Review: To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne

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Review: To Have and to Hold by Lauren LayneTo Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles, #1)
by Lauren Layne
Published by Pocket Books on July 26th 2016
Pages: 384
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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?

I love the premise of this series. The Wedding Belles is about a group of women who run a wedding event business called the Wedding Belles. And I love wedding themed books, so this one appealed to me. Plus, it’s Lauren Layne!

To Have and to Hold is the second book in the series counting the prequel, From This Day Forward. If you haven’t read the prequel yet, it’s a available now, so you better get on it.

Anyway, THatH is Brooke Baldwin’s story. She’s the newest addition to the Wedding Belles, and boy, does she have baggage with her. Brooke left Los Angeles for New York after finding out that her fiance is actually a con man during her wedding.

Ouch.

So Brooke left LA behind for NY and the Wedding Belles. Her first client is a rich heiress intent on marrying a guy she barely knows and that her brother disapproves of. Brooke is caught between pleasing her client and being wildly and inappropriately attracted to the brother, Seth who is hell bent on proving that the guy his sister is marrying is nothing but a con man.

At first, I loved the tension between Brooke and Seth. I understood where Brooke is coming from. Her first priority was her client so I didn’t mind that she found Seth’s disapproval of the groom objectionable. But as the story moved along and it became apparent that something isn’t adding up about the groom, her stubbornness to acknowledge or at least investigate whether or not this guy is the real deal became frustrating. Especially when you consider what she went through, I thought she would understand Seth’s point of view. But she didn’t. And it became increasingly hard for me as a reader, to get on board with her decisions.

Seth was a perfect hero either. He made mistakes and he’s also very stubborn. But I know and most readers would know that everything he did came from a place of love. All he really wants is to protect his sister. I saw nothing wrong at all with what he did. So it was kind of annoying that Brooke was more upset about it than the bride. Although I have to say that he was wrong about the other thing he did. But again, I feel like it came from a good place.

Despite my issues with this book, I still enjoyed the story. It’s written well. The pacing is okay, and the ending was sweet and swoon-worthy. Plus, I’m already intrigued by the other characters in the book. Lauren Layne has a knack of really writing easy, readable stories that you can relate to. Unfortunately, this one wasn’t as great as I had anticipated but is still enjoyable nonetheless.

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

About Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and webmarketing. A year after moving from Seattle to NYC to pursue a writing career, she had an agent and multiple New York publishing deals.
She currently lives in midtown Manhattan with her husband.


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