Passion on Park Avenue

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 May 2019

Member Reviews

I received "Passion on Park Avenue" courtesy of Net Galley and it'll be released on May 28th. 

"Passion on Park Avenue" captured my attention because it takes place in New York, is a modern love story mixed with a touch of revenge, and the cover is pretty stunning. I read this book in maybe a week or so; it was an incredibly easy read due to the characters, the story and the writing.

While I am an intense reader I really appreciate the beauty of an easy, interesting book. "Passion on Park Avenue" was straight to the point story with a predictable plot, like your favorite romantic comedy and I loved every moment of it.

The novel centers around Naomi and her two new friends who have just discovered they have something very specific in common. It is the catalyst for the entire novel and the story takes off from their first meeting.

Naomi is a New York businesswoman who started her own accessory business but has a hidden secret about her past, one that comes up when she is approved by a co-op board for an apartment on Park Avenue. Naomi meets her delicious looking next door neighbor, Oliver Cunnigham and immediately dislikes him. Why? Well, you'll have to read to find out.

I know a lot of people hate the word 'chick-lit' but I personally love it because it is literally a romantic comedy in book form. I definitely classify "Passion on Park Avenue" as a chick lit book but it does go a little deeper than that. It deals with familial issues, illness, and a lot of other heavy topics but does so in a light way. It's a really great marriage of different genres.

From the Goodreads title, it says "Central Park Pact #1" so I'm assuming we will be getting more books which is very exciting! There is a lot left to this story so I'm excited to see where it goes next.

If you need a light, quick read you should definitely check this out when it is released on May 28th. I think this is going to be my new favorite series!


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4 The Stars of Something Different Stars
* * * * Spoiler Free
Lauren Layne understands how to present a series. She draws you in and takes you on an adventure. Her use of New York City and its cultural views have always set the feel of what was to come. If the series is living in Manhattan then we know Layne will use it to be a major part of the tale. Because in my mind and my timing living there...There is nothing like Manhattan! There is this energy which will become part of you and you will remember it always.

When an author decides to do a series, there has to be something to link all of the books. With this series, Layne created something unique, something which was more than a "Cute Meet". She created a situation which brought together three women who had something very unusual in common. She had them all deciding not to attend an event, to end up on a Central Park bench realizing what tied them together and dealt with it in a compassionate way towards all of them.

This realization of what each of these different unique women had dealt with laid the foundation of friendship between them. They decided to look out for one another so that they Never fall for what happened before. Each of these women was capable, strong and brought their special talents to the group. We are intrigued and want them to flourish.

This first entry focuses on Naomi Powell, the self-made entrepreneur who has one of the up and coming accessory/jewelry company. This is a woman who was never made to feel as if success was part of her future. Oh, her mother was an advocate for her but the circumstances of her life lessons were not those of most CEO's. Her mother was a maid to a family living on Park Ave so Naomi would be there but not allowed to feel as if she belonged. There was a boy who would torture her, tease her and make her life difficult.

Then the boy did something even more horrible, something unforgivable. He lied and that lie changed everything for her and her mother. The impact of this planted the seed of revenge...something which festered and grew deep inside Naomi.

Now Naomi is very successful and is looking to move into her next apartment/condo. As she looks throughout the city, she receives a call saying the same location where she lived where her mother worked, has an opening and her interview with the board is upcoming.
Stunned and later finding out how her name was listed, Naomi decides to meet just to experience it.

Oliver Cunningham does not have time to interview a potential buyer of the available apartment in the building. The fact that he has grown up in the building and has 2 apartments shouldn't have anything to do with it. The way he was pushed to meet with this possible neighbor made it impossible for him not to...So here he is sitting across a desk from a woman who seems to hate him without even knowing him!

Naomi couldn't believe this was happening...There plain as day was her nemesis, Oliver Cunningham, all grown up and becoming this annoyingly handsome intelligent man. Oh, and on top of it...He has No Idea who she is...that she is the little girl he tormented and changed her life with his lies.

