I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley but all opinions provided are my own.
Sometimes you have a satisfying relationship with a man who seems like exactly what you want; other times he dies and you discover that he’s already married with another (inadvertent) mistress on the side.
But in this story about female empowerment, the three women form a pact to help each other weed through other possible liars/cheaters/unsuitables, and a true female friendship is born.
Passion on Park Avenue sparkles, but it’s also substantive, with characters who have suffered their share of heartbreaks even if they are all rich and pretty. Layne is a beautiful writer; every sentence falls smoothly, every character is fleshed-out, and as a reader, I had all the faith that she was taking me to a stellar HEA in the specific lovely way that Layne does it.
Each wronged woman’s voice in Passion on Park Avenue packs a punch, and Naomi’s is my favorite. She’s a one-liner champ, usually aimed toward the man who wronged them all. She’s sophisticated and determined, wry and intimidating, and also, far underneath, scared. She’s been carrying a lot of baggage, and part of it involves our hero, Oliver, who used to torment her as a child, and part of it involves Oliver's dad, who was awful.
But you can’t keep a boss heroine down, especially this one, who is unapologetically ambitious and determined (even if she can’t manage to make herself reveal her real identity to Oliver). This becomes even more of a pickle after she deliberately pursues an apartment in their building under Oliver's misapprehension...
The secret identity trope is kind of a hard one for an over-sharer like myself. When I read books like this and the character thinks how they should tell the truth but…, I think: TELL IT ALREADY. It’s well done here—Layne makes it really clear why Naomi has such a hard time with it and why the past still has a stranglehold on her, the break-up will rip your heart out, and the reconciliation, which involves a literary allusion that always makes me beam, will piece it back together.
And speaking of piecing things together *wink* there are no explicit sex scenes in this book. This is not really a spoiler because Layne has shared this on her Instagram account. Is the book still really good? Yes. Is it still sexy? Yes. Did I miss the scenes? Yes.
What’s even better than finishing a book that grabs you by the heart? Knowing that there are at least two more coming. *Raises a mug of champagne in toast.
Q: what's your celebratory drink of choice? Mine is champagne.
Give me that HEA, please.
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