To Love and to Cherish by Lauren Layne

Posted in Advanced Reader Copy/ Chick Lit/ Contemporary Romance/ Netgalley/ Reviews 20th September 2016
To Love and to Cherish by Lauren LayneTo Love and to Cherish by Lauren Layne
Series: The Wedding Belles, #3
Published by Pocket Books on October 18th 2016
Pages: 320
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three-stars

Alexis Morgan has spent the past eight 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...

‘To Love and to Cherish’ pretty much explores the longterm consequences of heartbreak—through circumstances no one could have really envisioned—and well…the cowardly behaviour it can incite. And it’s found in the form of Alexis Morgan, whose wedding planning company (ironically a business that puts down how happy-ever-after should begin) has taken the place of relationships and love in her life. The story is a fun, quick read and evidently responsible for taking a few needed hours of sleep away, despite it being an entirely predictable one from the beginning.

Logan Harris has indeed been lusting after Alexis for a long time, and lust is pretty much the term I’d use here rather than love, given that he’s really done nothing but pine from a distance while taking up with other women as he passively waits for her to notice him. Alexis on the other hand, refuses to see him as anything else than her accountant and her silent business partner, but that isn’t because there have been overt, numerous hints thrown her way. Yet for them to declare that they’ve loved each other from the start had me frowning in scepticism, because it seemed more like attraction than anything deeper and an impulsive decision of a ‘recovering student’ to throw in an inheritance behind a business that has yet to get off the ground.

Logan and Alexis, while frustrating at times, do however, seem more sympathetic than the rest of the couples in the Wedding Belles series; their connection as partners and as friends was evident at the start and to make the leap into a relationship didn’t seem an implausible one, even if those years did seem somewhat wasted on nothing happening. I felt for Alexis and her continued reticence, although I did wonder why it took Logan that long to man up and straighten it out when it was clear he needed something drastic for a first move.

There aren’t huge spikes in passion or angsty valleys of depressing lows however, which made for some lull in the storytelling itself but what kept it somewhat interesting is the reversal of roles, where Alexis is finally forced to reexamine her stance on keeping distant from everyone while Logan runs himself to the ground finally trying to make her see him the way he wants.

There’s perhaps some kind of finality to this book with all the belles happily paired off, and ‘To Love and to Cherish’ is a fitting farewell to a series that has frankly left me part lukewarm and somewhat neutral for their predictability. Wedding planners finding their own HEAs—and have those living up to hype of the weddings they plan—might be a little too sugary sweet for my liking but because a few of Lauren Layne’s Oxford and Stiletto books had made her an author to watch out for, I’m still as always, eager to see what else she has up her sleeve.

three-stars

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