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Suspense, thrills and love in October Best Reads

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To Have and To Hold

To Have and To Hold, August 2016
Wedding Belles #1
by Lauren Layne

Pocket Star
Featuring: Brooke Baldwin; Seth Tyler
362 pages
ISBN: 1501135139
EAN: 9781501135132
Kindle: B0176M1AK8
Paperback / e-Book
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"A character-driven and sizzling romance!"

Fresh Fiction Review

To Have and To Hold
Lauren Layne

Reviewed by Miranda Owen
Posted August 6, 2016

Romance Contemporary

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD is book one in Lauren Layne's "Wedding Belles" series. When wedding planner Brooke Baldwin starts a new life in New York City, she loses a duplicitous ex-fiancé but gains a great group of co- workers who quickly become friends. It is important for Brooke's beleaguered self-esteem to do well with her first client since her big move. She soon finds herself at cross-purposes with the bride-to-be's big brother when he is suspicious of the groom-to-be. I like the alternating perspectives and parallels in TO HAVE AND TO HOLD.

As soon Brooke locks eyes with business hotshot Seth Tyler, he rocks her world. This is one of those romances in which the hero and heroine try to contain their desire for each other but are ultimately unsuccessful. Brooke is trying to maintain her professionalism at a time when she feels like her career is the one thing she can rely on. One thing Brooke and Seth have in common is heartbreak in their past. Lauren Layne does a good job of detailing Brooke's disastrous romantic past and using that as a reasonable explanation for why she resists Seth's lure as long as she is able to. Knowing about Seth's previous relationship and how it hurt him makes him seem more vulnerable and sympathetic.

The sparks that fly as Brooke and Seth disagree over Maya's upcoming marriage make for a fiery romance. I love the passion between Seth and Brooke, and the way that the attraction between them is overpowering. As much as I like Maya and Brooke, I think both characters are a little hard on Seth. Given Brooke's history, I am surprised that she doesn't have more empathy for a man wanting to protect his sister from a potential con artist. Seth shows his gentle side when it comes to his sister and Brooke. He is a businessman and used to taking charge of a situation, but anything he does to make sure the important women in his life are protected is done out of love and for the right reasons.

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD is a character-driven and sizzling romance between two people who have trouble trusting themselves and each other. The unexpected romantic trysts are hot, and the epilogue fits the story and the main characters. The friendships and dialogue between the female characters are fun and add a light touch to this steamy story. I look forward to the next Wedding Belles romance to see what's in store for Brooke's fellow belles.

Learn more about To Have and To Hold

SUMMARY

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 fiancé 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 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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