REVIEW – FOR BETTER OR WORSE (The Wedding Belles #2) by Lauren Layne

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SYNOPSIS:

Will a budding wedding planner and her bad boy neighbor stop banging heads and start hearing wedding bells in the sexy second novel in USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne’s irresistible new series that marries Sex and the City with The Wedding Planner?

When small-town girl Heather Fowler finally gets promoted from assistant to actual wedding planner, she’s determined to make it as one of Manhattan’s elite Wedding Belles. Unfortunately, her first client demands an opulent black-tie affair at the Plaza…in five months’ time. Heather’s days quickly become a flurry of cake tastings, dress-fittings, RSVP cards, and bridal tantrums. But what she’s really losing sleep over is the live music blaring from her playboy neighbor’s apartment all night.

Five years ago, Josh Tanner was an up-and-comer on Wall Street, complete with the penthouse and the migraines. But a grim cancer diagnosis made him realize there is more to life than the corner office. If only he could convince his pretty, workaholic neighbor to let loose, too. As Heather lets down her guard, Josh is surprised when he starts falling for the sweet, vulnerable woman hiding beneath those power suits. Soon, it’s Heather’s turn to convince Josh to take the biggest risk of all: love.

*****Patty’s Review*****

*****4.5 STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

They were enjoying each other, which is all he’d wanted from the very beginning. And now that he had what he wanted, it was somehow not enough? What the fuck was that about?

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The Wedding Belles series is quickly becoming one of my top faves by Lauren Layne. I really had my doubts when I read the first novella but after having read books one and two, this is becoming a solid HIT for me!!! Another enemies-to-lovers story, For Better Or Worse had an engaging storyline, an endearing Heroine, and a Hero who will be melting the panties off of many a reader!!

Heather Fowler is the current Assistant Wedding Planner ofThe Belles, but she is being groomed for a promotion to full-fledged Wedding Planner. She’s been assigned to plan the wedding of Page Six socialite, Danica Robinson, and if she can pull off the diva’s dream wedding, Heather’s promotion will be in the bag. Heather has her dream job within her grasp and also just moved into a cute NYC apartment, but she runs into a little snag along the way – she has one very noisy next door neighbor who likes to practice his very LOUD rock music late in the evenings.

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Heather and Josh’s first meeting is not all hearts and flowers. She practically bites Josh’s head off but he can’t help but find the snippy blonde all kinds of sexy!! Heather also can’t deny that her new neighbor has the face and body of a god!! The two soon become good friends but the more time they spend together, they find it harder to deny the growing attraction between them. Neither of them has ever been in love, well that’s to say that they both have avoided love for very different reasons. They decide to take their relationship to the physical level but with the understanding that there are ”no strings attached” but as time passes it becomes clear that serious feelings are starting to develop on both sides. Unfortunately, Josh believes he’s not a good candidate for a long-term relationship with Heather, and she has her issues that stem from her mother’s bad experiences with men.

Will these two get their acts together and recognize what they have is a love that most people think only exist in fairy tales? Or will they go through life destined to be alone??

FOR BETTER OR WORSE is currently available. Be sure to check this one out!!!

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BLOG TOUR – TO HAVE AND TO HOLD (The Wedding Belles, #1) by Lauren Layne

Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles!

 

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD
The Wedding Belles #1
Lauren Layne
Releasing July 26th, 2016
Pocket Books

 

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 fiancé is an
international conman just moments before they exchange vows devastates
celebrity wedding planner Brooke Burke’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
springs.
Seth Tyler wishes he could write a
blank check and be done with his sister’s fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately,
micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiancé 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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EXCERPT:

Hold on. Back up. Back all the way up. What do you mean you’re getting married?”

It was eleven p.m. on a Wednesday, and Seth Tyler was exactly where he always was these days: behind his expansive mahogany desk at the Tyler Hotel Group, suit jacket slung over the back of his ergonomic chair, tie begging to be undone, impeccably pressed white shirt cuffed at the wrists.

He raked a hand through his thick light brown hair in frustration and fixed his younger sister with his best no-nonsense glare, an approximation—like everything else he seemed to do lately—of his deceased father.

When Seth’s father dropped dead of a heart attack eight months ago, Seth had thought the hardest part about his father’s passing—other than the mourning, of course—would be taking over the family company.

