Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Review: Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

Publication Date: May 28th 2019 by Gallery Books
Pages: 288
Source: Publisher/Audio Library Lend
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Audible

About the book:

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.

My Thoughts:
Passion on Park Avenue was a mixed bag for me.  I did really enjoy parts, but other parts were annoying.  Be warned, some of this review is kind of spoilery. 

Loved Oliver! He was honest, sweet, and patient.  My heart went out to him going from losing his mother to cancer to having his dad develop Alzheimer’s and being responsible for his care. On the other hand, I had issues with Naomi holding onto a grudge, especially when you consider Oliver was ten years old when the event happened. I mean come on, grow up!  At least let the guy know where he went wrong and let him have a chance to be sorry and explain.  Instead this ridiculous grudge/revenge thing went on WAY too long.  Can’t really get behind a relationship with the heroine keeps this kind of secret grudge to herself most of the book.  When she did soften towards Oliver it was late in the game and she was scared to come clean and ruin things between them.  Thankfully, when things blew up (because you just know they will) it was short lived. I did warm to Naomi, especially when she was so nice to Walter.  She treated him with kindness and heart when he really didn’t deserve it.

I enjoyed the chemistry between Oliver and Naomi, but inevitably as soon as something would begin between the two Naomi would be reminded somehow of why she hated Oliver and his family and turn up the frost.  I did feel sorry for Naomi over what happened, and can understand why she was so profoundly wounded, but Oliver had clearly changed after so many years.  And who hasn’t been awful at some point in their childhood? One event caused a lot of heartache for Naomi, but her mother was also very much to blame for what happened, Oliver and his family were only partly to blame, IMO.

Also, wasn’t a fan of the brand-name dropping, which was so over-the-top at the beginning I almost DNF’d. Thankfully, it tapered off, but still, the lifestyles of the rich and famous are a little hard to relate to sometimes.

As a side note, the narration was excellent!

3 Suns


  1. I also gave this book 3 stars. I waited too long for Naomi to come clean. Both parties (their parents) are to blame anyway for the mess that was caused. This book would've been a lot lighter though if Naomi just told Oliver who she was so they could settle things and communicate properly LIKE MATURE ADULTS.

    Still love their chemistry though and I also did enjoy and adore some aspects of it. Great review for this one!

  2. This was not my favorite LL book either and I totally get where you are coming from. I enjoyed the female friendships more than I enjoyed the romance. The whole brand-name dropping thing is such an LL thing that I hardly noticed, but I can definitely see how that would take you aback.
    Great review!

  3. Oliver sounds like a really good guy. Naomi, on the other hand, would probably drive me nuts too. Why are you holding on to a grudge from when the guy was TEN?!


  4. I really can't figure out the whole grudge holding when the people involved were children and the one who did the wrong is no longer that immature little imp. Glad Naomi could partially win you over in the end. :)

  5. I don't think I'd be a fan of Naomi if I read this one; I hate when characters can't let go of childish grudges.

  6. I am not sure I am a fan of this new style of making covers...oh well

    Eeek name dropping

  7. I liked this more than you did, but agree, that Oliver was a great part of this book. I also loved the friendship, which was so unlikely, yet still worked. It seems like a lot of authors do massive brand name dropping, when writing wealthy characters. It doesn't phase me either way, but I know many readers are not fans.

  8. Oliver sounds like a very likable character, and my heart would definitely go out to a character who had been through much. I can see why Naomi's character annoyed you. Such a long held grudge, especially when the character male lead has grown up, changed, and matured, would drive me crazy too!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  9. I've some most of the LL books I've read in the past but for some reason this new series just hasn't really appealed to me. And reading your review makes me even more certain that I'm probably safe giving it a pass. It's annoying when a character is judged for actions that happened years ago when they've clearly changed.

  10. I hate it when I just cant get behind why a character is holding a grudge! It just makes it hard to sympathize. Glad you ended up enjoying parts of it though. Great review!