Monday, July 25, 2016

To Have and to Hold (Wedding Belles #1) by Lauren Layne

To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne

Release: July 26th, 2016
Romance Subgenre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Wedding Belles #1

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?

Character Study
The synopsis for this book mentions Sex and the City and The Wedding Planner, but I have to admit, my mind immediately jumps to Nora Roberts' Bride Quartet when I think of wedding planners and romance. It's HARD for me to think about any other wedding planner series because, let's face it, the Bride Quartet is some sort of crazy amazing magic packaged in four paperbacks. Good thing the Wedding Belles series is almost completely different from the Quartet except in the profession of our ladies (and even that's different since the Belles are all wedding planners).

When I picked up To Have and to Hold I wasn't sure what to expect. I even put off reading the book because I imagined this book being pretty lackluster...the joke was so on me. This books is CRAZY good. It's funny, and emotional, and just generally delightful. Best of all, Brooke and Seth are endearing to no end. Seth, in particular, wormed his way into my heart and burrowed deep inside. I bet we all know a Seth: the big brother type who holds a bit too tight and is a control freak as a know him, right?

When I set out to make a playlist for To Have and to Hold the first song that jumped out at my is one that I've been saving for quite some time. I knew I'd eventually find a playlist home for "Gravity" and I'm happy it's perfect for such an amazing story. The rest of the playlist is sort of a mix of things. I could have easily created a curated soundtrack of wedding favorites or even a character study playlist of crooner classics for these two since their story is total old-school glam, but instead I decided to put together a mix of things. Just like Seth and Brooke come from different parts of the company and different walks of life, I decided to unite their personal journeys and feelings in one little playlist. Enjoy!

“Gravity” by Javier Colon

Baby I'm down on my knees
Hating every breath I breathe
I'd knew I'd let you down eventually
It's gravity, gravity

“City Shoes” by Victoria Canal
These city shoes
Make me remember all the things we've been through
And I wrote a song
But how can I sing it now that you're gone

I tried so hard to rescue you
No one noticed I need rescuing too

“You and I” by Michael Bublé
In my mind
We can conquer the world
In love you and I
You and I, you and I
You and I...

“Oasis” by A Great Big World
As I roam through the wasteland
You're the one thing I need
I see you off in the distance
You're my oasis

“It Had To Be You” by Ray Charles
For nobody else gave me a thrill
With all your faults
I love you still
It had to be you
marvellous you
It had to be you

What did you think of To Have and to Hold?
Are there any songs that remind you of Brooke, Seth and their HEA?

About Lauren Layne

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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