To Have And To Hold // A Cute Contemporary That Almost Gets Me Excited About Weddings

27 September 2016

Published: 26th July 2016
Source: Publisher (Headline Eternal)
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:
Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in To Have And To Hold, the first sizzling contemporary romance in Lauren Layne's The Wedding Belles series about three ambitious wedding planners who can make any bride's dream come true...but their own. For fans of Jill Shalvis, Julie James and Rachel Gibson.

Discovering her fiance is a con man moments before they exchange vows devastates LA celebrity wedding planner Brooke Baldwin. With a fresh start in New York and her first Wedding Belles bridal client, things are looking up. Until she meets the uptight businessman who's holding the purse strings...

Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank cheque and be done with his sister Maya's wedding, but micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving that Maya's fiance is a liar. He needs the help of her stunning, sassy wedding planner who he finds both irritating - and undeniably tempting.

Can Seth persuade Brooke to unplan a wedding? And, more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be theirs?
Where to begin with my latest contemporary romance read? I mean, it’s another addition to my shelf from the publisher, Headline Eternal, and this is a publisher who is proving to be my go to for all things romance.

First Off We Establish I Am Not A Wedding Person

I am not completely sure why I wanted to read this book. I think I was drawn in by the premise of a wedding planner and a cynical sibling to the bride falling in love and that is definitely what I fell in love with.

The thing is, I did not grow up planning a dream wedding or anything like that. A wedding theme does not make me swoon and get me wanting to read because I can imagine nothing worse than being a wedding planner dealing with brides all the time. I do not understand why anyone would want to spend the thousands of pounds so many do on a wedding when that money could be spent on something far more practical, like a house. I mean, I see the stress people get under from trying to plan the perfect wedding and it seems completely illogical to me so it seems a bit strange I would want to read a series which centres around people’s weddings.

Anyway, despite not being a wedding person I fell in love with the entire concept. The idea of a girl who has been jilted still believing in love and planning weddings and a boy who is convinced his sister is doing the wrong thing trying to convince the wedding planner to stop the wedding all whilst falling in love.

And Then We Discover I Liked The Characters

I actually really enjoyed this book and I think it’s because I fell for the characters. I mean, Brooke was instantly likeable as the women who has burned by marriage (or an almost one, anyway) who is determined to put on a brave face and start afresh in a new city. She is the perfect first character to meet and follow in the Belles series. She is so perfectly relatable and sweet, even if she is floating down the Nile on some things. Her likability comes from her positive attitude which is often bordering and falling over into denial because we all delude ourselves about things.

As for Seth, he is a controlling dumbass who I loved. I mean, he was way too controlling to be acceptable in the real world but book wise he was the perfect guy. I adored him and he’s loneliness and he’s love for his sister and his utter need to control things after that control had been taken away from him previously. Normally I roll my eyes at really rich romantic leads (seriously, how many millionaires can there be in the world?) but it somehow worked in favour of Seth. I don’t quite know why it worked but it did.

And Then We Get Summarising

In the end, this was a really enjoyable contemporary read, especially as I haven’t read one of those in a while. I obviously needed more romance in my life and this book came at the right time. If you’re looking for a cute contemporary read then I would recommend this book to you. It will certainly satisfy that craving. It’s got fun characters who may be a bit ridiculous but are really fun to read about. This may not be breaking new ground in the romance world but it’s still pretty enjoyable.

Have you read any of The Wedding Belles series yet? What did you think? And am I alone in not dreaming of a dream wedding growing up, I feel like it’s a cliché that that is what girls do growing up?

Sunday Summary // 25.09.2016

25 September 2016

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Who has been a lazy book blogger this week? Yes, that would be me. I mean I only got one post up! How did that happen? I think I fell into some kind of life slump after I finished book six in the Kate Daniels series and I lost some motivation (that and I totally thought I’d scheduled my posts and I hadn’t). I am slowly working my way out of this mini slump and hopefully you will see a bit more from me for the next couple of weeks but we shall see.

What have I been up to this week? Very little, I meant to see a friend who was home for a few days and somehow we managed to completely miss each other. I did manage to successfully see another friend and go to the cinema, I saw Don’t Breathe and if you are fan of a tense horror that is all about people and involves no supernatural elements this is probably the film for you. Otherwise, I’ve just spent too much time despairing at the changes in Bake Off in it’s move to channel 4 (seriously, this is all we Brits have been able to talk about for at least a week) and have probably spent too much time being excited about the return of Grand Designs and a new series of Location Location Location (yes, I like house programmes).

Something surprising happened at work as well this week. You will be shocked to here I am once more Employee of the Month, considering I spend an inordinate amount of time venting my work frustrations in these weekly posts you may be shocked to hear that. I know I am. I have done absolutely nothing different this month to any other month and it’s not like I keep quiet when I’m complaining about things. Maybe that’s a good thing? Maybe it’s just because I keep showing up everyday? Maybe I don’t are because it means I can treat myself to more books with my gift voucher.

