This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Released on April 2, 2013
Lush is the third installment in the Delicious series about friends on a small island near Seattle. The characters are interweaved through The Brown Siblings series Lauren Dane also wrote. You don’t need to have read that series, but it helps to know some of the characters.
Mary Whaley is getting a catering business off the ground while running a weekly dinner club called Delicious. Her life is pretty busy as well as full of friends who are more like family. When Gillian marries Adrian Brown, of course Mary is the cater. Mary meets Damien Hurley at her friend’s engagement party and let’s lose to enjoy herself knowing it will be a quick, light fling.
Damien meets Mary at the engagement party and instantly falls in lust for her. He’s a bad boy drummer in a rock band with his two brothers. Party hard, but also work hard is basically his motto. Not that he uses people, he just lives in the pleasure of the moment. So he is floored when he starts to want to spend more time with Mary.
Over a couple of months the two have quick trysts but Mary keeps it where she wants as just an enjoyable time with a hot guy. She has her career to focus on as well as she doesn’t want to be the rock stars girl with all the publicity that goes with it. On the other side, Damien knows this is a good thing and doesn’t want to let go. For a while it seemed like Damien was doing all the compromising to get what he wanted while Mary kept pushing him away.
The two slowly dance around each other over time. Family is a central part of Dane’s stories and we get them all around. Mary deals with Juliet giving advice that Mary didn’t want to hear. Daisy comes in and helps make sense of things. Cal is just the older brother that is always there to protect his sister. Gillian is the woman who is married to a rock star and understands all the pitfalls that Mary wants to avoid. Friends make this so likable as you see love that flows from them all.
We get introduced to a new family, the Hurleys. Damien is one of four boys who grew up on a farm. They didn’t always have an easy life, but they learned the value of hard work. I loved reading about Damien and his relationships with those closest to him. His mother was a spitfire that every mother could take notes from. His oldest brother dealt with addiction and has left the band for touring. There are his nieces, dog and even a pig to deal with.
The one thing I want to know is when Lauren Dane is going to start serving the food she makes in her books through the book so I don’t have to stop reading to eat? I was hungry to try almost everything Mary made!
Just because we see family and friends often doesn’t mean the book didn’t steam up my glasses. Quite often I was fanning myself with my Kindle as I watch the passion roll off in steam.
Not every relationship is easy or has a road map. I love how Dane takes us on a ride through true fears both characters have and what happens when some of those fears is realized. She doesn’t jump the characters straight into a HEA forever. She builds their relationship over time, building a foundation that will last into the future.
I loved Damien and Mary! I want more of them and the rock music he creates along with a buffet of Mary’s food. This books was a total delight of the senses and I never wanted to put it down. I highly recommend you pick up a copy!