Release Day Review: For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne

For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne

For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne
Series: The Wedding Belles #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 30th 2016
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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.

I am falling more and more in love with Lauren Layne’s The Wedding Belles series with every new release! If you like wedding romances or sweet contemporary romance, this series – and honestly, this author – is a must read. The characters are adorable, the romance is swoony, and the wedding planning backdrop is perfect for a light-hearted, summery read!

Heather Fowler is living her life-long dream – to be a wedding planner living in NYC. Well, she’s almost living out the dream, since she’s currently only an assistant wedding planner. But her next wedding will make or break her career, since she’s given the opportunity of a lifetime to plan celebrity Danica Robinson’s wedding. But with the bride completely hands-off the wedding, the pressure and stress to get everything right and perfect starts to get to Heather… and it doesn’t help that her late nights become even more late thanks to a rowdy neighbor blasting music at inconsiderate times. She goes to confront the guy in 4A, but what she gets is something more, something better than she could have imagined.

Once again, it was this snotty, mouthy woman who’d managed to shake him out of his funk.
It was becoming increasingly clear that his intriguing new neighbor might be exactly what he needed to make him feel alive.

Josh Tanner is a cancer survivor who knows how short life can be and is living his life to the fullest… or is he? He threw away a job doing what he loved, and now he’s in a band making music and not having any worries. When the girl in 4C comes over to confront him about his late-night playing, he finds himself intrigued by her, and the more he gets to know her, the more he wants her – but only in bed, and not for a relationship. I’ll admit, I’m a little tired of heroes who are adamantly against having anything to do with love, but Josh is something else. He’s an adorable, frustrating, lovable man, with many layers to him that make him feel real and genuine. And he’s seriously the SWEETEST – with the things he says and does, how could Heather NOT fall for him!?

He was good.
He was the best.
He was everything.

I love when the MCs bring out the best in each other, and Heather and Josh do exactly that. Josh makes Heather realize there are other things to appreciate in life than a high-pressure job, and Heather makes Josh notice how he’s not exactly living the full life he expected to after surviving cancer. The two of them make the most adorable couple – I had a smile on my face practically the whole time I was reading their story! Their banter, their sweet moments, their inside joke with banana bread… all of it made for a fun, worthwhile read. For Better or Worse is a feel-good, slow romance with touches of meaningful moments that warmed my heart. I would definitely recommend this to those who loved the first book. And can I just say how freaking excited I am about the final book of the series!? I need To Love and to Cherish ASAP.

4.5 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: The Wedding Belles series

 To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne

#0.5 ~ From This Day Forward: My Review • EbookGoodreads
#1 ~ To Have and to Hold: My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ For Better or Worse: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ To Love and to Cherish: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Oct. 18, 2016)


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Release Day Review: To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne

To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne

To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne
Series: The Wedding Belles #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 26th 2016
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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 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?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Lauren Layne is my go-to author for fun and flirty contemporary romances. She pretty much never disappoints, and she delivers another winner with To Have and to Hold! This book is the first in the Wedding Belles series, featuring wedding planners who witness not only others’ HEAs, but their own as well. I freaking adored this book, and I have no doubts the series will keep on getting better. If you’re a contemporary romance lover, you have to check this one out! I had so much fun reading it – Seth and Brooke’s way to their HEA is utterly sweet and romantic, with the perfect amount of steam to round it off.

After the wedding fiasco where her con-man groom gets arrested at the altar, Brooke’s wedding planner days in Los Angeles are over. Luckily she gets the chance to start again in NYC with the Wedding Belles, one of the most popular and top-notch wedding planning businesses there is. Her first client is a hotel heiress named Maya – but it’s Maya’s older brother who will prove to be a pain in Brooke’s side. Seth and Brooke get off to a rough start, mainly because Seth is nowhere near agreeable with his sister’s fiancé, so with every meeting there are lusty glares and a simmering tension between the two. Their chemistry is my absolute favorite part of the story – I was seriously hooked onto it and just waiting for when these two characters would finally act on their desires.

