For Better or Worse (The Wedding Belles #2) - Lauren Layne

About the Book

Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in For Better Or Worse, the second sexy contemporary romance in Lauren Layne’s The Wedding Belles series. Will a budding wedding planner and her bad boy neighbour stop banging heads and start hearing wedding bells? For fans of Jill Shalvis, Julie James and Rachel Gibson.

Heather Fowler is thrilled when she’s promoted from assistant to Wedding Belles planner. Unfortunately, her first celebrity client demands an opulent affair at the Plaza . . . in three months. But what Heather finds herself really losing sleep over is the live music blaring from her playboy neighbour’s apartment all night.

Five years ago, Josh Tanner was a rising star on Wall Street. But a grim cancer diagnosis made him realize there’s more to life than a penthouse and corner office. He kicked the cancer and dedicated his life to following his passions – the latest being to convince his pretty, workaholic neighbour to let loose too. He just doesn’t expect to fall for the sweet, vulnerable woman hiding beneath the power suits.

Soon it’s Heather’s turn to convince Josh to take the biggest risk of all: love.

Want some fun, fresh, flirty and very sexy rom-com? Check out the titles in the Oxford series: Irresistibly Yours, I Wish You Were Mine and Someone Like You.

Can a guy and a girl really be ‘just friends’? You won’t want to miss Lauren Layne’s sexy take on this timeless question in Blurred Lines.

For everyone whose life has been touched by cancer in some way.

I long for a world in which everyone beats it. Until then, be brave and stick together.

Acknowledgments

THANK YOU TO THE amazing team at Pocket Books who helped turn my scrappy story idea into the gorgeous book you’re holding:

Especially Elana Cohen, for always knowing exactly what the story and characters need.

For the production team, who never judge me for an overreliance on elipses.

The cover designer, for creating one of the most gorgeous covers I’ve ever seen.

The sales and marketing gurus who work endless magic to make sure you know about this book.

And all the other behind-the-scenes folks whose names I might never know, but whose commitment to quality gives us book addicts the best of the best.

Next up, a shout-out to my friends and family, especially my husband, who not only tolerates me wallowing for hours in the writing cave, but actually moves mountains so that I can do so.

For my agent, Nicole Resciniti, who said, “Let’s do it,” when I told her I had to write a series about wedding planners.

And lastly, for Kristi Yanta, for believing in my writing since the very beginning and helping it be the best that it can be.

Chapter One

FOR AS LONG AS Heather Fowler could remember, living in Manhattan had been The Dream.

The one she talked about as a precocious eight-year-old when her mom’s best friend, turned chatty by one too many glasses of the Franzia she chugged like water, asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up.

At eight, Heather hadn’t been exactly sure about the what in her future. But she absolutely knew the where.

New York City.

Manhattan, specifically.

The obsession had started with Friends reruns, and had only grown as she’d moved on to her mother’s Sex and the City DVD collection, which she’d watched covertly while her mother had worked double shifts at the diner.

People in New York were vibrant, sparkling. They were doing something. Important things. Fun things.

She wanted to be one of them.

By the time Heather was in high school, The Dream was still going strong.

While the overachievers had dreams of going to Mars, and the smaller-thinking ones had aspirations of getting to the mall, for Heather it had always and only been NYC.

Her mother had never pretended to understand Heather’s dream. Joan Fowler had lived her entire life in Merryville, Michigan, with only two addresses: her lower-middle-class parents’ split-level and the trailer she’d rented when her parents had kicked her out, four months pregnant.

And while Heather had wanted something more for her mother—something more for herself—than hand-me-down clothes and a two-bedroom trailer that smelled constantly like peroxide (courtesy of her mother’s hairdressing side job), Joan had always seemed content.

But to Heather’s mother’s credit, Joan had never been anything less than encouraging.

If you want New York, you do New York. Simple as that.

And so Heather had.

Though it hadn’t been simple. There had been detours. College at Michigan State. A tiny apartment in Brooklyn Heights with four roommates that, while technically located in New York City, wasn’t