Author: Lauren Layne
Series: Wedding Belles #2
Release date: 30th August, 2016
Main characters: Heather Fowler (assistant wedding planner to NYC’s richest) Josh Tanner, enigmatic musician and all-round slacker. (Or is he?)
Plot: Heather Fowler has come a long way to realise her dream of moving to NYC and having a fulfilling career. Life back in Michigan always left her wanting more, so now she’s desperate to get a promotion and finally become a wedding planner in her own right. To do this, she needs to work with a very famous, very fickle starlet, who seems to want nothing to do with the minutiae of the wedding.
That’s not all though – as well as headaches of the professional variety, there’s also headaches closer to home. This particular migraine comes in the form of noisy neighbour, Josh. He and his band play next door at all hours and Heather has has enough. He irritates her constantly – he’s cocky, seems to enjoy making her mad and he has a constant stream of ladies coming and going on a weekly basis.
Josh Tanner is a private guy. Despite his affable exterior, he discourages any personal questions. Something else Heather seems to find irritating. He gave up his high-flying career in favour of a more relaxed life of music and women. He doesn’t want Heather prying in his past, because he doesn’t want his past to define who he is now. His refusal to open up to people leads to Josh keeping others at bay. Until Heather. Bit by bit, she manages to chip away at some of his defences. Despite knowing he will never get serious about her, he can’t seem to shake Heather from his thoughts – and the feeling may well be mutual.
Why you should read it: I loved this story – it actually made me well up a couple of times. It had a freshness about it that made me smile and feel for the characters. Usually, when a character tries to alienate others, it drives me crazy! But it felt justified in this story – and Josh has been through a lot. Heather was a great heroine – she’s desperate to succeed in life and find her place in it. She doesn’t think Josh is the happy ending she’s looking for – but she’s pragmatic, which I liked. She doesn’t stand in the way of her own happiness and isn’t a whiner! There was an absence of angst in this story, which I loved. It all found a great balance.
What you might not like: Josh can be A JERK at times. A big, thickheaded jerk. But as I’ve said, he has his reasons. He’s abrupt, sometimes surly and he totally gets in his own way. But I liked him so much. He was human and vulnerable, and that made me love him more.
Rating: 4/5 for a sweet, heartwarming and entertaining read. It makes me want to continue with the series and get to know every one of the Wedding Belles.