Review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2013/04/16/joint-review-lush-by-lauren-dane/
MinnChica: I’ve long been a fan of Lauren Dane, and although I had a few problems with the Brown Siblings Series, I have been head over heels in love with the Delicious books so far! Damien and Mary are no exception. I was excited to see another rock-star hero, and although Damien has a bit of a reputation, he absolutely won me over right away. I adored him as a hero, and thought he was misunderstood and misrepresented by the media. I loved his single-minded focus on getting Mary first into bed, and then into his heart!
E: This was such a fun story to read. I enjoyed the Brown Siblings Series so I have looked forward to every Delicious installment that has appeared. They focus on the bonds of family and the bonds of friendship, also known as family by choice. Each book set in this world manages to combine fame or infamy along with the grounding that comes from having a place and friends where they can be themselves. I thought both Damien and Mary were great together and with their friends and family. Both knew what they wanted and were willing to go after it without feeling ashamed of their desires.
MinnChica: One of the things I love the most about Dane’s writing is that she always has such strong family ties in each story. Sometimes it’s blood family, and other times it’s the family of choice. I love that the Delicious crew are all family by choice, and how they stand behind each other through thick and thin. It was also fun to see someone on the outside of the group, Damien, have to work his way into the group, all while navigating a relationship with Mary and her friends and their significant others. It made for some wonderful dynamics throughout the book!
E: Yes! While Damien had a connection through his music to the group he still had to work to get inside Mary’s inner circle. He had an advantage because he came from a dedicated family and understood how important family was but that did not mean he had automatic acceptance into the Delicious circle. I really liked the fact that Damien had to convince everyone, including Mary, that he was there for the long haul not just for an occasional meet-up. Seeing the other characters change their perspective of Damien over the course of the book was really rewarding.
MinnChica: Although I really liked Mary, I think Damien really made this book for me. He was so sweet and caring and sexy and just an all around fabulous hero. He wanted so much to prove to Mary that he wasn’t the guy that tabloids made him out to be. He really went above and beyond to try and prove to her that he was on the up and up. That he wanted to be the one and only for her, and vice-versa. Damien is the kind of hero that guts me every time: a Alpha male who is sexy as sin and will do anything and everything to win the girl.
E: I have to agree with you MinnChica. Damien had me from the very beginning. He had so many elements that I really like. He was a drummer, which meant strong dexterous hands, strong forearms, and great rhythm who was trying to escape the stereotype of his profession and his past. He had strong family bonds like I mentioned before and he wasn’t a pushover. He really had to do a lot of work to get Mary and to prove that he wanted forever. I liked Mary and how she nurtured through food but she was a familiar character and in my opinion did not have to grow as much as Damien did throughout the story.
MinnChica: I’m definitely a little sad to be saying goodbye to the Delicious crew. I love the little family they made for themselves, and am sad to say goodbye to this group of friends. I’m sure we will see little glimpses of them in the next Brown Siblings book, Drawn Together, but it won’t be the same as being with these friends day in and day out. I was so glad to see that Dane mentioned on Twitter that she has a proposal out to do stories on each of Damien’s brothers (which makes me SO SO SO happy!). I can only hope that she continues writing with this ongoing cast of characters we’ve fallen in love with over the years!
E: Wait what do you mean saying goodbye to the Delicious crew? *thinks* Wow we have seen each of them as the center of attention. Realizing that is bittersweet because they have been a stabilizing grounding force throughout this extended journey. They were always great to provide a reminder of what was important in life. Not to mention tantalizing my taste buds with thoughts of wonderful food. I am really excited about getting to see Damien’s brothers front and center as well as continuing to catch glimpses of the Browns and the Delicious crew in future places.
MinnChica: All in all I think that Lush is my favorite of the Delicious books. Mainly because I fell so in love with Mary, mostly Damien. He was the kind of hero that had me turning the page as fast as I could, just waiting to see what he would do or say next. I adored him, and hope that we get to see more and more from him in the future. I’m very sad to be saying goodbye to the Delicious crew, but excited to see Dane writing more books with these characters. I’m anxious for whats to come!
I give Lush a B+
E: I don’t know if I can pick a favorite out of this crew but out of the heroes for the Delicious crew I do have to say that Damien was my favorite. I loved his interactions with everyone in the book yet he also wasn’t a perfect and therefore annoying character. He and Mary kept me laughing and eagerly anticipating what was going to happen next. Dane continues to provide quality hours of entertainment through her writing. I can’t wait to see what comes out next.
I give Lush a A-/B+