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Central Park Pact #2

Love on Lexington Avenue

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7 hours, 28 minutes

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’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?

8 pages, Audiobook

First published September 17, 2019

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About the author

Lauren Layne

59 books9,714 followers
Lauren Layne is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Hot Asset, Hard Sell, and Huge Deal in her 21 Wall Street series, as well as her Central Park Pact series. Her books have sold more than a million copies in nine languages. Lauren’s work has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Glamour, the Wall Street Journal, and Inside Edition. She is based in New York City.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 905 reviews
Profile Image for Cristiina♡Reads.
574 reviews3,281 followers
June 2, 2019
A light yet dreamy second chance at finding love, Claire must learn to let her past go and accept this new love and admiration from a rugged and individual such as Scott...

We all saw it coming after reading the first novel in this series, Passion On Park Avenue, that this next novel was going to be either Audrey and Clarke, or Claire and Scott. Though I was hoping for more of Audrey, we were still able to get another story. And this one, just like the last took my breath away with all the emotional intimacy there is between the characters. After finding out the truth about her ex-husband and becoming a widow, Claire must try to find a way to not let her past relationship and her past overall take over her new life a single woman.

When she meets Scott for the first time, there is this instant curiosity that she appreciates feeling. Scott on the other hand, there is this action of thrill that he comes across. As the new contractor for her old theme and furnished house, he must learn that keeping his distance from his employer, and also friend of a friend is harder than what he may think. When they start getting to know each other much more, it's clear that they are meant to be. And that's when Claire comes in and asks Scott for something that he was not expecting to be asked. All she wants is to feel sexy again, to not be feeling nothing at all, and instead feel something;
"The man was basically a stranger, and yet he didn't feel like a stranger. Perhaps because Scott Turner had zero artifice about him. He was blunt, a little callous, and could be downright rude. It was refreshing as heck. After being married to a two-timing, no three-timing, probably more, snake, Scott's candor was refreshing and... safe, somehow..."

Overall, these are characters that will bring flutter to your heart making you fall in love with so much more than just reading steamy scenes. Now after reading this beauty, you get the verification about the next book and y'all... I AM READY FOR AUDREY AND CLARKE! Friends to lovers romances is one of my favorite tropes and I know my body and mind is ready for all the love and angst these two will most likely have to endure!

ARC galley kindly provided by Gallery Books, in exchange for an honest review...

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Profile Image for Julie .
3,976 reviews58.9k followers
June 13, 2020
Love on Lexington Avenue by Lauren Layne is a 2019 Gallery Books publication.

A little flat- but still a light, entertaining read

I loved the first book in this trilogy and have been looking forward to reading this second installment. I was slightly surprised that Claire’s story was sandwiched in the middle. I thought Claire, the one who was legally married to the scoundrel that brought these women together, deserved the strongest feature, and as such, she’d have the starring role in the finale. Shows how much I know.

After discovering her deceased husband was a serial philanderer, Claire is trying to move on with her life. Despite knowing her husband was a cheat, she’s having a hard time letting go of her feelings for him. Also complicating her ability to move forward is her secret vow to never fall in love again. However, determined to step outside her comfort zone, Claire decides to shake things up in her life. For starters, she decides to renovate her Brownstone- and not necessarily in a low-key, traditional manner.

Enter Scott Turner, the contractor Claire wants to hire to help with the remodel. For Scott, redoing Claire’s home is small potatoes compared to his usual jobs. Because of that, he initially planned to pass on the job, thinking it beneath him, and not worth the bother of dealing with the rich, spoiled, ‘princess’ type, he presumes Claire to be.

But the Brownstone instantly calls to him so, despite getting off to a rocky start with Claire, it’s a job he can’t refuse.

Despite their differences, Claire finds Scott easy to confide in and before he knows what has hit him, he gets sucked into Claire’s plan to enjoy the pleasurable benefits of romance without the emotional connections that could lead to heartache.

Although Scott cheers Claire on, seeing her going out with other men, casual though it may be, is driving him crazy!!

This is a nice, easy to read contemporary romance, with a light tone all throughout. Yet, I had hoped for a story with a bit more emotional depth for Claire. This book, unfortunately, is a little bland and all too predictable.

Not to over analyze a book intended to be fun and humorous, but in my opinion, casual hookups replacing traditional dating, romance and relationships have become a very repetitive storyline that crops up entirely too often in contemporary romance. For me, it has become a boring, unimaginative plot element that I have a hard time relating to.

