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~ From This Day Forward (The Wedding Belles #0.5) by Lauren Layne Release Blitz + Giveaway ~

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The Wedding Belles #0.5
Lauren Layne
Released June 6th, 2016
Pocket Star



Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in this prequel to USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne’s The Wedding Belles series about three high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding—but their own.

Up-and-coming wedding photographer Leah McHale’s career is on the rise–thanks in no small part to the Wedding Belles, the elite New York wedding planning agency that always throws top-tier business Leah’s way. So when one of the Belles asks Leah to fill in at the former First Daughter’s wedding, Leah is overjoyed to say yes–until she finds out who she’ll be working with.

Jason Rhodes is the one man who was able to capture Leah’s heart and, once he had it, promptly stepped all over it and left her broken. Now he’s working side-by-side with her at the biggest wedding of the season and Leah is determined to give him the cold shoulder. Despite his persistence, she is not going to fall for his charming, impish ways again. Not even if he still has that killer, irresistible smile…

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“Do you have any plans for your unexpectedly free weekend?” Alexis asked as she perused the menu.
Leah’s eyes narrowed on her friend. Alexis Morgan might be the queen of poker face, but Leah had known Alexis for close to a decade now. She knew when she was being handled, and right now, Alexis was definitely working up to something.
Instead of answering the question, Leah took a sip of her mimosa and waited. When Alexis’s brown eyes  flicked up to hers, Leah merely lifted her  brows. Waited some more.
With a sigh, Alexis set the menu aside and folded both arms on the table, leaning toward Leah. “I need a favor.”
“Anything,” Leah said automatically, meaning it completely.
Her relationship with Alexis may have started as a business arrangement—they’d both arrived in the city ten years earlier with big dreams of pursuing their dream careers.
 But somewhere along the way, Alexis and Leah had transitioned from sometimes business associates to friends. Alexis had been there for Leah when she’d needed her, and Leah fully intended to repay the favor any way she could.
“I need you to work the Preston wedding.”
Leah blinked. “The Preston wedding. As in, the wedding of the former First Daughter we were just talking about? The one this weekend?”
Alexis nodded.
Leah sat back, stunned. “Holy crap, Lex. That’s not really me doing you a favor, hon. More like the other way around. This would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me. For any photographer.”
“I know, but I still hate asking last minute like this. If it were up to me, I’d have recommended you from the very beginning, but Kylie’s college roommate and her husband are a two-person photographer team, and Kylie wanted to give the opportunity to her friend.”
“So what happened? They had a falling-out?”
Alexis shook her head. “They live in San Francisco and she’s a few months pregnant. There was some complication; she’s been put on bed rest. Nothing serious, just a precaution, but ergo . . . she’s certainly not going to be flying to New York any time soon, and certainly can’t be photographing a wedding.”
“Ugh. That sucks,” Leah said sympathetically.
Alexis smiled. “This is why I knew you were right for the job. You get it. You get people.”
Leah rolled her eyes. “You hardly have to sweet talk me into taking a job that’s likely to be the highest-profile wedding of my career.”
Alexis glanced down at her Bloody Mary, stirring a pickled green bean. “Well there is one tiny thing I haven’t mentioned.”
“Bring it.”
Alexis looked up. “It’s a huge wedding. One photographer’s not going to cut it.”
Leah waved her hand. “Oh please. My ego’s not so big I can’t handle a little teamwork. Who else you bringing in?”
Alexis bit her lip, and Leah tensed at the rare unease she saw on her usually confident friend’s face.
Alexis leaned forward and touched her arm. “Leah, you have to know how impossible it is to book one good photographer on short notice in June, much less two, and I’m counting myself lucky because two of the best happened to be available, but . . .”
“But what?” Leah asked, her heart pounding faster as she somehow knew what her friend was trying to say. Knew whose name Alexis was terrified to say.
Alexis’s gaze cut away from hers  and fell somewhere over Leah’s shoulder, even as Leah felt the shiver of awareness that someone else had stepped into her personal space.
Alexis glared at the newcomer. “You’re early, Rhodes.”
Leah’s heart stopped, just for a moment. Slowly, she turned around and glanced up into the dark brown eyes of Jason Rhodes.
He pulled a toothpick from his mouth and gave her a slow, sexy once-over. “Hiya, Red. Long time.”
Leah could only shake her head. It had been a long time, but not nearly long enough.
Not only was he the one man on the planet she could absolutely, positively not work with .
He was the one man who Leah had let in close enough to break her heart.
christie review
 5 star aGreat beginning to what looks like a fabulous series!!! Who doesn’t love a series about weddings? This prequel is about Jason and Leah. The two shared a great two months together. Leah thought Jason had tamed his playboy ways, and Jason thought he’d finally found someone he could love and who would finally believe in him. But, a huge misunderstanding and their own issues have kept them apart for the past year. They are forced to work together on a huge wedding that could do awesome things for their careers. Can the two of them get through the wedding without killing each other, or is this a second chance for them?

