Raise your hand if you barely survived Monday… *raises both hands* I’m glad that’s over. Now on to today. It’s release day for Lauren Layne and the last book in the Wedding Belles series shouldn’t be missed.
About Lauren Layne:
In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.
In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.
For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!
Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: October 18, 2016
Alexis Morgan has spent the past six years devoted to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premiere wedding planning company, The Wedding Belles. Now that her business is thriving, it’s time to turn towards her much neglected personal life, and Alexis approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan. Not a part of that plan is Logan Harris, the silent partner in the Belles, and the one person who’s been there for her since the very beginning. But Alexis needs someone fun, and Logan’s all business, all the time—except when a late night at the office ends with an unexpected kiss that leaves the usually cool and together Alexis reeling.
Logan has lusted after Alexis since the day he walked into the tiny Harlem apartment that used to double as her office. But the ambitious wedding planner has always been untouchable...until now. Alexis has made it clear that she’s on the dating market—and equally clear that he’s not in the running. But when Alexis finds herself in need of a date for her sister’s last minute wedding in Florida, Logan knows it’s the perfect time to show Alexis that there’s more to him than numbers and spreadsheets—and beneath the pinstripes and glasses lies a hot-blooded heartthrob. As Florida’s sultry days turn into even hotter nights, Logan’s out to convince Alexis that the fling of a lifetime could just maybe turn into forever...
So now it’s Alexis Morgan’s turn! She’s spent six years working hard to build up her wedding planner business and now The Wedding Belles is a success. She wouldn’t have been able to do it without her silent partner, Logan Harris but what Alexis doesn’t know is that Logan has been in love with her since the very first day he met her. With business booming, Alexis decides it’s time to focus on her neglected love life and that’s when things get interesting because while Alexis is ready to start dating again, she’s made it clear that Logan is not on her short list of acceptable boyfriends. But Logan isn’t going to give up without a fight, he convinces Alexis to take him with her as a last minute date to her sister’s wedding. The close quarters and intimate settings provide the opportunity for Logan to show Alexis just how great he’d be for her.
I’m not gonna lie, I got a little sad at the end of To Love and to Cherish because this book marks the end of The Wedding Belles series. It’s time for the notoriously untouchable Alexis to have her chance at a happy ending and in true Alexis fashion, she doesn’t make things easy!
I love powerful women in life and in fiction so naturally Alexis drew my attention from the get go. She was a scrapper, had a goal in mind, and made all the necessary sacrifices (i.e. her love life) in order to get to where she was at in the present time. At the same time, because she put her love life off for years and had a hidden hang up about relationships, it made her a bit more vulnerable than she was used to being. I liked Vulnerable Alexis almost as much as I liked Career Woman Alexis because when she was feeling vulnerable and unsure, she wasn’t the ice queen anymore; she was a regular woman with hopes, dreams, fears, and regrets. I loved the balance between both parts of Alexis and how they played a part in forcing her to move forward instead of staying stuck in the past.
To Love and to Cherish seemed to have two paces to it: Fast and Slow. The beginning of the book had the prerequisite flashback and a bit of the present relationship between Logan and Alexis and that moved pretty quickly, but then when Alexis starts becoming aware that Logan sees her as more than just a friend and that he intends to pursue her that’s when the book slowed to a crawl for me. So much of the middle of the book was spent on Alexis going back and forth with wanting Logan near her but pushing him away whenever her complicated feelings for him got the best of her. I understood that she was rusty with the whole feelings thing and to make matters worse, it was Logan she was having feelings for but that part did drag on a little too long for my tastes and sometimes I didn’t quite see why Logan kept pursuing a woman who had him like a yo-yo. That’s where the romance suffered. See, there was so much time spent on the back and forth that I didn’t really feel the romance or see the attraction between them. It was all about Alexis’ fighting her emotions and dealing with family baggage instead of focusing on these two characters getting closer.
However, when Alexis finally did stop fighting her attraction to Logan there were some serious fireworks. It was just too bad that those fireworks didn’t come sooner or more often because these two characters were just too good together. They both had an eye and the determination to make a business succeed but Logan knew when to set work aside and devote time to what was important and that was the people he loved. It was great to see the whole gang at various points in the story too. Lauren Layne made sure to bring out the strong bonds these people shared and how they were essentially a family, including the newcomers (the boyfriends of Alexis’ employees). Whenever the Wedding Belles or their significant others were in a scene, laughs soon followed. Those were the more bittersweet moments of the book.
Final Verdict: There were a few hiccups with the pace and how much time was spent on certain aspects of Logan and Alexis’ relationship but overall the plot was solid, the characters were likable and the sweetness of a happy ending was there to make To Love and to Cherish another sigh worthy romance by Lauren Layne.
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