Sure, Seth had been groomed for the role. He’d wanted the president and CEO title. He’d always wanted it.

Eventually.

But not yet, for God’s sake.

Seth had no problem admitting that he was a perfectionist, and he’d been bound and determined to take over the family company his way. The right way.

And the right way, as Seth had determined it, was spending at least a year shadowing each of the senior-level Tyler Hotel Group executives. Seth had wanted to learn every possible detail, every in and out of the business, before even thinking about taking over the reins of the Fortune 500 company.

But his father’s heart had had other plans. Mainly, up and quitting during a routine round of golf. And so, quietly, per his father’s wishes, Seth had become CEO two years ahead of schedule.

Not a day passed that Seth didn’t wish his father was still with him, but in truth, taking his place at the head of the boardroom table had been easier than Seth had anticipated. The investors hadn’t freaked out. The executive team hadn’t left in mass exodus. Even Hank’s longtime assistant, Etta, had stuck around, seemingly content to call Seth boss even as she busted his balls about not eating enough vegetables, getting enough sleep, or getting his hair cut.

But if taking over the family company was easier than Seth had expected, there was one ramification of Hank Tyler’s death that Seth hadn’t been in the least prepared for:

A wedding.

Maya Tyler inhaled a long, patient breath, as though preparing to deal with a difficult child. “Well see, marriage, Seth, is when two people fall in love and decide to spend the rest of their lives—”

“Yes, I’m aware of how marriage works,” Seth interrupted. Although, not as aware as well as he’d like, as it turned out. He wouldn’t be getting any firsthand knowledge of how marriage worked any time soon.

Maya bit her lip. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to remind you of Nadia.”

Seth glanced down at his desk to avoid his sister’s too-perceptive gaze. She wasn’t wrong. He’d gotten to the point where he could go most days without thinking of his ex, but he hadn’t yet figured out how to think about marriage without hearing the incredulous laugh she’d let out when he’d gone on one knee and showed her the ring he’d spent months picking out.

“Can we not?” he said curtly.

“Don’t get pissed. It’s a wedding. You’re supposed to be happy.”

“I’m not pissed; I’m just surprised.”

That was an understatement. Seth had not seen this coming, and for a man who exercised precision in all things, he couldn’t say he was enjoying the shock value of Maya’s announcement. Especially not on the heels of his father’s death. A death that everyone but Seth had seen coming, because Seth had been the lone outsider on the knowledge that was his father’s longtime heart condition.

Apparently, Hank had considered his only son a control freak—had known that Seth would have stopped at nothing to try to halt death in its tracks.

His father had been, well, right. It was hard to admit, but if Seth had known about his father’s condition, he’d have devoted every waking hour to researching experimental treatment and the best doctors.

Hank Tyler hadn’t wanted that for his final months. Not for himself or for Seth.

Still, Seth resented not having the choice. Resented his father nearly as much as he missed him.

But he’d put that behind him. Mostly.

Hank was gone, and Maya was still here. Maya was all he had.

He had known she was dating a new guy—Neil something or other. But Seth hadn’t thought a thing about it. Maya had whipped through a constant string of casual boyfriends since high school, and other than a two-year relationship in college, they had never been serious.

And it certainly hadn’t gotten close to marriage.

What’s worse, Seth hadn’t even met this man that was apparently to be his brother-in-law.

But none of this would have mattered, not really, if Seth’s instincts hadn’t been buzzing that something was amiss with the way this was all going down. Something was off. He knew it down to his gut.

“How long have you been seeing this guy?” he asked.

Maya slumped back in the plush chair facing Seth’s desk with a groan. “Don’t do this. I knew you were going to do this.”

He frowned. “Do what?”

“The big brother thing,” she said.

“Hard not to, what with me being six years older and all,” Seth said.

He didn’t add that he was doubly obligated to be protective given Hank’s death just months earlier. Maya had definitely been Daddy’s Little Princess. She still got tears in her eyes every time their father’s name was mentioned.

Maya leaned forward, her pale blue eyes much like his own, although her blond hair was lighter than his, thanks to her frequent trips to the salon.

“I love him, Seth. I know you’re jaded these days, but Neil is exactly the type of guy we women spend our entire lives dreaming about.”

