Title: For Better Or Worse (The Wedding Belles #2)
Author : Lauren Layne
Genre : Adult, Contemporary
Publication Date : August 30th, 2016
Publisher : Pocket Books
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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.
Seriously. Seriously. This series only gets better, and I know not what to do with myself until the next books comes out in October. Anyhoo, without cribbing too much (for now) I’d like to quickly take you through the amazingly, ridiculously, cute story that is For Better Or Worse. And yes, I do realise calling an Adult story “cute” is not exactly the best way to introduce it, but bear with me here, I’m onto something.
With For Better Or Worse, we come back to the Weddings Belles’ and meet Heather Fowler. She’s a small-town girl with big dreams, and successfully making it in Manhattan’s elite wedding planning agency takes centre post. She’s almost there, but to work as hard as Heather wants to, a girl’s gotta get her sleep. And Heather’s sleep has been terrorised by her bad boy neighbour Josh Tanner. Cranky requests to tone down his rather loud band practice turns into fun banter and flirty conversations, and arouses Heather’s interest in Josh greatly. But of course, Josh has secrets of his own, and he’s not going to give them up to Heather very easily.
Now, while we’re on the subject of Josh, here’s the thing: He wasn’t my favourite hero. There. I said it. Like ripping a fucking band-aid. The thing is, for me, first impressions do matter, and Josh didn’t make the best of first impressions. He was quite crude and at the cost of giving away a little too much, he actually kissed Heather to “shut her up.” That’s…well, weird and not normal is one thing, but it’s also, technically, assault. Again, I wasn’t too impressed by it, and even though it was pretty hot, (at least for Heather) I was a little turned off by that kind of behaviour. It fit into his character profile, definitely, but just no. Okay?
Apart from this slightly psycho behaviour in the beginning, I liked Josh. He was a typical bad boy, but not the type that would make you roll your eyes and punch something. He was a happy-go-lucky kind of guy, he used to be a big deal on Wall Street so he’s obviously not an idiot, and the guy can sing. Musicians > Non-Musicians any time, so my irritation with Josh’s behaviour died a comfortable death. On the other hand, Josh was, well, a guy, and we know guys can be dense, so he took his own sweet time with his relationship with Heather. I wouldn’t exactly call it slow-burn, but I did feel like romance took its own sweet time to get to that sweet spot we all love.
Heather, by God, was an angel. LL writes exactly the kind of women that I want to be when I grow up, and Heather was no different. She was smart and talented and gorgeous, but she was also this kind-hearted girl, whose depth you could see when she was faced with difficult situations. The book follows the Robinson wedding that Heather was planning, and it was clear how much Heather’s dream meant to her through it. She was determined, a force to be reckoned with, and maybe a little obsessed with not taking anyone’s help. It was amazing to see how she kept herself together, no matter what.
LL obviously knows what makes her audience tick, because she hits the nail on the head each time, bang on. She is a talented writer, no doubt, but For Better Or Worse also proves that she can handle a plethora of emotional issues in a book, without compromising the two things readers flock to her for—banter and romance. The only thing that you can do next is A) Rock yourself back and forth waiting for To Love And To Cherish and B) Wait for someone to pick up movie rights, because GODAMMIT it’s about time!
PS – I want to know exactly whom to contact about the two month gap between this book and the next, why, Publisher WHY?
I WAS PROVIDED A FREE EARC OF THIS BOOK BY POCKET BOOKS THROUGH NETGALLEY IN EXCHANGE OF AN HONEST REVIEW. THIS DID NOT IN ANY WAY, HOWEVER, INFLUENCE THE CONTENT OF THIS REVIEW.