Review: Tart by Lauren Dane

Review: Tart by Lauren DaneTart by Lauren Dane

Series: ,
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Menage Romance
Published by Berkley on November 6, 2012
Pages: 340
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-half-stars  

If you haven’t read The Brown Siblings series, then you are missing out on a great family series. The Delicious series is a spin off of The Brown Siblings. You don’t have to have read them to get into this one, but it is nice to know the secondary characters. This also isn’t Lauren Dane’s first triad romance. The first Brown Sibling book also deals with a triad, so you see some of those characters in this book to help support the heroine.

Juliet Lamprey is a young woman enjoying life to the fullest with a group of friends that are more like family and running her own bakery, Tart.  For years she has had a flame for Cal Whaley, a local lawyer and older brother to her best friend, Mary. But Cal doesn’t seem to return her feelings. Being bi-sexual, he dates around a lot, keeping Juliet at arms length when in fact he wants her for himself. Gideon Carter comes back into Juliet’s life to help his aging grandfather run his farm. Not a stranger to hard work, emotional betrayal, and sexual experimentation, Gideon knows a good woman when he sees one. Gideon and Juliet both feel the attraction and build a relationship based on their values, life goals, attraction and being friends, putting Cal on the defensive knowing this could be the guy who win Juliet’s heart forever.

Cal takes a risk and expresses to Juliet his feelings, which throws her in a tailspin and makes her feel like she has betrayed Gideon. When the three are talking about what has happened, Gideon does the one thing that shocks them both. He suggests they have a relationship as a triad together. The three are attracted to one another, just not to Juliet and start to work together to build a relationship that isn’t always accepted.

With forming a triad, there is a point where your family and friends figure out what is going on, no matter how hard or casual you try to hide it. While the triad wasn’t hiding it, they weren’t going out and telling anyone. Juliet’s friends reacted the way I thought they would. Each family had different reactions that play into he drama of the story and the heart of what family really is supposed to be.

Between the three, emotions are high and not always pretty. I loved getting in to feel the doubts, the lust, the everyday thoughts each of the three had. The attraction that builds between the men as well as each with the woman, was layered with wicked naughtiness, but also deep heartfelt emotions. Juliet brings up very valid fears. Cal gets his defenses up to some of those fears. Gideon seemed to be the peacemaker between the three. Each grew deeper as people throughout the book.

The secondary characters gave me such fits. Fits of laughter as well as anger. Gideon’s grandfather reminded me so much of my own grandfather who flirted with all the women. Cal’s parents reminded me of my own parents, but then again, so did Juliet’s. Juliet’s parents are divorced, the same as mine and I so related with how Juliet felt in a relationship with her parents. It broke my heart again. But then Cal’s mom reminded me of mine, but I am not as sure mine would have been so understanding. Overall, I just loved the family!

Then there are the friends from Delicious, Mary, Gillian, Adrian, Miles, and Ryan. Gillian and Adrian are in the last months before their wedding, so we see Juliet spending a lot of time on engagement parties, reception, and baking her little heart out. I wanted to jump in and taste test everything. Now why can’t they create a book where you can taste the food too? That would be awesome. We also see Todd, Ben and Erin again, who are the original triad from the Brown Siblings Series. Erin and Juliet do a lot of talking. Erin helps give perspective of what to expect and how to handle it.

Overall, this was an awesome book of family. Family is what you make of it, not who you are born to. Friends are the people who stand by you through thick and thin. And love will triumph all if you work hard enough to grab what you want and desire. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a love story that may not be the norm, but is full of all heart.

 

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!