Passion on Park Avenue

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 May 2019

Member Reviews

**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.

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*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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Lauren Layne is back with another series set in the glittering heights of Manhattan, that is maybe a cross between Cinderella and Anne of Green Gables, but filled me with a whole lot of love! 

Now without going too much into the story and giving you all a spoiler; Naomi is a strong determined woman, who has made a business out of nothing, and has become successful in her own right! But her Mom is making her face up to her painful childhood from beyond the grave, to show those who hurt them just how successful she had become. But nothing quite goes to plan and as they say, there is a fine line between love and hate. 

I absolutely love this first book in the series, and I have to say while surprised, I am extremely glad of Naomi’s friendship with Claire and Audrey. I really enjoyed this book, it truly was a refreshing read, and now I’m seriously excited for the next book in the series.
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I have never read anything by Lauren Layne. I was given an opportunity to read a early copy of this book and I really enjoyed this story. The beginning alone had me hooked. This was a fun and cute story. I am a sucker for all things NYC and this story definitely feeds into my love of books based in The Big Apple. 
I will now be looking to read ALL the words by Ms. Layne this is absolutely must read!
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Lauren Layne is one of my favorite authors. Since I prefer the city landscape to the small town environment, Ms. Layne's books are always on my radar. Passion on Park Avenue is the first book from her brand new series, Central Park Pact, and it can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Naomi Powell's life thus far is a rags to riches story. She started out with nothing and is now CEO of an accessories company that she founded from her studio apartment. The company is expanding rapidly, and as a result, both the company and Naomi are worth billions. Naomi has never forgotten her past and how horribly she and her mother were treated by the Cunningham family when she was a young girl. Park Avenue is her new address, where the patriarch of the Cunningham family still resides, along with his son, who did not tell the truth way back when. Naomi needs some closure, and wants to show those at this posh address how successful she has become.

Oliver Cunningham has always had it easy. He was born into wealth and is a successful architect in the firm that he founded. Oliver turned out to be a decent and honorable man, despite being raised by elitist and contemptible parents. Naomi is not his type, however, there is something about her that causes him to work tirelessly to win her affections.

I really liked this well-written story, however, the lack of spice between Naomi and Oliver was very disappointing. They had a wonderful chemistry that was never  fully explored. The subplots were entertaining, especially Naomi's two new friends that she met under very unfortunate circumstances. I can't wait to read their stories. Overall, this is a clean romance with very exciting characters.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
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This was not for me. A pretty mediocre romance novel with not much of a plot or character development. I was pretty bored. The way the main characters kept running into each other was a bit unrealistic, as well as the amount of time the main character spent socializing given her supposedly busy work schedule.
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OMG. I just loved this book so much. I could not keep the smile off my face. In fact, it just grew bigger and bigger, the further I got into the story. 

I loved everyone in this book from Naomi to Oliver, Claire, Audrey, and Oliver's father, Walter. Claire and Audrey were good friends. Plus, they helped to bring the laughs. Yet, the winner of the sweetheart award goes to Walter. He may have Alzheimer's but I had to wonder if at times he was not just "pretending". The way he would react to Naomi and the things she said was cute. What also was cute is that Naomi and Oliver shared a similar story with another famous couple...Anne and Gilbert from Anne of Green Gable. 

I has so much fun reading this book. I can't wait to read the next one or at least the next book by Ms. Layne. Passion on Park Avenue is a must summer read! You will be endeared by the charm and wittiness of the characters and storyline of this book by Lauren Layne.
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The catalyst for Passion on Park Avenue and ultimately the Central Park Pact series are three women who become friends under the most unlikeliest of circumstances (I'll give you a hint: it starts at a funeral). They're each so different but what they can agree on is pushing one another to not settle for their circumstances and fight for better. Because after what they've each been through, they deserve it! This was, by far, my favorite part of the whole story because you know me, I'm all about the positive female friendships and it's nice seeing three individuals who meet as adults and become friends. The first book focuses on Bronx-born Naomi Powell (while the subsequent books will then focus on the other two women in their circle), the CEO of a big jewelry empire and part of her goal to prove her worth to the Upper East Side elite who looked down on her and her mom (who was a housekeeper) is finally coming to fruition. She snags an apartment at an illustrious building, that just so happens to be where she lived while her mother was a live-in housekeeper. And who else would be her neighbor but the grown son of her mother's former employer, Oliver Cunningham. This is where the story fell a bit for me because as much as I love the enemies-to-lovers trope, this was one-sided. They knew each other as children and it's clear she'd held onto this grudge (which I get) and a result, acts out at him. But they're not kids anymore and Oliver is a really kind man trying to do his best in a difficult situation with his family and doesn't realize she's a blast from his past. She doesn't do anything to reveal herself either so all the lying made it hard to connect to her and root for their relationship, despite having some sweet moments.

Do I recommend? I'm a big fan of Lauren Layne's others series, Oxford and Love Expectedly, so I'm disappointed that I didn't like it as much as I hoped I would but I am willing to give the next book a shot. If you've never read Layne's books, start with Blurred Lines and if you really want to try this one out, borrow it from the library.
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Can you imagine learning from your dead boyfriend’s obituary, that he was married!!?? And if that wasn’t bad enough, you also learn that he had another mistress, whom you meet serendipitously, as you are leaving his funeral!?! Yeah…that’s how this story begins.
I am a huge fan of Lauren Layne! And although Passion on Park Avenue was a little different from her usual books, it was no less entertaining. As usual with her books, I couldn’t put it down!
The story centers on the fiercely independent, fiery red head Fiona, and her game of ‘cat and mouse’ with Oliver, her childhood nemesis. Self-made girl boss, Fiona, once the daughter of a housemaid for Oliver’s family, ends up moving into the posh Park Avenue building where Oliver grew up and now lives as an adult. Only he doesn’t recognize her as the same homely daughter of his once maid. Their story of “passion” is fun and flirty and will keep you hooked until the last page.
This is the perfect poolside read and will have you dreaming of spring on Park Avenue in New York City.
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