That said, the chemistry between Claire and Scott has some sizzle, and I enjoyed their banter. Character growth saves the story from being pure fluff, and despite its predictability, it might be the right book for you if concentrating on heavy topics sounds too depressing right now.

I loved the super cute ending, and I did close the book with a smile on my face, which is something to be grateful for.

I’m still looking forward to Audrey’s story and am hoping the trilogy closes on a high note. So, despite feeling a little let down by this one, it is still a mood lifter and was an enjoyable enough read, overall.

3 stars
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,055 reviews30k followers
September 15, 2019
Just plain fun! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Love on Lexington Avenue is the exciting follow-up to Passion on Park Avenue, which I also recently read and enjoyed.

Claire Hayes is a young widow living in New York City. She is convinced there is no one for her in the city, and her late husband was one of the worst, even though it took her a long time to know it.

Claire wants to close the previous chapter of her life, so she decides to redesign her Upper East Side brownstone. Enter Scott Turner, her new contractor.

Scott is not a fan of people like Claire, and he lets it be known upfront. He’s just there to do the job. But as you can already imagine, there’s an undeniable spark.

The story behind the series is that Claire becomes friends with the mistresses of her late husband. Love on Lexington Avenue is Claire’s story.

First of all, I love Lauren Layne’s easy, breezy writing style. She hooked me to Claire’s story from the start. Claire and Scott couldn’t be more opposite, and that makes for some great tension.

Overall, Love on Lexington Avenue is a thoroughly entertaining, fun read, and I loved every bit of it!

I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
Profile Image for Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog.
1,260 reviews9,900 followers
August 31, 2019
*****FOUR STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

Something about Scott had wiggled beneath her defenses, slipped beneath the jaded cynicism that had been so firmly in place since Brayden died. She desperately wanted to believe that she’d be able to separate sex and emotion, but she was no longer certain she could. Not with him.

The women who formed the ”Central Park Pact” are back and now it’s the scorned widow who gets her chance at true love. Claire Hayes is cultured, refined and very reserved. Her dead husband’s betrayal affected her deeply. She may have met two women who became her dearest friends but her heart and self-confidence suffered tremendously. Claire no longer believes in true love, but she can’t deny that she has physical needs that a one-night stand might relieve. She’s never had sex without it turning into a long term relationship and it’s been a while since she’s been out in the dating scene. Claire enlists the help of her reluctant contractor.

Scott Turner is everything that Claire never considered to be her type. He’s a blue-collar, flannel shirt wearing, rude and sometimes abrasive man, but she also can’t seem to stop her growing attraction to him.

The sexual tension builds between them until they can no longer fight it. They agree to a no-strings-attached, friends with benefits arrangement when deep down they've already started to form intense feelings for each other. Will the Central Park Princess finally find her Prince Charming??

I love a good "opposites attract' romance, especially when it’s between a city girl and a rough around the edges alpha male. Claire and Scott had great chemistry. While the story started rather slow, it ended up being thoroughly entertaining. I am looking forward to the third and final installment!

Here are my overall ratings:

Hero: 4
Heroine: 4
Plot: 4
Angst: 4
Steam: 4
Chemistry Between Hero & Heroine: 4

”LOVE ON LEXINGTON AVENUE” releases on September 17th.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HBf4kk

Profile Image for Larry H.
2,440 reviews29.4k followers
January 8, 2020
This was such a fun read!!

When Claire’s husband dies, it turns her world upside down, especially when she learns he was cheating on her. She meets his mistress and his girlfriend, and surprisingly, all three bond strongly, and vow to protect one another from making a similar mistake with another man.

In an effort to excise her husband’s memories (and stop feeling so bored), Claire decides to renovate their old, cluttered townhouse on the Upper East Side. She also wants to challenge her tendency to be non-adventurous—she feels like she always makes safe choices, always blends in—and she feels it's time to break out of her vanilla shell.

Enter Scott, one of the best contractors in the business. He sees the possibilities in Claire’s house and can’t pass up the job even though it’s much smaller than his usual ones. He plans to ignore Claire’s suggestions to incorporate the color pink into the renovation ideas, however. (She's decided to become more strawberry lemonade than vanilla.)

While she can’t ignore how attractive Scott is, Claire doesn’t like his know-it-all attitude or his seeming indifference to her and what she’s gone through. And while Scott understands how hurt Claire must be he doesn’t think she knows what she wants, and finds her indecisive nature irritating.

