To Have and To Hold (the wedding belles #1), by Lauren Layne

5 off the charts stars!!

to have and to hold

Every time I read a Lauren Layne book I feel like I’m diving into a giant hot fudge sundae.  I want to savor each bite, and somehow devour it at the same time!

These characters had me crying, happy tears, frustrated tears… just tears.  I don’t even know which character to start with I loved them both so equally which usually doesn’t happen while I read a novel.  I tend to like one character more than the other.

Okay let’s start with Seth who was such a complex character.  While of course being obviously hot, he was also very controlled.  Everything in his life has to be controlled by him; he has a timeline for everything.   Seth takes controlling everything in his life over the top.  When he decides to propose to his then girlfriend and she turns him down he realizes that happily ever after does not exist.  Then his sister comes to him and tells him that she is engaged to someone he hasn’t even met! This blows Seth’s mind because yes they are wealthy so automatically this guy is out to get Maya’s money.  The way Seth demands things of people instead of just asking really goes to show how controlling his character is.  He doesn’t learn how to ask for things until he meets Maya’s wedding planner.  While Seth does come off as a person with severe “my way or the highway” attitude,  he does have a real loving connection with those around him.  That includes his best friend Grant who tells him like it is and calls him on all of his bull crap.  My favorite person that he doesn’t realize he loves like a family member is Etta his assistant.  When she is first introduced in this book and Etta brings in her intern to call Seth on his sappy lovesick face I almost died of laughter.  I feel like in the beginning Seth has almost a frozen heart and as he continues to meet with Brooke it slowly un-thaws.

While’s Seth’s ex may have been a little cold and off putting Brooke’s ex did a gigantic number on her.   Honestly if I could’ve reached through the book and smacked her ex I would have.  Brooke is new to the Belle’s and the East coast.  She originated from the west coast as a wedding planner, and then planned her own wedding which fell through in the most horrific way possible.  Brooke’s happy go lucky perseverance is what got me to like her instantly.  Of course she is running away from what happened back home but I think the Belle’s are the perfect fit for her. I am always in love with how Lauren Layne writes female friendships.  These are real friendships, heck these are my friendships.  Everyone has everyone else’s back which is fabulous.  Brooke is denying her breakdown about her ex and things start to steam up with Seth.  Can she maintain a one night stand or will she fall head over heels.  How Brooke reacts to all of her true feelings is of course highly emotional (cue tears), however I love how she is woman enough to apologize when she is wrong. She is stronger than she realizes which is one of her best qualities.

One question to Mrs. Layne … how long until we get to see the accountant again??? I can’t stop thinking about him!!! UGH… don’t make me wait long! 😉

little excerpt…

His jaw clenched. “You said… you were afraid you’d want lunch. And that after lunch you’d want dinner.”

“Right,” she said nervously.

“Have dinner with me.”

Oh. Oh.

He took another step closer, hands still shoved in his pockets, his shoulders hunched up around his ears like he was nervous.  Nervous she might say no.

“I’m hungry, and I’m here,and if you don’t have plans, I’d like to take you to dinner.”

She swallowed. “To discuss wedding stuff?”

He shook his head once. “No because I want more too.”

Thank you, thank you! to Lauren Layne, Pocket Books, and Netgalley for allowing me to review this egalley for my honest opinion.

Goodreads link here.

book blurb..

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Expected publication: July 26th 2016 by Pocket Books
Original Title To Have and to Hold

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?

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