Book Review: For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne

So far, this has been my favorite book in the Wedding Belles series. So much emotion, some great romance, and the brilliant, funny dialogue that I love.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A wedding planner tries to deal with her obnoxious but sexy neighbor. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

She Works Hard for Her Money
Heather is somewhat of a workaholic, and she’s determined to get promoted to a wedding planner for the Wedding Belles. She loves her job and the people she works with, so you’d think it would be easy, right? Unfortunately, she’s been given a challenging client who seems to want to take a hands-off approach, giving Heather no feedback towards the wedding she’s supposed to be planning. So when she’s already tired and stressed, she doesn’t take it well when her neighbor starts banging his drums while she’s trying to sleep. That’s not a euphemism, though the banging is a recording and he’s actually playing a guitar.


Living for the Moment
Josh Tanner seems to not have a care in the world, and when Heather tells him to calm the noise, he pretty much gives her a “I do what I want” attitude (though to be fair, he does calm the noise). After dealing with an illness, the former finance tycoon has decided to live a more carefree lifestyle. Which means playing in a band and getting Heather to bake him banana bread. Oh, and to get in her pants. Because a guy has to have goals.

Eventually, these two realize how much they want each other, but Josh is hesitant to actually fall for Heather. Due to the nature of his illness, he knows he could possibly “leave” her one day, and he doesn’t want that. So as much as it hurts him, he lays out the whole “no relationship” rule. Like that ever works.

Sexy Tension
Josh and Heather were fun from the start. It’s sort of a frenemies to lovers story, and their dialogue and banter was spot on. I also loved the little ways that they made each other jealous as part of their sex and love foreplay. Josh is walled off, but you totally feel for him and kind of understand his reasoning. Heather gets a little too wrapped up in her work, but it’s hard to fault her for it when she really enjoys what she does. Still, hooking up with Josh gives her the chance to let loose a little bit.


The Romance Factor
This book pulled at my heart so much. Josh and Heather making each other jealous was both funny and swoon worthy. Also, Josh’s “big gesture of love” was pretty amazing and sweet. 4/5

The Steam Factor
A little light on the sexy time details, but enough to know what’s going on. 4/5

Final Thoughts
This series just keeps bringing it, and it keeps alluding to the relationship in the next one. I’m not a wedding person at all, but you don’t have to be to love these books.

Book Review: To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne

It’s been so fun watching Lauren Layne’s writing evolve. This latest series, The Wedding Belles, feels new and different from her older stuff but is still fun and brings the awesome dialogue and banter that she’s so good at.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A wedding planner goes head to head with the brother of her latest bride, a control freak who wants her help exposing his sister’s fiance as a fraud. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

The Client Is Not Always Right
Brooke is making a fresh start in New York. She’s always been a great wedding planner, but when her ex-fiance was arrested for being a con man, her reputation and her heart took a huge hit. New York is giving her the chance to get away from that by working with the city’s premier wedding planning agency, The Wedding Belles. She’s thrown directly into her first assignment and finds herself instantly attracted to the brother of the bride, who holds the purse strings and has major control issues.

Let’s Make a Deal
Seth knows his sister’s fiance is shady, and it doesn’t sit well with him that he didn’t even know she was serious about someone much less ready to marry him. So he decides to get the wedding planner in on his micromanaging, asking her to give him details of everything she discusses with his sister. Brooke is willing to make this deal as long as he keeps his distance from the planning itself. His presence puts the bride on edge, and Brooke’s goal is to make the bride as happy as possible.


Hard-Headed, Yet Entertaining
The two of them butt heads in the way that stubborn characters so often do, and the sexual tension between them doesn’t help. It doesn’t help that Seth has sworn off relationships since he was burned by a woman he thought he wanted to marry and Brooke has both professional and trust issues with dating him.

Seth and Brooke were fun to read, and they brought that whole “I want you but I’m not ready to be with you” conflict to the max. Their personal demons definitely played into it. Seth can’t handle what he can’t control and Brooke pretends to be happy go lucky all the time but still has a lot of pain regarding the blindside she received at her own wedding. It was a nice dose of reality that even though she knew her ex had swindled people and lied to her, she still had feelings for him when the story began, despite her anger and hurt, and that played into all the things she had to work through.

Sides and Quirks
I’m also a fan of side stories and side characters. Not only did I really like Seth’s sister, I loved the subplot of his best friend being into her. Another quirk I thought was fun? There sees to be a bit of a theme with food being thrown whenever Brooke pisses Seth off.


The Romance Factor
There is such great angst between Seth and Brooke that it breaks the heart a little bit when they have their break-up. They both have to deal with their own personal issues before they can be together, and the way that Seth tries to get her back definitely falls under the category of “go big or go home.” 4/5

The Steam Factor
Though not overly steamy or explicit, there were a few really sensual moments. 3/5

Final Thoughts
Layne does a fine job of giving us a great story while still setting the stage for future books and allowing is to start getting to know the other wedding planners in the series. I’m excited to keep reading this series and love that each Belle has a different personality and brings something different to the business.