Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

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…

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Naomi extended her right hand. “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.”

And to helping each other find the right man. That’s on my watch,” Audrey said, placing her palm on top of Naomi’s hand.

After a moment of hesitation, Claire set her hand atop Audrey’s. “Oh, what the hell. I’m in. To no more assholes.”

Imagine your boyfriend died and during his funeral you meet his wife and other [unknowing] mistress. What do you do? Would you fly off the handle or make a pact among the three of you to watch each other’s back and never let each other fall for a cheater again.

That’s where we find Naomi. But her late boyfriend’s infidelity is only a minor part of Naomi’s story.

She’s a modern day rags to riches success story and unwilling to let anything – or anyone – stop her from making a name for herself and finally fitting in among the elite class of New York City. That is, until she finds herself forced to face her past and confront the men that caused her mother to struggle and live from paycheck to paycheck.

Facing her past means facing Oliver Cunningham, the same boy that tormented her when they were young is now a different man. Naomi is stuck between seeking revenge and wanting to get to know this new Oliver and explore the feelings growing between them. But how can she do that and honor her mother?

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

The romance part of this novel wasn’t as good as I feel it could have been. The interaction between Naomi and Oliver was drawn out and I rolled my eyes in frustration quite a few times. Naomi took entirely too long to tell Oliver who she really was and that grated on my nerves. It made the book uneventful and slow for a good portion when there could have been more intriguing content in its place.

I did enjoy the fact the Claire, Naomi, and Audrey had a bond and build a strong friendship instead of being catty and tearing each other down over a POS man who had done them all wrong. As it should be, they chose to lift each other up and make sure it wouldn’t happen again. I wish more time had been spent more on their friendship, but I guess that will be revealed through the other two books.

This novel shows you the true value of having good and strong relationships to carry you through hard times. Yes, the romance was good and there was SO MUCH tension between Naomi and Oliver, but, for me, the strength of the friendships outweighed the romance here.

This is book one of three. I’m assuming that the subsequent books will feature the other friends in the group, Claire and Audrey, and their own journeys to finding love and/or closure.

Special thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Not such an original trope, is it?


    1. Definitely not. But I doubt there are very many original tropes out there

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True. What did someone once say about a very limited number of plots and every book is just a variation on one of those themes?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “You make a pact and get some girlpower in your life!” Ahhh this honestly hooked me in right away because I LOVE girlpower. I’m super happy to hear the friendship outweighs the romance (though I hate romance that takes a good portion out of the book, so that’s a bummer), and that they choose to lift each other up rather than bringing each other down through the pact.


    1. Yes! I liked the romance, but if this was a book about their friendship, I would totally have been okay with that! I feel like we could definitely use more of that.


Leave a Reply to thehappybibliophileblog Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.