Mary Whaley caters, runs a supper club and is an all around badass. Damien is a rocker, a bit of a man whore and loyal to his family and friends. Put them together and you get a smoking hot pair that can’t resist each other. But both Damien and Mary have full, time-consuming lives. Can they possibly have time for a relationship and one that might take a lot of work to keep safe?
I have come to realize that Ms. Dane writes some of my favorite heroines. They are so level-headed and practical. From the start Mary is very aware of Damien’s reputation and swears that she is just in it for fun. They like to hang out, he treats her right and being awesome in bed is a great bonus.
Damien is a little different though. It doesn’t take him long to figure out that he wants more than fun. He has had “nameless, faceless” fun in more cities than he can count and Mary is different. The problem is that every time he turns around his reputation is biting him in the butt whether it is a tabloid picture or one of Mary’s family/friends questioning him. He really struggles with a way to prove that he is not the same with Mary, that Mary is someone he wants to stick. He is so sweet to her and so earnest about making the relationship work.
Mary and Damien are a great couple. It is always a fun change to see the man working so hard to make the woman fall for him. At one point, Damien just gives up and starts to question Mary about why she is so hard to fall in line. I loved this part of the book. Mary’s response is so practical that I wanted to stand up and cheer. She doesn’t want to be the focus of the press and the gossip rags and they are just having fun.
Eventually fun does turn into something else. Over a period of months they fall for each other. Mary is no longer guarding her heart when the inevitable happens. I knew it had to happen so the whole book I was waiting with bated breath. The conflict isn’t overdone and the reader won’t be angry which is good because I was kind of nervous at how that part would play out.
What I love so much about Ms. Dane’s books is the connection between several of her series. The Brown family plays a prominent part in Lush because Gillian (Adrian Brown’s wife) is one of Mary’s best friends. She is also catering their wedding and engagement party. The link isn’t just with Mary though because Damien has always been good friends with Adrian and they tour together. With all those connections I wonder how Mary and Damien have gone that long without meeting before!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I love all the secondary characters and the parts they continue to play in each series. I am sad to see this part of the trilogy end because I enjoyed it a lot. There is a wonderful epilogue and I love my epilogues. This one made me smile and get a little misty eyed. I really, really hope Ms. Dane has a story for Damien’s brothers because they had some great page time and I think they would be awesome heroes. Final grade- B+
“I’d really like to get up in what you’ve got, Mary Whaley.”