To Have and to Hold: The Wedding Belles #1 by Lauren Layne

To Have and to Hold: The Wedding Belles #1 by Lauren Layne

The Wedding Belles are back!. Lauren Layne is here with the first full-length novel of the high-flying exclusive wedding planners in New York City! Be sure to check out my review and excerpt to find out about the book. Check out the tour stops to see what other readers thought and enter the tour wide giveaway where you could win one of Five (5) Exclusive Print Copies of FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, A Wedding Belles Novella

To Have and To Hold

Lauren Layne has brought the fun and sexy back to the stressful venue of wedding planning with her new series The Wedding Belles.  The first full-length installment delivers on the promise of the prequel novella, bringing fun, laughter, sexy moments and characters to adore.

Brooke was an up and coming wedding planner on the west coast, until her own wedding went south when unexpected guests, in the form of the FBI, arrived to arrest her groom. Reeling from the devastation, she’s landed a position with The Wedding Belles, and she’s determined to make her mark.

An unexpected change in plans leaves Brooke in charge of a high-profile wedding her first day on the job. When she meets the man she believes is the groom, she’s instantly attracted – a HUGE no no.  Fortunately, the man in question turns out to be the brother of the bride, and is determined to have a hand in every moment of the planning.  Oh, did I mention that Griffin is a control freak with serious doubts in his sister’s intended?

Oh this was SO fun. Mixing characters that are engaging, a touch of mystery, unrequited love and new supportive friends, the story brings all that I’d expect from a Lauren Layne book!

Griffin is the one who hates change, and always wants to fix things for everyone. He’s controlling and tightly wound, and while his intentions are good, his own issues are many.  He’s a great friend and brother, though, and will always be overly cautious. With the unexpected death of his father from a health issue that everyone BUT him knew of, he’s also a bit of the little boy lost, play acting as the man he believes he should be, rather than the one he really is.

Mia, Griffin’s sister, is so far removed from the snooty society deb that one would expect, and she’s a breath of fresh air and very much in love. Still, it doesn’t allow for a bit of matchmaking for her brother and her wedding planner, and she’s a wonderful touchpoint for the relationship of Griffin and Brooke.  And those two are explosive: Griffin wants ‘inside information’ on Mia’s fiancé, before he makes the big mistake of hiring a PI.  While Brooke doesn’t want to touch that hot potato, she’s unable to get Griffin or his suspicions out of his head.

When everything goes spectacularly pear shaped, the women of The Wedding Belles step up and piece Brooke together again, all while pushing her to believe in her own platitudes and take a chance. A wonderful installment.

To Have and to Hold: The Wedding Belles #1 by Lauren Layne

Title: To Have and to Hold
Author: Lauren Layne
Series: The Wedding Belles #1
Also in this series: From This Day Forward, For Better or Worse, To Love and to Cherish, To Love and To Cherish
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult - Coming of Age
Published by: Pocket Books
ISBN: 1501135147
Published on: 26 July, 2016
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 384
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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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?

See The Wedding Belles Series on GoodReads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.


Header - Excerpt - Tasty


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.



Giveaway - Tasty



About Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career. She signed with her agent in 2012, and her first book was published in summer of 2013. Since then, she's written over two dozen books, hitting the USA TODAYNew York Times, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists.

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