Review: Passion on Park Avenue (Lauren Layne)

Passion on Park Avenue
Series: Central Park Pact, #1
Author: Lauren Layne
Publication Date: May 28, 2019
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★


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.

Sigh. I have been struggling a lot with books lately and getting into a good reading mood. Since I have loved and adored every single LL book out there, I decided to give Passion on Park Avenue the chance to get me out of my slump. It did, and yet it didn’t.

There were a lot of things that I loved about this book. At the beginning, it reminded me a lot of the movie The Other Woman. The way Naomi formed friendships with Claire and Audrey was cool. I loved how they supported each other even though they weren’t lifelong friends. I adored Oliver. He was such a great guy. The romance between Oliver and Naomi was sweet. My favorite moments revolved around them. I loved Naomi’s back story and how it related to Oliver and his father, Walter. The way she reacted to everything involving Walter was fun. I also liked Walter as a character all on his own. All these things are why LL is a go-to author for me. Her writing is excellent.

I hate to admit it, but there were things that didn’t work for me in this book. That usually doesn’t happen to me with LL’s books. I had a hard time loving Naomi to start with. She was just so off-putting with her need to reach a certain status or have and wear certain things. That’s not something I care about in life, and it sounded too braggy for my taste. I have a REALLY hard time with books that focus a lot on descriptions of clothing, accessories, etc. I am not a fan of being told what name brands are being worn. I get that a little needs to be done based on where this story is set (effluent NY), but I got tired of it really fast. The other thing that didn’t work for me was the whole TV show/Dylan thing. It just felt weird and out-of-place.

While Passion on Park Avenue wasn’t my favorite LL book, I still ended up enjoying it. It had some amazing friendships and a cute romance going for it. I’m looking forward to reading books about Audrey and Claire. I really loved them, so I am hoping to enjoy their books just as much.

22 thoughts on “Review: Passion on Park Avenue (Lauren Layne)”

  1. Aww I’m so sad you didn’t completely love this one. I agree with you on not caring for the brands. I’m just like, “Okay, whatever”. And I actually liked Naomi! I think I just overlooked about her trying to reach a status or something. I can understand why she wanted that, though, given her background.
    Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

    1. Yeah, I am totally going to blame this one on my mood because I am a hard core LL fan. It’s not like I didn’t like this one. I did. I just didn’t fall as in love with it for those reasons. Oh well. I’m super excited to continue with the series.

  2. I am seeing some mixed reviews for this book. I haven’t read the author’s other books so I am not sure about this one. I hope that you find a book that sweeps you off of your feet to pull you out of your slump! 🙂

    1. I love LL’s books. I highly recommend them. Even this one. It just wasn’t my favorite of hers. I have only read extremely positive ones, so I thought maybe it was just me.

  3. Sorry this one didn’t end up getting you out the slump completely. Glad you enjoyed some aspects of it though and I hope your next read will be a winner.

    1. Thank you! I am still looking forward to the rest of this series. I really think it must have been my mood.

  4. Aww! I’m sorry this didn’t work for you and that you’re in a slumpy mood. That sucks! This wasn’t my favorite book from LL, but it was still readable. I hope she goes back to writing her older style books. I miss those.

    1. I miss those, too. I don’t want it to seem like I didn’t enjoy this book. I did. Those things just annoyed me

  5. I’m sorry you didn’t completely love this one! I currently have it on my TBR list and I really hope it works out for me!
    Great honest review! I hope you’re enjoying your current read! 🙂

    1. I think I might be in the minority, so it will probably work out for you. 🙂

    1. I’m glad to know I’m not alone! I’m also looking forward to the rest of the books. Thanks!

  6. I’ll be honest, I just lightly skimmed your review for positives, since I just won it on Goodreads! I never win things – lol! This really isn’t one that I had on my radar, but I’m looking forward to it. Glad to hear it met you halfway and you enjoyed it! 💕

    1. I think you will probably like it. I think I was in a mood when reading this one. I’m happy you won it! She’s actually one of my favorite contemporary romance authors. I highly recommend her books.

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