Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Stiletto and Oxford series, the first in a sizzling new series following the unlikely friendship of three Upper East Side women as they struggle to achieve their dreams and find true love and happiness in the city that never sleeps.

For as long as she can remember, Bronx-born Naomi Powell has had one goal: to prove her worth among the Upper East Side elite—the same people for which her mom worked as a housekeeper. Now, as the strongminded, sassy CEO of one of the biggest jewelry empires in the country, Naomi finally has exactly what she wants—but it’s going to take more than just the right address to make Manhattan’s upper class stop treating her like an outsider.

The worst offender is her new neighbor, Oliver Cunningham—the grown son of the very family Naomi’s mother used to work for. Oliver used to torment Naomi when they were children, and as a ridiculously attractive adult, he’s tormenting her in entirely different ways. Now they find themselves engaged in a battle-of-wills that will either consume or destroy them…

Filled with charm and heart and plenty of sex and snark, this entertaining series will hook you from the very first page.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
I enjoyed this book. The characters were refreshing and entertaining.

Naomi's mother filled out an application for her to move into “THE” building in New York City behind her back. Trying to figure out her mother's reason was simple: she wanted Naomi to believe that she was just as good as the "old-moneyed" people who resided there and treated those who didn't like they were of a lesser social class – even in 20th century America.

Taking the leap, Naomi went to the interview and came face-to-face to her old foe, Oliver Cunningham. Ollie has done a lot of growing up over the years and doesn't remember Naomi. He doesn't know what his family did to hers and when he finds out that Naomi lied to him, all bets are off.

The social aspect of having to deal with Alzheimer's disease is something that more and more families are facing and I'm glad to see that authors are not ignoring this disease.

This is the start of a new series – and I absolutely love the premise of the pact. The three women who meet and find out their relationship to each other is less than usual, decide to take the positive and run with it – I loved their attitude and their fast friendship. It was believable and endearing, and made the story flow so well.

Naomi is still reeling from the death of her boyfriend and what she found out upon his death, then she gets told that she has a chance at an apartment on Park Avenue. The application was filled out by her recently deceased mother, and so she goes to the interview. She knows why her Mum applied, and after years of conditioning, she feels that she is meant to finally right the wrong done to her and her mother by one of the residents of the block.

This revenge is something that has fueled her life for a long time, so as we get to see the situation play out, it is difficult to watch this naturally positive and generous soul fight her instincts with her memories. It makes for a clever, entertaining, and hopeful story, with some clever twists and the definite tinge of romance.

Her new friends do a great job of bringing her back to the now, and to consider her past in a different light. That she has been wildly successful in spite of her past is also a reminder that the past should not define her future. It will be interesting in future installments to see how the other two women reconcile their past with their futures, although it will be a different slant for sure.

Oliver is a delicious male lead with a very wealthy life, but as is often the case, the sheen on the outside covers up a difficult life, and a selfless attitude to his parents. He is so confused at Naomi's hot and cold approach to him, and without a doubt the course of true love does not run smoothly for them, but somehow there is enough interest to make him take the time and effort to try and reach a happy ending for them both.

I am very much looking forward to the next book in this fun series.

Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne is the first book in the Central Park Pact series. I personally have grown quite fond of most of Layne’s previous series and I am looking forward to reading this new series. I normally have zero trouble finding myself fully invested into one of Layne’s books after the first few pages, but this one took me a little bit longer to settle into than usual. Plus, some parts seemed a little dragged out; however, all in all I ended up really enjoying the whole childhood enemies-to-lovers story.

Naomi Powell has found her way back to the same Upper East Side building where her mother once worked as a housekeeper and she’s determined to finally show the Cunningham family the successful woman she has become. Now she’s finally neighbors to the son, Oliver Cunningham, her childhood tormentor. But grown-up Oliver is so handsome and charming, and Naomi is having trouble remembering how much she’s supposed to dislike him.

I loved that Naomi, the main character, was this strong sassy female that built her own success from nothing. Plus, Oliver and Naomi had such great chemistry on the pages! Now, I am totally looking forward to seeing what Layne has in store for Claire in book two, Love on Lexington Avenue, and Audrey!

4 stars for Lauren Layne’s Passion of Park Avenue.

Lauren Layne is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen romantic comedies. Her books have sold over a million copies in nine languages. Lauren's work has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Glamour, The Wall Street Journal, and Inside Edition. She is based in New York City.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Passion on Park Avenue (Central Park Pact #1) by Lauren Layne to read and review.

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