Lauren Layne gives us a story which looks at the idea of revenge when one has grown, presents another view and allows the idea of love between two people who never thought it would be presented this way. Each of these characters had very deep backstories which formed their perceptions and who they were. It is the coming together which allows them to blossom and grow to be who they are meant to be.

The added bonuses in this book are the other women supporting Naomi. We are given a taste here and there which causes us to be interested in the upcoming stories. The next one, Love on Lexington Avenue, will be coming soon.
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This was okay for me. I typically love all of Lauren Layne's books but this one just lacked its usual spark. It feels too sanitised from the setting to the story. I couldn't quite my finger on it because I liked the characters well enough. And their chemistry was fine but nothing spectacular. Like I said, it was okay and fine.
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Unfortunately this did not catch my attention quick enough for me to keep reading. I know some people will enjoy the book, but I had to DNF it.   I have so many reads on my TBR that I can not push myself to hard to read something that doesnt draw me in right away.
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Imagine your husband died and during his funeral you meet his mistresses. 

PHEW - This was an interesting read. While I find it doubtful that I'd have the capacity to become close friends with two women my deceased spouse was sleeping with, I did enjoy this book. 

This novel shows you the true value of having good and strong relationships to carry you through hard times.
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A cute rom-com! Almost a second chance love story though the love interest doesn’t remember the main character and she initially attempts to trick him. It took a little while for me to get in to it but it picks up and unfolds to a fun romance.
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Lauren Layne is one of my favorite authors, so naturally I was thrilled she was writing a new series. The early teases sounded so good. When the cover for Passion on Park Avenue was released, I basically swooned. (I'm a little bit in love with NYC, ok?) I started hearing early buzz for the book that slightly tamped down my excitement, but I still wanted to read it. I'm glad I did, too. It was a wonderful book, even if I thought it felt a little more like women's fiction than romance with the fade-to-black. (Not that it's a bad thing, mind you. It's just not what I've come to expect from her.) 

I really did love Naomi and Oliver. Their story had plenty of ups and downs. Emotional roller coaster, anyone? But with the angst was a healthy dose of chemistry, laughs and a slow burn that I just couldn't wait to catch flame. Unfortunately it never really exploded because of the fade-to-black. BUT, the characters (including the ladies Naomi made the pact with) and storytelling made up for that and made this a thoroughly enjoyable read. All in all, the Central Park Pact series is off to a promising start, with wonderful writing and characters I definitely want more from. I can't wait to read the next book!

Favorite Quotes:

"The next time you look at me like you want me to kiss you, I will."

"You're no longer a puzzle I'm interested in solving."

Her heart might belong to Oliver. But her pride was still her own.
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Naomi is still haunted by her past. She has made her way in Manhattan but she still feels like the poor little girl from the Bronx. Sitting in Central Park one day with her boyfriend's wife and another one of his mistresses (yes, how awkward and yet convenient) she makes a deal with the ladies that they will each help one another in their dating life. I had wondered how that would work. It was an easy going friendship with them and I can see the set up for the other two ladies to get a book of their own.

Naomi is ready to move into her Tribeca condo when she is called in for an interview for a co-op on 517 Park. This is the same building where she lived at with her mother as a housekeeper before they were discarded into the street. She has so many bad memories and it all returns as she comes face to face with Oliver, the boy who teased her.

I liked how easy going Oliver was. He was in a bad spot dealing with his father. Naomi on the other hand was so resentful and she knew Oliver never remembered her. She was shaken by the state of his father's condition and it was a difficult process. I felt she carry this way too long in her dealings with him. 

Eventually the truth gets out and her world get rocks but it all works out in the end. 

Overall, a cute quirky contemporary.

ARC provided to me in exchange for honest review.
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Lauren Layne is one of those authors where I want to stop everything just to read her newest work.    Stop working, stop Momming(that's a word, right?),  Just sit down, read and get lost in a fantastic story.   Passion on Park Avenue had to wait till the end of the day after the store closed and the kiddos when to bed, but it was so worth the wait. (and the tough wakeup after falling asleep at 2am when I couldn't put it down!) .  Fantastic read and I can't wait for the others in the series!   Highly recommended!
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I hadn’t read a Lauren Layne book until this one, but the summary for this was right up my alley. I loved it so much when I got started because it reminded me of an actual adult version of Gossip Girl, with all of the fancy brand references and rich people in New York City. Those books are major read-bait for me because it’s a world I’ve always been fascinated by but have zero access to.

