Cover Image: Passion on Park Avenue

Passion on Park Avenue

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“Passion on Park Avenue” is a witty, slow-burning, enemies-to-lovers romance that makes for a great summer read.  Boasting an intriguing premise and likeable characters, the story pulled me in right from the very start.  And while I enjoyed this newest Lauren Layne romance, the slow buildup towards an eventual “fade to dark” love scene was, unfortunately, a bit of a letdown.  Still, I found “Passion on Park Avenue to be a quick, delightful read and a really good start to a brand new Lauren Layne series about 3 women of the Upper East Side.
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Not only is the friendship between Noemi, Claire and Audrey refreshing and inspirational given the way they met but the chemistry between Noemi and Oliver is off the charts. This is a wonderful start to a series that is cute and querky and yet full of passion. I can't wait to see what will come next as Claire and Audrey both embark on their journey.
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I absolutely adored Passion on Park Avenue. It was a witty enemies to lovers romance. 

I loved both characters and was rooting for them to be together. Oliver's Dad was endearing even when he gave you every reason to hate him. 

I wanted a little more steam but loved the book anyway. 

i can't wait for the next books. I have a feeling I will love this series. 

Lauren Layne writes her books like they should be movies.
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Passion on Park Avenue is the first book in a brand new series by Lauren Layne. Naomi, Claire, and Aubrey found themselves sitting on Central Park the day of their lover's funeral and after that they kind of stuck together, hence the title of series (Central Park Pact). You see one of them was married to the dead man while the other two were his mistresses and none knew about the existence of the other two.

I was trying very hard to actually like the book, but in the end, I couldn't. Naomi spends ALL of the book being mad at Oliver for not defending her mother 20 years ago and she still holds the grudge even after she got to know the person who he was TWENTY years later. She kept postponing the revelation that she was the child of the woman his family wronged to a point where I grew tired. I don't believe that she fell for Oliver and the only reason she said that she did is that this is a stand-alone novel and the couple had to have a happy ending. I hate when characters are full of pride and stubbornness and don't change and that's what she did. The wrong person did the grooving. I would have been mad too if the person I was falling in love with was keeping an important secret and I found it out by accident. Oliver is a changed man and Naomi is acting like an old grumpy lady.

Should I also mention that she is dating another man? She goes on a few dates with another man and while nothing happens, it got annoying because most of the book is spent on her hating Oliver which led to an underwhelming romance between them. The only thing that saved the book from been considered a complete disaster is the secondary characters. The other two women were great and I look forward to their books. They didn't seem to be hung up on something that happened in the past and hating the wrong person. Oliver was just a kid for God's sake! And Naomi didn't even have a solid revenge plan, which made the whole revenge thing laughable.
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Naomi is the embodiment of the American dream; rising above her lowly beginnings to create a successful business and take ownership of all areas of her life. However, under the surface, Naomi has the emotional scars obtained in childhood that subconsciously control her ability to form meaningful relationships.

Although Naomi’s relationship with her mother was strained due to the events of their past and the bitterness her mother harbored, Naomi maintains a deep sense of loyalty to her mother following her death. Leading to an unexpected surprise from her late mother as a way of laying the past to rest.

Even though the incidents in the past shaped the person Naomi has become, she hasn’t lost any of her empathy and compassion despite being the sole beneficiary of her mother’s venom. It is her innate ability to accept people that enables her to deal with her own emotional baggage.

What originally starts as a quest for justice transforms into a journey into feelings and an unexpected partnership.

Oliver is a very different person than he was as a boy. He is very self-aware and has been from a young age, sadly not in time to redeem himself with Naomi as a child. However, his charm and tenderness will melt the coldest of hearts, Naomi’s included 💕

Ultimately, we have to understand that people can change especially through the events they experience in their lives.

Passion on Park Avenue also deals with the subject of dementia in the narrative and its effect on family members caring for a relative afflicted with this awful disease. As someone who has been in that position, I have to say while the subject matter presented a traumatic point for me, Lauren dealt with it realistically but with sensitivity and understanding of the conflicted emotions experienced.

The friendship formed between Naomi, Claire, and Audrey, while originating from extremely unusual circumstances was one of my favourite parts of Passion on Park Avenue. I am eagerly awaiting their individual stories.
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I am head over heels in love with this new series from Lauren Layne. Firmly planting herself at the top of my one-click list, Passion on Park Avenue does NOT disappoint.
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4 1/2

Lauren Layne is such a reliable writer that I know when I pick up one of her novels that I am going to be immediately involved and happily flipping pages until I come to the end. Passion on Park Avenue is no different.

