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Review: Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

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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.

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“Two miles in this city can mean the difference between real people and pretension.”

“For a moment Oliver’s breath caught with an unfamiliar sensation. Want, yes. Desire, sure. But this moment was different. Fuller somehow, as though this woman belonged to him not just for right now, not just for a night, but for always.”

“He turned and walked back to his apartment, resuming his whistling and looking as though he had no idea that he’d managed to turn Naomi Powell’s world upside down with one simple, unforgettable kiss.”

“If the kiss from Saturday had been the promise, this was the delivery. The sort of kiss that ruined a girl for all other kisses in the future.”

Lauren Layne is my go-to for smart, heartfelt romances. So, when I heard that she had a brand new series coming out, I was over the moon. So excited! And let me tell you, Passion on Park Avenue does not disappoint. It has drama. It has chemistry. It has lots of love/hate moments. There is steam. There is angst. Passion on Park Avenue had it all and I could not put it down…

Passion on Park Avenue follows the story of Naomi & Oliver. When we first meet up with Naomi, her world has been totally turned upside down. But, it’s that life changing moment, that brought two new and unexpected friends in her life. Her goal now is to take changes and make the life for herself that she’s always wanted. The first step in that process, to prove that she can fit right in with the Upper East Side elite. It’s no easy task when she discovers her new neighbor is non other than her childhood nemesis. Even though a lot of time has passed, Naomi finds it hard to separate the past from the present. Oliver represents everything Naomi should hate, but she’s quickly finding that hating Oliver isn’t as easy as she hoped it would be…..

Passion on Park Avenue is a great start to the Central Park Pact Series. I was sucked into the story instantly and couldn’t help but fall in love with Naomi. I admired her strength and determination. I felt bad for her that she felt like she had to prove that she was worthy to the social elite. I loved the push and pull that she had with Oliver. She wanted to hate him so desperately, but quickly found out that he is not the same person she remembers. There is more to this older version of Oliver than meets the eye. And Oliver, yeah, he’s not perfect. But he is pretty close to it. Sure he’s made some mistakes, but he’s done the best that he could with the cards that he was dealt. I feel like he worked really hard to break through Naomi’s frosty exterior and I really enjoyed watching their relationship shape and transform. While Oliver & Naomi’s story started out as an enemies type romance, I have to say, I really enjoyed the slow burn between the two them. Their chemistry was intense when they allowed it come out to play and I just couldn’t wait to see how their story would play out.

Overall, I really enjoyed Passion on Park Avenue. It was a quick and easy read for me. I devoured it in just a few short hours. Passion on Park Avenue was a lot of fun to read and was well written. This book checked off all my boxes and has me excited to see where this series will go next.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

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