Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The Garden (Lavender Shores #2) by Rosalind Abel - Release Day Review

246 Pages
Wings of Ink Publications
Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Available on KU

The blurb

Beautiful Gilbert Bryant designs jewelry for the rich and famous, and he made his escape from his gossipy little hometown of Lavender Shores. However, with so many friends and family, he keeps getting pulled back. When he attends his best friend’s engagement party, Gilbert can’t help but sample one of the new men in town. It’s just some innocent—or not so innocent—fun. Nothing that will even cross his mind once he gets back to his everyday life. 

Walden Thompson dreamed about living in Lavender Shores since he visited as a child. He finally gets his chance, and he embraces the opportunity to start over, to become someone new. He leaves both hurts and dangerous habits in the past, where they belong. When Gilbert crosses his path, Walden gives in to his baser instincts. He can indulge in the carnal pleasures this once and still be okay. 

Their few hours together haunt Gilbert, the two-hundred-mile buffer from home no longer shutting out the past or the sexy man he left behind. Walden is just beginning to recover from the smoldering encounter with Gilbert when they are thrust together once more. This time, neither of them can walk away, no matter how hard they try. But when their pasts crash into each other as surely as the magnetism that pulls them together, walking away may be the only option. 


‘I’d seen his soul. Beautiful, broken, strong. A soul I wanted to hold and protect. A soul I thought might be able to heal mine.’ - Gilbert

WOW! This book packs a punch in every possible and exquisitely wonderful way. I mean, what’s not to love about a story featuring two gorgeous men who both see themselves as broken beyond redemption. Two men who are irresistibly drawn to each other and, when they act on it, discover they are a perfect match when it comes to sex. Two men who, despite their every instinct screaming at them to forget the other, to keep their distance, find it impossible to fight whatever it is that’s pulling them ever closer together.

There’s a lot I won’t be telling you about this story. You won’t catch me revealing why Gilbert is determined to stay away from Lavender Shores for as much of the time as he can possibly manage. Nor why he has an issue with teachers. And I’m also not going to talk about the past Walden is ashamed off. All I’ll say here is that both these men have good reasons for fearing that others might reject them as soon as those secrets come out into the open — it may turn out that they’re wrong, but you’ll completely understand where they’re coming from and your heart will break for them a little.

I got completely swept up in Gilbert and Walden’s story. They’re such beautiful creatures, despite what they might think of themselves. And together they are pure magic. And their bedroom antics — let’s just say Rosalind Abel takes us to a whole new level of hot. But, while I enjoyed (and maybe blushed about) the sex scenes, it was the emotional journey both men made that touched me most. The trust growing between them, the way they manage to open up to each other despite their fears, and the way they hold on despite their fear of what they’re about to walk into, took my breath away.

And I can’t thank the author enough for not taking the obvious route towards creating drama. I thought I knew what had to be coming and when it didn’t, I cheered.

As for the garden the book is named for: I want it to be mine. The descriptions of it were so vivid and painted such a stunning image I actually found myself being jealous of a fictional character for having created such a magical sanctuary.

All in all it is safe to say I’ve fallen hard for Lavender Shores. The setting, the people who live there, and the love stories we get to observe have all worked their way into my heart, and I’m already looking forward to book three. To say I’m a fan would be a gross understatement.

Related review: The Palisade

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