Review: Lush by Lauren Dane

Posted April 1, 2013 by Nima in 3 stars, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Rating B Tags: , , ,

Author: Lauren Dane
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Berkley Trade
The Delicious Series #3
ISBN: #978-0425256084
Genre: Contemporary Erotica
Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher

About the book:

      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…

What Nimas talking about:

      Lush visits the next member in a group of friends who call themselves “Delicious” in the Delicious Series.  It lays out the relationship of Mary Whaley, the younger sister of Cal Whaley who found his happily ever after with Mary’s friend Juliet (and Gideon Carter in a three-way relationship) in the previous book, Tart.  The course of this book reverses the traditional romance where a couple moves slowly from shy glances across a crowded room to steamy and can’t live without the other sort of fairytale.
      Instead, Mary is immediately attracted to bad-boy rocker Damien Hurley and gives herself up to a hot and heavy one night stand.  She tells herself that she’s too busy building her catering company to nurture a relationship, but still has “needs.”  Damien Hurley is just the right guy to scratch that itch.  Over the course of the story it goes from all about the physical chemistry to deeper, sweeter emotions.  The story does develop a kind of depth that is missing at the beginning of the book.
      It would seem that Lush has a lot of elements which make it easy to want to read:  great food (I got hungry reading it) steamy sex, celebrity, ease with money, and supportive people who love you.  It’s those same elements, however, that make a significant depth difficult to develop—the characters don’t really struggle with anything except themselves.  In fact, as characters, they had nothing in common except their mutual attraction to each other.  The emphasis at the outset on the physical connection makes it an unemotional read.  By the time the characters develop deeper feelings, I was already over it.  It would have made a better TV movie than book.
      At its core, Lush is about trust, trust in oneself and trust in someone else.  I felt Mary should have given Damien more of the benefit of the doubt when push came to shove.  Mary proved herself in the previous books to be too smart to have the self-doubts she had during Lush.  Her behavior at the story’s climax was immature and a little baffling.  Only the intervention of certain family members brought back my attention and their part was too short.  I would have loved to have seen that portion of the book expanded.  The plot had a lot of potential, but it didn’t really reach down deep enough to satisfy me.  Overall, it wasn’t a bad book, in fact, it was better than Tart in my opinion, it just wasn’t a good book either.

Nimas Rating:

Liked it, but I had some issues – recommend (B)
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