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Tart

Tart - Lauren Dane 3 stars

A decent book, but I didn't really buy the falling in love part. And that makes me sad, because I adored the first story in the series (from Cherished) and was really looking forward to this one. Oh, well...

Jules Lamprey is happy - her bakery is doing swell, one of her best friends is getting married, her circle of friends is there for her as always. Of course, there is something missing, but ever since she met Gideon Carter again, it seems like everything is going as it should. If only she could have had Cal Whaley as well.

Cal has been crushing on Jules for years, but he wasn't willing to endanger their friendship for a relationship, after all his track record isn't exactly good. But now that she is happy and falling for his best friend, he decides to come to terms with his feelings.

And then there's Gideon - he came back to town to take care of his family's farm. He didn't expect Jules - she is everything he ever wanted from a woman, and it seems like they will make it. Until Cal comes along and admits his feelings. Suddenly everything becomes far more complicated.

I really like most of the characters in the book, Jules' friends and the Brown family. However, sadly, it's the main characters that I have issues with. First there's Jules, who admits that she can be a bitch (over and over again, I got it after the second time she said, thank you), but her trust issues annoyed me. Then there's Cal - who is genuinely a nice guy, but a coward - he decides to admit he cares for her just as she is finally happy with another man, really?!? I did like Gideon, though. He mostly made it possible for me to actually like the book.

Don't get me wrong, they all had redeeming qualities, and I mostly liked them, but I would get jarred by their behavior from time to time.

As for the relationship itself, not a lot of attention was paid to it -- there was a lot of time dedicated to Gillian and Aidan's wedding (Never Enough) and to the reaction of different people to their triad. So, the relationship itself suffered for it.

One more thing, even though this is classified as a different series, my recommendation would be to read the Brown series first, or at least Never Enough (since this could be considered as an extended epilogue).

As I already said, I did like the book (and all the sexy parts :D ), but it could have been so much better.

ARC received from Berkley via Edelweiss