As the renovation process continues, the two recognize their attraction to one another and fight it, since both are warned by their friends not to get involved for fear that Claire will get hurt. When both people want different things, isn’t that a plan for disaster?

Well, if you’ve read a rom-com before you know the trajectory of this story. But it doesn’t matter that it follows your expectations—these characters are so winning and the story is just so enjoyable that I couldn’t get enough, and I devoured the book in just a few hours.

This is the second in a series—I haven’t read the first book, Passion on Park Avenue , yet—and the third book, Marriage on Madison Avenue , comes out next year. I’ll be reading both, as Lauren Layne has made a fan of me!!

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for Yun.
505 reviews18.1k followers
October 27, 2019
Love on Lexington Avenue is a sweet and charming romance about two cynical people who've been jaded by past loves. Recently widowed Claire is trying to move on with her life after finding out her dead husband was a serial philanderer. When she hires surly contractor Scott to renovate her home, sparks fly, but both are too cautious to admit what's in their hearts.

This was a fun, light, fluffy read. I mean, who doesn't like a romance between two reluctant participants hell-bent on remaining single? I sure do. And there were plenty of witty banter between our two main characters as they try to deny their attraction to each other and hide behind their thorny exteriors.

And yet, while I enjoyed this book, I don't find it particularly memorable, just like the first book in the series. In fact, I find both of them fairly superficial in their treatment of love and conflict, with everyone exaggerating their feelings when it comes to minor things and hiding the real nuances away.

Also for a romance, this series is pretty PG-rated, with no blush-worthy scenes at all. If you're someone who enjoys romances but shies away from sex scenes, this may be the series for you. But I prefer my romances with some steam, because all that buildup should lead somewhere, and it's more realistic when it's included in the book.

Still, I'm having fun reading this series, and I'll definitely continue. There's one more book to come, and I'm already looking forward to it.
Profile Image for Kendall.
626 reviews623 followers
September 8, 2019
Oh my gosh! I absolutely love everything about this series! I started with book one last week and knew I was going to gobble up the rest of the series.

Ok... can we talk about how much I LOVED this book! Can we talk about strawberry lemonade?!! Hahah (you'll get this once you read this). I really like how authors don't just focus solely on the romance.... yes don't get me wrong this has plenty of romance but there is a story behind both main characters about growth, change, and finding yourself.

Lauren Layne knows how to write a fun romance with off the charts chemistry, emotions, and fun! I highly recommend diving into this sweet and fun series! The first two can be read as a standalone but I would suggest starting from book one because you'll love the books!!

4.5 stars!

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Gallery for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

Publication date: 9/17/19
Published to GR: 9/7/19
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,575 reviews1,464 followers
December 30, 2019
Sale Alert: Kindle Daily Deal on Amazon $2.99

This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

4.5 Stars

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.
Well, yesterday he showed up wearing flannel. And it did not look good.”
“Hmm,” Audrey said, tapping a fingernail to her chin. “See, I feel like I could totally work with the flannel. Lumberjack is super in right now.”
“What about an ego so big it barely made it through my front door?” Claire asked. “Is that super in?”
“Always,” her friends said in unison.
“It even has a name,” Audrey said. “Alpha.”

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.
“A phoenix. It’s what I call a space that’s so damned ugly, the only way to fix it is to burn it to the ground and rebuild. Figuratively speaking of course.”

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.

I'm definitely looking forward to the next book in the series that will be a best friends to lovers trope. That is one of my favorites and I'm excited to see how it goes down with the last of the trio.
Profile Image for Camilla Isley.
Author 22 books1,896 followers
September 18, 2019
A cute read with lots of pink wine!

Gruff contractor Scott and buttoned up Claire are adorably mismatched and inevitably meant to be.
Profile Image for Elle G. Reads.
1,484 reviews691 followers
January 7, 2020
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Actual Rating: 4.75 stars


Love on Lexington Avenue is everything I hoped it would be. Lauren Layne writes amazing female leads (something I have noticed in each of her books) which is one of the biggest reasons I always end up purchasing them. The women she writes are real, honest, flawed, strong, and relatable. In this series you can really see this. If you aren’t aware, this is a series of interconnected standalones that follows three woman who have a LOT more in common than they imagined. Each book features a different female lead, but they are connected by one man who cheated them all. You see, he married Claire (this is her book), was a boyfriend of Naomi’s (Passion on Park Avenue, book 1), and had a mistress named Audrey (Marriage on Madison Avenue, book 3, releasing January 28th). Sounds like a clusterfuck right? One would imagine these women would hate each other but that’s not the case. These three women came together in their time of need and became the best of friends. Each book tells their own story.

