Author: Lauren Dane
First published April 2, 2013
304 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780425256084 (ISBN10: 0425256081)
Indulge in the sizzling romance of Lauren Dane’s Lush. Mary Whaley has it all, a booming catering company and a successful supper club.
But when she meets the smoldering and irresistible rock star, Damien Hurley, at a friend’s engagement party, she can’t resist his allure. Damien is used to the life of a rock star, fast-paced and wild, but when he meets Mary, he starts to see a different side of himself.
He’s never wanted anyone like he wants her, and he’s determined to prove that he’s worth more than a one-night stand. As their relationship intensifies, Damien finds himself wanting more, but Mary isn’t easily swayed by his celebrity status.
Will Damien be able to convince Mary that they are meant to be together? Find out in this tantalizing novel of love and passion.
About the Author
Lauren Dane has been a storyteller since she could hold a pencil. She loves to talk and share her stories with others.
As a mom, partner, best friend, and daughter, Lauren lives in the stunning and rainy Pacific Northwest. She spends her late evenings writing like crazy after putting her kids to bed.
Lauren feels fortunate to be able to share her stories with the world, and she thinks it’s a wonderful life.
Lauren Dane’s “Lush” is a steamy contemporary romance novel that explores themes of self-discovery, family loyalty, and sexual empowerment. The author herself is a prolific writer of romance and paranormal fiction, known for her strong heroines and complex relationships.
The novel follows Mary Whaley, a young woman who has always lived to please others. When her family’s restaurant is threatened by a new rival, Mary finds herself drawn to Damien Hurley, a successful and charming chef who offers to help save the business.
As they work together to create a new menu, Mary begins to acknowledge her true desires and sexual preferences, leading to a tumultuous yet passionate romance. Dane’s writing style is fluid and engaging, making for a quick and enjoyable read.
The setting of the story in the world of restaurants adds a unique element to the romance genre, as we see the characters’ passion and creativity in the kitchen mirrored in their personal lives. The novel also provides some interesting commentary on the intersections of family, business, and sexuality, as Mary grapples with her obligations to her family, her own desires, and the expectations of society.
One of the strongest aspects of “Lush” is the character development of Mary and Damien. They are both complex and flawed, making for a more realistic and engaging romance.
Mary’s journey of self-discovery and sexual awakening is particularly well-done, as she learns to assert herself in all areas of her life. Damien, too, has his own demons to face, and the chemistry between the two is explosive.
However, the plot of “Lush” can feel a bit predictable at times, and there are some minor pacing issues. The conflict between Mary’s family and the rival restaurant is resolved a bit too neatly, and some of the secondary characters could have been fleshed out more.
That being said, these are relatively minor flaws in an otherwise compelling and enjoyable read. Overall, “Lush” is a fun and sensual romance novel that will appeal to fans of the genre.
While not without its flaws, the strong character development and unique setting make for a refreshing read. Recommended for those looking for a steamy escape from reality.
3.5 out of 5 stars.