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BOOK REVIEW – To Love and to Cherish (The Wedding Belles #3) by Lauren Layne

BOOK REVIEW – To Love and to Cherish (The Wedding Belles #3) by Lauren LayneTo Love and to Cherish (The Wedding Belles #3)
by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, a contemporary and witty romance series about three high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding—but their own.

Alexis Morgan has spent the past eight years devoted to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premiere wedding planning company, The Wedding Belles. Now that her business is thriving, it’s time to turn towards her much neglected personal life, and Alexis approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan. Not a part of that plan is Logan Harris, the silent partner in the Belles, and the one person who’s been there for her since the very beginning. But Alexis needs someone fun, and Logan’s all business, all the time—except when a late night at the office ends with an unexpected kiss that leaves the usually cool and together Alexis reeling.

Logan has lusted after Alexis since the day he walked into the tiny Harlem apartment that used to double as her office. But the ambitious wedding planner has always been untouchable...until now. Alexis has made it clear that she’s on the dating market—and equally clear that he’s not in the running. But when Alexis finds herself in need of a date for her sister’s last minute wedding in Florida, Logan knows it’s the perfect time to show Alexis that there’s more to him than numbers and spreadsheets—and beneath the pinstripes and glasses lies a hot-blooded heartthrob. As Florida’s sultry days turn into even hotter nights, Logan’s out to convince Alexis that the fling of a lifetime could just maybe turn into forever...

Review:

To Love and to Cherish started out so fabulously!  That prologue quickly pulled me in and I could feel the electricity between Alexis and Logan.  I laughed, I smiled, and I was having a blast flipping through the pages as I fell hard for Logan.  But then Alexis and I started to butt heads, and it only got progressively worse.  Which is so devastating, because I have struggled with this series *cries because LL is one of my favorite authors*.  Thankfully there is one book in this series I can highly recommend, For Better or Worse.  I fell madly in love with the second book in The Wedding Belles.  The banter, the fighting, the sexiness, the emotions that were pulled out of me, its definite a must read.  You can read my 5 Star review for that book here.  But for this current book, I couldn’t get past Alexis’ behavior and how she treated Logan.

Alexis is the creator of the Belles, and I could never get a good grasp on who she was in the previous books.  She could be such a conundrum at times, and I always wondered what had made her that way.  Well it doesn’t take us long to get a clear understanding to why Alexis is the way she is.  I felt beyond awful for what happened to her, and I fully understood why she had such severe trust issues.  But the poor guy who was put through the ringer, because of her trust issues, was Logan.

Logan is Alexis’ accountant, who’s been a constant in her life for the last 8 years.  He’s a true friend who she not only trusts with her company, but she even gave him a key to her apartment.  Now you see, this is where I struggled.  Because Alexis didn’t trust Logan with her heart at all.   Even though he proved himself multiple times throughout this book.  He showed her how he was loyal, how he cared for her, how he desperately wanted her.  Yet, she continually stepped backwards, and hurt him again and again.  Regardless of how much hurt she caused, he still wanted her and was patient.  And it got to the point where I thought he deserved someone better.  I wouldn’t have even batted an eyelash if Logan would have walked away.  I mean, a person can only take so much rejection.  And the amount of rejection that was shoveled his way was too much.  It broke my heart again and again.

Now what I loved about this book was Logan.  He was intriguing and easily pulled me in.  I loved learning the different sides of him.  Ohhh and  I loved watching him interact with Josh (he’s the main male character from For Better or Worse, that’s the favorite book I was talking about in the beginning of this review). So for Logan’s sake, I truly hope you’ll end up falling for this book way more than I did.  It was a lot of fun and there’s this cake tasting scene that was smile inducing and hot!  But then Alexis kept happening and that didn’t help me out any.  But on a positive note, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the next series LL creates will go back to being 5 Star status in my eyes!