Claire is at the forefront of this book, but Audrey and Naomi are there too as secondary characters. I suggest reading the books in order so spoilers from Naomi’s book doesn’t ruin this one for you but it’s NOT totally necessary. Anyway, Claire is still reeling from the pain that her late husband caused with his womanizing. So, in order to “find herself” she decides to renovate her home into something more HER. In doing this she hires a man named Scott who is going to change her world, but one must wonder, is it for the better? Can two broken hearts and one free spirit really make it work? Or will the pressure be too much to bear. That’s what you’ll find out when reading Love on Lexington Avenue.

As I mentioned, Lauren Layne is a wiz when it comes to writing female characters and that is no different in this book. Claire is such a STRONG woman even though she doesn’t realize this for a long time. I certainly can’t blame her character as she’s been through a lot, but I can certainly relate. I think this is how many women will feel when reading.

That being said, I really loved this one and zipped through it in a day. I already have Marriage on Madison Avenue waiting on my iPad and am excited to dive into Audrey’s story. I have a feeling I’m going to love that one as well as Audrey seems like a fun character with a lot of flair!

(this is what I personally recommend but it’s entirely up to you when it comes to reading order)
▶ Passion on Park Avenue (Naomi’s story): https://amzn.to/39PIs2X
▶ Love on Lexington Avenue (Claire’s story): https://amzn.to/2sJIR6j
▶ Marriage on Madison Avenue (Audrey’s story): https://amzn.to/2SYB9Qh


Profile Image for Kristy K.
952 reviews119 followers
July 29, 2019
2.5 Stars

I struggled a bit with this one. It took me a while to get into and while I like both Claire and Scott, I had a hard time connecting to their story. I still loved all of the side characters just as much as in the first book and hope Audrey and Clarke’s story is next.

I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,632 reviews3,209 followers
July 21, 2020
4.5 Loving This Series Stars
* * * * 1/2 Spoiler Free
When Lauren Layne ponders on a series, she is laser-focused on just what works. She creates a world we all would want to be a part of...We are given characters who are smart, unique, capable in their own right, and believe in having each other's back. Having these types of women friends out there overcoming real emotional obstacles has always been Layne's strong suit. The huge plus is she also knows how to write men who are equals to the women.

With The Central Park Pact series, we have three women who ended up having a singular thing in common...someone who had turned out to not be who they thought they were...By bonding over this, the women decided to be solid in making sure each did not fall into the same trap again...No More AssHat Men.

Claire Hayes has had to overcome more than most in life. She had a cheating husband, he had done it in secret to her but her social circle seemed to know what a sh!t he was. She is now at a point where she is questioning most of her choices and has discovered being the good conservative widow doesn't feel quite right. Her new friends, the women who have been there for her, seem to know how predictable she is...and Claire realizes in a moment she no longer wants to be BEIGE...

A change is needed...No, not just a change, an overhaul. With the influx of insurance money, Claire will finally be able to redo the townhouse. No one telling her what to do, all the choices will be hers.

Scott Turner is in need of a project that was NOT a corporate building or swanky hotel. Those jobs can sometimes be mind-numbing with no outlet for creativity. Scott found himself working with friends in the city for a quick little reno and they suggested his name to Claire. The idea of working with the classic type of brownstones known in the city piqued his interest. What didn't thrill him was the idea of dealing with a pampered, damaged princess.

Being a bit of a jerk, Scott showed up extremely early with attitude. Claire being the polite person takes all of this in and starts to explain what she is interested in doing with the house. She wants to make it her own... no trace of her past life. And the way to do it is to not have any beige. The new color she has decided will be her is PINK...

Oh, Hell No.

Scott and Claire banter back and forth and a compromise is made. He will work with certain colors if he is given free rein in the kitchen. This is something Claire can work with. The other thing which Claire can work with but is shocked to feel is her attraction to this rude manly man.

Scott is also confused about his attraction to Claire. During the time he is working in her home he sees how strong this woman is. He is taken by her caring for others and the way she looks out for him even though he has been an ass at times to her. Soon the both of them become too interested to ignore the pull and fireworks happen.

