Many of you know I’m a HUGE Lauren Dane fan. I devour any and all things she has written/writes. I squee’d with much delight when I got approved for a galley for Tart the first in the spin-off series from her Brown Siblings series; which focuses on Gillian’s friends (Gillian is the heroine from Never Enough). I had high expectations and of course, Dane does not disappoint.
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 on the 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
If you’re already a Lauren Dane fan then there aren’t really any surprises with Tart. Dane’s writing style doesn’t change. In fact, her style is one of the reasons I’m such a fan. She makes it easy to read with easy flowing prose and keeps me interested with good, even pacing throughout. Dane has a way of making a reader connect with her characters. It doesn’t matter who a character is or what they do (famous or not famous), they’re all down to earth and you can easily envision them being your neighbor/friend. For example, Jules, the heroine, is very humble despite being incredibly business savvy with a successful bakery business. Also, Jules had a seemingly great childhood but then her family fell apart once she became an adult and her parents divorced. She’s the devoted daughter and sister who ends up being taken advantage of by her family and she struggles with how to deal with all of it. So, she’s flawed and what happened to her could happen to anyone really. But Jules has a great set of friends who support her and ends up with 2 great guys who would do anything for her. Is her life easy? No. Does it take work? Yes. Even though you get a HEA for Jules, you still see her flaws, her struggles and self-doubt. This is pretty typical for Dane’s writing and each main character is written in such a way that while they have some really great things going on, their lives are far from perfect. Thus, they’re relatable. Again, it’s something about her style that I really love.
And now to gush just a bit. It’s a menage, it’s a menage!! LOL. Fans of Laid Bare will really enjoy Tart. You get to see quite a bit more Erin as Jules opens up to the other female who can understand exactly what choices and obstacles Jules has to face when it comes to being with 2 great men. Don’t worry, though, Jules, Gideon and Cal are a different trio with different trials/issues than Erin, Todd & Ben. But yes, you do get some great smexy scenes…both m/f/m and some m/m action.
If you’re a Brown Siblings series fan then you should really pick up Tart – you see most of your favorite characters from the prior books. Haven’t read that series yet? No worries, Tart is a spin-off but you won’t really be lost. There are references and you see the other characters but it is its own storyline and can be read without reading the prior series. Haven’t read any Lauren Dane…well, now is a really good time to start. Tart is a great contemporary romance that will make you laugh, maybe cry and be happy all at once.
Lush (April 2, 2013)