Love on Lexington Avenue is SO SOFT and Fun | Review: Love on Lexington Avenue by Lauren Layne

7:30 AM

The second installment of Lauren Layne's Central Park Pact series is just as light, fun and romantic as the first! Love on Lexington Avenue is so heart warming and I'm officially soft.

Love on Lexington Avenue 
by Lauren Layne

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne comes the second delightfully charming installment in the Central Park Pact series, following a young widow whose newfound cynicism about love is challenged by a sexy, rough-around-the-edges contractor.

There are no good men left in New York City. At least that’s Claire Hayes’s conviction after finding out her late husband was not the man she thought he was. Determined to rid her home of anything that reminds her of her cheating husband, Claire sets out to redesign her boring, beige Upper East Side brownstone and make it something all her own. But what starts out as a simple renovation becomes a lot more complicated when she meets her bad-tempered contractor Scott Turner.

Scott bluntly makes it known to Claire that he only took on her house for a change of pace from the corporate offices and swanky hotels he’s been building lately, and he doesn’t hesitate to add that he has no patience for a pampered, damaged princess with a penchant for pink. But when long workdays turn into even longer nights, their mutual wariness morphs into something more complicated—a grudging respect, and maybe even attraction...

Filled with laugh-out-loud scenes that blend perfectly with the touching friendships Layne brings to life on the page, this “hugely entertaining” (USA TODAY) novel is perfect for fans of Lauren Weisberger.


Love on Lexington Avenue by Lauren Layne
Rating: ☆ (4.5)

OH MY GOSH. This was such a fun read. Which is exactly what this quarantine mood called for--right? We could all use a little light. And, I'm always a sucker for Lauren Layne's romances. Ahem. Well, okay, fine, I use always loosely, as I've been fan for less than a year. Obviously, I'm giving her true ride or die status.

Starting Love on Lexington Avenue immediately after Passion on Park Avenue was absolutely essential. I mean, I was thoroughly smitten with the first installment of Central Park Pact and when have I ever shown an ounce of self control? Never. I closed Passion on Park Avenue and was like, "Well, time for Claire's story!"

Because... reasons.

I mean, hello? Give me all the unexpected, fluffy friendships and girl power! Give me feel good romantic comedies with sizzling chemistry! If 'romantic comedy' doesn't sway you, then the solid friendship within will. Naomi's story was everything I wanted it to be, but Claire's was even moreso.

While Passion on Park Avenue relied on tropes I love a bit more, rather than character development (this isn't to say that there wasn't character development: there is A LOT throughout the series), Love on Lexington Avenue was very much so dependent on the character archetypes I prefer. The development wasn't smooth and easy sailing (not that Passion on Park Avenue was, either) but it was exactly the kind I liked.

Claire's journey is a bit different from Naomi's. Lauren Layne crafts a cast of characters that each represent different parts of the narrative in a way that makes them feel real. Claire's journey represents many things: moving forward (the most common thread within the Central Park Pact) and stepping out of your comfort zone. Love on Lexington Avenue feels very much so like a classic rom-com in terms of the love story, but the real shining star is how much Claire grows as a person.

In a lot of ways, her story feels very obtainable and easy to connect with. I mean, a lot of us haven't found ourselves in her shoes re: the death of her cheating husband. That's true. But, her desire for change from an ordinary and 'beige' lifestyle hits home for me. Sometimes, familiar is a little too familiar and forms a rut. We've all been there--right?

That being said: I loved the relationship between Claire and Scott. Even if there were times when I'd want to clock Scott for being all grumpy and judgmental remarks--I think that he brought out the best in Claire and she truly brought out the best in him. I'm a sucker for romantic pairings that feature the classic 'opposites attract' tropes and Love on Lexington Avenue is an absolute pro at portraying this.

With romance and humor sprinkled in, this story is ultimately an easy-going tale of finding one's self again and the importance of friendship. Love on Lexington Avenue is truly a delight jolt of electricity and is truly the definition of feel-good romance. 

Lauren Layne has always been great at taking the familiar, cliche elements of love and bringing them down to earth. Love on Lexington Avenue feels familiar but fresh all at once; never failing to coax a smile out of me. This is one of her best novels yet and I'm so excited to see Audrey and Clark's story in the third novel.

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