While Passion on Park Avenue starts with an interesting meet-cute, one that involves two mistresses and the wife of a philanderer who, avoiding the funeral, walk a short distance to Central Park, recognize that they all wear the same shoes…and evidently shared the same man. On the outside, the women may vaguely resemble each other in that they dress similarly and all wear the same watch, a gift from the heartless philanderer, but inside they are so very different.

The first story involves Bronx-born Naomi, who is prickly but strong, compassionate and sometimes speaks without a filter. Naomi learns that her application is in the running for a select Manhattan apartment, which is interesting because she never put in the application. She realizes that it’s the work of her mother who died just months earlier and who wanted the people in that select building to see what Naomi had become: the CEO of an accessory empire. The interviewer is Naomi’s childhood nemesis, Oliver, the son of a philanderer who had an affair with her mother.

Layne never writes a one-dimensional story and Passion on Park Avenue is no different. Naomi doesn’t have it in her to enact any kind of revenge against the people who made her mother so bitter. The circumstances have changed and the people have changed and likewise, Naomi changes. The story is multi-layered and lays the groundwork for the upcoming stories. I only hope that the upcoming heroines, Audrey and Claire, are as spunky and interesting as Naomi.

Passion on Park Avenue is an excellent vacation read that I devoured in a day. If you’re a Lauren Layne fan, you will love this book! Add this to your summer TBR list!

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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**4.5 Stars**

Passion on Park Avenue was quintessential Lauren Layne with its deliciously witty banter and fantastic storytelling. From the first page, the camaraderie and unique premise of three women coming together from one unfortunate circumstance created a wonderful platform to introduce the catalyst for each of their individual and joined journeys. Though it lacked the steaminess factor we so love of Layne, it packed a punch with Naomi’s introspective journey of overcoming long held self constraints with the help of supportive friends and a full-circle romance.

The fun, antagonistic nature of Naomi and Oliver’s relationship was believable and magnetic. Every encounter built upon itself beautifully and kept me engaged and falling more into it. There was an ease in crafting their gradual connection in their every interaction that left me wanting and it always paid off. The romance was spot-on, but what was most impressionable was the female relationships and the intent behind it. I adored seeing what could’ve been fodder for the basic woman-to-woman interaction spun to instead become something liberating and inspiring and supportive. Passion on Park Avenue was simply an enjoyable read in every aspect and I’m greatly looking forward to the next in the series.
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Central Park Pact #1, The series is a new one from a favorite author of mine it's about an unlikely friendship between three women, socialite Audrey Tate, the classy Claire Hayes, and the self made billionaire Naomi Powell.What brought these three women together was they had slept with the same man, Claire's husband. They met when they were all supposed to be at his funeral all wearing the same shoes and all with identical watches. They all understood what a lousy excuse for a man he was and made a pact that they would protect each other from making the same mistake again. Over the next couple of months the bonds of friendship formed and they became close friends. 

Naomi Powell hit it big with a subscription based accessories box. Growing up poor in the Bronx toughened her up and lets her appreciate all her accomplishments.She's about to move into a perfect new office and apartment when she gets a call letting her know that her application for to move in to an apartment at 517 Park Ave has been accepted. She lived their for a short time as a child in the servants quarters with her mother, it was horrible and it ended just as bad and she knew the family that ruined her childhood still lived there. She planned to move in long enough to rub it in how successful she now was but what happened when she got there changed everything.

Oliver Cunningham was the ban of Naomi's existence when she lived at 517 Park, and unfortunately for her plans as an adult he's completely changed. Oliver was a disappointment to his father by not going into the family business, instead he became an architect. First his mother died of cancer and then shortly after that his father was diagnosed with alzheimer's; his life has revolved around his father's illness the only person to catch his interest is the redhead who moved in next door who seemed to have an instint hate-on for him. The more time Naomi and Oliver spend together however the more they like each other and one thing leads to another and they are in love but with Naomi's past a secret it's only another matter of time before the other shoe drops and Oliver finds out who she really is and why she moved in to 517 Park in the first place.

