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?
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published July 26th 2016 by Pocket Books
Three stars: A book with plenty of sizzle, but the romance is hot and cold and it suffers from a big stumble at the end, that I felt was overly dramatic.
Brooke is ready to start her new life in New York, leaving all the troubles of California behind her, so she hopes. Brooke is a wedding planner whose ultimate wedding went wrong when the bride was left at the alter because the groom was hauled away in handcuffs for fraud and embezzlement, ruining her career. What made it worse, was that bride was Brooke herself. Her first wedding proves to be a challenge when Brooke is faced with planning a wedding for one of New York's most wealthy heiresses who comes with an overprotective brother. Will Brooke be able to save her career and pull off the ultimate wedding or will she remain broken?
What I Liked:
- After all the buzz about the Wedding Belles Series, I decided to take the plunge and try this series. I liked the first book: To Have and To Hold, it features a fun cast of characters, great setting and a heated romance.
- Brooke was one of the highlights of the book for me. I liked learning her back story, how she was jilted at the alter, but she is a fighter and she comes clawing back. I liked seeing her make a new beginning, and how she refused to give up on love. I also liked watching her settle into her new digs as part of the Wedding Belles.
- Seth is a tougher sell than Brooke as he is a bit uptight and overprotective, but underneath he has a big heart. I actually appreciated the way he protected his younger sister, and I wasn't bothered at all by the lengths he went to make sure the women he loved wouldn't get hurt.
- The secondary cast of characters were charming and entertaining. I was intrigued by the rest of the Belles, especially Heather and Alexis, and I can't wait for their stories. I also enjoyed Maya and Grant. I thought Maya was terrific, and I loved when she stood up to the snotty wedding dress shop owner.
- I was surprised and pleased by the way the secondary romance unfolded. It was a terrific way to end the conflict. I just wish there was more of it.
- The setting, New York City, was fantastic. I loved exploring the city from the upscale boutiques to skyscrapers.
- The ending was nice and neat, tying off all the story lines in this book and it ended without any cliffhangers or unanswered questions, a stand alone.
And The Not So Much:
- The romance was a struggle for me. First, it starts off with heat and lust, and then that lust remains as underlying tension until it moves into the sex part. Then it is more heat and desire. However, the romance continues to take a step forward and then moves two steps back due to misunderstandings, which I found totally frustrating. Finally, at the end there is a big dramatic blow up, which I just didn't understand. I thought Brooke's reaction was a bit ridiculous, especially when all the truth came out as to why Seth did it. It was just too much drama for me.
- I adored the secondary romance, and I was so disappointed when it came together off scene. I was waiting and waiting for that moment and then I got a quick recap. I wanted all the details and to see it happen on scene.
To Have and To Hold is a nice contemporary romance. I enjoyed the characters, the setting, the secondary romance and the wedding planning, but I was disappointed in the unnecessary drama with the main romance which ran hot and cold throughout. I know many have read and loved this book so if you can handle some angst and drama, pick it up. I still am going to continue the series as I have so many great things, I am just hoping that my second round will go better.
I borrowed a copy of this book from the library. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.