I’ve loved all of the Lauren Layne books I’ve been able to get my hands on. I’ve gotten lost in the way she brings the characters and all that is going on around them to life and have swooned, melted and wanted to throw the nearest heavy object at a character’s head and I did all of that and more with For Better or Worse, but then came that ending and I’m still having an internal debate myself over how I feel about it.
But first...Heather and Josh.
Heather is living the dream. She’s living in New York, loves her job and has been working her ass off in hopes of getting that elusive promotion where “assistant” will disappear from in from of “wedding planner” but she’s so intent on achieving that goal that she’s pushed aside everything, even having a life outside of The Wedding Belles. I actually liked Heather a lot. I loved her passion for her career and how ambitious she was. She was sweet, sassy and blunt and to the point, most of the time. Her need for validation, even if she didn’t know that’s what she was looking for, was sometimes frustrating, but understandable considering how she grew up.
Josh is a cancer survivor and has done a total 180 on how he views and lives his life since being diagnosed and going to remission. He doesn’t do the 9 - 5 thing anymore, suits are a thing of the past and he loves living the life of a quasi vagabond musician. Committed relationships are a huge no no, and yet none of this is truly making him happy though he won’t admit it to himself or those closest to him. I had a love/hate relationship with Josh. There were times when he was so sweet that it made me melt and then he’d turn into an ‘overgrown frat boy’ and even a tantrum throwing toddler and I wanted to hurl something heavy at his head. I’m all for living your life on your own terms, lord knows that there would a shitton more happy people in the world if we could do that, but his way of living wasn’t necessarily a celebration of life, it was more like shutting oneself away in a bubble and deluding yourself that you were living.
Their relationship from the beginning was a rocky one. It was the whole enemies to friends with bennies to whatever they tried so hard not to be thing going on and I honestly had no issue with that. More power to ya for scratching that itch and keeping it on the level, but as with most of these types of set ups wanting more always happens. And again I was good with that because even when Josh and Heather were baiting each other it showed how much they were into each other other. My issue comes with things on the friend level being majorly one sided. While Josh did get Heather to step back and take a little more time for herself, he only gave her a portion of himself. I got that he didn’t want her to see him as “the guy who had cancer” but the way he went about it keeping her from learning more about him just frustrated me. And though Heather went along with it, she at least called him out on it.
Now for that ending. I’m all for the grand gesture, and yes there was a part of me that swooned over it because it really is THE grand gesture of grand gestures, but I had to go back and re-read it a few times because of what I didn’t see from Josh. While Heather had her fair share of missteps and mess ups, Josh did the big one and I just felt like there should have been more groveling on his part. I can accept his epiphany and speed racer change of heart. I can accept and even applaud him doing all that he did for the grand gesture, but more groveling was needed especially with another set of three little words outside of I love you being apart of it.
I’ll be honest and say that I wavered a bit over how to rate this book because of the ending and how frustrated I got with both Josh and Heather, but when I looked at the book as a whole I realized that overall I did enjoy it and much of that had to do with Alexis and Logan. It’s already been announced that the next book is theirs and I felt like this book was a full on teaser for their upcoming journey. We got to spend more time with Logan and Alexis and get a better feel for who they are. In fact I think I may have fallen a little for Logan already, so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what Ms. Layne has in store for them!
~ ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~
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
Lauren lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart--cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.
Five years ago, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan.
She writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush, and in her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.
When not bringing The Sexy, she likes to blog about her Instagram addiction, and why mean girls are the worst.