*ARC kindly provided by Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
from this day forward lauren layne
From This Day Forward #0.5
Reviews:

Jen
To Have and to Hold
To Have and To Hold #1
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea
For Better or Worse Lauren Layne
For Better or Worse #2
Reviews:

Jen
to-love-and-to-cherish-lauren-layne
From This Day Forward #3
Reviews:

Jen

REVIEW + EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY – For Better or Worse (The Wedding Belles #2) by Lauren Layne

REVIEW + EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY - For Better or Worse (The Wedding Belles #2) by Lauren Layne

You guys, I loved this book! I already went back through and read my favorite scenes I’m not even going to tell you how many times. Josh, Heather, the fighting, the banter, oh my gosh, it was absolutely perfect! So check out my 5 Star Review below, read a sweet scene between Josh and Heather, and enter a fabulous giveaway to win a copy of this book. Enjoy!

REVIEW + EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY – For Better or Worse (The Wedding Belles #2) by Lauren LayneFor Better or Worse (The Wedding Belles #2)
by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Will a budding wedding planner and her bad boy neighbor stop banging heads and start hearing wedding bells in the sexy second novel in USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne’s irresistible new series that marries Sex and the City with The Wedding Planner?

When small-town girl Heather Fowler finally gets promoted from assistant to actual wedding planner, she’s determined to make it as one of Manhattan’s elite Wedding Belles. Unfortunately, her first client demands an opulent black-tie affair at the Plaza…in five months’ time. Heather’s days quickly become a flurry of cake tastings, dress-fittings, RSVP cards, and bridal tantrums. But what she’s really losing sleep over is the live music blaring from her playboy neighbor’s apartment all night.

Five years ago, Josh Tanner was an up-and-comer on Wall Street, complete with the penthouse and the migraines. But a grim cancer diagnosis made him realize there is more to life than the corner office. If only he could convince his pretty, workaholic neighbor to let loose, too. As Heather lets down her guard, Josh is surprised when he starts falling for the sweet, vulnerable woman hiding beneath those power suits. Soon, it’s Heather’s turn to convince Josh to take the biggest risk of all: love.

Review:

From the first chapter alone, I  knew for Better or Worse was going to be a favorite!  I was giddy, smiley and I already had butterflies dancing around in my stomach.  It was shocking how fast I fell for Josh, and I absolutely adored our heroine Heather.  This was the type of book that I couldn’t read fast enough, yet I wanted to savor it at the same time.  And I’m so ecstatic to say this, because while I thought the novella in this series was just good, the first book was a huge flop for me.  So I was crazy nervous picking up this book, especially since I usually love everything this author has written.  Well, except the first two books in this series *hides face while cringing*.  But  now I can proudly say that I have another LL book to add to my favorites list!

Yep. It was official. The new neighbor had to die. – Heather

Soooo, that first chapter.  I need someone to gush with me over it!  Heather finally has the dream apartment, and she believes she’s close to having her dream job.  Which is being promoted from Assistant Wedding Planner to Wedding Planner.  Yet there’s one huge flaw.  Her noisy neighbor next door who uses his apartment for band practice.  While Heather was storming over there to tell Josh to quiet down in the middle of the night, since she has to work the next morning, I was cheering her along.  But from the moment Josh opened that door, I was a goner.

Life was too short— way too short to sleep with only one person.
Did that make him an ass? Maybe. Did he care? Not particularly. – Josh

Josh Turner is one of those guys that is beyond sexy and mesmerizing.  He quickly captures your attention and there’s truly no getting out of his seduction.  He is forward yet withholds parts of himself, he is confident yet at other times unsure of what to say, oh he just felt so real to me.  And while Heather tries to stay indifferent to Josh and his player ways, he slowly starts to win her over.  I loved all of his attempts, even if his end game was to get her to sleep with him haha.  But over time, a friendship unfolded and it was all so natural and perfect.

Heather held her ground, and they were toe-to-toe, glare-to-glare.
She spread her arms to the side. “You happy? You get what you want?”
Josh shook his head. “Not even fucking close.”
His mouth slammed down on hers a half second before his hands closed greedily around her head as he took her in the hottest kiss of her life.

