book review
4-stars Reviews

To have and to hold by Lauren Layne

 

To have and to hold is the first installment in The Wedding Belles series by Lauren Layne. This is a well written, fast-paced, witty and attention capturing book. It was a pleasant read. I really enjoyed the first 75% of the book, but only that much and that’s the reason for my low rating.
I’ll come back to it later… First the swoon-worthy line….
 
 “I don’t know how to think around you. I have things all planned out, and then..”
“And then what?” he asked huskily.
“And then you look at me, and I just, I just want.”
 
Seth Tyler.. One of the richest men in the country, hotel tycoon, gorgeous as a God, high-handed, dominating, controlling, uptight.. A total stiff. Because of the untimely demise of Seth’s father, now his sister, Maya’s responsibility has come to him. When Maya gets trapped with a scheming, fraud and gold digger fiancé, Seth knows he has to play the big brother role.
Unfortunately, there is a gorgeous blond who has captured every bit of his attention.
Brooke is beautiful, romantic, sweet, funny, smart, and sassy. She envisioned a dream wedding, brought it to life only to wake up to the harsh reality of this world. After having a disastrous betrayal in her past, she has come to New York to be a part of the wedding planning company “The Wedding Belles”. She has a good head on her shoulders and has her life organized now. Only she ends up getting hired by Maya for her wedding planning.
But what happens when she has wild, instant attraction to the bride’s very domineering brother…
Thick tension, fiery passion, simmering heat and smoking hot sex.
But getting involved with a client is big NO.
Their sexual tension had me all giddy inside. Everything about Seth put Brooke on edge. And Seth is besotted with Brooke. Characterization was superb. I truly enjoyed their chemistry and their development of emotions. Witty dialogues and delightful bantering kept me engaged.
 
“Take me home Baldwin”. She laughed. “You know, for such a rich, savvy guy, you can be a total dork.”
“I like to think it reveals my vulnerable side.”
She glanced up at him suspiciously. “Do you have a vulnerable side?”
“I do. Her name is Brooke.”
But my reason for a lower rating is the last 25% of the book. I would have happily given it a 4 or 4.5 rating if it wasn’t for the forced climax or drama thingy author tried to inject in the book. Seth’s “supposed” betrayal hurt Brooke beyond belief. And his betrayal only came out because of his caring and yeah, I agree, controlling tendencies. But was he completely wrong here? Is protecting his sister from a douchebag that big of a crime? Is keeping an eye on a con that has devastated Brooke’s life considered wrong? He may have taken extreme steps but was his intentions so wrong? It is completely unacceptable to me that the lead character is incapable of processing such a simple thought.
I see I’m in the minority in my review here but maybe my brain is wired in a different way. I just can’t shake off Brooke’s stupidity and hence, I am plucking off a star from my rating. I totally love the drama in a story but only if it goes with the flow of the story. Misunderstandings are just fine to kick up the angst, but only if they are justified.

 

I love Lauren Layne. She has written beautiful stories in the past. This book may have been a miss (though not entirely) but I have utter faith in her books. I’m looking forward to the next installment in this series.

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