Title: For Better or Worse (The Wedding Belles #2)
When small-town girl Heather Fowler finally gets promoted from assistant to actual wedding planner, she’s determined to make it as one of Manhattan’s elite Wedding Belles. Unfortunately, her first client demands an opulent black-tie affair at the Plaza…in five months’ time. Heather’s days quickly become a flurry of cake tastings, dress-fittings, RSVP cards, and bridal tantrums. But what she’s really losing sleep over is the live music blaring from her playboy neighbor’s apartment all night.
Five years ago, Josh Tanner was an up-and-comer on Wall Street, complete with the penthouse and the migraines. But a grim cancer diagnosis made him realize there is more to life than the corner office. If only he could convince his pretty, workaholic neighbor to let loose, too. As Heather lets down her guard, Josh is surprised when he starts falling for the sweet, vulnerable woman hiding beneath those power suits. Soon, it’s Heather’s turn to convince Josh to take the biggest risk of all: love.
Author: Lauren Layne
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Blurred Lines, I Wish You Were Mine, Cuff Me, Cuff Me
Series: The Wedding Belles #2
Other books in this series that we've reviewed: From This Day Forward (The Wedding Belles 0.5), To Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles #1), To Love and to Cherish
Published by Pocket Source: Publisher
Published: August 30, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
Visit the Goodreads Series Page
Lauren Layne wins again with her third Wedding Belles book. She’s created likable characters who light up the page with their realism and flaws.
I liked Heather – she is determined young professional who’s followed her heart to NYC, and is living her own dream as a wedding planner. A big wedding has been dropped into her lap – a huge socialite wants the wedding of the year, but within a tight timeframe. With an open budget and indifferent bride, Heather’s BS flag is raised high, but she does as she’s paid and works to create a dreamy wedding for the woman.
Josh Tanner is taking a break from adulting. He’s done the whole super-successful Wall Street thing, and it nearly killed him. So he’s decided to lounge around, live the frat boy life, and enjoy playing music with his ok-but-not-great band. He seems uninterested in anything for more than a few moments. I won’t spoil why he’s like this, but Josh has (what he believes is) a good reason to keep people at arm’s length.
Heather begins to fall for Josh, but she does eventually realize that the relationship is very one-sided. When she does figure this out, instead of retreating, she decides to make Josh fall in love with her – but he is one resistant man! He stubbornly holds onto his “I’m not a forever kind of guy” throughout almost all of the book – and then the gotcha moment arrives, when Josh decides they are well and truly done. It tore me up a little, and I wondered how the author would pull Heather back into his life…and I was pleasantly surprised (and relieved) that these two did get their (albeit kind of rushed) happy ending.
So the only real downside to this novel was the rushed ending. Josh’s laissez-faire “Yeah, I’m loaded” comment made me feel like Layne was trying to suddenly go for a millionaire hero – it didn’t sit well alongside the rest of the novel, which didn’t have any mention of money (it was actually a relief, as the billionaire thing can wear on me a little). But, I was willing to let it go because the rest of the book was very good – so give it a try!
Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2016/06/for-better-or-worse-wedding-belles-2-by.html
Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.
In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.
In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.
For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!
“So this is where the noise happens, huh?” she asked.
Josh’s eyes narrowed as his friend’s hand touched Heather’s back briefly. “Absolutely,” Trevor said. “We’re sorry it keeps you up though.”
“Oh, it’s okay,” she said, waving her hand. “I mean . . . it’s not. But tonight I couldn’t sleep anyway, so you get a free pass. What do you all play?”
“Donny’s bass, Felix is on drums. Josh is lead guitar, and I, as the most important member, have the pipes.”
“Oh! I thought Josh was the singer,” Heather said with a quick glance over her shoulder at him.
Their eyes locked, and Josh felt a flicker of . . . something.
“Ah, is that what he’s telling the women these days,” Trevor joked.
“No, I just . . . I hear him, singing sometimes,” Heather muttered.
“Our boy can carry a tune well enough, but wait until you hear me, love,” Trevor said.
Josh turned away in mild disgust, pulling a beer out of the fridge as Trevor and the other guys coaxed Heather into the practice room, thrilled to have any sort of audience, even a reluctant one.
“Yo, Tanner,” Felix called.
“What,” he called, popping the lid off the bottle and tilting the beer back to his lips as he tried to shake off whatever was bringing down his mood tonight.
“Let’s show Heather here that we’re more than a bit of noise coming through her bedroom wall.”
Josh turned around to see Donny dragging one of his kitchen chairs across the room, disappearing into the practice room.
“All right, love, you just sit down and get comfortable,” Trevor said. “Tanner! Come on, man.”
Josh heard the low strum of Donny’s guitar, heard Felix do a little warm-up rhythm, and knew there was no way of getting out of it. If he refused to play a song now, he’d look like an ass.
Still, his feet didn’t move, and he took another sip of beer.
Feeling eyes on him, he glanced up to see Heather in the doorway, leaning one shoulder against the doorjamb as she studied him.
“Okay, 4A?” she asked.
Her tone was lighthearted, almost slightly reluctant, as though she didn’t want to care about why he was out here alone, feeling oddly itchy with his life.
He appreciated it. He’d spent enough time in the past few years dealing with people who walked on eggshells around him, cooing sweetness. Some of it genuine, some of it not so much.
Heather’s no-nonsense question was refreshing—and exactly what he needed.
He was happy and healthy and living the dream, damn it.
Even if he was no longer sure it was his dream.
“You going soft on me?” he asked, taking one last sip of his beer before setting it aside and strolling toward her.
Heather’s eyes narrowed. “Hardly. I just wanted you to get your shit together so I can see your cute lead singer work his magic.”
He deliberately stepped into the doorway so she couldn’t move in either direction without brushing against him, grinning at her discomfort.
“You’re in a better mood tonight,” he said, his eyes skimming over her crazy curls and relaxed expression. “Why?”
“Believe it or not, I’m not a shrew.”
Heather shoved his shoulder with a little scowl. “I’m not!”
“Does that mean you’re going to start making banana bread like Mrs. Calvin?”
“Yes, definitely. And coffee cake and sugar cookies and whatever other goodies you might like. All while wearing a frilly, feminine apron.”
“Dare I hope there’s nothing under the apron?” he asked, leaning in slightly.
“Right again!” she said, in mock delight. “I just love to bake naked.”
Josh’s pulse leapt, but Trevor interrupted before the sudden X-rated picture in his mind could turn into a full-fledged fantasy.
“Dude, we doing this or what?”
Josh looked at Heather.
“One song,” she said, holding up a finger. “I may as well see what the music sounds like on this side of the wall.”