Anyone out there ready for a fantastic new Lauren Layne book? You are in so much luck with Passion on Park Avenue.
Lauren Layne has produced some of my favorite stories, so I’m always excited to see when she has new series starting and new books coming down the pipeline. And then I read this final line of the Passion on Park Avenue book description, “Filled with charm and heart and plenty of sex and snark, this entertaining series will hook you from the very first moment,” and found myself falling into new depths of excitement for this one.
There’s nothing I like more in a book than snark. I mean, I love charming, heart-warming, sexy books, but give me a healthy dose of snark and witty repartee and I am SOLD.
So, basically, I’m very excited for everyone to read the latest Lauren Layne masterpiece when it hits shelves and e-readers next week.
If you need a little tidbit to whet your whistle for this story, you are in so much luck. Read on for a delightful little morsel of what’s to come for Oliver and Naomi in Passion on Park Avenue.
‘Passion on Park Avenue’ Exclusive excerpt
“You didn’t have to walk me home,” Naomi said, pulling the collar of her jacket up around her ears and shoving her hands into her pockets.
“Probably not,” Oliver said, tilting his head up slightly to look at the night sky.
She let out a startled laugh. “I guess we’re past the point of nice platitudes.”
“Naomi, you haven’t given me anything close to a nice platitude in the time I’ve know you.”
“Well, that’s true.” Her shoulders hunched slightly. “So why did you?”
“Why did I what?”
“Offer to walk with me.”
“Did I offer?” He mused. “Or did your friends point out eight hundred times that we were headed the same direction?”
Naomi laughed. “Yeah, sorry about that. I thought it was just Audrey, but Claire seems to have joined her in the matchmaking efforts.”
“They care about you.”
“Yeah. Well, that and we sort of made a pact.”
“A pact?” He glanced down at her.
“So, you know that we were all … involved with Brayden?”
“We didn’t know it. Obviously. Not until the day of the funeral.”
Jesus. Oliver winced. “You met at his funeral?”
“Sort of. We all meant to go to the funeral, but instead we found ourselves in Central Park. We had the same shoes, and, well whatever, that doesn’t matter. We were all a little adrift after realizing how thoroughly Brayden had used us, and we agreed to help each other avoid falling into the same trap.”
“That seems like an anti-matchmaking scheme. Claire and Audrey all but linked our hands before shoving us out the door.”
“Don’t flatter yourself—I suspect that’s more steering me away from Dylan than it is steering me toward you.”
That bugged him more than he cared to admit, but her friends were right. Dylan was no good for her. He nearly as told her much, but she spoke first.
“Who’s with your father tonight?” Naomi asked.
Oliver inhaled as reality settled back down around him. As he realized he was in no position to enter a relationship. Not with Lilah. Not with Claire. Definitely not with Naomi.
“Janice,” he replied, answering her question. “She usually takes weekends off, but every now and then I’ll pay her extra for a weekend night.”
“How often does that happen?”
He looked down at her as they walked, surprised at the question. “Why do you ask?”
Her shoulders lifted. “Just seems like it must be hard. Giving up all your nights and weekends.”
They were close to their building and not quite ready for the night to end, and yet he was equally confident that she’d dart away from him the second she got close to the safety of her apartment, so Oliver slowed to stop on the quiet sidewalk.
She stopped as well, giving him a questioning look.
Oliver shoved his hands into his pockets, matching her posture in a protective stance against the brisk fall wind.
“It’s not always easy,” he admitted. “I never pictured that my weekend nights at thirty would be spent picking up hard-boiled eggs from the floor and answering my father’s repeated questions as to whether or not his son—me—is home from soccer practice yet. But …”
He looked over her shoulder for a moment, gathering his thoughts. “What can you do, you know? He’s my dad.”
“Do you miss him? I mean, how he was before?”
“He was difficult,” Oliver amended slightly. “Cold. Demanding. Selfish.”
Naomi blinked. “Wow. That’s—“
“Honest?” He said with a quick laugh.
“Unusual,” she said softly. “Most people I know idolize their parents, at least a little.”
“I used to. When I was a kid I wanted to be him.”
Oliver’s shoulders lifted and fell. “I grew up. Started to develop my own person, and realized who I wanted to be.”
“And yet, you’re still taking care of him,” Naomi said, a note of question in her voice.
“Yeah, well. The person I decided to be wasn’t one who’d walk away from a family member who needed him.”
He smiled and stepped toward her. “That almost sounded like a compliment.”
“Did it?” She asked, pursing her lips. “You must have heard it wrong.”
He stepped even closer, wanting to pump his fist in victory when she didn’t step back. “Why?” He asked.
“Why are you so determined to remind yourself that you don’t like me?” He searched her face, struck again by the fact that it seemed familiar, though he knew he didn’t know her. Men didn’t forget women with faces like this one.
Naomi met his gaze steadily. “I have reasons. I’m working on them.”
He let out a surprised laugh at her honesty. “May I know the reasons?”
She lifted her chin and answered his question with a question. “Why did you push me through to the next round? Of the co-op board. I was rude to you, and you pushed for me to live in the building anyway. Why?”
Oliver smiled and stepped even closer, just inches separating them now. “I have reasons.” His gaze dropped to her full mouth. “I’m working on them.”
PASSION ON PARK AVENUE by Lauren Layne. Copyright © 2019 by Lauren Layne. Reprinted by permission of Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.