Dana and Erryn review The Glasshouse (Lavender Shores Book 6) by Rosalind Abel (Published by Wings of Ink Publications, April 1, 2018, 323 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
- To read the review for The Palisade (Lavender Shores Book 1) click here.
- To read the review for The Garden (Lavender Shores Book 2) click here.
- To read the review of The Veranda (Lavender Shores Book 3) click here.
- To read the review for The Shipwreck (Lavender Shores Book 4) click here.
- To read the review of The Hideaway (Lavender Shores Book 5) click here.
Adrian Rivera lives as he damn well pleases, defying his Lavender Shores family to spend his days farming the beautiful Northern California land. Not one to daydream of true love and romance, Adrian’s social life has always been filled with sex and plenty of good times.
Harrison Getty went from NFL star quarterback to America’s gay heartthrob, to reality TV star—with his wedding day broadcast live on national television. But Harrison feels trapped in a Hollywood life dictated by others. To breathe again, he runs from it all …
Adrian’s attraction to Harrison has been building for months—even as Harrison prepared to marry another man. Lightning strikes between them, stirring emotions and passions as Adrian finds “the one,” a love that’s meant to be. But can Harrison stop running long enough to know his own heart?
Amid scandals and betrayals, Adrian and Harrison struggle to grow their new love even as life’s storms threaten to shatter it all.
I am so glad the author continued this series. I love the setting of Lavender Shores and the people who live there. The Glasshouse has a “runaway bride” trope and since I’ve enjoyed a few movies that feature that, I was especially excited for this one.
I really like how different every story is in this series, though there are some problems many of the couples seem to have to tackle. In Lavender Shores being LGBTQIA is accepted and celebrated, but the town is not so old and the founding family members have a stance on what is proper and respectable to them. Harrison and Adrian are the latest couple to cause a scandal when they hook-up after Harrison leaves a founding families’ son at the altar.
Harrison’s relationship with his fiance Will didn’t strike me as very close. A reality show and live wedding put a lot of pressure on both of them, and Will’s desire for pleasing the producers and higher ratings left me cold, as I imagine it did Harrison. I didn’t blame Harrison for leaving after reading a little about their relationship. As the story went on, I did find that a part of me wants to know more about Will and hope there will be a book about him. I’m sticking by my opinion that he cared too much about what the show producers wanted, but I also came to understand that he did have feelings for Harrison and I’d like to see him find love.
As far as Harrison and Adrian go, hooking up so soon after the botched wedding was possibly a little too quick. Feelings did develop quickly between them. Genuine feelings, but it was more than just the show that caused Harrison’s cold feet. There is a lot more going on. It isn’t a cut and dried romance for the two men. I really came to like Adrian in this book. His own relationship history was full of brief flings. Discovering the depth of feelings he was capable of changed him. He gives Harrison the freedom to spread his wings, even though it hurt him to do it. To find out if his patience pays off, I definitely recommend reading the book.
Many of the previous main characters in this series do make an appearance in this book. I really love Robert Kelly for how he embraces his quirks and a kind of fluid sexuality. Micah is Adrian’s business partner and I liked seeing him again. Harrison’s brother Jasper is another who I really want to see find love. With each new story, I only find I want more of this series, and I think that says a lot. Each story could be read on it’s own, but I recommend reading them all because they are fun and sweet and very sexy. A not to be missed series.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Lavender Shores is back! I adored the first 5 books and was thrilled when Rosalind Abel announced she was going to do another 5.
I loved this book. I think those who have loved the previous books will be happy to see old faces. Readers who have yet to encounter the gay-friendly California town should give it a try.
To Harrison, “Lavender Shores was Belle’s village in ‘Beauty and the Beast’…okay, maybe it wasn’t quite the village… It was better.” He later witnessed, “a little family of quail emerged from a row of hedges and stopped the traffic, their feathered plumes bobbing on their heads as they scurried across the street to shelter in a cluster of flowering bushes”. As a city-dweller who rarely steps away from the concrete jungle, I had a conversation with a raccoon the other day, but that’s about as good as it gets. The imagery of quails crossing the street is idyllic and another reason why I want to live in Lavender Shores.
