ROMANCE

Love on Lexington Avenue

Gallery. (Central Park Pact, Bk. 2). Sept. 2019. 288p. ISBN 9781501191602. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781501191619. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
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Claire Hayes was decidedly not looking for a hookup when she began renovating her outdated Upper East Side brownstone. In fact, ever since her husband drowned falling off a boat on his way to see another woman, Claire, along with the other two women with whom her husband was having an affair when he died, has sworn off dating entirely. When she opens her door to talented, grouchy, and, yes, gorgeous contractor Scott Turner, she is determined not to let his good looks and charm sway her resolve. Globetrotting Scott has no interest in Claire beyond her truly disastrous brownstone, so when she asks for his help finding a willing partner for a no strings one-night stand, he is willing to act as her wingman. Or at least, at first. Layne (Passion on Park Avenue) continues her “Central Park Pact” series with a breezy tale of a woman on a mission to live as her authentic self, rather than as the vanilla, predictable Claire Hayes Manhattan’s upper crust expects her to be.
VERDICT Sparkling dialog helps to buoy a story that otherwise could overwhelm readers with details about New York high society. A strong female friend group helps this closed-door contemporary romance distinguish itself. An appealing choice for romance fans who also enjoyed Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil Wears Prada and Sarah Morgan’s “From Manhattan with Love” series.

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