To Have and To Hold
Series: The Wedding Belles, #1
Author: Lauren Layne
Publication Date: July 26, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased 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?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Earlier this spring I read From This Day Forward, the prequel novella to Lauren Layne’s The Wedding Belles series. That short taste got me very excited for what was to come in the series. When I saw To Have and To Hold on NetGalley, I had to click request. I’m so happy I did! As always, Lauren Layne’s writing was smart, sharp-witted and fun to read.
In To Have and To Hold, Brooke Baldwin has run from her past in L.A. to join one of the most prestigious New York wedding planning companies. She’s hoping the new start will make everyone forget about the worst day of her life. She needs Maya Tyler’s wedding to go off without a hitch to redeem herself. She’s determined to give Maya the wedding of her dreams — no matter what her rich, grouchy, sexy brother says.
Seth Taylor isn’t about to let his only sister marry someone he knows absolutely nothing about. Someone he doesn’t think is telling the truth. So Seth sets out to discover the truth the only way he can think of — holding the purse strings and tagging along for all of the wedding planning. Seth’s plan is going smoothly until a certain beautiful wedding planner gets in his way. If Seth wants to stop this wedding, he’s going to have to figure out how to get Brooke on his side.
I knew Seth and Brooke’s love story was going to be entertaining to watch unfold from the minute they met. Their instant attraction was palpable, and their opposite goals could only lead to friction. The fact that neither of them was looking for any sort of relationship added to the fun.
Seth was my favorite character. His sourpuss attitude was amusing. He was such a caring guy, but really had a hard time showing it in an appropriate way. I loved the witty banter his grouchy, controlling disposition created.
Brooke was a very sweet character. She had been hurt badly in the past, but still believed in happily ever after. She was the perfect balance to Seth. I enjoyed the way she wouldn’t let him get away with ruining things for his sister.
I did feel like Brooke’s story was missing something, though. Her relationship with Clay hurt her badly, but even after she moved on to Seth, I never felt like she dealt with what he did to her. I don’t want to give anything away, but I would have liked to have seen her take a more active role in dealing with him.
I can’t leave out the supporting characters in this review. Maya made me smile. She was a spoiled little rich girl, but one who was sweet and kind of innocent. Her wedding planning adventures with Brooke were so much fun to read. And then there was Seth’s best buddy, Grant. I really wanted to know more about this guy! He deserves his own book, in my opinion.
To Have and To Hold was charming story about finding love when you least expect it. Fans of LL and her contemporary romances are sure to swoon for this delightful love story. And if you have yet to read one of her books, this would be a great place to start.