Marriage on Madison Avenue
Lauren Layne (Love on Lexington Avenue) concludes her Central Park Pact trilogy with Marriage on Madison Avenue, a friends-to-lovers romance that can best be described as a game of "marriage chicken." Best friends since childhood, Audrey and Clarke both have their reasons for faking an engagement with the person they trust most in the world. Instagram influencer Audrey, who unwittingly had relationships with two married men, is being digitally harassed by a social media gossipmonger, while Clarke's mother is attempting to manipulate him into marriage with her ideal daughter-in-law.
The friends agree to cut things off after an official engagement party. Then, after visiting a wedding planner to show Audrey's Instagram followers. Then, after tasting some cake. And then never: "Audrey was tired of pretending, but what terrified her down to her very soul was that she wasn't tired of pretending to be engaged. She was tired of pretending she wanted it to end."
What starts as a mutually beneficial platonic arrangement gradually morphs into something neither of them could have predicted--even though all of their friends and family have known for years that Audrey and Clarke were meant for each other. It's those friends, four of whom paired off in the first two books, who provide the levity and support needed to balance the fear and stress the love interests experience. Readers who've followed the series will be charmed by this slow-burn romance in which Layne forces these two characters finally to think with their hearts instead of just their heads. --Suzanne Krohn, editor, Love in Panels