Seth bit his tongue to stop from saying that he bet Maya was exactly the type of girl that guys like Neil dreamed about, too. Young, pretty . . . and filthy rich.

Or so Neil likely thought.

 

 

Lauren lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

Five years ago, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan.

She writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush, and in her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

When not bringing The Sexy, she likes to blog about her Instagram addiction, and why mean girls are the worst.

 

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WRAPPED UP IN READING’S REVIEW OF TO HAVE AND TO HOLD

REVIEW – TO HAVE AND TO HOLD (The Wedding Belles, #1) by Lauren Layne

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SYNOPSIS:

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?

*****Patty’s Review*****

*****FIVE STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

”I know we don’t want the same things, and you don’t want complicated. I don’t want complicated either, and I was thinking…I was thinking maybe we get this out of our system.”

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This book was such a wonderful surprise. I will be honest. I thought the previous novella was very lukewarm and mediocre. But I love Lauren Layne and more often than not, her books are usually a hit for me. But then I started seeing some reviews and nobody seemed to be over the moon in love with this one. Luckily for me, I couldn’t get enough of this story!! This series centers around three women who work as wedding planners at New York City’s most elite wedding planning agency, The Wedding Belles. Now, don’t let the titles and covers of the books fool you like they did me. These stories are not about sappy weddings and pure fluff, oh no! From what I have experienced in this book, I would say these are some seriously hot and angsty adult contemporary romances, that contain some top book boyfriend contenders!! It may be premature for me to say, but this series could possibly top Ms. Layne’s Stilletto series. I found this book to pack quite a punch!!

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Brooke Baldwin is the newest Belle. Her move to NYC was a result of having recently been left at the altar when the FBI showed up during her wedding to arrest her fiancé for stealing millions through a Ponzi scheme. She’s looking for a fresh start and her wedding scandal ended up ruining her reputation on the West Coast. Her first client is Maya Tyler, heiress to the billion dollar Tyler Hotel Group conglomerate. She feels the floor drop from beneath her when she comes face to face with whom she believes to be the groom. Never has she had an instant attraction to the Groom of the wedding she is hired to plan. Luckily for her, Seth Tyler happens to be the older brother of the bride to be. He is jaw dropping gorgeous but unfortunately he comes off as quite the pompous douchebag. But there is an undeniable electric chemistry between Brooke and Seth.

I have many tropes that I love in a good romance and one of them is when there is a love/hate connection between the two main characters. It usually guarantees that there will be a healthy dose of angst and mind blowing steam to satisfy my reading needs. The chemistry between the hero and heroine in this story is incredibly HOT!!!! I found myself almost beyond impatient for their heated arguments to turn into some hard and angry sex, which ultimately is inevitable between two people who definitely feel an intense attraction for one another.

It isn’t customary for the brother of the bride to be so involved with all the wedding planning details but since both of their parents are deceased, Seth is very protective of his little sister and he’s not getting good vibes from the man who wants to marry his sister. Seth suspects the man is a con-artist who is only after his sister for her money. His interfering ways and gruff behavior irk Brooke to no end, and yet she can’t stop the insane attraction she feels for Seth. And Seth makes any kind of excuse to spend more time with her.

Neither Brooke nor Seth believes that the attraction building between them can turn into something permanent but they also won’t be able to fight it for too long. Both agree to give in to their desires just for one night and let me just say, I might have just melted into a puddle of desire at this point. What sweet relief!!!

When one night proves not to be enough to quench their desires for each other, will Brooke and Seth realize what they have is something so much more before it’s too late?

I honestly enjoyed this one so much! By the end it put a huge smile on my face, and yet I was sad to have to say goodbye to Seth and Brooke, but I’m sure that they’ll be around in the next two books as well. Hopefully, we’ll get to see where the road ahead takes them.

To Have and To Hold is available now! Be sure to one-click!!

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LIVE – FROM THIS DAY FORWARD (The Wedding Belles, #0.5) by Lauren Layne

Enter to Win a Print ARC of TO HAVE AND TO HOLD

 

FROM THIS DAY FORWARD
The Wedding Belles #0.5
Lauren Layne
Released June 6th, 2016
Pocket Star

 


Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in this prequel to USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne’s The Wedding Belles series about three high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding—but their own.

