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Review: Tart by Lauren Dane

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Tart
Author: Lauren Dane
Release Date: Nov. 6, 2012
Publisher: Berkley Trade
The Delicious Series #2
ISBN: #978-0425253250
Genre: Contemporary Erotica
Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher

About the book:

      Juliet Lamprey is having the time of her life running her successful bakery, TART, when Gideon Carter comes back into her life. Returning home to help his grandfather run the family on the farm, Gideon is back for good. When they meet again, the spark between them is immediate, and it isn’t long before the former childhood friends play catch up in bed.
      That’s not good news for local lawyer Cal Whaley. Though the sexually open but strictly monogamous Cal has loved Jules for a long time, he’s hardly ever taken it further than friendship. When he sees her start to fall for Gideon, he knows he has to make his move or risk losing her forever.
      Who would have anticipated that all three of them would connect on such an intimate level? The trio’s scalding liaisons take them places they’ve never dreamed. But such an intensely passionate and unusual relationship comes with equally as complicated emotions, and when Jules must suddenly leave town, she wonders if she’ll have a choice to make when she returns.

What Nimas talking about:

      Words to describe Tart:  Passionate, erotic, playful, feisty, bitchy, happy, and delicious.  “Delicious” is the name four best friends have given themselves as a group.  The group consists of Juliet, Gillian, Daisy, and Mary.  Tart is the second book in the Delicious Series and focuses on Juliet’s love triangle-turned-triad romance.  While this is a new series, it really is the extension of Dane’s Brown Siblings Series.  You don’t have to read it first, but I would recommend it.  A large focus of Tart is the wedding of Gillian to Adrian Brown (Never Enough).
      Main character Juliet was happy with her life, her friends, her business, and her new relationship with an old friend, Gideon Carter.  This spurs another old friend, Cal Whaley, into staking a prior claim and neither man will give her up even though they too are old friends.  Juliet loves them both.  Rather than forcing her into a situation where she must choose, one of the men proposes a three-way relationship.  The matter-of-fact way in which he brings it up is startling to this female reader. They all agree and they are happy… and have a lot of steamy sex. In and around the abundance of foreplay, play, and oh my, there is a lot of talking, thinking, over-thinking, and a wedding. My biggest issue with the story was that nothing really happened.
      The one situation in the story with the biggest potential for action was a confrontation between Juliet and her brother Ethan over her new ménage.  Unfortunately it never happens on paper.  We only find out about it a week after the fact during more of the thinking and over-thinking.  It often felt like the characters were trying to convince the reader this was a good idea instead of it just being a good idea.  The only real growth that takes place is when Juliet grows a back bone and stands up to her family that’s been mistreating her for years.  It took so long to get there, however, that I wasn’t really emotionally invested in it.
      I genuinely liked Gideon.  For an alpha male attorney, Cal should have stepped up sooner and avoided the entire storyline.  Juliet is often “bitchy” –her word.  Unfortunately she tells us that over and over…ok, we got it.  She also loves her friends who are her family in the face of a biological one which has abandoned her.  The problem with a three-way is that you’re never really sure who’s speaking.  The “voice” of the story seemed to shift without warning and was difficult to follow at times.  I often had to reread to get my bearings.  I also didn’t really buy the relationship between Gideon and Cal.  Yes they were attracted to each other in a physical way, but they spent most of their time talking about how much they loved Juliet.
      So, bottom-line, I had some issues, but it’s not a bad read.  This is a book to read if you enjoy being hot and bothered, because you will be, but not because you need an outstanding story to go with it.  Definitely a quick read—unless, of course, you’re taking notes!

Nimas Rating:

Liked it, but I had some issues – recommend (B)
 
Purchase Info:
Tart (A Delicious Novel)
 
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