Series: The Wedding Belles #1
Published by Pocket Books on July 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne is the “queen of witty dialogue and sexy scenes” (Rachel Van Dyken)! Now, Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, her sizzling brand new contemporary romance series about three ambitious wedding planners who can make any bride’s dream come true... but their own.
Discovering her fiance is an international con man just moments before they exchange vows devastates celebrity wedding planner Brooke Baldwin's business—and breaks her heart. Now a pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet—if slightly spoiled—hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse strings.
Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank check and be done with his sister Maya's fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately, micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiance is a liar. Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be planning... is theirs?
Lauren Layne is one of my favorite authors. She never fails to deliver a well-rounded story, with characters that are relatable. To Have and To Hold is no different. With a great plot, interesting characters, and witty dialogue, this was an entertaining read from start to finish.
“It’s not as though Brooke had meant to start dating a con man. She certainly didn’t intend to get engaged to one.”
Brooke has had her heart broken and her foundation rocked. Picking up her life and starting over in New York seems like the perfect way to move on from her past. I love Brooke’s attitude of always looking on the bright side. Even with all she has been through, she still believes in happily ever after and is not jaded about love. This goes a long way in helping her get far in her career as an elite wedding planner.
“But something about this man’s entitled attitude set her on edge. No, scratch that. Everything about him set her on edge.”
Brook crosses paths with Seth Tyler when he insists on being a part of the planning process for his sister’s wedding. Seth is a control freak, who is used to getting what he wants. Their attraction is undeniable, but neither can decide if they actually like each other. Thus ensues a lot of heated arguments and scathing banter, as these two lash out at each other while trying to fight their feelings.
“But this relaxed, friendly Brooke who was currently looking at him with un-shuttered eyes…he wanted to know her in ways other than just naked ways. Wanted to know what made her laugh, what made her cry…”
I enjoyed the slow burn of attraction between Seth and Brooke. It’s always fun to read about love/hate relationships because you know they will eventually combust. Unfortunately, Seth isn’t the type of hero that is immediately endearing. He takes some time to warm up to but eventually, we see his vulnerabilities come through. It is clear Brooke brings out the best in him.
The side characters were also well-rounded and were good sounding boards when the voice of reason was needed to knock some sense into the hero and heroine. There were a couple of instances where I thought Brooke’s actions were a bit over the top, but that didn’t detract from the overall story. At times, I struggled with the characters’ reasoning, but overall, I think both Brooke and Seth showed a lot of growth throughout the book. This was a great start to a new series, and I look forward to reading about the other characters in future books.
“He was better than good. He was better than he’d been in a long time, all because he was more alive than he’d ever felt. It was like some sort of damned movie where the character didn’t even know he was half whole until he met that one person who completed him.”