What I’ve Been Reading

It looks like a lot, doesn’t it? But two of these books I didn’t love and after reaching the halfway point skimmed to the end. I know that sounds terrible, but I just couldn’t get into them. I was in a bit of a slump after Kate Daniels and this is why I took a break and didn’t buy the next couple of books in the series to avoid this. Luckily, I finally found a book which completely suited my mood. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend was the perfect read for me and I loved every page. It has spent the past few days being battered in my bag to and from work as I devour it in batches. It is an utterly charming read that celebrates the joy of reading and the drama of small towns and the struggles of small towns in the recession which hit. It was just perfect and I am a little bit in love with it. Then a reread of The Deal was required because I watched Pitch and suddenly was craving some sports romance. Can you believe I only gave this book a 3 star rating last year? What was I on? It's definitely a 4.5 star book. I must have been crazy.

New To Me

This is quite a tame bookish week this week. ell, in terms of book purchases anyway which were only Doctor January (blame Smart Bitches) and Out On Good Behaviour. The rest were free. I swapped a couple of unwanted books from my shelves to get a hold of The Darkest Minds and Girl In The Mirror. I won from Girl In Pieces in a contest by Annie Crosby and I am thrilled to have it. I then borrowed the last three books from the library, not great considering I returned one of my books unread and had to a renew another one from my last library trip. I will attempt to be better with this lot and I am still determined to read Pantomime from my list haul.

How have your weeks been? Has anyone pre-emptively tried to stop a reading slump and hit one anyway? And am I the only who finds when they’re struggling to find something to read they struggle to blog as well?

My Blogging Problems // Where I Say Screw You To Feeling Guilty

20 September 2016

blogging problems
This is a post inspired by the fact I continually end up making myself feel bad about the number of books I bought for various reasons and I am fed up of doing that. It’s alright if I’m feeling guilty because I’ve bought something and I told myself I couldn’t have it (I’m trying to learn restraint here) but when I am treating myself to something I am fed up of other people and their voices creeping into my head and making me feel bad. Let me enjoy this one thing! I rarely buy clothes and I don’t go out on crazy nights out every week I just buy books. It’s my one indulgence and I am fed up with people trying to make me feel bad about it and I am sure other book lovers out there feel the same way.

We are continually talking about book buying bans and reading old books and our towering TBR piles and I am fed up of us feeling guilty. I think Cait summed it up best when she talked about it being okay to have a towering TBR pile (go read her post, you’ll feel a lot better about yourself fellow book addicts) and mine is probably going to end up repeating the same thing and if it does throw something at me because, ugh, try and be original Becky!

There Are Worse Things You Could be Addicted To

drug addict
Look, it’s true. You could be a drug addict. Or be like that woman from Confessions of a Shopaholic who had to freeze her cards so she couldn’t buy anything else and got herself into a serious shopping debt. I mean, it would take thousands of books to get you into that kind of debt so it’s really quite a cheap thing to be addicted to buying, right?

Other People Don’t Have To Apologise For Their Hobbies So Why Should We?

everybody needs a hobby
How often do you hear football fans apologising for their love of the game? How often do you see anyone apologising for the fact they are really passionate about something? Why on earth should we allow others to make us feel guilty about our hobby? Is it because it’s a solitary pursuit so it gets judged more harshly? I just don’t understand why I need to justify my book spending when I know for a fact a lot of hobbies are way more costly than mine? Basically, embrace your damn hobby and tell everyone where they can shove the next book you buy if they keep on at you.

Having A Lot Of Options Of What To Read Next Is Good (Even If Sometimes You Spend A Day Trying To Decide What To Read Next)

never out of options
I am always glad I have so many books to read because I almost always have a book to suit my mood. Sure, it’s not always easy to pinpoint what that mood is but I always have something to read. My options are endless and it’s great. It’s not like I've just got the few books I got out of the library to read and those are my only options, I just have to turn and look at my shelves and see I have books from at least 10 different genres to pick from.I mean, t does mean sometimes my library books don't get read, but that is a minor issue we will not address here.

It’s Okay To Want To Cut Back On Your Spending And Acquisitions But Stop Apologising For Doing What You Love.

we're al sorry
I know I have a book buying issue and I need to cut back but it’s hard to not to have about a 100 new books you want to buy at any one time when you are continually being exposed to new books on the internet. I don’t think I go a day without finding another book I want to read because I’ve stumbled across it on someone’s blog. I don’t think it’s an issue that I am still buying books, though. I just think I need to employ a bit of restraint and not buy five books in one go. I won’t keeping apologising when I do get something new.

Basically, what I am saying people is that it isn't the end of the world that we like to read and why should we keep restraining ourselves and feeling guilty over our book purchases because other people say so? This post is completely inspired by a judgemental comment from my stepdad and this is me telling him to swivel in a really eloquent way. But it's true, also. It's something I need to remember more because I am fed up of feeling guilty because of what other people think. Now, if I feel like it's an issue. If I see I am spending too much money and need to save or if I find I am buying way too many books I never plan to read then I can address the problem, but until then screw everybody.

Do you have someone who makes you feel guilty about getting new books? Do you ever find yourself feeling guilty about how many unread books you have or are you some inhuman monster who reads everything they buy and waits before getting something new (no judgement I just can’t understand that level of self-control)? Have you realised you make excuses for new book purchases and it’s really unnecessary? If so people you need to join me in stopping the guilt and owning your books, screw everyone else.