Lauren Layne had me glued to the pages as she builds up the romance and tension. Brooke and Seth are two wonderful characters, both strong, independent, yet vulnerable, and I loved reading how they broke down each others’ walls. And there’s also so much going on with Maya’s wedding as well that there’s really never a dull moment in this book. To Have and to Hold is entertaining from start to finish, and with a sweet romance that’s both intense and heartwarming, what’s not to love about it?

If you’re a fan of the author, you won’t want to miss this new series. There are weddings and love and romance and everything that makes for the perfect, sweet summer read. I’m already so excited for the rest of the Wedding Belles series – I have crazy high expectations for the next two books, and I know LL won’t let me down!

4 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: The Wedding Belles series

 To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne

#0.5 ~ From This Day Forward: My Review • EbookGoodreads
#1 ~ To Have and to Hold: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ For Better or Worse: My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ To Love and to Cherish: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Oct. 18, 2016)


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Blog Tour + Excerpt & Giveaway: To Have and To Hold by Lauren Layne

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Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for To Have and To Hold by Lauren Layne!

To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne

To Have and To Hold by Lauren Layne
Series: The Wedding Belles #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 26th 2016
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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?

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & NobleiTunes • Kobo

Now here’s an excerpt from To Have and To Hold! ❤

excerpt button

It’s not as though Brooke had meant to start dating a con man. She certainly didn’t intend to get engaged to one.

But that’s the thing about con mans. The good ones were good at, well . . . the con.

And Clay Battaglia had been a good one. The best, actually, if you took the word of the FBI agent who’d debriefed Brooke and her family—while she was still in her wedding dress.

Turns out that while Brooke had been happily building her wedding-planning company, Clay had been quietly and competently been getting away with every white-collar crime in the book. While she’d been planning their wedding, he’d apparently been knee-deep in yet another Ponzi scheme.

Brooke hadn’t even known what a Ponzi scheme was when the FBI had told her.

She did now.

Following Clay’s arrest, she spent weeks researching white-collar crime. Wanting to know what he’d been up to all those times he’d quietly kissed her forehead late at night and told her he needed to make some phone calls for “work.” Wanting to know what her life would have been like if the FBI hadn’t taken him down before they’d exchanged vows.

Still, while Brooke would be ever grateful that she’d learned the truth before she’d become Mrs. Clay Battaglia, she’d be lying if she didn’t admit that the timing of it had stung just a little bit.

If they’d only taken him down a day before. Heck, even an hour before.

But no.

Just moments after Brooke kissed her father’s cheek and prepared to marry the man she loved at the wedding she’d poured her heart into, the FBI stormed—yes, stormed—the church.

Clay was in handcuffs before she even registered what was happening.

Numbly she watched as he listened to his Miranda rights at the precise moment he should have been listening to the vows she’d spent months writing.

And as reality slowly sunk in, Brooke waited. Waited for him to look at her. To look at her and say that it was all a lie. All one big misunderstanding, and that they’d be on their way to Bermuda as planned by tomorrow.

He didn’t.

He didn’t even apologize.

No, the man she’d loved for two years with every fiber of her being merely smiled at her and then shrugged.

There’d been plenty of photos taken that day, but that was the one that made it onto the front page of every major newspaper on the West Coast.

“The Greatest Con of All.” “Arrested by Love.” And her personal favorite, courtesy of her very own LA Times: “White-Collar Bride.”

The stories all read pretty much like you’d expect. About Clay, mostly, and the litany of accusations against him, but also about Brooke.

The papers had stopped short of defamation, but the implications were there. She was clueless and ditzy at best, a potentially overlooked accomplice at worst. Completely oblivious to the fact that she’d been sharing a roof with the most nefarious white-collar criminal in a generation—or pretending to be.

None of that had bothered her. What had bothered her was that she’d been a fool. Self-absorbed, naive, and downright blind.

Brooke had been dodging dumb-blonde jokes for most of her life, but the debacle with Clay was the first time she thought she might really, truly be deserving of the title.

