LUSH – Meet Mary

How about a scene from the first time Damien lays eyes on Mary in LUSH?

Delicious: LUSH by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2013, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
Releasing April 2

A pretty blonde scooted out the back door and he was disappointed as he loved a pretty blonde. But then he saw her. Dark hair held back from her face though acres of curls strained at their confinement.

She was bent over a counter, slicing a tomato. Her hands glistened against the red flesh. He’d seen women cut up tomatoes hundreds of times over his life and had never actually gotten wood. Until that moment.

And when she looked up, it was on a full-throated laugh as Gillian put her head on Curly’s shoulder, also laughing. Gillian was friendly and sweet, but this woman was clearly comfortable with her friend, totally open.

“English, there you are.” Adrian stepped to his fiancée to give her a kiss.

Gillian smiled up at him. “I was trying to shoo Mary out of here. I already got Jules gone. Thank goodness for Cal, who was more than willing to help with that. But Mary is being difficult.”

Mary, ah, a name then.

Mary gave Gillian a somber look. “I have problems with authority.”

Damien laughed.

Curly glanced up to catch his eye. “Hey there. Damien Hurley is standing in Gideon’s kitchen.”

And then . . . he blushed. Damien couldn’t recall the last time he blushed, but it had been a while.

“Mary Whaley, this is Damien Hurley. Damien, this is Mary; she’s responsible for the food you will gorge yourself on. Trust me on this. Once you start, you can’t stop. She’s also our very dear friend.”

Gillian wrapped an arm around Mary’s shoulder, beaming. Clearly so very proud. Damien couldn’t help but respond in kind.

“I’d shake your hand, but mine are covered in tomato.” She held them up. “Hang on, let me wash up.”

He watched as she moved to the sink. As she washed her hands with precision she spoke over her shoulder to one of the servers. She dried up and then took the apron off.


Underneath the apron she wore a dress that hugged her curves. And she had them.

“I’m so glad you went with that color.” Gillian beamed and Damien agreed.

“Raspberry sorbet.” Damien hadn’t meant to say that out loud.

Mary looked to him, holding her hand out. He took it in both of his, bending to kiss her knuckles instead.

“Pleasure to meet you.”

“Please tell your mother I said she raised you right.”

“You smell like vanilla and cinnamon.” Why he kept blurting stupid shit he had no idea. He was normally far more finessed at this. “That’s a compliment, by the way.”

She laughed. “I made some coffee for my brother, Cal. He likes vanilla and cinnamon in it.”

He liked the sound of her laugh.

“Mary, out of the kitchen now. I know you’ve pestered your staff more than enough. Everything is wonderful. I want you to enjoy this party and I forbid you to do any more work.” Gillian snatched something off a tray and popped it in Adrian’s mouth.

“Okay, okay. I just want everything to be perfect.”

Damien bent his arm and held it in her direction. “Shall we go outside then?”

“All right.”

3 comments to “LUSH – Meet Mary”

  1. Viki S.
    March 27th, 2013 at 9:05 am · Link

    That was nice – thanks.

  2. cathyf
    March 27th, 2013 at 10:14 am · Link


  3. Aurore
    March 27th, 2013 at 11:15 am · Link

    It’s obvious right from the start that they are made for one another. I love that Damien blushes and blurts things out, it’s so cute!