A Fun Story of Unlikely Friendships and Romance | Review: Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

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Your girl finally has been able to sink her teeth in some more of Lauren Layne's work. Naturally, I had to start with the Central Park Pact series. How could I not?!

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.

Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne
Rating: ☆ (4.5)

Oh, Lauren Layne does it again! The first few chapters of this book didn't have me hooked and it worried me there for a minute. Luckily, the story really kicked into gear and once it did so it stayed there! Passion on Park Avenue was truly a blast and a breathe of fresh air that had me chuckling, swooning, cringing and jumping around. Passion on Park Avenue is a true and pure form of a love story that leaves readers feeling as though their grin is set to permanent.

Honestly, if not for the slow start, Passion on Park Avenue is the perfect romance novel. Tied into one of the most beloved cities in the states, and rooted in unlikely and sweet friendships, sprinkled in with flawed and likable characters, Lauren Layne writes more than just a love story and it really, truly, works.

Passion on Park Avenue feels like several types of love stories rolled up into one. Learning to love yourself. Learning to love and forgive those who've wronged you. Loving your friends. Falling into romantic, lifelong, passionate love. This is where Layne excels beyond just vividly drawn characters: love. It's all about the heart and soul of life. 

This definitely wasn't what I was expecting from Layne after reading a few of her books last summer and autumn--Passion on Park Avenue wasn't just as light and dishy. Instead, it was a story filled with heart and hints of real emotional human complexities. Naomi and Oliver, and their history, were truly an outstanding and well-developed relationship that all but sizzled off the pages and into our finger tips. I loved the fact that their relationship was slow-burn and electrifying without being blatantly in your face.

Further, the friendship that formed between Naomi, Claire and Audrey was truly what dreams are made of. There's so much humor to be found in the bond that they formed. After all, it's not everyday that you become tight with the women who were all unknowingly involved with the same man. You know, after his funeral. (Iconic!)

While it was nowhere near as steamy as I'd expected, compared to some of Layne's other novels, it was still an absolute delight. Layne's prose has become more polished and in depth, lively to new degrees, which makes for a compelling and swoon-worthy story. As for familiarity, this definitely feels like a classic Lauren Layne read that's been elevated to new levels.

And, in so many ways, reading Passion on Park Avenue feels a little like falling in love itself. One thing is certain: I can't wait to dive into Claire and Audrey's stories, ASAP!

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