Will a budding wedding planner and her bad boy neighbor stop banging heads and start hearing wedding bells in the sexy second novel in USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne’s irresistible new series that marries Sex and the City with The Wedding Planner?
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.
* A review copy was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley for the Blog Tour *
~ 5 Girl in 4C Stars ~
For Better or Worse is exactly what I expect when I pick up a Lauren Layne book. This book made me laugh, swoon, angry and even a little heart broken. Everything a reader wants from a 5 star read.
For Better or Worse is the second novel in Lauren’s Wedding Belles Series. It can be read as a standalone and I don’t feel that Book 1 (To Have and To Hold) has to be read first. If you are like me then you will want to read them in order, but it is not necessary. Lauren did a fantastic job filling in the necessary holes when it needed it. There is character overlap within this series, so yes the couple from Book 1 (Brooke and Seth) is in this story, but it’s because Heather works with Brooke.
I have to say this is my favorite book of the series so far. I LOVED the characters in this story and I thought the story line was a fun one, but also had a serious side to it. The writing was flawless and smooth. The pace was perfect. Everything flowed effortlessly and I never got bored with this story. I honestly could rave about this book for forever, but I’ll just say read this book….it’s well worth it.
In this book we follow Heather and Josh’s story. Heather is an assistant Wedding Planner at the Belles agency, but her dream is to be an actual Wedding Planner and also live in New York. She has the New York address, now she just needs the promotion to feel like her life will be complete. Enter Josh her loud neighbor in 4A. Josh is a musician who loves to practice with his band in his apartment….right next to Heather’s bedroom. Heather is very work orientated and Josh lives his life day by day. Neither one of them are focused on finding love or that they want love in their lives. Can two people who are so different, yet the same, every find their way to each other?? Will Heather and Josh break down their walls to find love?? You’ll have to read this book to find out!!
I enjoyed that we got to see more of Alexis (Heather’s Boss) , Logan (Belle’s Accountant) Brooke and Seth (Couple from Book 1). I liked that this book even gave us more into Brooke and Seth’s relationship. Lauren also kind of sets up for the next book in the series (To Love and To Cherish). It’s going to be Alexis and Logan’s story. I can’t wait for that book.
I would recommend this series to anyone who loves a fun, sexy and sweet read. This is definitely a great book to take to the beach or for lounging by the pool. If you are already a Lauren Layne fan then you know this is going to be a great book!!!!
“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.”
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!