Up-and-coming wedding photographer Leah McHale’s career is on the rise–thanks in no small part to the Wedding Belles, the elite New York wedding planning agency that always throws top-tier business Leah’s way. So when one of the Belles asks Leah to fill in at the former First Daughter’s wedding, Leah is overjoyed to say yes–until she finds out who she’ll be working with.

Jason Rhodes is the one man who was able to capture Leah’s heart and, once he had it, promptly stepped all over it and left her broken. Now he’s working side-by-side with her at the biggest wedding of the season and Leah is determined to give him the cold shoulder. Despite his persistence, she is not going to fall for his charming, impish ways again. Not even if he still has that killer, irresistible smile…

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EXCERPT

“Do you have any plans for your unexpectedly free weekend?” Alexis asked as she perused the menu.

Leah’s eyes narrowed on her friend. Alexis Morgan might be the queen of poker face, but Leah had known Alexis for close to a decade now. She knew when she was being handled, and right now, Alexis was definitely working up to something.

Instead of answering the question, Leah took a sip of her mimosa and waited. When Alexis’s brown eyes  flicked up to hers, Leah merely lifted her  brows. Waited some more.

With a sigh, Alexis set the menu aside and folded both arms on the table, leaning toward Leah. “I need a favor.”

“Anything,” Leah said automatically, meaning it completely.

Her relationship with Alexis may have started as a business arrangement—they’d both arrived in the city ten years earlier with big dreams of pursuing their dream careers.

But somewhere along the way, Alexis and Leah had transitioned from sometimes business associates to friends. Alexis had been there for Leah when she’d needed her, and Leah fully intended to repay the favor any way she could.

“I need you to work the Preston wedding.”

Leah blinked. “The Preston wedding. As in, the wedding of the former First Daughter we were just talking about? The one this weekend?”

Alexis nodded.

Leah sat back, stunned. “Holy crap, Lex. That’s not really me doing you a favor, hon. More like the other way around. This would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me. For any photographer.”

“I know, but I still hate asking last minute like this. If it were up to me, I’d have recommended you from the very beginning, but Kylie’s college roommate and her husband are a two-person photographer team, and Kylie wanted to give the opportunity to her friend.”

“So what happened? They had a falling-out?”

Alexis shook her head. “They live in San Francisco and she’s a few months pregnant. There was some complication; she’s been put on bed rest. Nothing serious, just a precaution, but ergo . . . she’s certainly not going to be flying to New York any time soon, and certainly can’t be photographing a wedding.”

“Ugh. That sucks,” Leah said sympathetically.

Alexis smiled. “This is why I knew you were right for the job. You get it. You get people.”

Leah rolled her eyes. “You hardly have to sweet talk me into taking a job that’s likely to be the highest-profile wedding of my career.”

Alexis glanced down at her Bloody Mary, stirring a pickled green bean. “Well there is one tiny thing I haven’t mentioned.”

“Bring it.”

Alexis looked up. “It’s a huge wedding. One photographer’s not going to cut it.”

Leah waved her hand. “Oh please. My ego’s not so big I can’t handle a little teamwork. Who else you bringing in?”

Alexis bit her lip, and Leah tensed at the rare unease she saw on her usually confident friend’s face.

Alexis leaned forward and touched her arm. “Leah, you have to know how impossible it is to book one good photographer on short notice in June, much less two, and I’m counting myself lucky because two of the best happened to be available, but . . .”

“But what?” Leah asked, her heart pounding faster as she somehow knew what her friend was trying to say. Knew whose name Alexis was terrified to say.

Alexis’s gaze cut away from hers  and fell somewhere over Leah’s shoulder, even as Leah felt the shiver of awareness that someone else had stepped into her personal space.

Alexis glared at the newcomer. “You’re early, Rhodes.”

Leah’s heart stopped, just for a moment. Slowly, she turned around and glanced up into the dark brown eyes of Jason Rhodes.

He pulled a toothpick from his mouth and gave her a slow, sexy once-over. “Hiya, Red. Long time.”

Leah could only shake her head. It had been a long time, but not nearly long enough.

Not only was he the one man on the planet she could absolutely, positively not work with .

He was the one man who Leah had let in close enough to break her heart.

 

 

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Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.

In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!

 

 

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