To Have and to Hold
Book 1 in the Wedding Belles series
By Lauren Layne
Narrated by Vanessa Daniels
Published By: Tantor Media
Publication date Dec 15, 2016
Running time 8 hrs 24 min
I voluntarily reviewed a publisher-provided, review copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
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?
Coincidence of circumstances stretches the limits of believability for this story, while the occasional word choice (for example that for who which I cannot find in the text on Amazon) and the poor pronunciation of some words (ex coupe: in this instance a type of champagne glass as coo and not the correct koop and a high in the instep pronunciation of askance as as-kah-h-hhnce) taxed my patience. But, even so, I felt she brought good verve and energy to the various roles; especially the female characters.
Otherwise, it is a light series starter about a group of women with a highly regarded, wedding-planning business. The primary character, Brooke is a wedding planner who moved from California following her fiance being arrested at the altar for running a ponzi scheme. Then her first client is engaged to a sketchy guy. Seth is her client, Maya’s, brother. He believesMaya’s fiance is a con too.
What are the odds?
It’s a bit far-fetched. And that stuck in my head. And continued to get stuck there.
I didn’t get the connection between Brooke and Seth. It’s chemistry, but I don’t get it. Another thing was that Brooke had a larger place in the the LA area in California. I’ve looked at housing in both areas and don’t think the housing disparity is all that great between LA and Manhattan. The weather differences are well portrayed though.
I had to go through this book twice to and it was not any less contrived in its dependence on coincidence the second time around. I found myself rolling my eyes a lot both times.