So, this book... It didn't really work for me. The series is great but this one didn't really live up to the previous book or even the novella.
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: August 30, 2016
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.
So I didn’t care too much for this book in the Wedding Belles and I was a bit disappointed by the hero AND the heroine. Basically the story is that Josh used to be this big shot up and comer on Wall Street but then he faced cancer and decided that life was made for living. He meets his workaholic neighbor Heather and the two butt heads and later add hook ups of the no string variety. Soon though, Heather is falling and Josh is too but he’s in denial about the whole thing for one very big, secret reason.
If Lauren Layne’s intentions were to have Josh play with a reader’s emotions the way he did with Heather’s then mission accomplished because that guy had me rolling my eyes at him one minute, laughing at his humor the next, and then falling in love with him before wanting to kick him in the shins. It was like there were two versions of Josh: The Before Josh and The After Josh. He was the emotional roller coaster in this story and it put a different spin on the romance. I liked his moments of kindness and realization as he started to fall for Heather.
The one thing I didn’t like, and it’s a biggie because it carried throughout the story, was that Josh was a man-child. He wasn’t trying to live a simpler life to the fullest, he was flat out immature and had a self entitlement to his character that wasn’t flattering at all. Here he was declaring to everyone who would listen that he was going to live life to the fullest and all he was doing was making sure he was satisfied and not caring whose feelings or dreams he stomped on to get there. He really did act like a clueless frat boy and made the romance feel like Heather was a cougar in terms of mental age. Josh’s behavior really made me doubt his age and intelligence because he couldn’t tell the difference between living a good life and just being a self serving jerk.
I enjoyed Heather. I didn’t love her like I did Brooke from the previous book but Heather was okay. I do love ambitious women who want to succeed in their careers and that was definitely Heather but she had a bit of a condescending air to her when it came to Josh that put me off a bit. Yes Josh was a man-child who needed to be told the truth but I felt that Heather went out of her way to put him down sometimes instead of putting him in his place whenever he criticized her lifestyle. There’s a huge difference between standing up for yourself and just putting someone down because there’s this weird attraction to them.
Josh kept Heather at arm’s length through 90% of the book and really I didn’t feel he had much of an emotional growth, much less and mental one. Heather on the other hand did. She grew leaps and bounds from the workaholic no nonsense woman into a woman in love and wanting to change her life to include the good stuff too, not just work.
I had no complaints about the physical aspect of Josh and Heather’s relationship but I do think the emotional growth and “romantic” aspect was lacking. It also made the story seem like it was at a standstill most of the time with the same push and pull over and over again. Heather wanted more but Josh would push her away and it went on and on throughout the whole book until like, the last four chapters or so. By then it wasn’t enough to convince me that Josh had changed much less that he was in love with Heather. Overall the ending felt very rushed and over the top for these two who up until the last few chapters, had a lot of work to do in their relationship in order to bring it up to “Adult” status.
Final Verdict: Not every book in a series can be a hit and this one was a miss for me. The series in general is a great one and I’m looking forward to Alexis’ book since she’s my favorite!
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