WARNING! SPOILERY REVIEW
Hmmm … this goes into my 2.5-stars collection because of one thing. I just didn’t get Brooke. At all. For someone who have been unknowingly involved with a con man for two years, a con man who was arrested on their wedding day, and had taken all of her family money, Brooke was either too naive (slash, stupid) or, like Seth said “quick to face her demons.”
Maybe I’m being too cynical, but I didn’t understand why Brooke couldn’t agree with Seth’s distrust towards Neil, his sister’s fiancé. If it was me, I would probably lend my hands and help Seth to research Neil, to ensure that the guy didn’t just want Maya’s money. Sure, Seth seemed controlling but at least to me, Seth was “what you see was what you get”. With Brooke’s background, I felt like she should at least be more careful.
And then Brooke had conniption after Seth hired the P.I. to investigate Neil? Especially turned out that Seth was right all along about Neil?? I felt that Brooke was the one who should be doing the grand gesture here. Again, with this kind of set-up, I understand Seth’s point-of-view. I just didn’t get Brooke’s logic that Maya should make her own mistakes. Brooke knew first and of being trapped by a con man. So why would she let another woman fall into the same trap? Seriously, I wouldn’t trust Brooke’s judgment either *shrugs*.
So yeah, I simply didn’t understand why everyone seemed to think that Seth was doing the wrong thing here. He saved his sister from that fake man, right?? Or maybe I truly can’t work in wedding planning industry, because clearly I would end up cajoling Maya to cancel this wedding plan *laugh*.
Anyway, throughout I just felt more and more frustrated and annoyed with Brooke. She wasn’t an inspiring heroine for me. I kind of wanted Seth to cut her loose altogether. Yes. I judged Brooke. Sue me.
On another note, I was feeling a bit cheated with the off-page secondary relationship that bloomed between Maya and Grant as well. I thought that could be a cute story by itself.
Conclusion: Wasn’t impressed mainly because of the heroine. BUT, despite this one and the prequel novella being failure, I am still going to give the series a try. Besides, Lauren Layne’s writing is still good. Maybe the next one will be better *cross fingers*.
The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.
Title: To Have and To Hold
Author: Lauren Layne
Series: The Wedding Belles #1
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Pocket Star
Release Date: July 26, 2016