Their friendship was filled with banter, fighting (I LOVED their arguments, they were insanely sexy when they were fighting!), tenderness and a perfect amount of sexual tension that always left me begging for more.  Every time they were together, I kept thinking now this is my favorite moment in the book!  I even loved the nickname Josh used for Heather.  How in the world did I get so giddy over a nickname?!  Especially that one?!  Yet I did, and I always found myself smiling. 

He scooped up her mug and stood with a wink. “Damned if I don’t like you a little bit, 4C, especially when you’re all pissy and shit.”
Heather ignored this, pointedly looking out the window as she waited for him to return with more of the insane coffee.
But damned if she didn’t like him a little bit, too.

This time around I adored all of the Belles!  They felt fleshed out, which was one of my struggles with the first book.  And meeting Josh’s mom, oh I’m a huge fan, I couldn’t wait to see where she would pop up next ha.  They all fit seamlessly within the pages.  So as the story flowed, I continued to get pulled further and further into their lives.  And by that last chapter, I found myself crying.  Okay not just crying, I completely bawled my eyes out.  This story was absolutely perfect to me!  So if you had issues with the first book, like I did, I truly hope that you’ll give this one a try!  It’s more than worth it!

*ARC kindly provided by Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

 

 

BUY NOW
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Don’t Miss Any of the Wedding Belles Novels
 
Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
from this day forward lauren layne
From This Day Forward #0.5
Reviews:

Jen
To Have and to Hold
To Have and To Hold #1
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea
For Better or Worse Lauren Layne
For Better or Worse #2
Reviews:

Jen
to-love-and-to-cherish-lauren-layne
From This Day Forward #3
Reviews:

Jen
 
Excerpt:
“So this is where the noise happens, huh?” she asked.

Josh’s eyes narrowed as his friend’s hand touched Heather’s back briefly. “Absolutely,” Trevor said. “We’re sorry it keeps you up though.”

“Oh, it’s okay,” she said, waving her hand. “I mean . . . it’s not. But tonight I couldn’t sleep anyway, so you get a free pass. What do you all play?”

“Donny’s bass, Felix is on drums. Josh is lead guitar, and I, as the most important member, have the pipes.”

“Oh! I thought Josh was the singer,” Heather said with a quick glance over her shoulder at him.

Their eyes locked, and Josh felt a flicker of . . . something.

“Ah, is that what he’s telling the women these days,” Trevor joked.

“No, I just . . . I hear him, singing sometimes,” Heather muttered.

“Our boy can carry a tune well enough, but wait until you hear me, love,” Trevor said.
Josh turned away in mild disgust, pulling a beer out of the fridge as Trevor and the other guys coaxed Heather into the practice room, thrilled to have any sort of audience, even a reluctant one.

“Yo, Tanner,” Felix called.

“What,” he called, popping the lid off the bottle and tilting the beer back to his lips as he tried to shake off whatever was bringing down his mood tonight.

“Let’s show Heather here that we’re more than a bit of noise coming through her bedroom wall.”

Josh turned around to see Donny dragging one of his kitchen chairs across the room, disappearing into the practice room.

“All right, love, you just sit down and get comfortable,” Trevor said. “Tanner! Come on, man.”

Josh heard the low strum of Donny’s guitar, heard Felix do a little warm-up rhythm, and knew there was no way of getting out of it. If he refused to play a song now, he’d look like an ass.

Still, his feet didn’t move, and he took another sip of beer.

Feeling eyes on him, he glanced up to see Heather in the doorway, leaning one shoulder against the doorjamb as she studied him.

“Okay, 4A?” she asked.

Her tone was lighthearted, almost slightly reluctant, as though she didn’t want to care about why he was out here alone, feeling oddly itchy with his life.

He appreciated it. He’d spent enough time in the past few years dealing with people who walked on eggshells around him, cooing sweetness. Some of it genuine, some of it not so much.

Heather’s no-nonsense question was refreshing—and exactly what he needed.

He was happy and healthy and living the dream, damn it.

Even if he was no longer sure it was his dream.

“You going soft on me?” he asked, taking one last sip of his beer before setting it aside and strolling toward her.

Heather’s eyes narrowed. “Hardly. I just wanted you to get your shit together so I can see your cute lead singer work his magic.”

