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I truly fell so hard for Lauren Layne’s writing. In my eyes, 99% of the time, she can do no wrong! Lauren Layne always seems to captivate me with her writing, the characters, and the friendships. She's one of those authors that I'm always on the look out for new releases.

PASSION ON PARK AVENUE
by Lauren Layne
Series: The Central Park Pact #1

Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: May 28th 2019 by Gallery Books
Format: ARC, eARC
Source: Publisher via Mail, Publisher via Netgalley

Rating: ★★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon

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
Naomi finds out she’s the other woman when the guy she’d been dating for 3 months, Brayden, dies. She decides to go to his funeral, but she couldn’t handle it so she ends up at Central Park. It is there that she meets Claire, the widow, and Audrey, the other woman. The three woman bond so fast and in no time, become the best of friends. Two months later, Naomi is handling her Maxcessory company and in the process of moving offices. She’s also looking to change apartments, but she gets a call from 517 Park Avenue, letting her know there’s an available space for an apartment and to go in for an interview. She immediately recognizes the name of the place because she used to live there. Naomi knows she never applied and when she arrives to the interview, she finds out it was her mom who sent the application. Not only that, it is there that she comes face to face with her past in the form of Oliver Cunningham, the guy who ruined her life and her mom’s.

Never had she imagined that the boy who’d tormented her mercilessly during her childhood would once again hold her fate in his hands.

I got hooked on this story right from the beginning. I fell hard for Naomi. She’s so captivating and intriguing. I completely love her nonchalant attitude, but how at the same time, she feels so much and so deep. She’s so strong yet vulnerable, and that vulnerability is what makes her who she is and what kept drawing me to her.

Naomi, Claire and Audrey are such an amazing trio of friends. I honestly loved how they met and how they bonded right from the beginning. It’s great to see how each one of them have a unique personality. I see Naomi as the badass of the group, very observant, fierce, forward, independent, and loving. Claire is someone who’s very poised, put together and has a calming energy about her. I see Audrey as the wild card out of the three of them. She’s not really a wild card but she has this free spirit about her, she’s completely fun, outspoken, quirky, and she just brought so much lightness to the story. Lauren Layne writes the BEST FRIENDSHIPS! When it comes to her books, I’m always giddy in anticipation to read about the friendships. She makes them so real! I always want to be a part of the friendships in her books.

“Hands in, girls, we’re making a pact, high school-style. May neither of you ever fall victim to a cheating bastard again. Not on my watch.”

I was intrigued from the get-go with Oliver and what was going on in his life, especially with his father, Walter. Oliver has to go through so much to take care of his father; it’s truly heart-breaking. He’s very cautious in letting people into his life since someone had already bailed on him when he needed the person the most. Even with his cautiousness, he’s so intrigued by Naomi and the hatred in her eyes towards him that he wants to peel all of her layers and little by little, he lets her in his life. I love how he keeps going out of his way to get to know her and woo her, even when Naomi treats him bad because of how mad she is at what he did. Two of my favorite scenes, involve the two first times they kiss. Oliver had me in love!

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With Naomi, from when she found out Oliver was still in 517 Park Avenue, you could tell that Naomi’s plan was revenge but as soon as she saw Walter again, her defenses started to lower and any thought of revenge went out the window. I loved the friendship that Walter and Naomi developed. It was so beautiful to read about it, so heart-warming. I love the path Lauren Layne took with this story, especially with how Oliver found out. She did such a wonderful job. I don’t think this take is written much in romance books and Lauren Layne killed it. She added a twist to it that I just praise her for it.

I love how everything in the end came together. Every aspect of the story was done with perfection. There wasn’t something I hated or disliked. I honestly loved everything! Lauren Layne is the only author so far that I don’t have to read a book’s description or see a cover to know if I want to read it. No. Everything she writes, I immediately want, no questions asked. She’s so underrated as an author and I wish more people would read her books and put her name on high because she deserves it.

I urge you guys to pick this book up if you love contemporary romance, love friendship, love a slow-building second-chance intimate romance. This is another aspect of Lauren Layne that I love from her books. Her romances are always so character-driven and full of intimacy, which goes beyond just the sex. I really find it refreshing when an author can write such a brilliant story without needing sex scenes to make it stand out. No, LL’s writing stands out on pure talent alone with the friendships and romances she writes.

I loved how hooked I got into the story from beginning. I loved how it completely drew me in. I loved how it completely stole my heart and I cannot wait for more!

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