Lauren Layne comes to the blog again with the first in her new Central Park Pact series – a lovely rom com with a ton of twists and laughs in
Passion on Park Avenue
Absolutely adorable – Layne has taken another redheaded heroine with a take charge attitude and brought her a never-hoped for chance at happiness! Naomi has taken her idea for an accessories company that collects and sources unique pieces from her small Bronx apartment into a very successful enterprise. A surprise to her after the life she knew with her mother fell apart and existence became a series of one-bedroom apartments, hotel rooms and sleeping rough. But, with the need to move into larger office space and finding the “perfect’ Tribeca apartment, the time is right for new beginnings. Of course, she’s still stinging from the death of her ex-boyfriend: less the death than finding out he had both a wife and another girlfriend. At his funeral. Or rather, after ditching his funeral for a walk in Central Park and coming upon his widow and the other – other woman. Funnily enough, the three find that friendship between them is a far better option than anger at one another – consolidate their anger against the cheating, lying man who still has managed to upset their lives from the grave.
Yet an unexpected twist in Naomi’s life happens when she gets a call for her interview with the co-op board for a building at 517 Park Avenue, the same building where her life with her mother started to unravel. Discovering that the interviewer was her 10 year old nemesis Oliver instantly reduced Naomi to the spiteful little girl who wanted to get back at the bully. Soon she finds herself with two apartments to choose from, and an unreasonable attraction to Oliver, her new neighbor in her 517 Park apartment. A pre-war building, the residents are mostly older, with Oliver and Naomi being the only under 50’s in the building, but Oliver’s time and availability are limited, not that she’s asking. He’s caring for his father now fully consumed with Alzheimer’s, having help to care for him during the days, while he takes nights and weekends. But, Oliver’s father Walter, after a chance encounter with Naomi, likes her, and it seems to take a bit of the bite from Naomi’s anger, fueled by her mother’s lack of adult sense, to blame everyone but herself for their decreased circumstances when she was 10.
Naomi and Oliver are lovely together, and the moments between Naomi, Claire and Audrey (the wife and the other-other woman) are lovely, as are the insets of Naomi’s PA Deena – a Jersey Housewife if ever there was one. Slow friendship, a coaxing out of more, and plenty of moments that illustrate the stressors of caring for an aging and ailing parent, unfinished business, and plenty of ‘running scared’ from Naomi as the ‘not quite fitting in” voices in her head vary in their insistence. They are well-matched but not in the “oh he will fix everything” sort of way, with a genuine interest in one another, Oliver’s recognition of his own bad behavior as a child, his actually READING all of Anne of Green Gables through to discover what ever became of Anne and Gilbert, and the steps the two make on their way to something more is classic Layne – engaging, funny, heartwarming and with a depth that sneaks up and takes your breath away with the gentleness with which she handled the difficult moments in their lives.
Title: Passion on Park Avenue
Author: Lauren Layne
Series: Central Park Pact #1
Also in this series: Love on Lexington Avenue
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy, Friendship, Humor elements, Romantic Elements, Woman's Fiction
Published by: Gallery Books
Published on: 28 May, 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 7 Hours: 56 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
From the author of the New York Times bestselling Stiletto and Oxford series, the first in a sizzling new series following the unlikely friendship of three Upper East Side women as they struggle to achieve their dreams and find true love and happiness in the city that never sleeps.
For as long as she can remember, Bronx-born Naomi Powell has had one goal: to prove her worth among the Upper East Side elite—the same people for which her mom worked as a housekeeper. Now, as the strongminded, sassy CEO of one of the biggest jewelry empires in the country, Naomi finally has exactly what she wants—but it’s going to take more than just the right address to make Manhattan’s upper class stop treating her like an outsider.
The worst offender is her new neighbor, Oliver Cunningham—the grown son of the very family Naomi’s mother used to work for. Oliver used to torment Naomi when they were children, and as a ridiculously attractive adult, he’s tormenting her in entirely different ways. Now they find themselves engaged in a battle-of-wills that will either consume or destroy them…
Filled with charm and heart and plenty of sex and snark, this entertaining series will hook you from the very first page.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.