I enjoyed this quite a bit! Naomi and Oliver were an intriguing pair and I could feel the hate-to-love chemistry for the entire book. I will say that I expected this to be a bit more of a romance though? It obviously had some but the back-and-forth non-romance parts happened for like 70% of the book. The journey was mostly worth it in the end and I’m satisfied, but it just lacked that spark. Honestly, it would have benefited from more steamy scenes to keep things interesting.

I’m more excited to read the upcoming books though! It’ll be great to see Claire and Audrey also get their happily-ever-afters. This trio of gals are strong and funny. I also love that the next two companion books (and the romantic options) were hinted at heavily in this one, so I was able to get in the shippy mood right off the bat.
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Sex & The City for the Hallmark Movie Fans out there! A funny, crisply written novel with romance, friendship, family and glamour on Park Avenue... Can't wait for the rest of this series!
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Naomi has always wanted one thing: an address in the Upper East Side. Only it takes more than address to have the New York Elite accept her. She is already a strong and powerful woman in her own right, owning a jewelry empire as she does. What more can she do to get where she wants to be?

Oliver has always had a thing for Naomi. They grew up together of a sort, as her mother worked for his family. She does not want an association with him at this point, though. She wants to be accepted on her own merits. Can he convince her to try a little with him?

This story felt kind of off to me for some reason. I liked the characters and the story just fine. It just seemed to start off slower than the pace is usually from this author. Overall I liked the struggle and story.

***This early copy was given in exchange from Netgalley and its publishers.
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I usually don't go for romance books that look like, well, this. 

Contemporary romance isn't my thing, but even if it was, rich white lady problems don't really interest me. However, Passion on Park Avenue turned out to be a bit better than I was expecting. 

I didn't like the cheesy set-up in the first few chapters, but it got better as it went along. I liked Naomi's shifting viewpoints on Oliver and his dad, and I loved the sexual tension, but I think she kept her secret for way, WAY too long. I also thought that there were some issues that were dropped and left unresolved, which irked me a little. And waaaay too many descriptions of designer clothes for my tastes, personally. 

Though I liked it but didn't love it, I would still recommend this to friends who like easy reading contemporary romance. It was a fun, summer-readish way to pass a few hours, and it made me intrigued to read this author's backlist. 

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
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Oliver and Naomi have known each other since they were kids, and their reunion isn’t exactly what Naomi would have wanted at the beginning. I enjoyed the friction between our characters.  This is a little different story than a  typical Lauren Layne book. I enjoyed it, but it reminded me of a slow build romance/women’s lit.
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Lauren Layne! How have I not read your books?! This was my first from the author but definitely not the last!

What a delightful read. I was in need of something light, a little mushy but not too steamy. This was the perfect blend! Naomi and her girl pact was perfection. I was expecting complete snobbery coming from these UES girls. Instead I found a group that was a reminder of the Sex & The City friendships we all desire.

The love interest in the book was, dare I say,  dreamy? Because he definitely was! I was totally crushing on him throughout the story. If only Oliver Cunningham actually existed... sigh. There were great ups and downs throughout the story. It was a love I found myself rooting for. 

My only complaint, I really wish the author would've touched into Naomi's Bronx roots. I myself am a Bronx girl, who requested this book because of it. It would've been nice to read about some Bronx streets, Bodegas and the many cultural things of my lovey borough. 

Nonetheless, I adored this book. I recommend it to those who are looking for something other than the unusually hot & steamy reads with characters who tend to have no chemistry.The tension and build up between Naomi & Oliver created a very satisfying ending. I cannot wait to read the next one!

