Series: Central Park Pact #3
Published by Gallery Books on January 28th 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
“The word charm is pretty much synonymous with Lauren Layne.” —Hypable
From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne, the “queen of witty dialogue” (Rachel Van Dyken, New York Times bestselling author), comes the final installment of the Central Park Pact series, a heartfelt and laugh-out-loud romantic comedy that’s perfect for fans of Sally Thorne and Christina Lauren.
Can guys and girls ever be just friends? According to Audrey Tate and Clarke West, absolutely. After all, they’ve been best friends since childhood without a single romantic entanglement. Clarke is the charming playboy Audrey can always count on, and he knows that the ever-loyal Audrey will never not play along with his strategy for dodging his matchmaking mother—announcing he’s already engaged…to Audrey.
But what starts out as a playful game between two best friends turns into something infinitely more complicated, as just-for-show kisses begin to stir up forbidden feelings. As the faux wedding date looms closer, Audrey and Clarke realize that they can never go back to the way things were, but deep down, do they really want to?
The Central Park Pact series is one of the most unique premises in contemporary romance, and Lauren Layne delivers against this in spades. Three women become friends born out of the death of one man, one man in three relationships with said women. The most recent fling Naomi, the dutiful wife Claire Hayes, and the women who truly thought she was on the to becoming his second wife, one Audrey Tate.
Audrey might also be the one most broken by her role in Brayden Hayes’s life and in this friendship. She wants to believe in a HEA for herself, but she doubts she deserves it. After all, she was “borrowing someone else’s” Prince Charming. But Marriage on Madison Avenue is Audrey’s story of atonement. With a nasty social demon besmirching her name, she finds her very oldest and best friend, Clarke, defending her honor and the two in an unorthodox arrangement, a fake engagement.
This is one of the best types of “friends to something more” stories. These two know each other well, but they haven’t shared all their secrets, and this little betrothment uncovering each others’ vulnerabilities. And how can they move past what they believe they have always been, what they think they mean to each other, and make it something else without killing their friendship. Their journey of heartbreaking and joyous, and perhaps my favorite in this series.
I haven’t read a Lauren Layne book that I didn’t love, she’s by far one of my top go-to authors for contemporary romance. There’s always just enough angst and the best thing is the part of getting to something good. Seeing her characters grow and evolve. The Central Park Pact is a favorite for good reason and I highly recommend readers of Contemporary Romance looking for well earned HEA’s. 5 Stars!!
~Review by Cyndi
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