Cover Image: Passion on Park Avenue

Passion on Park Avenue

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Member Reviews

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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4-4.5 stars.

Another hit from Ms. Layne. I really enjoyed the start of this new series.

Here we meet Naomi and Oliver, they have a shared past for a little while, and now years later the meet again on Park Avenue.

Anyway, things are far from easy for these two, their shared past is far from easy and left Naomi deeply hurt.

I loved these guys. LOVED Naomi and her drive and kickass-ness; but I loved her soft side so much. I loved how Oliver brought that out of her. She was super lovely and awesome and I SO wanted to be her friend.

Oliver didn’t have it easy either. He might live a comfortable life, but things were far from easy in his everyday life. I loved how he let go a bit with Naomi and how much she challenged him.

And of course, I adored these two together. They brought the best out in each other and I was constantly eager to know more about their journey.

All in all, a great read with lots of surprises, swoony moments and all around loveliness. 
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PASSION ON PARK AVENUE is the first instalment in Lauren Layne’s contemporary, adult CENTRAL PARK PACT romance series focusing on three friends: Naomi Powell, Audrey Tate and Claire Hayes-three woman who would discover there were all in a relationship with the same man.  This is thirty year olds, successful business-woman Naomi Powell, and architect Oliver Cunningham’s story line.

Told from dual third person perspectives ( Naomi and Oliver) PASSION ON PARK AVENUE follows Naomi Powell days after the death of Braydon Hayes, a man whose infidelities would bring three strangers together, forming a friendship that would push them closer together. Six months after the death of her mother Danica Fields, millionaire business woman Naomi Powell would be invited to join one of the wealthiest apartment units on Park Avenue-the caveat- it is the same apartment building where her life had spiralled out of control twenty years earlier, when her mother was caught having an affair with the man that she worked for. Fast forward twenty years, wherein, Naomi will come face to face with her past in the guise of thirty year old Oliver Cunningham, the son of the man that destroyed her mother’s life. What ensues is the enemies to lovers relationship between Naomi and Oliver, and the potential fall-out as Naomi is reluctant to reveal the source of her animosity towards Oliver and the Cunningham family, a reluctance that is about to blow up in her face.

Naomi Powell wanted retribution for her mother. Six months after her mother’s death, Naomi would discover that Danica Fields put into motion Naomi’s path for revenge, revenge that would stutter when Naomi comes face to face with her childhood nemesis. Oliver Cunningham has no idea why his new neighbor despises the ground upon which he walks. With her unwillingness to reveal the source of her animosity, Oliver can only presume that the woman with whom he is falling in love has suffered greatly at the hands of a previous love.

The relationship between Oliver and Naomi is a frenemies to lovers romance wherein Naomi battles between head and heart knowing that torment and loss her mother suffered at the hands of the Cunningham family. Oliver’s attraction to Naomi is instant but our heroine tries to keep her distance from the man with whom she will fall in love. The lone $ex scene fades to black and is mostly implied.

We are introduced to Audrey Tate and Claire Hayes; Naomi’s assistant Deena; Audrey’s best friend Clarke West;  Oliver’s father Walter Cunningham; his caretaker Janice; Oliver’s friend and fellow architect Scott Turner. Claire and Scott’s story line is next in LOVE ON LEXINGTON AVENUE.

PASSION ON PARK AVENUE is a story of betrayal; of vengeance; of broken memories, heart break and loss; secrets and lies; forgiveness, romance and falling in love. The premise is captivating and emotional; the slow building romance is sweet; the characters are energetic, colorful and lost.

