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26 March 2014

Review: Lush by Lauren Dane

Author: Lauren Dane
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Find It: GoodreadsAmazonB&NBook Depository
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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.

Lush is the third book in Lauren Dane's Delicious series. Somehow this series had gone under my radar but knew that I wanted to read it after I saw the cover and realized that it was about a woman who runs a supper club. I love food and if I can have romance and good food in one book, I'm taking it.

Lush starts off with a bang and Mary and Damien find themselves in a hot fling during her friend's wedding. Both of them know it's just for fun though and neither is expecting a commitment. But the two continue to see each other while Damien is on the road with his band and it becomes apparent that this it's more than a fling. Mary is wary of Damien's bad boy rocker rep but Damien is out to prove that he's serious about their relationship. I thought that the two had great chemistry and, despite his reputation, I found Damien to be very sweet and he treated Mary well.

Unfortunately, the beginning of the book was probably my favorite part and I started to lose interest in it about halfway through. While I normally don't have trouble jumping into a series halfway through (though I prefer not to) it was clear that Lush was part of a larger series. There were so many side characters in it and they actually took up a lot of page space. I felt like the author really wanted to catch us up on the lives of these characters and it really took me away from Mary and Damien's relationship, which is what I was most interested in.
I found myself losing interest in their relationship as the focus veered away from them.

I also hated how Damien was made out to be the bad guy in this. Sure, he has a reputation, but he never did anything to Mary to make her assume the worst of him. He did all he could to assure her that he had real feelings for her and wanted a relationship with her but, at the first sign of trouble, she runs and cuts him off - and then we're supposed to think it's all his fault for being such a bad boy. His behavior should have garnered more trust than he received. It also annoyed me how Mary's friends and family were all so quick to warn Mary away from him repeatedly and rudely, when it was really none of their business (as Mary even told a few of them).

I really wanted to like this book but there was just too much focus on all of the other characters and not enough on Damien and Mary. I was never able to fully invest in their relationship and was bored for much of it. I might have had a different opinion if I had read the other books in the series but I still think a series book should be able to stand on its own and, unfortunately, Lush did not work for me.

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Visit the author online at www.laurendane.com, Facebook and follow her on Twitter @laurendane

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