"A character-driven and sizzling romance!"
Reviewed by Miranda Owen
Posted August 6, 2016
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
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
romance to see what's in store for Brooke's fellow
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
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
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