He deliberately stepped into the doorway so she couldn’t move in either direction without brushing against him, grinning at her discomfort.

“You’re in a better mood tonight,” he said, his eyes skimming over her crazy curls and relaxed expression. “Why?”

“Believe it or not, I’m not a shrew.”

“Huh.”

Heather shoved his shoulder with a little scowl. “I’m not!”

“Does that mean you’re going to start making banana bread like Mrs. Calvin?”

“Yes, definitely. And coffee cake and sugar cookies and whatever other goodies you might like. All while wearing a frilly, feminine apron.”

“Dare I hope there’s nothing under the apron?” he asked, leaning in slightly.

“Right again!” she said, in mock delight. “I just love to bake naked.”

Josh’s pulse leapt, but Trevor interrupted before the sudden X-rated picture in his mind could turn into a full-fledged fantasy.

“Dude, we doing this or what?”

Josh looked at Heather.

“One song,” she said, holding up a finger. “I may as well see what the music sounds like on this side of the wall.”

About Author:
Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.
In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.
In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.
For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!

 

Giveaway:

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BOOK REVIEW: To Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles #1) by Lauren Layne

BOOK REVIEW: To Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles #1) by Lauren LayneTo Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles #1)
by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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?

Seth linked his fingers in hers. “Take me home, Baldwin.”
She laughed. “You know, for such a rich, savvy guy, you can be a total dork.”
“I like to think it reveals my vulnerable side.”
She glanced up at him suspiciously. “Do you have a vulnerable side?”
“I do. Her name is Brooke.”

Alright. So. I don’t think this will be very long because, as everyone around me knows, I hate bashing my favorite authors, especially one where this is the only book in existence I really don’t like by them. Unless something big happens that really sets me off or the book is just offensive on too many fronts, I don’t relish writing negative or down-trodden reviews. They’re depressing, they’re bleak, and they aren’t actually all that constructive.

But I’m sure all my friends who know I adore LL are wondering why this one didn’t work for me. And the answer is really simple: I did love the male lead, but everyone else was like a paper character in a paper play in a city made of, you guessed it, paper. Had this been….more…I doubt I would have felt disinterest for it. But, as it is, all I could think about was getting on to my next book, and, frankly, that’s a re-read….which doesn’t bode well for my attachment to this story.

“Brooke.”
She paused and looked at him, exasperated. “What?”
“Stay out of my way,” he repeated.
“Under one condition,” she said with a wide, fake smile.
He narrowed his eyes and waited.
“I’ll stay out of your way, big brother”—Brooke reached a hand up to his cheek, patted it with a condescending familiarity—“if you stay out of mine.”

Seth was, and always will be, the star of this story. He was the reason I didn’t DNF, he is the reason I still smiled and sighed and, in the end, was a gooey mess of ‘please love me, not her.’ I am extremely loyal to the men I fall in love with, even more so when they steal my heart completely. I can’t say Seth was my favorite LL character (I think that prize belongs to my baby Mitchell), but he was damn vulnerable, sweet, sexy, and powerful….He was a win in all the ways that mattered and I felt so bad this was his story-He deserved so much more, in my opinion.

Objectively, he was aware that he’d known this woman for a little over a month. It was far too soon to start thinking of them as a unit—to start thinking of her as his. And yet, he also knew down to the quietest, most secret part of his soul that she was his. And he was hers.
And that they would fix whatever had broken inside her.

And when his morals started coming into question, it really fucking pissed me off. I get it-we have to have the inevitable falling apart near the end so it can be swept up and made adorable-I get it. I even love this in LL’s, I really do. But what I can’t get over is how he was looked at, portrayed, and betrayed by those he loves most (aside from his sister, who, I thought would be the biggest issue but was, in fact, the least annoying side character) when he was just trying to help in the only way he knows how. SO, yeah, he wasn’t perfect and he makes mistakes-But the way he was treated….my BBF claws came out and I was ready to tear some people a new A-hole.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw her slide her phone into her bag, and was surprised when she shifted her body around to face him. She didn’t even try to hide the fact that she was studying him. He half expected her to start jotting notes about him in her little book.
Uptight.
Control freak.
Unlikable.

