Dana reviews The Veranda (Lavender Shores Book 3) by Rosalind Abel (Published August 25,2017, 273 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Donovan Carlisle helps countless people in Lavender Shores with his skills as a therapist. It seems, however, that his ability to enable others to live their happiest life only works outside of himself. Donovan truly loves his life, but isn’t able to find a relationship that satisfies his heart’s craving. Maybe the problem is that the only man he wants is off-limits.
Spencer Epstein came to Lavender Shores to find himself. Instead, he married one of the local town beauties. He’d thought his prayers had finally been answered. Then, he met his pregnant fiancée’s brother. It turned out those answered prayers were just cruel twists of fate.
A decade later, after a divorce and the crumbling of all Spencer thought was set in stone, he sees his brother-in-law at a masquerade sex party. He takes full advantage of the anonymity and acts on the desires he’s held at bay all those years. The problem is, those silent and frenzied moments didn’t satiate anything. The fire and heat between the two men only grows as secrets are uncovered and they must determine if the cost of their passion is too high…
I have to say that I am really enjoying this series. Each story showcases such different couples and different problems. There is a low level of angst in each book just enough to cause some tension in the story but not where you will be ready to cry. There is definite heat factor in all of the stories as well. It’s steamy but the stories qualify as romances, not just erotica. Sweet and sexy with low angst makes this series just about perfect to me.
In The Veranda we meet Spencer, a lawyer who recently divorced a woman from one of the founding families of Lavender Shores. Though he did care for his wife when they first got together, a lot of their relationship was formed by him trying not to be gay because of his religious parents. He stayed faithful but he had an attraction to someone else and after the divorce he gathers enough courage to make his move. It shouldn’t be a big deal, since his ex wife is responsible for the split, and she has moved on. But the founding families are very important, and the man that Spencer is interested in is Donovan, the half brother of his ex wife.
We met Donovan in the last book when he was counseling Gilbert. Donovan was longing for someone, but we didn’t know who until this book. I experienced just a little confusion at the beginning at how Donovan was the brother since his sister had a different last name because they share a father, but it is all explained a little bit further in the story. I didn’t remember that many of the families in Lavender Shores take the wife’s last name. Especially if the wife is part of the founding families. It’s a bit of a quirky town, but with their massive LGBT support, I really wish the town was real and that I lived there.
There is a brief hesitation in regards to starting a relationship for both of them at the beginning of the book, considering the relationship between Donovan and his sister. They are both sure that it will rock the founding families and provide lots of gossip in the town, and Spencer has children to worry about as well. Their pause is warranted, but what I really liked was that the two men get over it pretty quickly. They admit to each other and themselves that they have both wanted each other and the secret feelings that they developed for each other are worth the risk of scandal.
What you have with The Veranda is a sweet romance of two characters that had been waiting for each other a long time. It is very steamy from the moment they met at a sex party to them exploring their kinks with each other. The rest of the characters in the story are ones we met before in the past two books and it’s good to see them all again. Andrew’s (from book 1) father is hilarious as always. As I continue the series, I am getting more and more wrapped up into this town and the people in it. I have been wanting Lamont’s story since book one also, so I am so excited that it will be next. Definitely recommend this series and this book.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Rosalind Abel grew up tending chickens alongside her sweet and faithful Chow, Lord Elgin. While her fantasy of writing novels was born during her teen years, she never would have dreamed she’d one day publish steamy romances about gorgeous men. However, sometimes life turns out better than planned.
In between crafting scorching sex scenes and helping her men find their soul mate, Rosalind enjoys cooking, collecting toys, and making the best damn scrapbooks in the world (this claim hasn’t been proven, but she’s willing to put good money on it).
She adores MM Romance and the power it has to sweep the reader away into worlds filled with passion, steam, and love. Rosalind also enjoys her collection of plot bunnies, and welcomes new fuzzy ones in her home all the time, so feel free to send any adorable ones her way.