This Chick Read: Marriage on Madison Avenue (The Central Park Pact #3) by Lauren Layne

Audrey Tate and Clarke West have been best friends since they were kids. They’ve watched been the third wheel in each other’s romances and despite two fake engagements have never had a romantic entanglement. When Clarke’s mom starts to matchmake again and tries to set him up with an ex-girlfriend he turns to Audrey for help again asking for fake engagement #3. However, this time they have to fake a few kisses and the engagement goes on longer than it ever has before. Audrey starts to see Clarke differently and those feelings are returned. How can they go back to being best friends after these feelings have been released?

The third novel in The Central Park Pact, Audrey was for me, the least interesting out of the three friends who made a pact to save each other when they were headed for trouble with the wrong man. She always seemed a little flighty but in this novel I got to see that she had a little more depth than I’d given her credit. She is a social influencer and has a huge following. When she is attacked online for her most recent break-up she agree’s to Clarke’s fake engagement to help her get this blogger off her back. What she doesn’t count on is her followers going gaga over her bridal posts. She gets caught up in the fun, trying on dresses and eating cake and lets the lie propagate. All while starting to have feelings for her best friend. These feelings aren’t one-sided Clarke is also starting to see her as a beautiful woman, not just his beautiful friend.

This was the least surprising book of the three in The Central Park Pact series. Audrey and Clarke were totally likable and their friendship was always on solid ground. There weren’t any hidden feelings and insecurities that they had to work through they just had to decide do we or don’t we? I enjoyed following along on their marriage preparations but would have liked a little more conflict, but it was an enjoyable read.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Marriage on Madison Avenue (3) (The Central Park Pact)

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This Chick Read: Passion on Park Avenue (The Central Park Pact #1) by Lauren Layne

Naomi Powell has transformed herself from the poor daughter of a housekeeper to CEO of a Fortune 500 jewelry business but despite her success she’s had trouble putting her past behind her. She receives an invitation to interview for an open apartment in the very same Park Avenue building where she’d lived with her mother when she was a housekeeper. That job ended in embarrassment, living on the streets for a short time, and her mother’s eventual decline. Naomi has held a grudge against the boy she used to know, Oliver Cunningham and his failure to stand up for her to his father. When it is none other than Oliver himself who interviews her for the apartment she does the unexpected and accepts the offer to live next door to him. What she finds is that he and his father are not the people she expected them to be. Can she put the past behind her and take his offer of friendship seriously? Especially when she finds him so attractive?

I’ll admit a great enemies to lovers plot is my favorite romance trope, but there was something more to Passion on Park Avenue. I think it was Naomi’s background and her rags to riches story. Super private, Naomi doesn’t let a lot of people close. The series is based on a female friendship between she and two other women who all got screwed over by the same man, so her mistrust in people seems pretty apt. She does strike up a heartfelt friendship with those ladies so it doesn’t seem to far fetched for her to give Oliver a chance at friendship. Especially once she see’s that he isn’t the boy she remembers. It does take her a little while to get there though. The fact that Oliver wants something a bit more than friendship is something she isn’t ready to give, but their dance towards romance is tension filled and makes for a great story.

There is a surprising amount of depth in this novel. Not just in the premise of the three ladies who become friends when they find out at his funeral that they all were involved with the same man. That is a great way to start but once Naomi’s story gets going we see that hard as nails shell is actually a protective shield to keep her from being hurt like she was over and over by the people she counted on as a child. Her own mother included. Naomi has always had to count on herself, so it’s hard for her to let someone else in her life and doesn’t know how to lean on someone else. It does help that Oliver is taking care of his ill father and despite his strength could use someone to lean on himself. His reasons for never letting a woman get close are pretty obvious. His time is restricted by his father’s needs. Can the two of them get over their misplaced independence and come to rely on each other? Well, this is a romance so you can guess that they do, but their story is worth reading to find out how it happens.

I should mention that I read the second book in this series first, and liked it enough to go back to start the series. I actually liked this novel even better than the second one. I think I’m a sucker for great female fictional friendships. Naomi, Claire, and Audrey have that bond of betrayal that makes them become true friends. They are each totally different than each other, but somehow each of their strengths balance the others weakness. I love that their friendship is just as big a part of the story as the romance, and that story continues through each book and just keeps getting better.

If you’re looking for a light-hearted romance with some depth of character, please give this series a try. This novel was fun, but it also had some emotional moments that had me reaching for a tissue. It was the perfect balance of romance and story. I’m giving it a 4.5 rating for entertainment and striking the right emotional chord. I hope you’ll like it as well. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase!* Passion on Park Avenue (1) (The Central Park Pact)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved.

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I may receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Love on Lexington Avenue (The Central Park Pact #2) by Lauren Layne

When Claire finds out at her husbands funeral that he left behind not only a wife, but also a girlfriend and a mistress she decides to rid herself of everything her husband owned and hires a contractor to re-do her Upper East Side brownstone. Scott Turner is surly, tells it like it is, and fills out his flannel shirt like no other. Claire is intrigued. Maybe her brownstone isn’t the only change she needs to make!

I found it fascinating that the three women Claire’s husband conned all became fast friends. Their unique friendship is a fun aspect to this series and that history makes it easy for the reader to root for each of them to find their love match. Claire is very practical and kind of reminded me of myself, so of course I loved her! LOL. I also like surly alpha men so loved Scott immediately. I liked how they talked straight with each other and that their attraction was a slow burn. He might’ve thought she was attractive right from the get go, but it wasn’t until she started to “see” him that way that their thoughts became actions.

I liked Lauren Layne’s style of writing a lot. This was my first novel of hers and I’m definitely going to read the first in this series. I fell in love with all three of these women, but even more I liked the heat level on the romance. They became friends first and the love scenes were more of a fade to black. It was a nice change of pace and reminded me how much I love sweet romances! I’m going to be checking out Layne’s other novels and maybe refreshing my browser to “sweet” instead of “Stanky” on heat level. 🙂 ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a free copy of this ARC through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* Love on Lexington Avenue (2) (The Central Park Pact)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you buy it, I get a small stipend.