Title: To Have and To Hold | Series: The Wedding Belles #1 | Author: Lauren Layne | Publisher: Pocket Books | Publication date: July 26th 2016 | Num. Pages: 384 | Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
4 stars – Another great Lauren Layne book with characters to fall in love with
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 really enjoyed To Have and To Hold. It’s got to be one of my favourites of Lauren Layne’s and when you consider how much I’ve enjoyed her others this is saying something. I’m not really what one would call romantic despite my main genre of books being romance in all its forms but I like how this book was written.
Although it had the typical alpha-billionaire who hates romance trope in Seth Tyler it was also atypical in that I liked him from the get go. The first chapter was a great opener to Seth’s character:
Hold on. Back up. Back all the way up. What do you mean you’re getting married?
His character made me smile throughout the fun parts and grit my teeth in frustration at the parts where he royally messed up – which were more than I would have liked. Seth just kind of had this aura of “oh dear God love is messy” and at first I wasn’t sure why until it was explained. No one likes being rejected am I right?
Seth? He got rejected in the ultimate way. His long time girlfriend rejected his marriage proposal. IF that doesn’t turn a body off love for a while then I don’t know what else could.
On the flip side we’ve got Brooke Baldwin – a Cali wedding planner who comes to Manhattan after a messy ending to her own wedding – and she’s got a sweet lovey-dovey demeanour.
She moved from California to start over after the disaster that was her wedding day and she became a member of the Wedding Belles – an exclusive wedding planning business in Manhattan where they get the most exclusive clients. To Have and To Hold is the wedding planning of Maya Tyler – Seth’s sister.
The book is predominantly about the wedding planning aspect but I also really like the romance and build up or a relationship between Seth and Brooke and I liked the twist towards the end as well.
The whole thing is based on Seth’s utter dislike of his sisters fiancé who he’s only just met and I like how LL writes his distaste of Neil into the book and how she writes Seth getting his own way in the end – even if not in the way he would have had it go.
A secondary character that I really liked was Grant and I liked his little ending though I’d like it even more if he got his own little novella.
The writing flowed well and the plot kept me interested from beginning to end. The dialogue was humourous and the characters brilliantly written.
I’ve already moved on to the next one in the series and am enjoying that too.