by Lauren Layne
Published May 28, 2019 by Gallery Books
Goodreads Rating: 3.77 Stars
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
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.
Go read this book. Enough said.
No seriously though, I really enjoyed Passion On Park Avenue. There was one con to this book and I’ll go ahead and get it out of the way. This ‘con’ is more of a preference of tropes I guess you can say and it’s just not a story plot that meshes well with my anxiety. I am not a fan of one character being in on a secret that plays a huge part of how they treat the love interest and why they treat them a certain way but the other character has no idea about it. In this books case, our heroine, Naomi, knows Oliver, but he doesn’t knows her. When they initially meet, she looks familiar to him but he couldn’t place her. The entire conflict of this book weighs on this secret and it is so well done, yet frustrating for me! I start paying way too much attention to all of the chances Naomi had to come clean to Oliver but didn’t. Again, total preference. If you don’t mind this kind of story line, it’s obviously not going to bother you.
Okay, that part is out of the way. I really liked this book.
“I can’t breathe when you do that,” she whispered.
“When I do what?” His lips drifted over her jaw, a feather-light almost-kiss.
“When you look at me like that,” she said, her voice husky as his lips moved down her neck. “When you touch me.”
Lauren Layne creates this very twisted back story. It made me cringe. It broke my heart and definitely ticked me off a bit but it completely makes Naomi’s intentions understandable at the beginning of the book. Her Mother once upon a time was the housekeeper for Oliver and his family. (Oliver is our hero) A situation happened that leads to Naomi and her Mom being out on the streets.
Naomi is now this very successful, independent woman who made this promise to her Mom that she would basically show up at these people’s doorstep one day to show them she was now their equal. In true hate to love fashion, I loved seeing the walls Naomi put up around herself one by one begin to come down. As much as she wants to hate Oliver, he has no idea he has a blast from the past in front of him and both of them are beginning to fall for each other.
A big part of Oliver’s life now is taking care of his father who is living with Alzheimer’s. I thought this was such a good spin, a good wrench to throw into the story. I am a total Alzheimer’s Association Advocate and it sucks to see your loved one wither away, so having seen it firsthand, I could feel that bit of anger, sadness and confusion that Naomi did. She had these very revenge motivated intentions in the beginning, but Oliver’s Dad would never remember what happened or who she truly was so in a way her plan really wasn’t going to work. We as the reader see her coming to the realization that people change. Things change. Time passes. This is a very funny but emotional romance with a heroine at the center who has to forgive and leave the past where it is.
A big bonus to this story was the friendship Naomi has with Claire and Audrey. It is very funny how the three meet in the beginning but it goes to show how regardless, nothing really beats having a crew of close girlfriends.
I really liked Oliver. I didn’t swoon too hard over him but I was smitten with how damn smitten he became over Naomi. The secret Naomi kept from Oliver, kept me from really connecting with him because I felt so bad for him the entire time. He was totally in the dark. What I did get from him though, I enjoyed. It was cool to see him become into Naomi without really knowing who she was, then having to decide if his feelings were the same once he did know.
I highly recommend this book, especially if you enjoy romances that take place in New York City, have a hate to love element to it with a pretty strong heroine at the core of it.
Read it, and chat about it with me. Let me know if you enjoyed it or not.
Until next time, take care of yourselves.