She hadn’t been surprised when new clients had stopped calling. Hadn’t been surprised when current clients canceled. Nobody wanted to hire that wedding planner.

Brooke had even been relieved, at first. In those first weeks after Clay’s arrest, she hadn’t been able to handle any talk of weddings. Not her own, and not other people’s.

But the worst part of all of this, the part that kept her up long into the lonely nights, wasn’t the negative effect on her career. No, the worst part was that sometimes, in the very darkest corner of her soul, she feared that she might still love Clay, at least a little. Sure, her brain knew that all the things she’d loved about Clay had been a lie. Her brain understood that his name wasn’t even Clay.

But her heart? Her heart was having a harder time forgetting the way he always let her be the little spoon and tuck her cold feet against his warm calves. Or the way he’d brought her coffee in bed every morning. Or the way she’d come home after a long day with the worst sort of bridezilla and Clay would make them cocktails and sit on the deck with her, and watch the sunset and laugh.

She’d imagined that all their nights would be like that. All the nights for the rest of her life, with maybe with a couple of kids thrown into the mix eventually.

Brooke swallowed.

There wouldn’t be any more nights on the patio watching the sunset with Clay. Wouldn’t be any patio at all, because Brooke’s real estate broker had made it quite clear that she should be counting herself lucky to get a dishwasher in New York—a patio was out of the question.

So no patio. No Clay, or whatever his real name was.

No man at all, really.

No falling in love.

Not ever again.

Reading Order: The Wedding Belles series

 To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne 

#0.5 ~ From This Day Forward: My Review • EbookGoodreads
#1 ~ To Have and to Hold: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (July 26, 2016)
#2 ~ For Better or Worse: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Aug. 30, 2016)
#3 ~ To Love and to Cherish: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Oct. 18, 2016)

about the author button

Lauren LayneLauren 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.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads • Instagram

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Five (5) Exclusive Print Copies of FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, A Wedding Belles Novella

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Top Ten Tuesday {21}: Top Ten Underrated Books

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It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s theme is…

Top Ten Underrated Books:
Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads


My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads

  1. Bittersweet (True North #1) by Sarina Bowen ~ Bittersweet is one of my FAVORITE book of the year!!! I have so much love for this sweet, funny, endearing romance. It’s somewhat of a second chance romance since the MCs hooked up back in college, but now, years later, they meet again and sparks fly. Oh, and Griffin is now a hot as hell farmer! I recommend this one to everyone who loves unique contemporary romances.

 
Beast in Shining Armor: EbookGoodreads
Ghost Walk: EbookGoodreads

  1. Beast in Shining Armor/Ghost Walk by Cassandra Gannon ~ Cassandra Gannon is a new-to-me author this year, and she’s probably the best author recommendation I’ve ever received, because I’m OBSESSED with her books now. She’s not that well-known, which is a shame because her books are AMAZING!! They’re hilarious paranormal romances with obsessed alpha heroes that I can’t get enough of. Beast in Shining Armor is a sweet, sexy Beauty and the Beast retelling, and Ghost Walk has a ghost hero and a time-traveling heroine determined to clear the hero’s wronged name. If you love PNRs, you NEED to give these books a try!!


My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

  1. Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn ~ This is one of the few books this year to make me ugly cry! It’s got angst on top of angst, and I absolutely loved it. The heroine falls for her dead best friend’s husband – wrong, but it feels so, so right between them. It’s not an easy read, but if you give it a try, it will so be worth it in the end.

 
#1 ~ Fly With Me: My Review • EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ Into the Blue: My Review • EbookPaperbackGoodreads

  1. The Wild Aces series by Chanel Cleeton ~ This is one of my favorite military romance series – the writing is wonderful, the heroes are swoon-worthy and head-over-heels for the heroines, and the heroines are tough, independent, and kickass. Into the Blue just released today FYI, and it’s an amaaazing second chance romance!


