There are some authors whose books I buy without evening needing to know what it’s about. Lauren Layne has become one of those authors for me. She has a book releasing, and it’s marked down in my calendar to buy. To Have and to Hold is book 1 in a new series by her called Wedding Belles, and it did not disappoint.
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?
This was an incredibly cute and lovely story. When we meet Brooke, life has kicked her harshly in the pants, and while she’s down, she’s definitely not out for the count. Brooke is fun, sassy, and has a never say die attitude. It was awesome watching her find her place in a new city, at a new job, and connect and build relationships with her coworkers who are most definitely going to become/are becoming her new set of girlfriends.
I had read that Seth was a take on the Mr. Darcy character (also, by the way, Mr. Darcy is most definitely one of my favourite characters, ever.) and as I was reading this book I could most definitely see it. Seth is a control freak. There’s probably nicer ways to put it, but it all comes down to the same thing. Control freak. And unfortunately, this comes across often as trying to micromanage people rather than that he cares – which he very much does. I ached sometimes for Seth because he cares so much, he has just a different way of showing it, and he has to learn how to show he cares in different ways.
Put Brooke and Seth together though, and they’re a show stopper. The passion and sizzle between them are awesome, as well as the banter. (You have to have good banter, otherwise, a romance book is a bust, in my opinion). You want them to work out, and you’re rooting for them from the beginning. Also the ending – be still my heart. It was so wonderful.
This was a great first book in a new series, and I can’t wait to read the next two. This is a definite must read if you’re in the market for a romance story.