Review: Love on Lexington Avenue by Lauren Layne

Love on Lexington Avenue by Lauren Layne
Series: Central Park Pact #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: September 17th 2019
Links: Ebook • PaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne comes the second delightfully charming installment in the Central Park Pact series, following a young widow whose newfound cynicism about love is challenged by a sexy, rough-around-the-edges contractor.

There are no good men left in New York City. At least that’s Claire Hayes’s conviction after finding out her late husband was not the man she thought he was. Determined to rid her home of anything that reminds her of her cheating husband, Claire sets out to redesign her boring, beige Upper East Side brownstone and make it something all her own. But what starts out as a simple renovation becomes a lot more complicated when she meets her bad-tempered contractor Scott Turner.

Scott bluntly makes it known to Claire that he only took on her house for a change of pace from the corporate offices and swanky hotels he’s been building lately, and he doesn’t hesitate to add that he has no patience for a pampered, damaged princess with a penchant for pink. But when long workdays turn into even longer nights, their mutual wariness morphs into something more complicated—a grudging respect, and maybe even attraction…

This series is SO MUCH FUN! Lauren Layne gives us a delicious grumpy hero of a contractor in this newest installment of the Central Park Pact series. Just imagine a widow who’s trying to make her life pop with lots of color (especially pink) and a grump who is very anti-pink together. Total opposites (she’s very upper class and he is not) but perfect together anyway. If you liked Passion on Park Avenue, you will adore this Love on Lexington Avenue too!

If you’ve read Passion on Park Ave, then you know that Claire was the wife of one philandering husband, and at his funeral she swears off all men. All she wants is to leave her vanilla life behind and focus on fixing up her inherited brownstone, with the help of one gorgeous, surly contractor and his dog. Scott does not have time for spoiled rich ladies, which he think Claire is, but he does see the potential in her home and agrees to help fix it. Seeing each other every day, being around each other all the time, the two grow an unlikely friendship full of jokes and banter. But when Claire needs help in the one-night-stand category and starts working herself up to it with other men, what happens when Scott starts feeling jealous?

Lauren Layne always knows how to deliver a feel-good contemporary romance. Do I wish things were more explicit than fade-to-black with this series? Yes, but I can’t complain about the delicious chemistry that Scott and Claire work up to. I love a good grumpy hero and you don’t get any more gruff than Scott. I even made a grumpy hero list on YouTube thanks to him. Theirs is a bit of a slow burn romance, but each moment that leads up to that HEA is just so swoony and fun. I really enjoyed this romance of opposites attracting. I’m dying to get my hands on the next and final Central Park Pact book now!


lacey


Reading Order: Central Park Pact series

#1 ~ Passion on Park Avenue: My ReviewEbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Love on Lexington Avenue: Ebook • PaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Marriage on Madison Avenue: Ebook • PaperbackAudibleGoodreads (Jan. 28, 2020)


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Review + Giveaway: Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne
Series: Central Park Pact #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 28th 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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…

How freaking CUTE was this book!? Lauren Layne has yet to disappoint me with her fabulous contemporary romances, and Passion on Park Avenue, the first in her new Central Park Pact series, is no different. I had such a fun time with Naomi and Oliver, as well as the women Naomi makes a pact with: Claire and Audrey. The series centers around these three women who had a relationship with a man… unknowingly at the same time. I loved that they made the most of it and became such good friends. I adored this start to a new series!

I know I can always count on LL to deliver a feel-good yet meaningful contemporary romance with a strong heroine and swoony hero. Naomi is the rags-to-riches CEO of a jewelry company she started from the ground up. She thought she had the perfect life, career, and boyfriend… until that boyfriend died, and it turns out not only was he married, he also had another girlfriend in addition to Naomi. Lauren Layne could’ve taken the women’s first meeting in all sorts of directions, but I loved the one she took: Naomi, Claire (the wife), and Audrey (the other girlfriend) bond and make a pact to help each other when it comes to seeing men for who they are. This girl-bond is probably my favorite part of this book. They are all so loving, sarcastic, and supportive of each other – everyone needs friends like these women!

Now onto the romance… The chemistry between Oliver and Naomi is delicious. There’s a bit of hate-to-love going on, with lots of great banter and sexual tension. I wouldn’t say this book is incredibly steamy, but LL knows how to write tension! All of their scenes were so much fun to read, and I even loved Oliver’s grandfather, who has Alzheimer’s.

