Sunday, 18 June 2017

The Palisade (Lavender Shore #1) by Rosalind Abel

Lavender Shores #1
243 Pages
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Available on Kindle Unlimited


Confident businessman Joel Rhodes sees the small California town of Lavender Shores as nothing more than a business opportunity and a final stepping stone to the position he’s been working toward his entire life. It was supposed to be just one night in town to close the deal, and sleeping with one of the local men, no matter how gorgeous, meant nothing more than a few hours of fun.

Andrew Kelly is perfectly content with the life he has in his hometown. So much so that the only thing missing is someone to share it with. Going to bed with a tourist was never meant to be the answer to his dreams, just a beautiful distraction. He could get back to looking for Mr. Right the next day.

Both Andrew’s and Joel’s worlds are turned upside down when a few hours of pleasure get extended to a couple of days. Even that shouldn’t have been a big deal. You can’t fall in love in that amount of time. That isn’t how it works. However, if destinies collide, a few short days may be all it takes to find your soul mate. Even so, when secrets and motivations get tangled, fate may do nothing more than leave two hearts in pieces. 


The Palisade is a quintessential romance; everything a reader thinks about and expects when looking for a love story. This particular story also happens to feature ‘insta-everything’. Insta-attraction, insta-lust, and insta-love. And while that shouldn’t have worked, or at the very least should have made me role my eyes, I have to admit it not only suited the story and the characters (especially Andrew) perfectly, it also swept me up in the passion of it all and made me forget about the rest of the world for a few very enjoyable hours.

Andrew and Joel are attracted to each other as soon as they lay eyes on each other in a restaurant in Lavender Shore. And from that moment on, they are set on a course that appears fated; as if no power on earth could stop their coming together. But of course, life is rarely that easy, and even for these two men, who obviously are meant to be together, there are obstacles to overcome.

Because we are privy to both men’s thoughts we can see Andrew’s heartbreak and the reasons why it will happen, coming long before it becomes obvious to him. Andrew isn’t na├»ve, he knows his feelings are too strong and too soon and he tries to stop himself from hoping and dreaming; none of which helps when he eventually discovers exactly why Joel is in Lavender Shore.

Andrew is such a romantic. He has his dreams of meeting the love of his life and having it all: the house with the picket fence in Lavender Shore, kids, dogs, and happily ever after. And no matter how often he's been disappointed, he can't stop dreaming:

"Those fantasies dried up with each little heartbreak and were pounded into dust by the larger ones. But still, I'd visit the palisade, and for a moment, I'd feel a man's strong arms around me, the scruff on his cheek scratch against mine. Maybe that would never happen in real life, but in those moments, in the beautiful, sad moments, those sensations were enough."

I was a bit torn about Joel. I understand that he’s stuck between a rock and a hard place. And nobody throws away a lifetime of trying to become something or someone based on a few days of strong attraction, and yet… The lies he had to tell and the secrets he had to keep bothered me more with each passing page. Not because I didn’t understand why they were necessary, or because his reasons didn’t make sense. No, they bothered me because I couldn’t bear the thought of the pain those lies and secrets would inflict on both of them once they were uncovered. And  while Joel's feelings are as strong as Andrew's, he is all too aware of what's to come:

"It also meant I was even more bonkers than he was. He felt all that shit and didn't know how it was going to end. I did. I knew the end. Hell, I knew the end almost to the hour and minute. And I still felt it.

But, the painful and somewhat angsty part of the story is minimal compared to the pure joy of seeing these two men coming together. The passion between them is searing and the rapidly developing and growing feelings they have for each other touched me deeply, especially because even Andrew and Joel were fully aware that it shouldn’t, couldn’t be possible to feel love after only a few days.

While obviously Andrew and Joel are the star performers in this book, the cast"of secondary characters are almost as fascinating as they are. For starters, there is Lavender Shore itself. And yes, I do consider the location a character in this book. What’s not to love about a town created to provide a safe haven for LGBTQ… people? And I do like the idea of a community that hangs on to its integrity by resisting commercialism. Among the ‘secondaries’, Andrew’s father took a star role. His sense of humour and outspokenness made me laugh out loud on several occasions. He also serves as a stark but perfect contrast to Joel’s tyrannical and uncaring — almost but not quite to the point of being a caricature — father.

Long review short: The Palisade is a wonderful, hot, and captivating romance in the purest sense of the word. The characters will capture your attention within the first few pages and refuse to let you go until you’ve accompanied them on their mostly joyful and passionate journey towards a happily ever after. As summer reads go, this one is pretty much perfect. 

If my review has made you curious about Lavender Shores and the people who live there, why don’t you visit its website and find out all about it. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the site and the only risk you take is that you might find yourself heading over to Amazon to get your hands on the book(s) asap. All is revealed here: Lavender Shores

"When my dreams came true, I noticed." - Andrew


  1. Love this book! Great review. I can't wait to read the rest of this series !

    1. Thank you! Me too. I'm very happy that these books are scheduled to come out over a short period of time.