And then I guess to wrap this up I need to address the heroine and her new cronies (aka, the wannabe Stiletto squad). I liked Brooke-a lot. But I feel like she was very…me me me. And while with most lead MCs this doesn’t bother me when they are like this, she did. For whatever reason, when she would flub up, I didn’t find it endearing-like I usually do-so much as obnoxious or eye-roll worthy. She was the sweetest chick and I was rooting for her, but when she causes problem after problem for literally no other reason than she’s scared, I can’t help but to get annoyed.

And as for her friends….I might have dozed off a bit as my mind began to wonder into la-la land when they were present. Never have I cared less about LL side characters…and GOD does that fucking suck. I don’t know what to say about them other than they are the first side kicks that I didn’t connect with. Maya, Seth’s sister, yes-I loved. Grant, Seth’s best friend-yes, he was okay, until the end in which I might have ripped his balls off with said BBF claws. But the Wedding Belle’s I was just talking about?? *Snooooooooooreeeeeee*

“There is no after dinner. It’s a business meeting.”
“Poor Brooke,” Maya said, patting Brooke’s hand. “I don’t think you realize just how much trouble you’re in.”
“How so?”
“Let’s just say when my brother wants something, he gets it. Always.”

So, ouch, that hurt. It did. But I think I’m at the point where if no one reads this other than myself (over and over and over again to edit and re edit), that’s okay with me. But, if by some small chance a new friend or someone who believes what I say on a regular basis looks to this review for candid advice, I can’t lie and pretend like it was okay-Because it wasn’t. If I can steer someone to literally any other LL book or series for their first endeavor, I will do everything in my power to do so. This author rocks and I adore her, so I’m extremely disappointed that I’m not liking where this series is going. I have 5 starred almost every single book she’s written, aside from a couple 4/4.5 stars, and that’s astronomical. This is my first full-length novel by her I’ve rated below a four…and it’s not a feeling I’m familiar with. I hope that you’ll see past my distance towards this book and look to what I’ve really been trying to say here: This may have been a miss, but there literally isn’t another one of her books I think negatively of. Go find them-and enjoy.

******************

Well…definitely not what I had hoped for. It was up and down, repetitive, and, most importantly, I was bored (a lot). As usual, the male lead was the star of the show and he had me smiling so big more often than not. In the end, I was a gooey emotional mess, choking on butterflies, and utterly won over….but, at that point, it was too little too late.

Some of the characters felt underdeveloped and it felt like a sad imitation of the Stiletto girls. I think I was most disappointed because this had so many perfect, wonderful developments that could have made this a five star, easily. I just hate in books when something happens and everyone reacts and blames [and gangs up on] the male lead and UGH I just HATE it. This put the final nail in the three star coffin for me. I don’t know.

Anyway, I’ll write a review, but it might be a couple days because I have so little time these days…and this just kills me to rate this so low.

RTC

BOOK REVIEW – To Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles #1) by Lauren Layne

BOOK REVIEW – To Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles #1) by Lauren LayneTo Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles #1)
by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Discovering her fiancé 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 fiancé 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?

Review:

Oh my gosh, I feel sick to my stomach and I want to cry over this rating.   I love this author.   In case you didn’t know, she’s one of my favorites.  I adore her books and her latest releases always makes me think, now this is my favorite.  Just like two of her releases this year, I Wish You Were Mine and Good Girl.  Wow, they were sooooo good and definitely must reads!  But To Have And to Hold didn’t wow me or let alone work for me.  I loved some of the ideas, but unfortunately the story and the majority of the characters fell flat.  *cries*

I kept thinking what was wrong with me?  I should love this!  So I sent a whining text to my co-blogger Chelsea, who had just finished this book.  I rambled on in my text that the main male character felt fleshed out but the others were like cardboard characters.  That the heroine and side characters would vacillate between being believable to being written like they were one-dimensional, and I just didn’t get it.  Chelsea was like wait…..and she screen shot her review.  Our thoughts were so similar, I wasn’t alone!  But I still hoped that my opinion might change. But as I continued trudging through the pages, I was left feeling not much at all.