Overall, it's another great LL romance. Enemies to Lovers with plenty of snark and humor, and what LL does best bring a bit of New York to those of us who can only dream about it her descriptive narrative is wonderful. I love the connection Naomi made with Audrey and Claire the sisterly bond they formed to look out for each other, I look forward to their stories as well.
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4 stars

Passion on Park Avenue is the first book in the new Central Park Pact series by Lauren Layne and I really enjoyed it. 

The storyline is well written, heartfelt, the plot heald my interest from start to end, I enjoyed getting to know all the characters, watching them connect and open themselves to love.

Oliver and Naomi are both strong, likeable and at times frustrating characters that touched me watching them come together, they have a strong connection, they amused me with their banter and they made me smile and swoon with their love story.

Overall, Passion on Park Avenue is a good/solid start to the new series and I'm excited for the next book Love on Lexington Avenue due to be released September 2019.

💜Apple Books
💜Barnes & Noble

*Thank you to the publisher via Netgalley for the advance copy..*
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This was a really fun romantic comedy about not only the relationships we form but also the importance of our friendships. If you are a fan of the enemy to lovers trope then this will be a great read for you! I found all of the characters to be likeable and relatable, the writing to be well done and the plot to keep me reading. Overall I really enjoyed it and I think it will make a great summer read!
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I enjoy most of Lauren Layne's books and this one was fun as well. It's rich people in New York living glamorous lives/jobs, but has a real element in it as well. In this one the hero is dealing with a parent who has advanced Alzheimer's, which is hard to read if you're reading this book to escape being a caretaker of someone with that or dementia, so I wanted to give you a head's up. The heroine is trying to deal with her past and feeling of not belonging. I really didn't like the subplot of someone making a tv show/mini-series of her life - that just seemed a little weird. I liked how the main three ladies became friends and I'm interested in the next two stories as well. A solid read.
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Naomi Powell has created a jewelry empire that has shot her to the top. But all she can remember is that she is not a blue blood of the New York Elite. When by chance she gets the opportunity to live in building that changed her life as a girl, Naomi isn't sure she wants to face that fear. There's a catch, her next store neighbor is the boy that was crucial in ruining her life. Maybe Naomi does want a little closure or possibly revenge.

I thought that this romance was cute. Naomi Audrey and Claire have a unique beginning to their friendship and I really liked how they bonded together in an insider's sisterhood. The interplay between Naomi and Oliver was fun. I liked that he didn't figure it out because it let them be together on their own merits. 

It was a cute fun story. Now off to see about Claire's happy ending.
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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.

Ruthie – ☆☆☆☆
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.

Jordan – ☆☆☆☆
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.
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Passion on Park Avenue was a great start to Lauren Layne's new contemporary romance series. It was a little bit different than some of LL's past books because it focused more on the romance of the two main characters rather than the sex scenes. Naomi and Oliver did share passionate moments and chemistry, but I enjoyed their relationship and connection most of all. 

One of the highlights of the book was the budding friendship between Naomi, Claire, and Audrey. These three woman meet in the worst of circumstances: at the funeral of the man they've ALL been seeing. But despite that less than desired detail, Layne makes it work for the story and something wonderful comes from the situation: a bond is formed between them. They start looking out for each other. And trust me... when it comes to true love, they all need it! 

I'm excited for Claire's story and I want to live in her guest bedroom. Would that be possible, LL? :)

I was given an ARC copy on Netgalley to read and write an honest review.
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If you are a person who longs for the days when new episodes of Sex In The City were just a click away. If you are a person for whom the phrase "girl power" is more than just "catchy". And if you are a person who prefers their romance with a healthy helping of " heart".
Lauren Layne's Passion On Park is the perfect fit for you.

The self-made Naomi Powell may be the CEO of the next "big thing" that the fashion accessory game has ever seen. And her money may run very long, and very green as a result. But both she and the upper crusts of the Upper East Side apartment building that she is trying to move into are well aware that her blood runs a whole lot more red than the blue that they are used to.
With no one knowing this better than her neighbor and HOA board member, Oliver Cunningham. The kicker being that he can't see just how far back their history goes.
But by the same token. Naomi can't reconcile the boy that she knew from her past, with the man who seems determined to make her his future.
Leaving readers to answer the question of. Can there be a happily...?
Or will the ghosts of the past be enough to chase away any hopes for a brigher future for these two?

