Passion on Park Avenue

Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

Central Park Pact, Book One


May 28, 2019

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+ book summary

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.

+ excerpt

Oliver hadn’t been expecting her. In addition to the red hair and strange animosity coming off her in waves, her face was … captivating. She was attractive in that intriguing “look again” kind of way. Her eyes were wide and blue and tilted at the corners, her mouth full and lush and a little bit sulky at the moment. Plenty of freckles that, as far as he could tell, she’d made no effort to cover with heavy makeup. Different from the perfectly symmetrical, made-up features he was used to seeing. Still, none of this quite explained the death-glare Naomi had locked on him. Generally speaking, Oliver didn’t tend to illicit strong emotional reactions from women. Mostly he got a lot of exasperated sighs preceding long, calm dissertations about his inability to demonstrate emotion, followed by a bland parting of ways. There was nothing bland about this woman. Instinct took over, and years of following formal societal rules demanded Oliver extend his hand across the desk. “Ms. Powell. I’m Oliver Cunningham.” Her hesitation was plain and, for a baffling moment, he thought she might actually refuse his handshake. Eventually she set her palm to his and though the firm shake was routine, his reaction to it was anything but. His stomach tightened as her palm brushed his, and Oliver clenched his teeth. Good Lord, had it been so long since he’d been with a woman that handshakes were doing it for him now? He pulled his hand back and cleared his throat. “Alright, Ms. Powell,” he said, his voice just a touch cool to counter the heat inside him. “I’m assuming if you’ve made it this far, your credit and background checks pass muster, so let’s get right to it. Why do you want to live here?” He heard her inhale as though trying to get a grip on her temper, although what he’d done to set her off, he didn’t have the faintest clue. “It’s a lovely building. The pre-war architecture is exquisite,” she replied. His stomach tightened even further. That voice. Low, husky, and seductive as hell. Get yourself together, Cunningham.