To Have and to Hold: Wedding Belles, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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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?
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|Listening Length||8 hours and 23 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||December 15, 2016|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #112,279 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#2,075 in Romantic Comedy (Audible Books & Originals)
#4,401 in Women's Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#9,139 in Contemporary Romance (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from the United States
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I've read all of Lauren Layne's books, and all her books have made me sigh happily or squeal with delight at the wonderful piece of fiction I just couldn't put down... but this was different. Why? I'm not sure. I can't quite put my finger on it since I just finished reading it a whopping ten minutes ago, but here's my hypothesis:
The women in this book are fierce. Not in an alpha-b!%*h sort of way, but in an independent, motivated, winner-takes-all kind of way.
They KNOW what they want and what they don't. They work hard, they sacrifice, and even though they suffer along the road to glory, they don't let that stop them. They get there.
Now, I know you're thinking 'Nicole, what are you blathering on about? You just read a romance book about two people defying the odds and hooking up. Not a self-help book on how to boost your potential.' But hear me out...
Brook had her happily ever after jerked out from under her. Her groom-to-be? Gone. Her fairy tale wedding? Ruined. Her career? Left in shambles.
But did she lock herself in a closet with a dozen sleeves of Girl Scout cookies and a five gallon bucket of Häagen-Dazs? No! She got off her butt, flew across the country, applied for a highly-coveted job with a successful group of wedding planners, and went about her life. Was it perfect? No, not at first. But she KNEW it could be. She knew if she worked hard enough, success and security and all the things she knew she wanted out of life would eventually come around.
Was she planning to fall @$$-over-face in love with a rich hotel mogul? Definitely not. But that's exactly what happened. And it happened because things in life, especially the good things, happen when you least expect them to (at least, according to John Lennon).
She was throwing everything she had into a career and a life in NYC. Meanwhile, Mr. Right just happened to come along.
Was it because she was busy swiping her little heart out on Tinder? No.
Was it because she was pouring hard earned money into mini-skirts and tube tops to wear to the bar on ladies night? No.
It was because she was molding herself into a bold, fierce, independent woman. A woman she could be proud of. A woman worthy of a real man. A man like Seth Tyler.
Again, you're probably thinking 'Nicole... You're rambling. This isn't a review. It's a monologue-turned-rant.' But bear with me...
After I finished reading, I tossed my kindle on the bed and went straight to my computer. And I typed out a list of goals. These goals started off small. Like, 'organize office' or 'cancel Netflix subscription'. (Ultimately, I scratched that one, seeing as I have two children who watch Netflix while I'm working, but nevermind that...) But eventually, they grew until I had things like 'finish 5 book series before Halloween' and 'send latest book to 100 bloggers' and 'pay off student loans before 2020'.
Why am I just now doing this?
Because this book INSPIRED ME. Now, I like to think I'm an organized and motivated person, but really, I'm not. However, I am a passionate one. But every once in a while, I get in a rut where I just don't have the energy to be passionate. And before I read this book, I was in one of those slumps. But then, I turned on my Kindle and started reading. And as I was introduced to this delightful cast of people, I found that passion reigniting. I found that I wanted to get off my butt and get things done. I wanted to be like Brooke and Heather and Jessie and even Seth. I wanted to have DRIVE.
I fell in love with these characters, and throughout the course of the story, they pushed me to do better. To BE better.
Was that was Lauren was aiming for when she wrote this book? No. Probably not. She probably didn't think that a small town girl from Missouri (who was an English major in college but ultimately dropped out before she could graduate with her bachelors because she got married, divorced, and had a kid) would follow her as an author and one day be struck with an overwhelming need/urge/obsession to CHANGE her life because of a book.
But that's exactly what just freaking happened.
Like Brooke, life has thrown me some curveballs. But unlike Brooke, I settled.
Do I love my life? Yes.
Is it everything I want it to be? No... No, it's not.
But maybe it can be.
How the heck did I get all of THAT out of one book?
But I did.
And maybe, just maybe, you will too.
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.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Top reviews from other countries
Although it had the typical alpha-billionaire who hates romance trope in Seth Tyler it was also atypical in that I liked him from the get go. The first chapter was a great opener to Seth’s character:
Hold on. Back up. Back all the way up. What do you mean you’re getting married?
His character made me smile throughout the fun parts and grit my teeth in frustration at the parts where he royally messed up – which were more than I would have liked. Seth just kind of had this aura of “oh dear God love is messy” and at first I wasn’t sure why until it was explained. No one likes being rejected am I right?
Seth? He got rejected in the ultimate way. His long time girlfriend rejected his marriage proposal. IF that doesn’t turn a body off love for a while then I don’t know what else could.
On the flip side we’ve got Brooke Baldwin – a Cali wedding planner who comes to Manhattan after a messy ending to her own wedding – and she’s got a sweet lovey-dovey demeanour.
She moved from California to start over after the disaster that was her wedding day and she became a member of the Wedding Belles – an exclusive wedding planning business in Manhattan where they get the most exclusive clients. To Have and To Hold is the wedding planning of Maya Tyler – Seth’s sister.
The book is predominantly about the wedding planning aspect but I also really like the romance and build up or a relationship between Seth and Brooke and I liked the twist towards the end as well.
The whole thing is based on Seth’s utter dislike of his sisters fiancé who he’s only just met and I like how LL writes his distaste of Neil into the book and how she writes Seth getting his own way in the end – even if not in the way he would have had it go.
A secondary character that I really liked was Grant and I liked his little ending though I’d like it even more if he got his own little novella.
The writing flowed well and the plot kept me interested from beginning to end. The dialogue was humourous and the characters brilliantly written.
I’ve already moved on to the next one in the series and am enjoying that too.
Everyone knows i ADORE Lauren Layne. Having just discovered this author, i have relished each and every one of her books and most were 5 star reads, if not favourites. Sadly, this one is a tad disappointing. Her writing was flawless and i still enjoyed the little wit and banter that was there, however apart from the hero, i failed to connect with every other character. The plot was a bit shallow too. Seth Tyler made me continue reading or this was a close DNF. These 3 stars are for you Seth- you were sweet and so hot despite all that aloofness. I loved that you were smitten first.
In a nutshell: grouchy, rich brother of the bride who thinks the groom is dodgy meets barbie-like, sassy wedding planner and seeks out her help to spy on said dodgy groom while planning the wedding. They both have a insta-attraction/lust and try to fight it due to personal past events. Ultimately they go for it and then break apart for something so, so, so inconsequential i was left dumbfounded. Like seriously, had the hero done what he did for me, i would have jumped him and given him the biggest,sloppiest. wettest kiss! So that was that. I would have also thought the heroine would have been more suspicious and careful around the groom since she had a similar past but she just kept being so trusting although Seth kept having a bad feeling.
Sadly, this was a meh-just-ok-read for me. Hoping the next book in this series is better.