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Review: From This Day Forward by Lauren Layne

by Lauren Layne
Series: The Wedding Belles #0.5
Genres: Contemporary
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: June 6th 2016
Source: ARC received for review
Rating: ★★★1/2
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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...

As some of you may already know, I'm not very keen on novellas. But I was looking forward to reading From This Day Forward because I love the cover and also because it's from Lauren Layne, one of my favorite contemporary romance authors. While this book was certainly short, I had so much fun reading it and it only left me eager to get to the full length novel.

From This Day Forward tells the story of Jason and Leah, two wedding photographers, who had a short but very intense love affair. Things ended on a sour note though and the two haven't spoken to each other since. But they are somehow forced to work on a wedding shoot together and all that passion that exists between lurks right back to the surface.

I liked Jason a lot. It was very easy for me to fall for the guy despite this being a short book. He really tried his best to make things work again between him and Leah. Even though he had a tough time explaining to her that what she saw the night of their breakup was a huge misunderstanding because of his pride, he groveled and wouldn't stop making her believe that he wanted back in his bed and his life. I liked that he chased after her so much.

Leah, on the other hand, I had a bit of a tough time with because she was prickly as a porcupine and rather judgmental when it came to Jason. I liked that she was someone who spoke her mind very openly, but at the same time I resented her for not even giving Jason a chance to explain himself, so in the end, I did have a bit of a hard time warming up to her because really, their relationship could have been fixed very early on.

Despite this novella being very dramatic at times with the miscommunication and misunderstandings, I liked the romance a lot, especially the very steamy chemistry that Jason and Leah shared. For a short story, this was surprisingly very hot! I also liked how Lauren Layne was able to move the story here at a nice pace, without it ever seeming like it was rushed, which is honestly a very hard feat when it comes to novellas. Her writing was engaging as always and a complete blast to read.

Overall, From This Day Forward was a great introduction to The Wedding Belles series and I'm genuinely so excited to pick up the next book in this series. I can tell that it's going to be all kinds of romantic goodness! :)

Have you read any books by Lauren Layne? What are some of your favorite novellas?
Let me know in the comments below!