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Charming and Marvelous: Love on Lexington Avenue by Lauren Layne

If you're looking for a sweet, dreamy, light, charming and opposites-attract romance, look no further because Love on Lexington Avenue will be your fix!

by Lauren Layne
Series: The Central Park Pact #2

Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: September 17th 2019 by Gallery Books
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Rating: ★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
There are no good men left in New York City. At least that’s Claire Hayes’s conviction after finding out her late husband was not the man she thought he was. Determined to rid her home of anything that reminds her of her cheating husband, Claire sets out to redesign her boring, beige Upper East Side brownstone and make it something all her own. But what starts out as a simple renovation becomes a lot more complicated when she meets her bad-tempered and rough-around-the-edges contractor Scott Turner.

Scott bluntly makes it known to Claire that he only took on her house for a change of pace from the corporate offices and swanky hotels he’s been building lately, and he doesn’t hesitate to add that he has no patience for a pampered, damaged princess with a penchant for pink. But when long workdays turn into even longer nights, their mutual wariness morphs into something more complicated—a grudging respect, and maybe even attraction...
We finally have the Central Park Pact next installment and all the women are back with a friendship stronger than ever and a romance that is light and sweet and dreamy!

For this story, we have Claire Hayes, the widow. The betrayal from her cheating and dead husband scarred her a lot. Meeting and befriending the other two women her husband was with, makes her question herself. Sadly, her self-confidence plummets to the ground. She sees that she's very plain, not exciting, a first-class boring person. She wants to change aspects of her life to seem less of what she thinks she is. She also wants to dive into the "fling" part of dating so she turns to dear Scott for help.

In comes Scott, the dreamy contractor. He's willing to remodel her house, but he's so not what Claire imagined him to be nor what she normally liked in a guy. But slowly, this flannel-wearing man started growing on her.

I'm going to have to divide this review so I can actually form coherent thoughts.

The characters:
🌻 Claire is a beautiful women who I felt so much for her. I hated that she questioned herself so much. I just wanted her to see how truly astounding she was! (Also, am I the only one who pictured Claire Holt as her?) I mean, being frank, I love how vanilla she is. It gives this sense of innocence to this widowed woman that I found so refreshing. I utterly loved seeing Claire accept herself, while at the same time, blossoming into a better version of herself.

🌻 Scott is the complete opposite of Claire. He's abrasive, blunt, irritable, yet these qualities enhanced the allure surrounding his character that had me with heart for eyes!

The friendship:
🌻 I've said it over and over, but LAUREN LAYNE WRITES THE BEST FRIENDSHIPS! If it's even possible, the friendship was superior in this second installment. The women were closer and the friendship had this intimate feel to it that had my heart warming all over. These ladies keep showing that even if it was an undesirable circumstance that brought them together, they have left that long in the past, with no ill-feeling towards one another, and their focus is to see one another happy. I want to be a part of their friendship!!!

🌻 Something that shone bright for me was the male and female friendships! Usually, in LL's books, the male friendships are incredibly tight, as well as the female friendships. But in this novel, we have them coming together and I was loving every second of it! The male characters were so there for the female ones and that brought so much joy to my heart!

The romance:
The romance was definitely heightened in this novel. There were so many interactions between Claire and Scott that had me loving it all! Right from the beginning, there's tension, sass, spark, chemistry and snark between them. There was no denying that these two were holding on by a thread. And when they came together, it was ever so sweet! It was also explosive but the author doesn't go all that into details, which I'm so not agreeing with. Like, please give me all the dirty details. Sincerely, a pervy reader.

Once again, Lauren Layne created a marvelous and charming romance that warmed me all over. Not only that, LL created a world that I want to be a part of for the rest of my life!

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