May 29, 2019

Mini-reviews: The Flatshare + Passion on Park Avenue

pub 5/28/19 by Flatiron Books
Adult - Contemporary Fiction
Received ARC from pub for review
The Flatshare has probably one of the most unique premises I've heard of: Tiffy Moore and Leon Twomey share a flat but they've never actual met. As part of their living arrangement, Leon occupies the one-bed flat during the day (since he works a night shift) and she gets it the rest of the time, including the weekends. It sounds perfect to Tiffy and Leon because it allows them to both have a flat for super cheap but to everyone else (myself included!), it sounds a bit crazy. Until you actually read how they manage to get to know one other in spite of the strange circumstances and then it's actually pretty wonderful. They find ways to communicate and since they do both live there, they bring their different personalities to the flat, which ends up revealing a lot about the other and their quirks. They're total opposites but it's easy to see how they complement the other as months of living "together" unfold. And there's so much more to the story than just their flat. They both have jobs they're passionate about so we learn a lot about that. Leon is going through a heavy ordeal with his family and Tiffy is coming to terms with some startling realizations about her ex-boyfriend. But it's honestly the latter plot line that I probably wasn't biggest fan of. On one hand, I think it was presented with a lot of honesty and respect for women who've been in a similar situations but towards the end, it became a bit too much? Or maybe it just felt that way on top of all the other sub-plots that were happening at the same time. I wish the author had chosen to either simplify the plots to focus on it fully or let it resolve on a quieter note.

Do I recommend? It is interesting and some of my friends really loved the book. But aside from what I already mentioned, I wasn't particularly wow'ed by the writing and Leon wasn't as fully fleshed out as Tiffy. So if you want to read it, I'd recommend borrowing it from the library.


pub 5/28/19 by Gallery Books
Contemporary Romance
Received ARC from pub for review
The catalyst for Passion on Park Avenue and ultimately the Central Park Pact series are three women who become friends under the most unlikeliest of circumstances (I'll give you a hint: it starts at a funeral). They're each so different but what they can agree on is pushing one another to not settle for their circumstances and fight for better. Because after what they've each been through, they deserve it! This was, by far, my favorite part of the whole story because you know me, I'm all about the positive female friendships and it's nice seeing three individuals who meet as adults and become friends. The first book focuses on Bronx-born Naomi Powell (while the subsequent books will then focus on the other two women in their circle), the CEO of a big jewelry empire and part of her goal to prove her worth to the Upper East Side elite who looked down on her and her mom (who was a housekeeper) is finally coming to fruition. She snags an apartment at an illustrious building, that just so happens to be where she lived while her mother was a live-in housekeeper. And who else would be her neighbor but the grown son of her mother's former employer, Oliver Cunningham. This is where the story fell a bit for me because as much as I love the enemies-to-lovers trope, this was one-sided. They knew each other as children and it's clear she'd held onto this grudge (which I get) and a result, acts out at him. But they're not kids anymore and Oliver is a really kind man trying to do his best in a difficult situation with his family and doesn't realize she's a blast from his past. She doesn't do anything to reveal herself either so all the lying made it hard to connect to her and root for their relationship, despite having some sweet moments.

Do I recommend? I'm a big fan of Lauren Layne's others series, Oxford and Love Expectedly, so I'm disappointed that I didn't like it as much as I hoped I would but I am willing to give the next book a shot. If you've never read Layne's books, start with Blurred Lines and if you really want to try this one out, borrow it from the library. 

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