This entry was extremely solid and the way these two came together was delicious, perfect Layne. All of the other characters had their moments and we were given a strong nod to the next book and how it will unfold. Those who enjoy Lauren Layne, New York City, and smart sassy women and their men will totally enjoy this.

Passion on Park Avenue (Central Park Pact, #1) by Lauren Layne Passion on Park Avenue (Central Park Pact #1)
Love on Lexington Avenue (Central Park Pact, #2) by Lauren Layne Love on Lexington Avenue (Central Park Pact #2)
Marriage on Madison Avenue (Central Park Pact, #3) by Lauren Layne Marriage on Madison Avenue (Central Park Pact #3)

~~~~~ Before Reading ~~~~~
Claire Hayes has decided...
No more will she be Beige...
It time to make a huge change...

When Scott Turner mentioned he was looking for a project...
Little did he know what he was getting into...

A woman obsessed with Pink...
A woman He was getting Obsessed with...

Although he was only contracted to redo her apartment...
It seems like there is more than the apartment being renovated...
It seems like Claire and Scott have created a...

Love on Lexington Avenue (Central Park Pact #2)-September 17th 2019

A gifted copy was provided by Gallery Book via NetGalley for an honest review.

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Profile Image for Maren’s Reads.
288 reviews567 followers
September 17, 2022
After reading book one and then book three, I decided it was finally time to read book two and finish this series. This was probably my second favorite after the first book. Full of laugh out loud lines, great banter, and lots of chemistry while also being closed door, this was a lot of fun to read. I think Bob, the female lab/hound mix might be one of my favorite dog characters of late.
Profile Image for MELISSA *Mel Reader*.
1,324 reviews1,389 followers
September 18, 2019
4.5 Stars!
(ARC provided by Gallery Books)

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Claire Hayes is a socialite in Manhattan with polished manners and the perfect life. Then everything collapses around her as she becomes a window and learns her fairy tale was fake. She finds out her late husband was a liar and a cheat, and is left feeling angry and bitter. She no longer believed her prince charming was out there, and was cynical about love. She planned to never share her heart or home with a man again. After seven years of marriage, it was time to take her life back, and move on. She was relishing in her new freedom to do whatever she wants. She wanted to be spontaneous and carefree, but felt boring. She was due for a change, and wanted excitement. She wanted to reinvent herself and lose herself in a new obsession. Something needs to change, and she has to start somewhere, so she decides to start with her home. She would love to rid all memories of her ex from her Upper East Side brownstone, so she hires a contractor named Scott Turner for the renovation. They clash right from the start on the project. He's gruff, broody, and annoying, but they begin to share a mutual respect, and over time their attraction turns into more than either is prepared for. Will two people determined to be alone risk their hearts for love?

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-I've never felt like I do when you look at me.

-For the first time in a long time, she felt alive. She felt wanted.

-Every moment with the man seemed somehow achingly familiar and wonderfully new.

-This was the moment she'd been waiting for- the man she needed to help pull her out of the shadows.

 photo C9BDE33A-4135-4A39-9C5D-B9BB61CE7FFC_zpsdadn9kdv.jpg

Love on Lexington Avenue by Lauren Layne is the second installment in the Central Park Pact series. I really enjoyed this sexy second chance romance full of hilarious banter and explosive chemistry. I can't wait for Audrey and Clarke's story up next!

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Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,803 reviews830 followers
October 24, 2019
Scott and Claire meet because he agrees to take on her brownstone remodel. Clair wants everything changed, no evidence of the life she shared with Brayden, her now dead husband she discovered was cheating on her with not just one woman, but multiple. After being burned Claire resolves to be single, not wanting to risk her heart, but she’d maybe like a fling. However, as the story progresses it becomes clear to Claire that she’s not built for a fling where the heart isn’t involved, and I think for most women this is true. It is for me at any rate.

Scott and Claire spend a lot of time together since he’s a hands-on type of contractor. He’s abrasive and brutally honest, giving his opinions on Claire’s decisions both for her house and her life even when it’s clear she’s not asking for advice, well at first, anyhow. Claire gives as good as she gets, though, and there’s quite a bit of fun verbal sparring. As the renovation progresses, they become close, their personal lives intersecting as they share common friends, and Claire finds herself more and more attracted to Scott, and vice versa.

