TO HAVE AND TO HOLD by Lauren Layne: Review

Posted August 29, 2016 in Reviews / 0 Comments

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD by Lauren Layne: ReviewTo Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne
Series: The Wedding Belles #1
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: July 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC
Buy Online: Amazon  B&N  Kobo

Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.

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 fiance 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 fiance 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?



It’s always a pleasure to pick up a book by Ms. Layne and this being a wedding-themed romance, I was doubly excited to get my hands on it, but for the first time since I started reading her books, I struggled to finish one. It had everything to do with the characters and it may simply be because I was expecting something different.

If you find out a few minutes before your wedding that your groom is a con man wanted by the law, putting a huge expanse of land between you and the ensuring fiasco is the best course of action, as Brooke Baldwin discovered. While her reputation and her wedding plan business was destroyed in the wake of the scandal, Brooke is determined to start over, much wiser and certainly much less trusting of men and their motives. Her new job with The Wedding Belles is the perfect place for her to do so and a multi-million dollar wedding is the way to go. If it didn’t come with a micromanaging control freak in the form of the brother of the bride holding the purse strings.

Seth Tyler doesn’t trust that his sister’s unexpected engagement isn’t a ploy by her fiancé to get into her trust fund but he needs help to prove it and if that means getting involved in the minutiae of wedding planning, then so be it. Too bad that the wedding planner is not open to his plan at all.

Seth and Brooke are as opposite as can be. Seth is straightforward and controlling. His close management style is definitely not a fluke and while it comes from a good place, it’s not necessarily seen that way, but there is no doubt that he loves his sister. Brooke on the other hand is sweet and friendly, in fact the stereotype of a California surfer girl with a bubbly and fun personality, which suits her job. And the sparks between them are enough to light up the night. So what can go wrong?

With the way this book started, there was so much to look forward to and when it picked up, was really enjoyable. It was sweet and fun, passionate and entertaining, as you would expect from Ms. Layne. One positive for me was that Seth was unexpected because he was quite different from her usual heroes. He was more buttoned up and less of a ladies’ man. Another positive was Brooke. She was strong and very self-aware, she knew what she wanted and went after it. However, Brooke and Seth just never seemed to mesh for me until the end especially because of their rough start. 

I’ll say this: the second half of this book was everything I was looking forward to and I have high hopes for the next book.




About Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.

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 lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL's ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

Hobbies include cocktail hour, a designer purse addiction, and dry rosé.

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