We start out the story following Brooke who has recently moved to NY from LA.  She’s been hired by The Wedding Belles and I went into this thinking YAY, another group of females to love.  Because I love, love, love the women at Stilleto!  But the Belle ladies didn’t even get close to the friendship, love and banter of the Stiletto women.  And while I have a fabulous grasp on what each character looks like in Stiletto, well, I don’t even remember what our heroine looks like let alone any of the 3 other women.  None of the Belle’s stood out.  I truly wished each of them and their friendship would have floated off of the pages and into my heart. *cries again*

So with the Wedding Belle ladies falling flat, I hoped I would love Brooke.  But that didn’t happen either.  Her internal dialogues never gripped me and in the moments where it felt like Brooke’s character was alive, she rubbed me in all of the wrong ways.  Her actions and words irritated me in certain situations.  Like the breakfast scene.  I just wanted to knock some sense into her.  Now I’m usually a little too forgiving when it comes to heroines.  But this time, I didn’t care for her enough to want to work towards forgiveness or even liking her.

So Brooke meets Seth, who is going to help pay for his little sister’s wedding.  And ultimately Seth becomes the one who wants Brooke to help him unplan the wedding, because he doesn’t trust his sister’s fiance.  And this is where I got hung up.  Because things come into play and I kept scratching my head wondering why no one mentioned View Spoiler »  Maybe that’s too logical, but I wish one of them would have at least talked about it.  And Seth being the guy who tries every avenue to help or protect the ones he loves, I was shocked he never thought of it.

Now you see, at first I loved Seth. He was my only light in this whole book.  He felt real.  I could feel his emotions radiating off of the page.  Plus I loved how demanding and sometimes possessive he could be, oh, he was so hot.  But then, my feelings towards him stopped.  I don’t now if it’s because I couldn’t truly care for the other characters and those meh feelings transferred over to Seth?  *shrugs*  I’m so disappointed and saddened I felt this way towards this book and the characters.  I wish I could give this book a glowing review, but I can’t.  But on a huge positive note, I’m definitely going to try the 2nd book in this series, so fingers crossed that book will be a much better fit!

*ARC kindly provided by Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

 

EXCERPT+GIVEAWAY: To Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles #1) by Lauren Layne

EXCERPT+GIVEAWAY: To Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles #1) by Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne has always been one of my favorite authors. Her books are always so sweet and they never fail to lift my mood-no matter how dour. That being said, I am so excited to be showing off her newest twist on quirky contemporary! Check out below to see an excerpt and an awesome giveaway. Enjoy! <3

EXCERPT+GIVEAWAY: To Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles #1) by Lauren LayneTo Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles #1)
by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis:

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?