Passion on Park Avenue is a quick and delightful read. I zipped through it so fast and easily. Fans of the author will definitely have fun with Naomi and Oliver. It’s the perfect summer-y read and I can’t wait for the next two books!


lacey


Reading Order: Central Park Pact series

#1 ~ Passion on Park Avenue: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Love on Lexington Avenue: Ebook • PaperbackAudibleGoodreads (Sept. 17, 2019)


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**CLOSED** ✨ PAPERBACK GIVEAWAY!! ✨ Happy Tuesday and happy release day to @laurenlayneauthor – PASSION ON PARK AVENUE is here! To celebrate, I’ve partnered up with @gallerybooks to give away a paperback copy to one US winner! This is a sweet, feel-good contemporary romance with an incredibly strong female friendship at its heart. Y’all need to read this book! 💖 · HOW TO ENTER: • Follow me @laceybooklovers & @laurenlayneauthor • Like this post and show some love to my recent posts • Tag 2 friends · BONUS ENTRIES: • Share this giveaway on your story & mention me • Tag more friends (each one counts) · FINE PRINT: • Ends Monday June 3 • Open US only (sorry INTL folks, this one is straight from the pub!) • Giveaway is not associated with or endorsed by Instagram · · · · · #bookgiveaway #laurenlayne #passiononparkavenue #contemporaryromance #reading #currentlyreading #readromance #romancestagram #romancereads #amreading #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookblog #bookblogger #booklover #bookaddict #bookloversforlife #booksofinstagram #bookworm #booklove #booknerd #igreads #igbooks #instabooks #bibliophile #booksofinstagram #booksbooksbooks #booksofinsta #romancereader

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Release Day Review: For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne

For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne

For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne
Series: The Wedding Belles #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 30th 2016
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Will a budding wedding planner and her bad boy neighbor stop banging heads and start hearing wedding bells in the sexy second novel in USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne’s irresistible new series that marries Sex and the City with The Wedding Planner?

When small-town girl Heather Fowler finally gets promoted from assistant to actual wedding planner, she’s determined to make it as one of Manhattan’s elite Wedding Belles. Unfortunately, her first client demands an opulent black-tie affair at the Plaza…in five months’ time. Heather’s days quickly become a flurry of cake tastings, dress-fittings, RSVP cards, and bridal tantrums. But what she’s really losing sleep over is the live music blaring from her playboy neighbor’s apartment all night.

Five years ago, Josh Tanner was an up-and-comer on Wall Street, complete with the penthouse and the migraines. But a grim cancer diagnosis made him realize there is more to life than the corner office. If only he could convince his pretty, workaholic neighbor to let loose, too. As Heather lets down her guard, Josh is surprised when he starts falling for the sweet, vulnerable woman hiding beneath those power suits. Soon, it’s Heather’s turn to convince Josh to take the biggest risk of all: love.

I am falling more and more in love with Lauren Layne’s The Wedding Belles series with every new release! If you like wedding romances or sweet contemporary romance, this series – and honestly, this author – is a must read. The characters are adorable, the romance is swoony, and the wedding planning backdrop is perfect for a light-hearted, summery read!

Heather Fowler is living her life-long dream – to be a wedding planner living in NYC. Well, she’s almost living out the dream, since she’s currently only an assistant wedding planner. But her next wedding will make or break her career, since she’s given the opportunity of a lifetime to plan celebrity Danica Robinson’s wedding. But with the bride completely hands-off the wedding, the pressure and stress to get everything right and perfect starts to get to Heather… and it doesn’t help that her late nights become even more late thanks to a rowdy neighbor blasting music at inconsiderate times. She goes to confront the guy in 4A, but what she gets is something more, something better than she could have imagined.

Once again, it was this snotty, mouthy woman who’d managed to shake him out of his funk.
It was becoming increasingly clear that his intriguing new neighbor might be exactly what he needed to make him feel alive.

Josh Tanner is a cancer survivor who knows how short life can be and is living his life to the fullest… or is he? He threw away a job doing what he loved, and now he’s in a band making music and not having any worries. When the girl in 4C comes over to confront him about his late-night playing, he finds himself intrigued by her, and the more he gets to know her, the more he wants her – but only in bed, and not for a relationship. I’ll admit, I’m a little tired of heroes who are adamantly against having anything to do with love, but Josh is something else. He’s an adorable, frustrating, lovable man, with many layers to him that make him feel real and genuine. And he’s seriously the SWEETEST – with the things he says and does, how could Heather NOT fall for him!?

He was good.
He was the best.
He was everything.

