Erryn reviews The Garden (Lavender Shores Book 2) by Rosalind Abel. The audiobook was released on December 11, 2017. Narrated by Kirt Graves it is 8 hrs and 23 mins. The ebook was published by Wings of Ink Publications, July 25, 2017, 264 pages.
Why I listened to this book: I love Lavender Shores. The sexy men there are a bonus.
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.
This is my fourth visit to Lavender Shores because I’ve been reading/listening to them out of order. So if you’re in the same situation, no worries. This book picks up after Book One with Andrew and Joel celebrating their engagement.
Gilbert is very close to Andrew, so he leaves his home and jewelry business in Tahoe for a few days and heads to his hometown of Lavender Shores. He plans to keep this visit as short as possible, because unlike Andrew, he has no desire to stay or, in his case, come back. Lavender Shores is a gay-friendly community where people are embraced and loved for who they are, not who they are attracted to. For good reason, however, Gilbert has tried to put the town in his rearview mirror. But the love of family keeps drawing him back.
Walden is the opposite. He has chosen Lavender Shores specifically so he can feel safe and welcomed for the first time in his life.
The two men meet with a bang, of sorts, only to later discover they know all the same people and have, in fact, been invited to the same engagement party.
As with many of my favourite romances, Ms. Abel has created characters with flaws. Flaws the men believe would turn the other away from him if he knew the truth. Both men have serious incidents in their pasts that have shaped who they are today. Those pasts are slowly revealed because despite initial hurt feelings and apparent rejections, there is an undeniable draw between the two men. They have the ability to help heal each other – if they can get that far. Because although the initial attraction was physical – specific body parts – the connection is two wounded souls finding each other.
In the end, they are almost kept apart by their own belief of unworthiness. I will leave the story of the garden for you to discover, but it is another magical and enchanted place in Lavender Shores, much as the Palisades was. Another heaven on earth where one can be made whole again.
I’m a sucker for a character who has endured, survived, and is – even if he doesn’t know it – seeking redemption. I believe in the power of forgiveness. It is the reason I love Ms. Abel’s books.
Kirt Graves narrated this book as well as the first in the series and I’m glad. He does a good job, bringing the characters to life and making the listening enjoyable. I look forward to the next release, hopefully sometime soon.
5 stars = 10 pots of gold
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.