Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Review: Tart by Lauren Dane

USA Today bestselling author Lauren Dane serves up a sweet, sensual, and hot-to-the-touch novel in which one woman’s most intimate desires are stirred by two very special ingredients…

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 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…

I really enjoyed The Brown Siblings series by Ms. Dane, so I was interested to see if I would enjoy the spin-off series as much.  I have not yet read "Delicious," the novella which introduced Gillian Forrester's friends, Daisy, Juliet, and Mary, so my knowledge about the women -- who've nicknamed themselves Delicious -- is limited by what's been mentioned in Never Enough.  

I loved Juliet and Gideon together.  I felt there's was a great chemistry and the beginnings of a wonderful happily-ever-after; then Cal came on the scene.  Juliet, because she's been a friend of Cal's sister, Mary, has lusted after Cal for years.  As soon as she's settled, comfortable, and has the chance at real happiness with Gideon, Cal decides to stake his claim.  Ain't that just like a man?  

Juliet, Gideon, and Cal never achieved the success of Erin, Todd, and Ben in Laid Bare.  I felt Cal acted on his feelings toward Juliet out of jealousy that another man had her.  The fact that Cal was bisexual -- and the fact that Gideon was also -- seemed too convenient for the plot.  I didn't believe in their mutual love for each party within their triad.  It seemed very forced to me.  

When all the members of Delicious plus Raven are on screen to help prep for Gillian's wedding to Adrian, the individual women and their respective personalities blended together.  I wondered about Gillian and her friends being so accepting of Raven.  Raven had been a source of contention within the Brown family -- Erin likes her; Adrian doesn't -- so how was she able to bond with Gillian and her friends so quickly and easily?  

Tart would have been a great read for me had the romance solely focused on Juliet and Gideon, so I am disappointed I didn't like it as much as I had hoped. 

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