Laid Open happens during the opening parts of TART – so here’s a scene between Erin and Jules before Erin heads off on vacation with her men…
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
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 on the 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
Delicious: TART by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2012, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
Releasing in digital formats and trade paper November 6, 2012
She painted her nails as she waited for Erin to answer the phone. They’d see each other later that day at Delicious, but she wanted to get this out of the way and out of Gillian’s earshot.
Erin Brown was a person like no other Jules had ever met. Adrian’s big sister, she was larger than life with Technicolor hair and an infectiously jovial manner that was impossible not to respond to. She was a musician just like Adrian; in fact they still recorded together, though Erin didn’t go out for full tours.
She was talented and lovely and really fun to be around. And she saw Gillian for the treasure she was, which went a hell of a long way in Jules’s book.
“Hey, Erin. How’s it going?”
“Not bad. Todd took Alexander out to the park and Ben is working. I am blessedly alone. I can’t tell you what a rarity that is.”
Jules knew there were people out in the world who had more than one partner, but Erin was the only person she knew who lived within a committed threesome. She and her husband also had a partner, Ben. And the three of them had a sweet little boy named Alexander. For all the piercings and wild hair and rock-star life, Erin was also refreshingly old-fashioned and family centered. They made a beautiful family and it was clear they all loved each other very much.
Erin and Adrian were very close. As Adrian also was with his older brother, Brody. He had a strong commitment to family and Jules admired that. He and Gillian were perfect for each other in that way.
Very few people would have been good enough for Gillian and Miles. Lucky for Adrian he was one of them. Most of the time anyway.
Jules looked down at her calendar for a moment before speaking again. “I was wondering if you’d like to plan an engagement party with me for Gillian and Adrian. Now that they’ve chosen a date and things are moving forward I thought it could be a good idea.”
“Yes! I was just thinking about this a few days ago. Ella brought it up. Let’s do it.”
They talked places and dates and decided on mid-June, which gave them about a month to get everything in place.
“Get me a list of people you think Adrian would like to have invited and I’ll get them on the list.”
Erin assented. “Gotcha. Also, I know a really good printer. How about I take on that part?”
“All right, that works. I’ll work on food with Mary.”
“I’m sure she has connections for good bar staff, so can you get me a few names? I’ll volunteer to get that hooked up. Nothing wild.” Erin laughed. “We’re all too old for wild these days. But a nice open bar. I know Brody wants to help with some of this too. How about he pays for food?”
Jules tapped her pen a moment. “We’ve got the food. If you want to get the booze, that’s fine. But we’ve got the food and the desserts. Mary and I already talked about it.” They weren’t rock stars, but they wanted to do their part for their friend.
“You’re going to tell Brody no?” Erin laughed. “Oh, never mind, I bet you would. It would be worth it to see his face. How about he gets the printing then? For the invitations.”
“Do you always get your way?”
“Not always, but most of the time I do.”
Jules could imagine the grin on Erin’s face as she said it. She was too lovely to be annoyed with. Erin only wanted to do for the people she loved and Jules couldn’t fault her for that.
“I’ll get you the contact information later today for the invitations, then. And I’ll get you the info on the menu and all that stuff too.”
“Perfect. Brody and I are so thrilled for Adrian and Gillian. I’m so glad you called. We’ll see you in a few hours at Delicious. I’m super excited. We’ve got a babysitter and everything. A real adult meal in a place without paper tablecloths? I’m in heaven.”
“It’s Mary’s first Delicious at Tart. She’s nervous and pretends to be worried she’ll pull it off. But she knows, like we all do, that she’ll kick ass. I’ll see you and your dudes later tonight.”