Thank you so much to #netgalley and #gallerybooks for allowing me to read this advaced copy!
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Oh my goodness did I ever love this book?! Yes. Yes I did. It was so fun and snarky and sweet and hilarious! I need more immediately!
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Naomi finds herself among the people that treated her like less than human when she was growing up. Now she has the money and the position to be included in their groups , but does she really want to be a part of them. Will she realize that they were the ones lacking and not her? Thank you NetGalley.
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3.75 STARS

I love Lauren Layne, she's an insta-buy author for me, and so I was stoked to be able to read an early copy of her new venture "Passion on Park Avenue". I pretty much know what I'm getting into when I start a new LL book, and for the most part, Passion followed a pattern I was pretty comfortable with.

My favourite part of this book was the exploration of female friendship- Layne has written a lot of novels, and all of them have these beautiful friendships central to them. In this case, I actually enjoyed the friendship aspect a lot more than the romantic relationship, though Naomi and Oliver made for a very entertaining read. Sexual tension was high, and overall, it was a lot less explicit in terms of content than some of her other books, whilst still retaining the trademark heat that I've come to expect.

Overall, I really enjoyed this as a quick, easy, fun read, and I look forward to continuing the series.
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After popping my Lauren Layne cherry with the 21 Wall Street series, I was ready to dive into her newest series so I could get more of her words. I had no idea what this series was gonna be about but judging from the title, I knew that it was set in NYC and for an NYC gal like myself, that's all I needed to know!

A true 'rags to riches' story, Naomi Powell has worked her way up in life as a successful entrepreneur and now she's ready to show the people who tossed her and her mother aside all those years ago what she's become. Her first target: Oliver Cunningham, the son of the man whose affair with her mother left them homeless as a child. Naomi's ready to show the Cunninghams how far she's come but what she didn't bank on was falling for her childhood nemesis. Will Naomi put the past behind and give into her feelings or will revenge prove to be to hard to resist?   

Passion on Park Avenue has one of the most unique starts to a series that I've ever read! I mean, who would've thought of bringing together three women, at a funeral no less, where they all find out that they had been dating the same man?!  Honestly, the whole situation was so scandalous but I loved it. The female friendship is by far the best things about this story and I'm pretty sure it will be the highlight of this series. Naomi, Claire and Audrey are all so different but they strangely vibe well together. I loved the fact that they're each others cheerleaders and they have a pact to make sure that none of them get screwed over by love again. The things is, the friendship is probably the only thing I really liked about this book. First off, I didn't really connect with either Naomi or Oliver. I liked Naomi in the beginning and was excited to see her get her revenge, but then the whole revenge plot kind of fizzled out when Naomi realizes she can't really get revenge on a man who now has Alzheimer's. Now, this is where the romance would come into play and I was so ready to root for Naomi and Oliver to get together but honestly this romance just didn't cut it for me. Y'all, there was no passion on Park Avenue, mainly because these two rarely spent any time together. They were either avoiding one another because they didn't want to give into their feelings or one of them was taking care of Oliver's father who was quite the handful. I'm pretty sure Naomi spent more time with Oliver's dad than she did with Oliver. As for Oliver, we didn't really get to know who Oliver was as a person. Like I get that he was dealing with his father health issues and he was making that a priority which was really sweet, but I also wanted to get to know who Oliver was besides being his father's take-carer. Maybe if the romance had been more of the focus of this story then I would've gotten to know Oliver better. Passion on Park Avenue was an okay read and while this book didn't quite live up to my expectations, I'm still curious to see how things play our for Claire and Audrey so I'll definitely be picking up the next book in the series.
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Loved loved loved this book!!!! My favourite book by Lauren Layne is hands down "walk of shame"! I genuinely thought nothing could beat it. This book just blew that out of the water! 
Naomi is a strong, determined, business woman who is determined to face her demons by returning to park avenue and facing the family that threw herself and her mother out on the street. Little does she know, not is all what its seems when she returns. The little boy who used to terrorize her can't possibly be the same Oliver who is now amazing, sweet and such a handsome man!
I loved the chemistry, the humour, the friendships, the loyalty and development throughout all these characters! 
Highly recommend!!
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