Lauren hits one out of the park on all bases with this first book in the Central Park Pact series. It's funny, heartwarming, and even heartbreaking at times. But never a book that one wants to put down.
My only gripe. That there wasn't more girl time involving Audry and Claire. Seeing as that is what is so effectively alluded to at the absolutely unforgettable beginning to both the book and series.
That fabulous beginning, and a phone call or two, is just about the limit of the "girl's squad" interaction. Before it then becomes all Naomi, all the time.
But let me be the first to say that time is a great one right down to the very last second.
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What a blast of a book! So funny. Filled with friendships, making it in the world, and, yes, passion.

There is nothing like a blast of fresh air from the world of novels. Lauren does an incredible job introducing and describing each character as well as the world they live in. The read is very playful and fun. Nothing like anything I have ever read. This is definitely a book for your short list. It's a must! 

Thank you Lauren, for writing a beautiful novel. Thanks for all the laughs. Looking forward to your next book!
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Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne was such a cute albeit frustrating read! 

The meet-cute between friends - is that a thing? - is what drew me into this story, you know... outside of the cutest cover ever! The friendships in Passion on Park Avenue is what really set this story apart from the crowd for me.

I was thinking about this story and how to tell you the trope, but it doesn't really fit into one, it could be opposites attract, because the hero is old money and the heroine is new money; it could be hate to love because our heroine despised our hero from the beginning, but did she really? because she was also turned on by him from the start lol; it could be friends to lovers because they were neighbors before moving forward, but she still had some animosity toward him.

As you can obviously tell Passion on Park Avenue is a round peg and I can't fit it into a square trope hole. But no how you slice it, it's a great read with beautiful friendships, packed with an emotional punch.

Passion on Park Avenue is a clever romance and I cannot wait to read the stories of Naomi's friends and fro all of the girls in this story to get their happily ever afters!
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As a self-proclaimed Lauren Layne superfan, I was really looking forward to the start of a fun new NYC-set romance series from LL. I knew going into the book that this would be a sweet romance with fade-to-black sex scenes, so I tried to temper my expectations accordingly. The story follows Oliver, a hard-working, good guy, who is taking care of his ailing father and Naomi, a self-made millionaire who moved in next door to Oliver with some secrets about both of their lives.

For the most part, I liked this book. LL has a way of writing crazy wealthy and privileged characters and making them inherently likable. Naomi's meeting of her first really close girlfriends was the spark she needed to move forward and change her life. I thought her character arc was very well done, and I really liked her in the end. I believe her compassion sometimes surprised even herself because to become that successful, she had to be self-oriented for a long time. Oliver is a big old sweetheart, which I love. He really was one of the good guys. I wish he had been a little more aggressive at times, but I know that wasn't what Naomi need and he had emotional baggage too.

While like all LL books, the banter and sexual tension is spot on, and the foundation for a new fun series has been laid, I really felt like something was missing from this book. I thought that some of the subplots felt a little unresolved: Naomi's issues with her mom, the television series kind of faded to the background, the awesome secretary, Oliver's career. I am glad LL decided to prioritize Oliver and Naomi's emotional development, but even that felt a little undercooked.

I liked Oliver and Naomi, but their story didn't have the same sparkle and spark I have come to expect in a Lauren Layne novel. This was a quick read, and I think I needed a few more pages of Oliver and Naomi as a couple, primarily because the "big secret" took WAY too long to come out, which made the end of the book feel rushed. I was never super excited to pick the book back up when I took a break, and I feel like that's pretty telling. I also expected much more time developing the Naomi, Claire, Aubrey friendship. The three women really didn't have enough page time, and it felt a little forced at times, particularly because I couldn't really picture them in my mind.

Overall, I would probably recommend some of LL's earlier books over this one, but it was still an enjoyable way to spend a few hours. I am intrigued by Claire and I am eagerly awaiting her story! 

**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**
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Cute and fun with a touch of angst. Interesting premise and good use of the enemies-to-lovers trope. I liked Layne’s 21 Wall Street Series better, but this was still a quick, easy read that had you turning pages and escaping for a few hours. 

I felt that Naomi's grudge was a little overblown (they were children when it happened, and I think blaming Oliver for everything was a little much). Still I enjoyed the tension it created between the two. We are introduced to two of Naomi friends who I assume the next books in the series are about and there are hints of who their love interests will be, which I hope pan out.

I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.
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