I love when the MCs bring out the best in each other, and Heather and Josh do exactly that. Josh makes Heather realize there are other things to appreciate in life than a high-pressure job, and Heather makes Josh notice how he’s not exactly living the full life he expected to after surviving cancer. The two of them make the most adorable couple – I had a smile on my face practically the whole time I was reading their story! Their banter, their sweet moments, their inside joke with banana bread… all of it made for a fun, worthwhile read. For Better or Worse is a feel-good, slow romance with touches of meaningful moments that warmed my heart. I would definitely recommend this to those who loved the first book. And can I just say how freaking excited I am about the final book of the series!? I need To Love and to Cherish ASAP.

4.5 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: The Wedding Belles series

 To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne

#0.5 ~ From This Day Forward: My Review • EbookGoodreads
#1 ~ To Have and to Hold: My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ For Better or Worse: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ To Love and to Cherish: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Oct. 18, 2016)


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Release Day Review: To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne

To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne

To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne
Series: The Wedding Belles #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 26th 2016
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne is the “queen of witty dialogue and sexy scenes” (Rachel Van Dyken)! Now, Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, her sizzling brand new contemporary romance series about three ambitious wedding planners who can make any bride’s dream come true…but their own.

Discovering her fiancé is an international conman just moments before they exchange vows devastates celebrity wedding planner Brooke Burke’s business—and breaks her heart. Now a pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet, if slightly spoiled, hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse springs.

Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank check and be done with his sister’s fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately, micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiancé is a liar. Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be planning…is theirs?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Lauren Layne is my go-to author for fun and flirty contemporary romances. She pretty much never disappoints, and she delivers another winner with To Have and to Hold! This book is the first in the Wedding Belles series, featuring wedding planners who witness not only others’ HEAs, but their own as well. I freaking adored this book, and I have no doubts the series will keep on getting better. If you’re a contemporary romance lover, you have to check this one out! I had so much fun reading it – Seth and Brooke’s way to their HEA is utterly sweet and romantic, with the perfect amount of steam to round it off.

After the wedding fiasco where her con-man groom gets arrested at the altar, Brooke’s wedding planner days in Los Angeles are over. Luckily she gets the chance to start again in NYC with the Wedding Belles, one of the most popular and top-notch wedding planning businesses there is. Her first client is a hotel heiress named Maya – but it’s Maya’s older brother who will prove to be a pain in Brooke’s side. Seth and Brooke get off to a rough start, mainly because Seth is nowhere near agreeable with his sister’s fiancé, so with every meeting there are lusty glares and a simmering tension between the two. Their chemistry is my absolute favorite part of the story – I was seriously hooked onto it and just waiting for when these two characters would finally act on their desires.

Lauren Layne had me glued to the pages as she builds up the romance and tension. Brooke and Seth are two wonderful characters, both strong, independent, yet vulnerable, and I loved reading how they broke down each others’ walls. And there’s also so much going on with Maya’s wedding as well that there’s really never a dull moment in this book. To Have and to Hold is entertaining from start to finish, and with a sweet romance that’s both intense and heartwarming, what’s not to love about it?

If you’re a fan of the author, you won’t want to miss this new series. There are weddings and love and romance and everything that makes for the perfect, sweet summer read. I’m already so excited for the rest of the Wedding Belles series – I have crazy high expectations for the next two books, and I know LL won’t let me down!

4 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: The Wedding Belles series

 To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne

#0.5 ~ From This Day Forward: My Review • EbookGoodreads
#1 ~ To Have and to Hold: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ For Better or Worse: My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ To Love and to Cherish: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Oct. 18, 2016)


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Blog Tour + Excerpt & Giveaway: To Have and To Hold by Lauren Layne

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Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for To Have and To Hold by Lauren Layne!

To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne

To Have and To Hold by Lauren Layne
Series: The Wedding Belles #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 26th 2016
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Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, her sizzling brand new contemporary romance series about three ambitious wedding planners who can make any bride’s dream come true…but their own.

Discovering her fiancé is an international conman just moments before they exchange vows devastates celebrity wedding planner Brooke Burke’s business—and breaks her heart. Now a pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet, if slightly spoiled, hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse springs.

Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank check and be done with his sister’s fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately, micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiancé is a liar. Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be planning…is theirs?

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & NobleiTunes • Kobo

Now here’s an excerpt from To Have and To Hold! ❤

excerpt button

It’s not as though Brooke had meant to start dating a con man. She certainly didn’t intend to get engaged to one.

But that’s the thing about con mans. The good ones were good at, well . . . the con.