Even though this is a novella, it’s packed full of romance, a bit of angst, and some great swoonworthy moments. It could truly be a romantic comedy seen on the “big screen.” Again, Layne has created a great romance with complex characters I could see as my friends. Loved that the title really reflects the story. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series!


Abou the author


Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

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!

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Christie's Reviews

~ REVIEW: Paradise Found: Cain (Paradise Stories 2) by LB Dunbar ~



“I hate that I love you,” she said. “You left me.”

“I lost you, there’s a difference. Now that I found you, I intend to keep you.”


I’d tasted the sweetest fruit of temptation, and I wanted another bite. I had promised myself before, but once wasn’t enough. The savory flavor of her lingered long after I’d lost her. Contending with the pressure to return to the fight, in order to prove myself to my father and the world, I had to let her go.


It has been a year. Sofie Vincentia and I had played a dangerous game. For one night, we pretended, only to discover our farce was real. I’d lost her, but I hadn’t stopped searching, hoping for her return. I was used to getting what I wanted, so when she didn’t come to me, I had to go after her. This would be the greatest fight of my life.

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christie review 5 star a

“I just want you to be happy. That’s what hurts my heart. You’re a good man, and you don’t see it.”

This quote is exactly what Paradise Found is about….a tortured man who doesn’t believe he is good, and believes the lies his father has told him his entire life. Yet, he fights so hard to be good and find some happiness. It’s Cain’s story, and I have been waiting very impatiently to finally get his, but Mrs. Dunbar made it well worth the wait!
I’ve read the entire series, including the prequel, Paradise Tempted: The Beginning which was the start of Sofie and Cain’s story. It’s interesting how Dunbar wrote the prequel, then wrote Cain’s brother’s story. Then, she went back to Cain’s story. She weaved each of their stories together flawlessly. I loved Cain from the very moment I met him, even though he came across as cold and unfeeling except when he is with Sofie. She has a way of melting that hardness and making him believe there is goodness inside of his heart, and he is worthy of being loved. Sofie came across as somewhat naïve in the prequel, but she has matured into a strong, independent woman despite the fact that Cain ripped her heart out. In this book, Cain has finally found Sofie. He tries to convince himself it’s to take care of some unfinished business, but that is very far from the truth. Will he realize it in time? Will she be able to trust her heart to him again if he begs for a second chance?
I am purposely not giving many details because this is a series you MUST READ! While there is romance and some great sex scenes, there are twists you will NEVER see coming. The secrets and lies that Cain and Abel’s father has kept hidden will be revealed, and it will change all of their lives. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down for too long. I just had to know if Cain would finally find his “paradise.” If one character deserves that, it’s Cain. He’s fought his whole life for others in his life, especially trying to to protect his brother from their father. Somewhere along the way, he lost his own self, so he deserves some love and happiness.
LB Dunbar continues to surprise and amaze me. She has written several different series, and she continues to make each series and the characters different and unique in their own ways. I love her use of the English language and the magical, descriptive way she writes. By doing this, she pulls her readers right into the story, so much that you feel like you are a part of it. Now, Mrs. Dunbar will be testing my patience again waiting for the next one in the series….what an ending!!!!!