My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Lauren Dane’s “Lush,” the third book in Dane’s “Delicious” series, was a sweet and steamy read in turns, though probably not quite as steam heavy as the previous book “Tart” was. I only say that because this was more of your traditional erotic title of M/F relations, but they were done quite well in line with the tone of the story. I’ll admit this book was a little more difficult to keep up with the various relationships than the previous novel was, but following Mary and Damien’s relationship made it worth it. I liked seeing some of the recurring characters, including Gillian, Cal, Gideon, and Jules who were featured in the previous novel.
Damien’s the kind of rock star bad boy I like because he’s funny and he takes personal responsibility for his actions and past. There are realistic touches here of what his life is like on tour and how he comes to terms with life on the road and in the media versus being at home. Mary is actually a more likable heroine than Jules was in the previous novel in turns. She’s independent, task oriented and has a firm dedication to her work. I’ll admit I loved the references to food and the nice back and forth interactions and development between the characters. The part of the novel that I found a bit on the odd side of things was that I knew where the conflicts of the novel would be before they hit, so that took a little bit out of experience of reading it, alongside trying to keep up with some of the larger cast of the novel in turns. I liked the environmental details and how easily established the relationships were, but I did have to backtrack a few times in the narrative to be able to keep on top of who was speaking/doing something whenever. I take my time to savor stories, though and this was one I didn’t mind going through with a fine comb for the parts that engaged me. Character development was quite good, and there are times when I laughed in the events (just consider the demon pig as an example – that’s all I’m saying). The way it dealt with some of the tougher subject matters (such as Damien’s elder brother’s past) were a nice touch as well.
It was a good read and I liked the experience; I certainly will be reading more into Lauren Dane’s novels from here. I think her covers for the Delicious series will always be my favorite though. They’re cute!
Overall score: 3/5 stars
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Berkley Trade.