Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Love on Lexington Avenue by Lauren Layne
Series: Central Park Pact #2
Published by Gallery Books on September 17, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
There’s never a bad time to fall in love in the city, right? Wrong. According to the recently-widowed Claire Hayes, it’s very, very wrong. In fact, after finding out her late husband was a liar and a cheat, Claire’s convinced there’s never a good time for romantic notions. Determined to rid her home of anything that reminds her of her philandering husband, Claire sets out to redesign her entire Upper East Side brownstone and make it her own. But when she meets gruff and often-cantankerous contractor Scott Turner and realizes not all men are scumbags, Claire must decide if she’s ready to risk her heart again.
Scott needs a change of pace from the corporate offices and swanky hotels he’s been building lately, and bluntly makes it clear to Claire that he only took on her house for that reason, adding that he has no patience for a pampered, damaged princess on his job site. But when long work days soon turn into even longer nights, their mutual wariness morphs into something more complicated—a grudging respect, and maybe even attraction…? Scott knows he’s not one to settle down, but then why can’t he bring himself to put the finishing touches on Claire’s house and move on to the next job?
Lauren Layne has been a favorite contemporary romance writer of mine for some time now. Every single one of her books reminds me of a chick flick I’ve made the hubs watch with me. Love on Lexington Avenue completely fits that bill as well.
Claire is recently widowed. I’d like to say she lost the love of her life, but she was the wife of a two-timing jerk who had a long-term mistress and another piece on the side of that. Normally you’d think that would make these woman natural enemies, but instead it is the bond that has brought them together and now they are all looking out for each other. Making sure history doesn’t repeat itself and they never end up with the wrong man again.
Claire is ready to start moving on with her life. First step, update the brownstone she shared with her husband into something from this decade and make it hers. Second step, start flirting, well at least practice flirting since she was never really good at it. Third step, get out of her comfort zone and be less Vanilla and more Strawberry Lemonade. Then Scott walks into her life.
Scott is not her type, not at all. He wears flannel, says exactly what is on his mind with little to no filter, is a here today, gone tomorrow kind of guy. To say he has commitment issues is to say that “A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” – Steve Martin. Still there is something about him and as she gets to know the man and his dog, they find a nice friendship and camaraderie. Even if they do fight over where she is going to put pink in her house.
Scott knows Claire is completely off limits. She is the friend of his best friend and he never sticks to relationships so he knows this woman is untouchable, except he can see how much she desperately needs to be touched. Good guy that he is, he has decided to help her. Scott agrees to help Claire learn how to pick up a guy, she says she’d like a no strings situation and that is what he does best, he can show her the ropes…right? That isn’t jealousy seeing her talk to another man. Or is it?
It was great to watch the banter and tension build between these two until it boils over and neither can deny what they are to the other. Still lots of little stumbles along the way to get to the great chick flick moment at the end.
My one and only disappointment with the Central Park Pact series in general is that Lauren Layne has decided make everything PG-13. All sex scenes are fade to black, this is the first series I’ve read where she has decided to do that. I very much enjoy that payoff moment in a contemporary romance so for me I’d like a little more on that front but I’m sure there are other readers out there looking for a little less on that front and so this is definitely for them.
I love the characters and could identify with Claire in her struggle to figure out what to do with the rest of her life now that she can be/do anything. The friendship between the trio of girls was also great and I loved how there they were for each other.
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