Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Release Day Spotlight & Review: Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

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.

As my number one go-to author, any novel by Lauren Layne is a must read for me and this, I'm happy to say is exceptional. 

Naomi Powell is a self-made businesswoman and CEO of one of the biggest jewellery businesses in the country. Yet despite her success and wealth, she's shunned amongst the affluent residents of the Upper East Side of Manhattan. When fate brings an invitation and a chance to live in a building where she spent time as a child, she grasps the chance to attend the interview. Surprisingly, she's accepted and it doesn't take long to come face to face with her childhood nemesis. Only he's now grown-up, handsome, charming and can't remember the girl he once tormented. 

Oliver Cunningham was born into an affluent family and as an adult is rich and successful in his own right. To the outside world, he's every woman's dream but little do they know the secret he holds and the sacrifice he's making. When a new, young neighbour moves into his building, he's instantly attracted to her. Only, she's not very friendly. Can he change her mind and more importantly, will she run a mile when his secret is exposed? 

I love the unique and imaginative way we are introduced to Naomi and the two women who become significant in her life. It's tragic but hilarious how these women became acquainted due to a link none of them knew about before their chance meeting in Central Park. The result captures the essence of friendship as they turn a bad situation into a positive one. As I've come to expect from this author, these women work and help each other find 'the one' as they bond over similar experiences against the glamorous Manhattan skyline. 

Whilst retaining all the elements I love about Ms Layne's writing, this novel has a more grown-up feel to it. Besides the slow burn romance brewing between the protagonists, there's a powerful message about the realities faced by many people with ageing parents who need extra care due to health issues. It's a tricky topic and the author manages to balance this and evolving romance perfectly. Even injecting humour into an otherwise challenging situation for the protagonists. It highlights how circumstances can alter a person's life, resulting in selfless sacrifices and the need for compromise to fulfil basic requirements. It's a sobering dilemma for two people with far too many differences between them and yet Naomi and Oliver find their way eventually. 

To sum up, I'm hooked on this Central Park Pact series and can't wait to find out the fate of Claire and Audrey and read about their journeys to a happily ever after. 

Lastly, I'm very much a reader who is more drawn to the blurb than a book cover when deciding what to read, however, this cover is perfect for Passion on Park Avenue makes my heart sing and the kind I love to see on my own bookshelf...love it! 

***arc generously received courtesy of Gallery Books via NetGalley***

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