Wedding planner Ivy Rhodes is the best in the business, and she’s not about to let a personal problem stop her from getting ahead. So when she’s asked to star in the reality TV show Planning for Love, it doesn’t matter that the show’s videographer happens to be a recent—and heartbreaking—one-night stand.
Bennett Westcott admits he didn’t handle his encounter with Ivy very well. But looking at her beautiful smile—and great body—through a camera lens every day? He can’t be faulted for suggesting they have some no-strings fun.
The more time they spend together, the more Ben realizes Ivy isn’t the wedding-crazed bridezilla he’d imagined. But if he doesn’t trust himself to make a relationship last, how can he convince Ivy to give him another chance?
I have to admit that I get a little “thrill” every time I read a new to me author. It’s kind of like meeting a new person and wondering if you’ll be able to be friends with them or if it’s better to stick them in the “acquaintance” corner. I’m pretty excited that after reading Planning for Love, I plan to put Christi Barth into the friend’s column. Planning for Love is an intriguing tale of a wedding planner, Ivy Rhodes, who not only believes in happily she promotes it day in and day out and Bennett Westcott, a journalist/cameraman, who doesn’t believe in romance or marriage. Yes, these two are on opposite ends of the spectrum and watching them is one fun, sexy, and rewarding task.
Right off the bat I fell in love with these characters, both completely locked in to only seeing things their way but instant attraction that can’t be denied. Ivy is shocked to learn one of her brides has agreed to be on a reality show Wild Wedding Smackdown and while she’d love to kill the bearer of that news, Bennett (Ben) she knows it’s not his fault. She manages to get through the day with her ever present grace and charm and then Ben manages to charm her panties right off. Ivy although completely likeable seems to be a bit naïve when it comes to men and relationships, but I’m guessing it might come with the profession. When you are around happy couples and weddings all the time, it’s probably a safe bet that you sometimes see what you want. After spending a night and a day with Ben, he starts to pull back and while he thinks he did the right thing by walking away, Ivy is crushed.
When Ben returns for work purposes, it becomes even more evident the chemistry is still there but so is the hurt and uncertainty. Both Ivy and Ben, being professionals, manage to come to agreement about their past not interfering with their working relationship. Soon Ben, whether he realizes it or wants to admit it, is romancing Ivy. Ivy of course picks up on it and decides to try and win Ben’s affections once and for all. With the help of her crazy and nutty staff she starts planning her mission. Ben on the other hand who’s been a loner most of his adult life finds himself with an odd assortment of friends; friends who not only figure out his professional shame, but sympathize with him because of it.
Ben and Ivy spend a lot of time together and really get to know each other well but they never end up back in bed. That is something Ivy has decided against and Ben although not totally on board with the decision, respects it. Ivy’s feelings continue to grow and she admits to herself she’s fallen in love with Ben, she of course doesn’t tell Ben because she knows it will flip him out. We know Ben feels something for Ivy but he’s so closed off and so anti love that it’s hard to know what he’s thinking or feeling.
This is a romance pure and simple but this story is about all kinds of relationships and that makes it special. The story line is amazingly complex and interesting, the dialog moves at a good pace and it’s funny when appropriate and serious when it needs to be, but it’s the entire cast of characters that makes this book so intriguing. This is absolutely a group of people that I would like to know and spend time with. Planning for Love is the first book in The Aisle Bound Trilogy and I am already anticipating the next release.