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Lauren Layne is one of my favorite authors.  And having read quite a few of her books, I have come to expect certain things from her.  This book delivered them all!  I loved the friendships that were formed and the romance was swoony.  I can't wait to read more about this group of people :)
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Passion on Park Avenue is the first book in Lauren Layne’s Central Park Pact series, and it’s a highly entertaining enemies-to-lovers romance with a charming hero and a fiery heroine, who are perfectly-matched and incredibly fun to watch. Oliver was Naomi’s childhood nemesis when her mother worked as a housekeeper for his wealthy family, so when they are reunited as adults, it’s not a joyful reunion for Naomi. She’s still angry over the way she and her mother were treated, but she begins to realize that grown-up Oliver is very different from the boy she used to know. Full of Lauren Layne’s signature banter, endearing characters and sparkling, intelligent storyline, you don’t want to miss Passion on Park Avenue.
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I think this is a case of the wrong book at the wrong time. I don’t think it’s the book. I’m just not in the right  place to enjoy it.  I will come back to it.
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You can always know that when you read a Lauren Layne book, you are getting a story, with heart, a little angst,great characters and a fun afternoon or evening of reading.  I love reading her stories, and am so happy for this new series.  Naomi, Claudia, and Audrey meet in the most uncomfortable of  circumstances. Claudia is married to a playboy, philanderer, who died in a yachting accident.  Unknowingly Naomi and Audrey have both been having an affair with him, and they all meet outside his funeral. This sets up to be a friendship of the three, and this book features Naomi, a young woman who grew up in poor circumstances but has made it on her own. She has issues with those from her childhood and this is the basis for this romance. Love the depth of this story,and how it all is resolved but not easily. Once  again, an enjoyable romance from Lauren Layne.
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Lauren Layne is back with a brand new series based in New York City, following three women, who meet in a pretty unique circumstance. They all meet at the funeral of the man they are all involved with, and it’s as awkward as you would expect. Surprisingly, this friendship was actually one of the best things about this book. They all call each other out, make them accountable and really just make them each better people. We do meet everyone who is in the future books and I’m very excited for all of the books in this series. 

This one focuses on Naomi. In the beginning, honestly, I didn’t like her at all. I found her too bossy, pushy, and aggressive, but I’m happy to say that she was a lot less severe than I had originally thought. She has had a rough childhood, and blames a lot of it on one family. So, when she gets to move in next to this family on Park Avenue, she is set on revenge. But, through the book, she, thankfully, realized these people were a lot different now than they were then. Oliver is the love interest. He was a caregiver who liked puzzles and just a really nice guy. Their banter and chemistry was explosive. 

I’m a huge fan of Lauren Layne, have read all of her books, and this book is slightly different than her other romance books. I would classify this more as women’s fiction. But, all the things you love about Lauren Layne books are still in here. She always has great main characters with strong women and nice guys. The friendships are always so wonderful. Each pushing the main characters in the right direction. And her books are almost always a love letter to New York City, and one of the main characters. She always sets the scenes perfectly that make me want to move to NYC right now. 

Passion on Park Avenue is the perfect start to this new series. I enjoyed this entertaining read and look forward to reading the rest of the series.

* ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
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Sweet Romance! Naomi and Oliver were great characters. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them connect and learn about their histories. Oliver is kind, caring and so not what Naomi remembers or perceived him to be. Naomi is strong and feisty, I loved her spunk. She is not the same little girl that she was when Oliver knew her as a child. When she moves into his building after her mother passes, it is to show them what she has become.  But as their attraction and interactions grow, Naomi isn’t ready to confront this new Oliver about what happened in the past. Together they had some amazing interactions. I  loved their building heat between the two and it was great watching them work through their struggles as they figure everything out. I also liked how sweet and caring she was with his father, and how much she grew emotionally through this story. 
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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3.75 stars.
I'm on the fence with this book. I usually love Lauren Layne books. They're smart, witty, charming, sexy and deliver on every level. I've feeling a little off about Passion on Park Avenue. I think I was expecting more sexy business, a snappy story line, a story that moved a little quicker. I did really like Naomi, but I felt there was more that could be done with her character. She's smart, feisty, determined, a self made millionaire, a fierce business woman. Underneath all strong front, she's vulnerable and a little fragile. That part is only shown in respect to a specific part of her past. If felt like there was more that we're missing out on. Oliver was dreamy, but again, there's something missing for his character in this story.

I was left wanting more after finishing the book. The writing was great, the story left a little to be desired. Will I come back for the next books? I'm still sitting pretty on the fence.
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***ARC Provided by the Publisher via NetGalley***

Think you are having a bad day? Did you discover your boyfriend was his obituary?If the answer is no (and, well it really should be) then you are not having a day as bad as Naomi. 

Know what else it is, other than the definition of a bad day? It's a fabulous and different way to start a story. And, in the hands of Lauren Layne, it's a champagne infused (mugs optional), Louboutin wearing wonderful time.

