by Lauren Dane
Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: November 6th 2012 by Berkley Trade
Copy Courtesy of Publisher
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…Goodreads
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…
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First off, I have to say that Tart was a fabulously well-written ménage story and one of the best I have read to-date.
Juliet Lamprey has been in love with Calvin Whaley for as long as she can remember. Her best friend's brother, he has been around through it all but besides their one kiss as teenagers Cal has never picked up on the hints Jules has been throwing his way. Despite what Jules thinks though, Cal has loved her just as long. He is fearful to ruin their long friendship though if a relationship doesn't work between them. It takes their childhood friend, Gideon Carter, coming back to town and setting up shop in Jules life for Cal to throw chance to the wind and fight for his place besides Jules before he loses her to another.
I loved how the main focus of the story in Tart was on the emotional relationship between the three as oppose to the sexual relationship. Don't get me wrong, there was some hot three-way action going on but it was portrayed as more sensual then graphic, which really worked for the triad. Jules, Cal and Gideon had some obstacles to get over; negativity from family, the mechanics of a three-way relationship, trust...but thankfully they have a wonderful support system in their friends and other family members. And throughout it all, Lauren Dane kept it real. I had no trouble believing that this relationship could happen in real life to any one of my friends. I really enjoyed watching it unfold and the dynamics between the triad develop. And the dynamics of the relationship was a major lure for me. Lauren Dane I think gave the story a unique twist with not making it a typical M/F/M, yes the three were together sexually but each of the men took turns with Jules or each other, there were plenty of M/F scenes alone and surprisingly only one M/M scene. It was all very tastefully written.
Adrian and Gillian, from the Brown Siblings series, were big players in Tart, as well as Adrian's sister, Erin. I haven't read the Brown Siblings yet, though the series is on my wish-list, and instead of feeling lost during their part of the story I was intrigued to find out more! All in all, Tart was a wonderful story set in a quaint small-town, packed with emotion and fantastic characters. I am looking forward to Mary's story next!
Rating: 4 Wine Glasses