My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads

  1. Crashed Out (Made in Jersey #1) by Tessa Bailey ~ This is one of the HOTTEST books I’ve read from Tessa Bailey, which is saying something. It’s got an older heroine and younger rock star hero – and holy hell, was it fun to read about the hero winning over the reluctant heroine. Crashed Out is one of my faves from Tessa – the rest of the series is fantastic as well!


My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads

  1. Addicted (Outlaws #2) by Elle Kennedy ~ Who doesn’t love friends-to-lovers, right!? Well, this one is set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world, and best friends Lennox and Jamie are badass mofos who’ve had each others’ backs since they were kids. I really, really enjoyed this one – and it’s crazy hot too. If you want a friends-to-lovers erotica, this one’s a must read.


My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

  1. Playing with Fire (Hot in Chicago #2) by Kate Meader ~ A firefighter heroine and a Chicago mayor she hates – this is the perfect enemies-to-lovers romance that I absolutely loved reading. It’s hot, the chemistry is on fire, and Eli’s got a dirty-talking mouth that will make you blush like crazy.

Cuff Me by Lauren Layne
My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

  1. Cuff Me (New York’s Finest #3) Lauren Layne ~ Lauren Layne is one of my favorite contemporary romance authors, and Cuff Me is without doubt my favorite of all her books. It’s a friends-to-lovers romance years in the making between homicide detective partners Vincent and Jill. Vincent is a gruff, grumbly hero and Jill is sweet and adorable – it’s opposites attract at its finest.


My Review • Ebook • AudibleGoodreads

  1. The Billionaire’s Favorite Mistake (Billionaires and Bridesmaids #4) by Jessica Clare ~ I’m a sucker for billionaire romances, and Jessica Clare never fails to deliver fun and sexy ones. This one’s a new favorite, with an accidental pregnancy and a groveling hero – it’s SO much fun to read!


My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads

  1. Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane #10) by Elizabeth Hoyt ~ If you love anti-heroes, this one’s a must read. I read it perfectly well as a standalone – it’s wicked, funny, sexy, and one of the best historical romances I’ve ever read. A not-so-good duke who falls for his prim and proper housekeeper – what’s not to love!?

What underrated books do you love?

lacey


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Early Review: From This Day Forward by Lauren Layne

From This Day Forward by Lauren Layne
Series: The Wedding Belles #0.5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: June 6th 2016
Links: EbookGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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…

Wheeee!!! A brand new Lauren Layne series! And it’s about weddings, too, which honestly sounds like heaven to me. The Wedding Belles kicks off with a sweet novella, a second chance romance between wedding photographers Leah and Jason. These two are still bitter and hurt over the end of their relationship – can they overcome their differences in order to work together… and win that happily ever after they capture on camera all the time?

It was both everything she remembered, and more. Somehow it was more. More intense than it had ever been, and somehow more important, too.

Lauren Layne always writes the best contemporary romances, and even with this quick novella, I was charmed and hooked onto the story. I’m not a big fan of miscommunication being used in romances, but somehow LL made it work for Leah and Jason. I could feel their heartbreak… and the feelings that they still have for each other. The chemistry between them has never died, and when they reunite, it seems to have grown even hotter. Their romance is as sweet and it is sexy, which made for a thoroughly enjoyable, satisfying read.

“Fuck. I love you. I didn’t know it back then. I didn’t know what I was feeling, and I treated you—us—carelessly. But I know it now, Red, and I swear to God, I am not letting you go ever again. … I won’t stop chasing you, and I sure as hell won’t stop loving you.”

From This Day Forward is a charming and irresistible novella. It’s a great introduction to The Wedding Belles series, which will be about the wedding planners Leah and Jason work with. I honestly can’t wait to read more – I’m sure the series be another hit from LL!

4 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: The Wedding Belles series

 To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne

#0.5 ~ From This Day Forward: EbookGoodreads
#1 ~ To Have and to Hold: My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ For Better or Worse: My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ To Love and to Cherish: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Oct. 18, 2016)


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