For as long as she can remember, Bronx-born Naomi Powell has had one goal: to prove her worth among the Upper East Side elite—the same people for which her mom worked as a housekeeper. Now, as the strongminded, sassy CEO of one of the biggest jewelry empires in the country, Naomi finally has exactly what she wants—but it’s going to take more than just the right address to make Manhattan’s upper class stop treating her like an outsider.
The worst offender is her new neighbor, Oliver Cunningham—the grown son of the very family Naomi’s mother used to work for. Oliver used to torment Naomi when they were children, and as a ridiculously attractive adult, he’s tormenting her in entirely different ways. Now they find themselves engaged in a battle-of-wills that will either consume or destroy them…
Filled with charm and heart and plenty of sex and snark, this entertaining series will hook you from the very first page.
I’d been looking forward to this book for a long time. Because Lauren Layne rarely disappoints. I can always count on her to provide a cute romance. But this one I just couldn’t get into.
Let me list the reasons –
I just couldn’t get into the friendship
The books starts with a funeral of the heroine’s boyfriend. Naomi has already found out from his obituary that he had a wife she had no idea about. But she still decides to grace his funeral. There she meets the wife AND the mistress. And they decide to become friends.
I had a very hard time buying that. Naomi acknowledges quite a few times throughout the book that their friendship is odd. And this acknowledgement does very little in making it any less odd. I also found it weird how easily they admit the cause of their friendship to the hero, even though he knew the boyfriend. It just felt all too ridiculous to me.
Where was the enemies-to-lovers?
So the synopsis gave me the idea that both of these characters share a bitterness towards each other from their childhood. But the hero doesn’t even remember her when they meet in present day. There was no enmity, rather a reluctant attraction and fascination from the hero and a confused attitude from the heroine.
What was it with the heroine?
Naomi gave me a lot of whiplash. She’s probably the reason I couldn’t find the romance engaging. First she decides that she hates Oliver for ruining her life with one lie when they were kids. But then she gets softened by him. Her conflicting feelings didn’t warm her up to me. The push-pull from her was too strong.
Naomi just seemed to me a little too fickle with her emotions. She claims to be still hung up on Oliver ruining her life when she was a child, but then gets swayed by a mere physical attraction towards him pretty easily. I guess Oliver’s hateful father suffering from Alzheimer’s was a big factor in her softening up. But rather than a slow softening up, what we had instead was her pulling Oliver towards her and then pushing him away. And that prevented me from getting invested in these two.
Anyways, I’m still gonna read the next two books, because as much as I couldn’t buy the friendship between the three girls, I did like the other two girls, even more than Naomi. And it looks like we’re gonna get a friends-to-lovers romance in the third book, which I can never say no to. But this one was just a little too silly for my liking.