Of course, Scott is the no-strings attached sort of guy after having a bad relationship experience and because he wants to be free to take jobs anywhere in the world he likes without any personal obligations. Why are guys always like this? Don’t they think of being old and alone in the future? Whatever, you know this is a romance, so he won’t hold to that, but it’s something I wonder about.

I think my heart went out to Claire the most in this series, because she was the wife after all, and she was clueless to her husband’s cheating. Plus, he died and so Claire never got to confront him, she was angry and grieving at the same time when it first happened. I was pleased to see Claire moving on and not letting the past dictate her future happiness. I really wanted a HEA for Claire! I absolutely loved the ending!

A copy was kindly provided by Gallery Books via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked).
295 reviews1,476 followers
January 25, 2021
Like the first one, I liked this more the second time around! I'm a sucker for a dog in a romance though LOL

Still wish it wasn't fade to black, but we can't win them all.
Profile Image for Wendy ⏃: ✦Nerdy Book Reviewer✦.
883 reviews275 followers
September 16, 2019
4.5 STARS!


Love on Lexington Avenue is the second installment in the Central Park Pact series by Lauren Layne. This charming second chance romance follows a young widower and a brooding contractor.

Claire Hayes has just turned 35 and she has come to the realization that she's vanilla and... boring. She needs some strawberry lemonade 🍓 🍋 in her life. Determined to rid her home of any reminders of her past, Claire sets out to redesign her home and make it her own. Enter Scott Turner, the gruff, brooding, and rather rude contractor assigned to take on Claire's project. However, sooner rather than later Claire realizes she's in way over her head with this particular project and man.

Scott Turner needs a change of pace from the corporate world and he's more than ready to take on the challenge of Claire's house. He makes it perfectly clear that he will not put up with a damaged pampered princess on his job site. Cue in the sexual tension and chemistry. The more time Claire and Scott spend together the more their attraction for one another grows. They are two very different individuals, scorned previously by love, yet they find love where it's least expected. Yes! The sweet, sweet angst.

Thank you, Lauren for another wonderful story. I'm so freaking ready for Audrey and Clarke's novel! It may just be my favorite 💜

Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to any of these photos, credit goes to the original photographers.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Gallery Books through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*
Profile Image for Antonella.
3,099 reviews418 followers
January 8, 2020
I have no one but myself to blame for this one....
I mean after book one here I am listening again to book two...
But to be honest plenty reviews said this is better than book one...

In full transparency, I still don't get this friendship between a wife and two mistresses after the cheating husband dies and they find about each other. Like the heroine in book one, this one doesn't have family or friends also. But this one- Claire. Well, she doesn't have a job either, any kind profession, a hobby, a pet....nothing!! But don't you worry about our dear Claire. She is living off her dead husband insurance...but soon after deciding to renovate her apartment she meets the hero. The hero who doesn't look like her type. I mean he is a contractor who wears flannel...yuck... But don't worry he is also a millionaire, so our dear Claire is set.

Claire is unlikable and unrelatable...
There is very little character development...and romance is underwhelming...

One more thing I didn't get...Scott is renovating Claire's place and she doesn't get a say.. ?! Should that make me swoon...and be all "yes give me some of that alpha" .....?!? here feel free you broody male to do whatever YOU WANT to MY KITCHEN!!!

Profile Image for Chris  C - A Midlife Wife.
1,471 reviews260 followers
July 7, 2019
Awwwwe! What a great ending. 4.5 Stars
I really enjoyed the first book in this series so when book two came out, I knew I had to read this one too!

I love the main premise of the female characters. A widow and her late husband’s mistresses become best friends and support each other through love and life. A fabulous premise and the result is a witty, clean romance that is fresh and delightful!

Love on Lexington Avenue is all about the widow… Claire. I was actually surprised that she was next in line. I thought she would be the last featured, but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

Claire is very vanilla in all ways, especially in her dull home and life. She desperately needs a home remodel and Scott is recommended by her good friend’s boyfriend. The connection is a collection of funny, snarky, sweet, a sweaty moments that takes you by surprise.

A beautifully written clean romance that completely captures your attention and totally delivers the goods. A perfect fit for any reader of romance. Layne is master at her crafts and a must read for the chick lit lovers of the world.

* copy received for review consideration
Full Review - https://amidlifewife.com/love-on-lexi...
Profile Image for shirley ♡.
309 reviews149 followers