I adored this title. It's different for Lauren Layne, it's more of a women's fiction title, and the sexy times are fade to black...but, don't worry. The hot sex might not be a part of the story but the amazing connection with the new friends (Claire and Audrey) is there. And, this is one of the areas where Lauren Layne excels, in telling relationships with women in a way that makes the women allies and strong supporters of one another. I loved that about this title.

I also loved the parts with Oliver, and I adored their relationship. I liked that it was a little adversarial at the beginning. I did think she made too big a deal of what happened when he was 10 and she was 9...but, it had big consequences for her life, so I could also see why she would feel that way. Basically, I am not sure I would have held that much of a grudge, but, I believed Naomi did and that was enough for me.

The secondary characters acted as they a way to bring depth to the story as well as the characters of Oliver and Naomi. So often first stories in a series turn into introduction vehicles for the characters and stop feeling like a story and start to feel like one long prologue. 

But this one didn't do that. Not at all. The secondary characters never felt overpowering, I was never tired of them, and I was always glad for scenes not only with Naomi and Oliver, but also with the supporting characters.

I love it when authors branch out a little, even if they stay in basically the same genre, but tell the story in a little different way. This is a Lauren Layne title, and it feels like one but at the same time it feels different.

I can't wait for the next in the series. I loved and recommend this title.
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I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

I'm not even sure where to star with my review. This story has a lot of things happening. Our main character, Namoi, has had many changes in a short time. Boyfriend passing; business booming; business moving locations; and apartment moving. Though she has to choice between two apartments to choose from. 

One her deceased mother set up for her to interview for and one she recently acquired. The funny thing is Namoi never thought she'd be back on Park Avenue as a homeowner. Especially not neighbors to the boy - now man - who tormented her during her brief stay in the same complex. 

To say the man doesn't match up to the boy she once knew is an understatement. Naomi has a hard time reconciling Oliver of today with the one who tormented her as a kid. The new Oliver is HOT! She thought he might follow in his fathers footsteps but it seems as if Oliver is totally not what she expected him to be. 

Y'all know what they say about assuming right? HA! So there's this man (Oliver) and this woman (Naomi) and they are really great together but there's this cavern. A deep cavern of pain from sins of old; expectations; and reality. You'll be rooting for these two to get their acts together. 

They really are the "perfect" couple. I enjoyed reading their story and hope you will as well. This is definitely one walk on the upper east side you'll want to take!
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Lauren Layne is a new author for me.  Well new in that I've only recently discovered her books and have fallen in love with her writing.  Passion in Park Avenue was well written but not one of my favorites.  

While I enjoyed the beginning of the book and the unconventional way that Naomi meets Claire and Audrey, I struggled with her relationship with Oliver.  I didn't feel the passion like I have in her other books. The premise was really interesting and I loved that Naomi was self made and so sure of herself.
I very much look forward to reading more and I'm really hoping Claire and Audrey get their own stories.
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Every Lauren Layne book I've read has been an enjoyable experience. Passion on Park Avenue is no different. I adored this book! Loved the slow burning enemies to lovers feel, the wonderful back and forth banter, and the delicious tension that developed between the main characters. It was such a cute, fun read. I couldn't get enough.

I'm pretty sure I loved Oliver right away. He seemed like a really good guy who is very loyal to his family. Sexy, smart, funny and a family man what's not to love. 

I will admit it took a while to like Naomi. I'm not sure what it was about her but for the first half of the book, she rubbed me the wrong way. Also, I'm not big on revenge. So her plans to stick it to those who treated her poorly when she was younger made me cringe. I did really come to like her in the end. She became more real and caring. 

My only complaint of this book is that I wish the big reveal would have come sooner. And Oliver's reaction was a giant let down. Of course this didn't make me want to stop reading.

In the center of this story is the friendship that is formed between three women who find out they were sleeping with the same man. I am obsessed with their pact and their friendship. Instead of being catty or turning against each other, they rallied together and encouraged one another; building a lifelong bond. I can't wait to see more of this friendship bloom.

Book 1 in the Central Park Pact series is a hit. I'm eager and excited to read the other girls's story.
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