Excerpt:
Hold on. Back up. Back all the way up. What do you mean you’re getting married?”
It was eleven p.m. on a Wednesday, and Seth Tyler was exactly where he always was these days: behind his expansive mahogany desk at the Tyler Hotel Group, suit jacket slung over the back of his ergonomic chair, tie begging to be undone, impeccably pressed white shirt cuffed at the wrists.
He raked a hand through his thick light brown hair in frustration and fixed his younger sister with his best no-nonsense glare, an approximation—like everything else he seemed to do lately—of his deceased father.
When Seth’s father dropped dead of a heart attack eight months ago, Seth had thought the hardest part about his father’s passing—other than the mourning, of course—would be taking over the family company.
Sure, Seth had been groomed for the role. He’d wanted the president and CEO title. He’d always wanted it.
Eventually.
But not yet, for God’s sake.
Seth had no problem admitting that he was a perfectionist, and he’d been bound and determined to take over the family company his way. The right way.
And the right way, as Seth had determined it, was spending at least a year shadowing each of the senior-level Tyler Hotel Group executives. Seth had wanted to learn every possible detail, every in and out of the business, before even thinking about taking over the reins of the Fortune 500 company.
But his father’s heart had had other plans. Mainly, up and quitting during a routine round of golf. And so, quietly, per his father’s wishes, Seth had become CEO two years ahead of schedule.
Not a day passed that Seth didn’t wish his father was still with him, but in truth, taking his place at the head of the boardroom table had been easier than Seth had anticipated. The investors hadn’t freaked out. The executive team hadn’t left in mass exodus. Even Hank’s longtime assistant, Etta, had stuck around, seemingly content to call Seth boss even as she busted his balls about not eating enough vegetables, getting enough sleep, or getting his hair cut.
But if taking over the family company was easier than Seth had expected, there was one ramification of Hank Tyler’s death that Seth hadn’t been in the least prepared for:
A wedding.
Maya Tyler inhaled a long, patient breath, as though preparing to deal with a difficult child. “Well see, marriage, Seth, is when two people fall in love and decide to spend the rest of their lives—”
“Yes, I’m aware of how marriage works,” Seth interrupted. Although, not as aware as well as he’d like, as it turned out. He wouldn’t be getting any firsthand knowledge of how marriage worked any time soon.
Maya bit her lip. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to remind you of Nadia.”
Seth glanced down at his desk to avoid his sister’s too-perceptive gaze. She wasn’t wrong. He’d gotten to the point where he could go most days without thinking of his ex, but he hadn’t yet figured out how to think about marriage without hearing the incredulous laugh she’d let out when he’d gone on one knee and showed her the ring he’d spent months picking out.
“Can we not?” he said curtly.
“Don’t get pissed. It’s a wedding. You’re supposed to be happy.”
“I’m not pissed; I’m just surprised.”
That was an understatement. Seth had not seen this coming, and for a man who exercised precision in all things, he couldn’t say he was enjoying the shock value of Maya’s announcement. Especially not on the heels of his father’s death. A death that everyone but Seth had seen coming, because Seth had been the lone outsider on the knowledge that was his father’s longtime heart condition.
Apparently, Hank had considered his only son a control freak—had known that Seth would have stopped at nothing to try to halt death in its tracks.
His father had been, well, right. It was hard to admit, but if Seth had known about his father’s condition, he’d have devoted every waking hour to researching experimental treatment and the best doctors.
Hank Tyler hadn’t wanted that for his final months. Not for himself or for Seth.
Still, Seth resented not having the choice. Resented his father nearly as much as he missed him.
But he’d put that behind him. Mostly.
Hank was gone, and Maya was still here. Maya was all he had.
He had known she was dating a new guy—Neil something or other. But Seth hadn’t thought a thing about it. Maya had whipped through a constant string of casual boyfriends since high school, and other than a two-year relationship in college, they had never been serious.
And it certainly hadn’t gotten close to marriage.
What’s worse, Seth hadn’t even met this man that was apparently to be his brother-in-law.
But none of this would have mattered, not really, if Seth’s instincts hadn’t been buzzing that something was amiss with the way this was all going down. Something was off. He knew it down to his gut.
“How long have you been seeing this guy?” he asked.
Maya slumped back in the plush chair facing Seth’s desk with a groan. “Don’t do this. I knew you were going to do this.”
He frowned. “Do what?”
“The big brother thing,” she said.
“Hard not to, what with me being six years older and all,” Seth said.
He didn’t add that he was doubly obligated to be protective given Hank’s death just months earlier. Maya had definitely been Daddy’s Little Princess. She still got tears in her eyes every time their father’s name was mentioned.
Maya leaned forward, her pale blue eyes much like his own, although her blond hair was lighter than his, thanks to her frequent trips to the salon.
“I love him, Seth. I know you’re jaded these days, but Neil is exactly the type of guy we women spend our entire lives dreaming about.”
Seth bit his tongue to stop from saying that he bet Maya was exactly the type of girl that guys like Neil dreamed about, too. Young, pretty . . . and filthy rich.
Or so Neil likely thought.
 
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About Lauren Layne:

Lauren lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian. 

Five years ago, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan. 

She writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush, and in her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. 

When not bringing The Sexy, she likes to blog about her Instagram addiction, and why mean girls are the worst!

 
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