For Better or Worse
Lauren Layne     

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Wedding Belles
Book: 2  

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.

Other books in the series:

As I was thoroughly enjoying For Better or Worse, I started wondering what exactly is it about Lauren Layne’s books I find so enjoyable. The writer in me wanted to pinpoint exactly which elements of her stories appealed to me so much. Several things jumped out at me. The humor. It’s not slapstick and it doesn’t feel like she’s trying to be funny. It’s that dry and sarcastic, sometimes self-deprecating humor that I love (I grew up watching a lot of British TV). The heroes speak like guys do IRL. Not too flowery. And here’s a big thing, the characters (especially the heroes) are not too introspective. They feel what they feel and they’re not constantly trying to dissect those feelings.

Having said all of that, meet Josh Tanner, a hero a woman can love. He’s gorgeous, cocky and a player, and he’s unabashed about all of it. He meets his new next door neighbor Heather Fowler when she comes to his apartment to complain about his loud music—Josh is in a band. Their first exchange sets the tone of their relationship going forward.

“Work? On Saturday? Dare I hope this means you’re a professional baker and like to get in early to make delicious sweet buns?”

“Do I look like the type that makes delicious sweet buns?”

“You look like the type that has delicious buns.”

Heather made a face. “You’re a pig.”

Heather, whom we were introduced to in From this Day Forward, has the job of her dreams. She can ditch the assistant from her title, she’s finally become a full-blown wedding planner. Too bad her first client with her new title is a bit of a pain in the neck. Actresses. Argh! And to add to that, her next door neighbor is in a band and likes to practice during her bedtime. If only he wasn’t so distractingly attractive, she might actually be able stop thinking about him.

But keeping her distance—physical and emotional—from Josh is impossible the more she gets to know him, especially when she learns he can help her with her current client’s wedding.

I absolutely loved Josh. More than his chiseled abs and his good looks, I loved his sense of humor. He really made me laugh. But with that, he nearly brought me to tears. Honestly, I went through so many emotions the more I got to know Josh. His battle cancer left him determined to live life to the fullest but also determined not to let himself get too close to a woman. One-night stands are more than fine with him. That is, until he gets to know Heather. With Heather, despite his best efforts, he wants more.

These two are great together. While their rapport runs the gamut from humorous, flirtatious, sexy, somber and gut-wrenching, the course of their relationship develops and unfolds beautifully. And there’s just the right amount of sexual tension until they finally give in to the smoking hot attraction between them.

I loved catching up with Leah and Jason and Brooke and Seth from the previous books. And I’ll say this again (read previous reviews), I simply cannot wait to read about Alexis and Logan in To Love and to Cherish, the final book in the series. As for Josh and Heather, I definitely looking forward to reading about them beyond their HEA.

~ Beverley