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Review ★ From This Day Forward by Lauren Layne

June 6, 2016

Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in this prequel to USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne’s The Wedding Belles series about three high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding—but their own.

Up-and-coming wedding photographer Leah McHale’s career is on the rise–thanks in no small part to the Wedding Belles, the elite New York wedding planning agency that always throws top-tier business Leah’s way. So when one of the Belles asks Leah to fill in at the former First Daughter’s wedding, Leah is overjoyed to say yes–until she finds out who she’ll be working with.

Jason Rhodes is the one man who was able to capture Leah’s heart and, once he had it, promptly stepped all over it and left her broken. Now he’s working side-by-side with her at the biggest wedding of the season and Leah is determined to give him the cold shoulder. Despite his persistence, she is not going to fall for his charming, impish ways again. Not even if he still has that killer, irresistible smile…

4-hearts


Heat Level: Sensual


 

My one beef with From This Day Forward was it wasn’t longer. And you know I knew it was a novella going in, but I still wanted more.

Okay, now that I got that out of the way, I can get on to all the things I really enjoyed about this book. First is the author. Lauren Layne is an insta-buy author for me.  Whether it’s her new adult, contemporary adults or those with a bit more suspense in them, I’m there eager and ready to devour them in one sitting.

In From This Day Forward you get one of my favorite tropes, lovers with a shared romantic past—and a nasty break up. That would be Leah McHale and Jason Rhodes, both professional photographers. They haven’t seen each other in a year, and due to unseen circumstances, will be working together on the same wedding. Them working together isn’t a coincidence though. Jason kind of helps to orchestrate that. He’s looking for a second chance. Leah? Not so much.

But there’s no denying the sparks that still exist between the two. And as hard as Leah fights it, there is no fighting it. That doesn’t mean she trusts Jason. She stopped trusting him last year when she broke it off with him and refused to accept his calls for a month. And really, this is what their relationship comes down to, trust.

The banter between them is both biting and sexually charged. I liked the way those two facets came together to heighten the tension between them.

“Again, dinner. I’m not sleeping with you.”

Jason picked up his whiskey and threw it back in one swallow before standing and grabbing his bag. Before Leah had a chance to react, he’d moved toward her, shamelessly invading her personal space as he bent down and placed his lips near her hear.

“Sweetheart, by the time I’m done with you, sleep will be the last thing on your mind. Guarantee it.”

I particularly liked Jason. He was the pursuer. You were in his head and you knew how he felt about Leah from the get-go. No playing around. But a man has his pride and Leah could be very difficult. If anyone was going to give, I thought it should be her.

Some might call the cause of their breakup a misunderstanding. I don’t see it that way. It went deeper than that, touching on deep, emotional issues they both needed to confront and resolve. Which they eventually did quite satisfactorily.

Again, I would have loved a longer book, but From This Day Forward is just the very beginning of Layne’sWedding Belles series. I hope to revisit Leah and Jason in upcoming books.

~ Beverley

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