have. With Heidi being the youngest and having only been married a year is about to have her first baby with her husband, Paul, and in no certain terms she is being a drama queen, according to her siblings. I took a dislike to her straight away with her attitude and complaining you can really tell that her husband has treated her like a princess and she believes that everything revolves around her. It is hard to believe that Heidi could be related to Ben and Cara given that she is nothing like them at all, in fact she is the complete opposite.

When Cara and Shane decide to have a destination wedding on a lovely beach, they hoped that everyone would be happy with their idea, but it soon turns out that what they wanted didn't fit in with everyone else's plans for their wedding. It seems that everyone wants there only version to be used and not even considering what Cara and Shane want at all. Things start to unravel that has some unexpected results that affects both families, more than either had thought it would. Though that wasn't the only big event to happens leading up to the wedding, Cara, Ben and Heidi's sister gets involved with the wedding. Danielle is the oldest of all of them, she has lived in America most of her adult life after leaving home, Danielle and Betty have a love/hate relationship, no one knows about what happened and Betty always shuts everyone down who asks the reason behind it.

Although, all it takes is one comment to throw everything the family had ever believed into a massive web of lies, one that affects everyone and one that was never meant to be revealed. Though you know what they say, you can't have a wedding without any drama, and this book proves that is true.

The Guest List is full of surprises, proposals, pregnancy surprises and shocking secrets that you would never have seen coming and of course a wedding that makes this book that is wonderfully written story of love and the lengths we go to show that love. Even if sometimes it seems like the worse thing for everyone.

It is one of those books that you can't put down and before you know it you have flicked the last page. It was a book that allowed you to imagine the surroundings and wish you were there, if only that could be true.

If I had to sum this book up in three words, they would be Complicated, Captivating and Magical.
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3.0 out of 5 stars funny, sensible and supportive, 24 July 2014
By 
Jill Besterman (Jersey, Channel Islands United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Guest List (Unabridged) (Audio Download)
The main characters in this book, the bride-and-groom-to-be, Cara and Shane, are somewhat bland and predictable but the subsidiary characters are far more interesting. Betty, mother of the bride, is an Irish matriarch with an opinion on everything pertaining to her family and with no reservations in voicing them. She wants a big family wedding with all the uncles, aunts and cousins invited. Lauren, mother of the groom, is a society hostess who plans a wedding for her only son which would cement her position in the social stratum and would mean inviting all the movers and shakers in their circle. Heidi, Cara's younger sister, already married and expecting her first child, is an authority on all things marital and obstetric - actually a very silly little girl. These three all object most strongly to Cara and Shane's plans to have a Caribbean beach wedding. On Cara's side is her sister-in-law Kim, funny, sensible and supportive, pregnant with her third child but with a history of difficult births in the past, and Connor, Cara's nice boss who advises her to do follow her dream. In the background is Cara's somewhat mysterious, older sister, Danielle, who lives in Florida with long-term boyfriend Zac, after a long-term estrangement from her family. Cara and Shane win the initial battle but forget that this can be just the preliminary to a war to be fought out over the months before the wedding.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read, 30 April 2014
By 
F Keegan (N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Guest List (Paperback)
Cara comes from a traditional Irish family which is dysfunctional but loving. Danielle her older sister has flown the nest to America many years ago and no longer keeps in touch with her family, what is the secret she is trying to hide? Heidi , the drama queen and youngest sibling is fantastic at one-upmanship and so her world is torn asunder when Cara announces her engagement and their parents go into wedding mode.
Cara and Shane know what they want, a quiet wedding celebrated with a small group of nearest and dearest but both families want the wedding of the year and are quite happy to go into debt to achieve it. The happy couple put an end to their madness by announcing they will get married in St. Lucia and by doing this start both families off on a bid to make them marry at home for selfish reasons.
Can the bride and groom to be manage to get their wish or will they bow down to the pressure that comes in it's may forms from various family members?
I loved this book and could see this kind of thing happening easily. St.Lucia holds very special memories for me so I was pleased to see it being mentioned in the book. Both Cara and Shane were very likeable characters and while some were not so nice by the end of the book they had grown on me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great!!!, 26 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Guest List (Paperback)
Cara and Shane are the perfect couple. When Cara gets an invite to a wedding, the couple gets to talk about marriage too. Does Shane even want to get married? Then one night he has prepared everything and proposes. Apparently he had planned this for quite a while and just waited for the right moment.

Everybody is really happy about their engagement and Cara’s mum Betty immediately wants to plan everything and book the church already. Cara tries to tell her, that she and Shane just want a small wedding and that they are paying it themselves. Her mother doesn’t seem to understand. Also Shane’s parents are happy about it and would like to plan a huge wedding. It is harder than they think to tell their parents off. It was interesting to read what they tried to convince their parents from what they wanted, Melissa found a great way to put this into writing, I was taken into the story so easily.

Ben and Kim (her brother and her sister-in-law) are over the moon about it and support their decision all the way. Kim is pregnant with her third child. Cara’s sister Heidi is not at all happy about the engagement. And then when she wants to tell everybody about her pregnancy Cara and Kim share their news first. Heidi is a little dumb and overprotective about herself. It was so funny to read her comments, she brought a funny side into this novel.

Shane and Cara decide to go ahead and book their beach wedding in St. Lucia. Cara contacts her older sister Danielle, who lives in Florida, for details. Danielle doesn’t seem happy about the whole family coming over, but why? I couldn’t put the book down, because I wanted to find out about Danielle’s secret.

Cara’s parents are not happy about the decision either, but eventually they come round. And Heidi too (flying when I’m pregnant, no way!!!). But, what about Shane’s parents? They just can’t accept it and develop a cruel plan which creates new drama and misunderstandings.

Cara goes dress shopping and finds the perfect one, she is so happy. When Shane sees her like this, he cannot tell her what his parents have been up to. That’s why she hears from Shane’s mother about it. Cara is shocked!!!
At home she confronts Shane about it and he tries to explain himself. They start fighting and Cara decides to call the wedding off and leaves. She doesn’t want to ruin his relationship to his parents. I was so sad at this point of the story, I just wanted them to get back together, the perfect couple, but the drama was great as well.

Shane's parents seem to realize what they did, can the wedding still take place?

Then there is also also Danielle and her whole secret. At one point in the story it comes to a real showdown with all the family members there.

Danielle’s secret is revealed and it shockes everybody, especially Cara.

Well, I don't tell you what happens next...
The epilogue is really adorable and we hear some more great news ...

LOVE love love this story. I really was hooked to it. Amazing couple with chemistry, a lot of family drama and a great style of writing. AMAZING ♥
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