Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lush by Lauren Dane

Title: Lush
Author: Lauren Dane
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Delicious #3
Main Characters: Mary and Damien
Release Date: April 2013
Publisher: Berkley
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
USA Today bestselling author Lauren Dane delivers a second serving of sexy in her new Delicious novel, in which taste and temptation make up a sweet recipe… 

Mary Whaley has her hands full running a successful catering company and overseeing her supper club. She has everything she ever wanted—or so she thought. When she meets ridiculously hot and very dirty rock star Damien Hurley at her friend’s engagement party, the attraction she feels is overpowering—and she isn’t about to deny herself. 

Damien is used to a hard and fast life. He and two of his brothers started a band when they were fresh out of high school—then they hit the big time and stayed there. He’s also a legendary madman on the stage and in the bedroom. But when he meets Mary, something clicks, and the bad boy starts thinking he may have finally found something good. 

What begins as a series of fleeting trysts soon gets much more complicated. Damien can’t figure out why Mary doesn’t want more from him. And before long, it’s Damien who wants more from Mary. But it turns out Mary is no stranger to celebrity news, and he’s got a very big job ahead of him: proving that he’s worth more than a one-night stand…

My Review:
This book is #3 in the Delicious series, but it also follows the same characters from the Brown Siblings series too (there are 4 books in that series). As a result, there are a lot of side characters in this book. While this is a stand-alone, as a  reader who had never read any of the other books in these series, I was a bit lost when the group dynamic came into play. I had a really hard time keeping all the characters straight, especially since there are three characters who are named: Damien, Gillian, and Adrien. By the end of the book, I had it all sorted in my head about who was who, but that did affect (slightly) my enjoyment of the first half of the book where there are a lot of big group scenes. 

BUT the main characters in this book are Damien and Mary...and their story never got lost and I really, really enjoyed it. Mary is all about the food. She has her own business catering and doing a twice to three times a week dinner club. She has a full life with a ton of friends and a business that's showing promise. She meets Damien through her friend's rocker husband. While she's open to a fling with him, she knows that it's not long-term. He's not that kind of guy and she doesn't want to open up her life to his lifestyle. She's in a good place. She's not going to mess with that. 

Damien is a successful rocker. He has a band with his brothers and they definitely live the rocker lifestyle. Lots of parties, lots of booze, lots of women. But when he meets Mary, he suddenly finds himself wanting more... with her. But convincing her and her friends that he's reformed isn't so easy with his long-standing reputation.

There were so many little things about this book that I loved:
*Mary's love of food and cooking. It's truly a passion for her, much more than a job. She loves to create and have other people enjoy her food. This book was like going to a great restaurant in that aspect from my comfy couch. It was fun.
*Damien's family...I loved them. From the brothers and their dynamic with Damien to his mom to the family ranch. Every scene with them in it was just fabulous and so fun to read.
*The animals with Mary...That was such a fun little detail in the book. I loved her connection with the animals on Damien's farm.
*Adrian's influence....Mary has watched her friend have to deal with Adrian's fame. She knows what she's getting into with Damien and knows that's not something she wants for her life. I liked that she had that knowledge.

The relationship between Mary and Damien, although very sexual, was a slow build-up on the emotional side. I liked that and how they developed. I loved that Damien was all-in long before Mary was and that he had to work to convince her about them. It was just a really fun book. 

Confession: I have ALL the other books in both these series in print on my TBR pile....I know, there are a ton of books on that TBR, but I will be going back and reading all of these SOON!!

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