And Clay Battaglia had been a good one. The best, actually, if you took the word of the FBI agent who’d debriefed Brooke and her family—while she was still in her wedding dress.

Turns out that while Brooke had been happily building her wedding-planning company, Clay had been quietly and competently been getting away with every white-collar crime in the book. While she’d been planning their wedding, he’d apparently been knee-deep in yet another Ponzi scheme.

Brooke hadn’t even known what a Ponzi scheme was when the FBI had told her.

She did now.

Following Clay’s arrest, she spent weeks researching white-collar crime. Wanting to know what he’d been up to all those times he’d quietly kissed her forehead late at night and told her he needed to make some phone calls for “work.” Wanting to know what her life would have been like if the FBI hadn’t taken him down before they’d exchanged vows.

Still, while Brooke would be ever grateful that she’d learned the truth before she’d become Mrs. Clay Battaglia, she’d be lying if she didn’t admit that the timing of it had stung just a little bit.

If they’d only taken him down a day before. Heck, even an hour before.

But no.

Just moments after Brooke kissed her father’s cheek and prepared to marry the man she loved at the wedding she’d poured her heart into, the FBI stormed—yes, stormed—the church.

Clay was in handcuffs before she even registered what was happening.

Numbly she watched as he listened to his Miranda rights at the precise moment he should have been listening to the vows she’d spent months writing.

And as reality slowly sunk in, Brooke waited. Waited for him to look at her. To look at her and say that it was all a lie. All one big misunderstanding, and that they’d be on their way to Bermuda as planned by tomorrow.

He didn’t.

He didn’t even apologize.

No, the man she’d loved for two years with every fiber of her being merely smiled at her and then shrugged.

There’d been plenty of photos taken that day, but that was the one that made it onto the front page of every major newspaper on the West Coast.

“The Greatest Con of All.” “Arrested by Love.” And her personal favorite, courtesy of her very own LA Times: “White-Collar Bride.”

The stories all read pretty much like you’d expect. About Clay, mostly, and the litany of accusations against him, but also about Brooke.

The papers had stopped short of defamation, but the implications were there. She was clueless and ditzy at best, a potentially overlooked accomplice at worst. Completely oblivious to the fact that she’d been sharing a roof with the most nefarious white-collar criminal in a generation—or pretending to be.

None of that had bothered her. What had bothered her was that she’d been a fool. Self-absorbed, naive, and downright blind.

Brooke had been dodging dumb-blonde jokes for most of her life, but the debacle with Clay was the first time she thought she might really, truly be deserving of the title.

She hadn’t been surprised when new clients had stopped calling. Hadn’t been surprised when current clients canceled. Nobody wanted to hire that wedding planner.

Brooke had even been relieved, at first. In those first weeks after Clay’s arrest, she hadn’t been able to handle any talk of weddings. Not her own, and not other people’s.

But the worst part of all of this, the part that kept her up long into the lonely nights, wasn’t the negative effect on her career. No, the worst part was that sometimes, in the very darkest corner of her soul, she feared that she might still love Clay, at least a little. Sure, her brain knew that all the things she’d loved about Clay had been a lie. Her brain understood that his name wasn’t even Clay.

But her heart? Her heart was having a harder time forgetting the way he always let her be the little spoon and tuck her cold feet against his warm calves. Or the way he’d brought her coffee in bed every morning. Or the way she’d come home after a long day with the worst sort of bridezilla and Clay would make them cocktails and sit on the deck with her, and watch the sunset and laugh.

She’d imagined that all their nights would be like that. All the nights for the rest of her life, with maybe with a couple of kids thrown into the mix eventually.

Brooke swallowed.

There wouldn’t be any more nights on the patio watching the sunset with Clay. Wouldn’t be any patio at all, because Brooke’s real estate broker had made it quite clear that she should be counting herself lucky to get a dishwasher in New York—a patio was out of the question.

So no patio. No Clay, or whatever his real name was.

No man at all, really.

No falling in love.

Not ever again.

Reading Order: The Wedding Belles series

 To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne 

#0.5 ~ From This Day Forward: My Review • EbookGoodreads
#1 ~ To Have and to Hold: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (July 26, 2016)
#2 ~ For Better or Worse: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Aug. 30, 2016)
#3 ~ To Love and to Cherish: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Oct. 18, 2016)

about the author button

Lauren LayneLauren lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

Five years ago, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan.

She writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush, and in her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

When not bringing The Sexy, she likes to blog about her Instagram addiction, and why mean girls are the worst.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads • Instagram

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Five (5) Exclusive Print Copies of FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, A Wedding Belles Novella

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