I have one major criticism and I want to get it out of the way. The opening scene. (In fact, the first two chapters). I urge you to read the synopsis and memorize the names of the two heroes (Adrian and Harrison). Then be prepared because during the wedding scene and the next chapter, about twelve new characters (mostly men) are introduced. Many new faces with inadequate introduction or differentiation, left me stymied. I felt inundated.
Chapter 2 should have been better except I was introduced to Adrian’s entire family in mere paragraphs and then the couples from the previous 5 stories are discussed in the context of a coffee book with photographs of the couples.
So, to summarize, one meets about 20 or so characters in two chapters.
Remember who the main characters are? It’s important to hold on to those.
Okay, don’t be discouraged! A fair number of the characters never reappear (or there are passing mentions that might confuse you further – pilot, stalker…). These are most likely characters for subsequent books, but chances are you won’t remember these passing and odd references anyway.
Once things slowed down and I was able to spend time in the head of each hero, I fell in love with both of them. Both could have easily been stereotyped – the farmer and the former football player – but Ms. Abel gave both characters depth. Their backstories are complicated, their family relations (both past and present) problematic.
Harrison has a close but complicated relationship with his brother Jasper, and when they finally unload and tell each other how they truly feel, it gave me shivers. Adrian’s empathy for his widower brother Andre with his little daughter Katniss was moving. I am hopeful Andre will find a new love, but I don’t think we ever did find out how his wife died. It doesn’t matter, but it was a loose thread that irritated me.
I’m not a huge fan of moving quickly into bed, but Adrian and Harrison have known each other for almost a year, and falling into a relationship feels natural, and more importantly, safe. It seems logical to both men. However, life is not without complications as the men are not living on a deserted island. And, as supportive as they are toward each other, they don’t know everything about each other.
Adrian lives in a cottage Micah sold him a while back. The cottage has history that Adrian has become obsessed with. Alex and Alan lived in the cottage, virtual hermits. In a town founded by and supportive of gays, their relationship was just too much. Adrian is reading Alex’s diary about his life with Alan. The love between the two men, especially through Alan’s illnesses, was powerful, theirs a marriage long before the Supreme Court ruled it legal. Throughout the book, he is weighing how to tell if love is real.
Robert Kelly, married to the daughter of one of the founding families from Lavender Shores, is up to his old tricks. His get-up for the 4th of July party (Speedos and all) is reminiscent of other stunts he’s pulled off in past books and it is perfect comic relief during a tense time for Harrison and Adrian.
There is more humour when Harrison takes Adrian into San Francisco to introduce him to a culture Adrian has never encountered. Near the end of the night, Adrian asked:
“Somewhere between meeting the tallest drag queen in the world and avoiding three-year-old projectile vomiting, did I become a princess?”
Harrison chuckled. “God, I hope so.”
That Harrison is able to show Adrian good times despite the chaos going on around them is wonderful, but I knew it wasn’t going to last.
I didn’t plan to cry, I swear I didn’t. Unlike while reading ‘The Shipwreck’ where there were Starbucks napkins at the ready, I did not have anything handy while reading this book. I struggled to find used tissue from the bottom of my knapsack while on a bus surrounded by total strangers. It was a dark, rainy day, yet I was grateful I was wearing my sunglasses. But I think the sniffling gave me away.
Ms. Abel’s book made me laugh, made me cry, brought me joy and reminded me that there are happy endings. It may just be fiction, but I know people who have overcome even more than Harrison and Adrian and have come out stronger as a couple.
The Glasshouse, obviously, plays a symbolic and important role in the book. Like the Palisades, Garden, Veranda, Garden, Hideaway, and Shipwreck from the previous books, this rundown deserted building plays a pivotal role in the relationship of the men.
I liked the lightning metaphor as well as the image of Harrison running because he can’t breathe (which logically seems counterintuitive, but works brilliantly). In the end, Harrison needed to find a way not to suffocate and Adrian needed to find a way to accept love as a permanent thing.
I’ll leave it up to the reader to decide if the ending is as touching as I found it. Despite the rough start, this is another great book.
4 stars = 8 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.