January 28, 2020

“It’s not too soon for me. You’re it for me, Claire. But if you need time, I’ll wait as long as it takes.”

After not enjoying the first book in this series, I wasn’t sure that I was gonna like this book but here we are.
This is Claire and Scott’s story, at first the two didn’t get along so I would say that this is a ‘hate to love story’. I enjoyed this couple more than the first one. Claire is a widow who met Scott, who is a contractor, when he comes to renovate her house.
I loved seeing these two fall in love. Their scenes with Bob, Scott’s dog, were really adorable.
Once again, I love the female characters in the series; they have a strong friendship and they’re always looking after each other.
I’m really excited to read Clarke and Audrey’s story! I have a feeling they might be my favorites in this series. Two childhood best friends falling in love? Sign me up!
Profile Image for Lacey (laceybooklovers).
1,989 reviews9,754 followers
September 18, 2019
This series is SO MUCH FUN! Lauren Layne gives us a delicious grumpy hero of a contractor in this one. 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 Ave you will adore this one too! I'm dying to get my hands on Audrey's book now.
Profile Image for Cami.
1,269 reviews65 followers
January 7, 2020
4.25 Stars!

Okay, I’m an idiot because for some reason I read this book first & it is the 2nd book in the series.

This story is about Claire and her journey of moving on after Brayden’s untimely demise. Claire is trying to rediscover herself since she feels her personality got lost in her marriage. She is starting out with changing up her plain vanilla choices to a Strawberry lemonade extravaganza.

Scott Turner is her contractor for the remodeling of her home. Scott has a very obscure personality. He is hard to figure out to say the least and his manners are certainly lacking.

I tend to like Lauren’s books but because of the rating for this series I didn’t have high hopes that I would enjoy it but I’m wrong because it was a good book.
Profile Image for Zoe.
1,753 reviews157 followers
September 28, 2019
I just love this series. It’s humorous, heartfelt, and delightfully romantic!
Profile Image for Teresa (Reads_Romance).
288 reviews295 followers
April 14, 2020
**4.5 Stars**

A gruff and grumpy hero jaded to love and a widow who is still dealing with the complicated aftermath of her crappy husband’s death, both stuck together through a home renovation project in NYC?? Um. Yes please. I’ve read almost every single book Lauren Layne has ever written and she still manages to surprise me with her fun plots and relatable characters.

The first book in this series didn’t really work for me, so I was a little hesitant diving into book two, but I shouldn’t have worried for a second. This is one of my new favorite Lauren Layne books, and that’s saying a lot because many of her books are on my favorite contemporary romance reads list.

Claire and Scott were both complex, interesting and fun to read about as individuals, but together, they were explosive! The banter made me laugh out loud and root for them to finally get together. I enjoyed that the obstacles between them were more than just the “do I like her, do I not”. They both knew they liked each other, once they got over their sniping, but they still had other obstacles to overcome other than mutual chemistry.

As with most LL books, she does a great job of getting me to relate to characters I have absolutely nothing in common with. Their lives, careers, and personalities were so different than my own, but I felt like I knew them and enjoyed living in their crazy and glamorous NYC lives. I especially enjoyed following Claire as she retook ownership of her life and worked to establish her life after the death of her husband.

I can’t say Scott’s occasionally hypocritical attitude always hit me quite the right way, but he absolutely made up for it by the end. Plus, Claire threw him for a loop! He was just a little slow on the uptake.

Overall, this book was exactly what I needed. It’s light and fun and easy to read in a day or two. I can’t wait to read the last book in this series, although I really don’t want to leave this fun world Layne has created!

**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**
Profile Image for Stephanie .
465 reviews95 followers
September 15, 2019
4.5 Stars

I am completely in love with this series by Lauren Layne! I adored Passion in Park Avenue, but I absolutely LOVED Love on Lexington Avenue! 

Ever feel like your life has gotten a little boring, stale...a little vanilla? That's exactly how Claire Hayes has begun to feel in the year since her cheating husband died. Although she's developed wonderful friendships with both his girlfriend and his mistress (yeah, who would have ever thought?!), she's not really moved on and feels stuck in a rut about everything. What she decides is she needs some strawberry lemonade in her life, and she decides to add this new life approach to the renovation of her very outdated brownstone on Lexington Avenue―the one she was originally going to redecorate in all different shades of white, again more vanilla!

Her friend Naomi and her boyfriend Oliver from book one introduce her to Scott, Oliver's best friend and contractor extraordinaire. Scott is a corporate contractor looking for a change of pace. He's rough, gruff, no-nonsense, and wants nothing to do with a society princess telling him how to do his job, and enough with the talk of pink! But he hasn't met anyone like Claire before and it isn't long before the two might actually start becoming friends...if only that pesky sexual tension would stay out of the way since Claire never wants to feel anything again after the way her nasty husband treated her and Scott is a one night only kind guy. Both have been damaged by love, so will they give it a try?

This book will have you feeling all kinds of wonderful feels! I laughed and cried. I rooted for them and although this is definitely romance, it's so much more! It's about reinventing yourself after life has hit you hard or you've just been afraid of change for a while for whatever reason. Love on Lexington Avenue is fun, light, but emotional too. I highly recommend it, and now I absolutely cannot wait for Audrey and Clarke's story next!

**Thank you Gallery Books for the gifted copy. All opinions are my own.** 
Profile Image for Luzie.
787 reviews75 followers
September 13, 2020
This review may contain SPOILERS!
This was a nice read, really nice, but I just liked the first book a tad bit more! Don't get me wrong, Claire and Scott were perfect together, from the differences that somehow still complemented each other, to the fact that both had the same level of emotional maturity. I really like how the author refrains from the typical cliches one might think this book encounters, such as for example neither of them being overly possessive of the other, and still you could feel the emotional connection. The book was a nice change from the usual romance I read, but I also felt like it lacked the emotional depth from aforementioned other romance books, hence why I didn't give it a higher rating. Nonetheless, I am excited for Audrey's book and expect a quirky and fun romance since she seems like the most outgoing and fun-loving part of this trio (and also, Clarke, let's just face it, he is gold!). I still would recommend this book cause in the end IT WAS ENTERTAINING!
3/5 stars
Profile Image for Laura In  Literary Land.
78 reviews26 followers
September 17, 2019
|Thank you @gallerybooks @_lisafilipe @NetGalley for the eARC #partner|⁣

Love On Lexington Avenue by @laurenlayneauthor is the second book in the Central Park Pact series. I haven't read the first book, Passion On Park Avenue, but after enjoying this book so much, I am definitely making time to read it soon! ⁣

Love On Lexington Avenue follows widow Claire Hayes as she attempts to move on with her life following her husband's death. I love how this book dealt with the very real but tough situation of widowhood, especially young widowhood since Claire is only 34 when her husband passes away. Part of her journey involves remodeling their brownstone which brings contractor Scott Turner into her life. ⁣Scott has been hurt in the past, covered it up, and moved on without actually dealing with what happened. His rough, tough exterior exterior rubs Claire the wrong way. These two annoy each other and squabble and before long Claire is having fun annoying Scott and Scott enjoys sparring with her. Claire is also trying to get back into the dating scene before she realizes she doesn't want to be with anyone besides Scott and Scott is insanely jealous every time Claire tries to connect with another man. Scott isn't big on commitment which is fine when Claire thinks she's just looking for a fling, but before long real feelings develop.

I majorly LOVED this book! Claire is such a strong woman, determined not to get hurt again by a man. I cheered for her through the entire book as she dealt with the betrayal of her husband, realized her feelings for Scott, and redefined her life. I loved the celebration of female friendship through Claire, Naomi (book 1), and Audrey (book 3). These ladies are confident, independent, and look out for the best for each other. And Scott -- completely my type apparently because I swooned so hard over this hero's rough edges covering up his tender heart. This book follows two characters who want to tear down the walls around their hearts and move out of their comfort zones but find it scary, which is something that I think we can all relate to in one way or another. This book fades to black on the romance scenes but Lauren Layne builds the tension and crafts the setting so masterfully that I didn't miss the details at all. The sarcastic banter in Love On Lexington Avenue is laugh-out-loud funny and a delight to read. I have found a new favorite author and I cannot wait to go back and read book one in this series and then book three when it is released in January 2020!
Profile Image for Evie.
384 reviews201 followers
April 15, 2019
Lauren Layne never disappoints. If you’re following this series, you’ll enjoy to read Claire’s and Scott’s story, although the one I’m really looking forward to now is Audrey’s and Clarke’s.
Profile Image for ✩ sana ✩.
349 reviews288 followers
October 7, 2019
The best thing about this book was Scott and Claire’s development. I haven't enjoyed a contemporary romance series this much in so long.
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