Erryn reviews The Wilderness (Lavender Shores Book 8) by Rosalind Abel (Published by Wings of Ink Publications, May 30, 2018, 298 pages). The audiobook was released July 2, 2019, is 9 hrs and 27 mins and is narrated by Kirt Graves. 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.
- To read the review of The Glasshouse (Lavender Shores Book 6) click here.
- To read the review of The Alcove (Lavender Shores Book 7) click here.
- To read the review of The Wilderness (Lavender Shores Book 8) click here.
- To read the review of The Victorian (Lavender Shores Book 9) click here.
- To read the review for The Garden Audiobook (Lavender Shores Book 2) click here.
- To read the review of The Veranda Audiobook (Lavender Shores Book 3) click here
- To read the review of The Shipwreck Audiobook (Lavender Shores Book 4) click here
- To read the review of The Hideaway Audiobook (Lavender Shores Book 5) click here.
- To read the review of The Glasshouse Audiobook (Lavender Shores Book 6) click here.
- To read the review of The Alcove Audiobook (Lavender Shores Book 7) click here.
Will Epstein had it all—playboy good looks, wealth and prestige, and a gorgeous fiancé to costar with him on a reality television show. But that was years ago, before he was abandoned at the altar on national television. In the aftermath, Will’s world crumbled, leaving him humiliated and lost.
Andre Rivera married his first love and lived a dream life until tragedy stepped in. His wife’s sudden death left him devastated and struggling to build a life for his young daughter. Being a pilot offers Andre a sense of freedom from Lavender Shores, but he feels trapped and unable to move forward.
A shared sense of loss fosters a surprising friendship between Will and Andre, giving them both the salvation they need. But when feelings cross the lines of friendship and secrets are revealed, Will and Andre have to confront their own fears.
Amid the gold of a Lavender Shores autumn, Will and Andre must grasp their chance at love… before it slips away.
When I first met Will Epstein, he was waiting at the altar for Harrison Getty. The perfectly orchestrated wedding was to be the event of the season in Lavender Shores. Too bad Will was more focused on the ceremony and the ratings than on his husband-to-be. Titan Passions was the reality show based on the men’s love story but Will’s obsession with perfection led Harrison to question everything and, eventually, to leave the relationship. In the end, although it was a hard decision for Harrison, it worked out for the better. His friendship with Adrian Rivera grew into something serious and they are now married and happy.
An odd incidence of mistaken identity brought Will into the sphere of Andre Rivera. Adrian’s twin brother has been mired in grief and getting knocked around by Will seems to jar something loose. His wife died suddenly, leaving him alone to raise his daughter Katniss. He loved his wife Meghan with every fiber of his being and her tragic death really affected him. It also put a big neon sign over his head and everyone in Lavender Shores has been treating his as the poor widower. Frankly, he’s grown a little tired of it all. Yes, he misses Meghan, but he also wants to move on with his life.
Andre and Will develop an odd friendship – with Seth Marino – Lavender Shore’s Lothario. The men are close, but it’s Will and Andre who start hanging out. Start sharing their pain. Start helping the other heal. When Will receives a desperate call in the night, it’s Andre he turns to for help. And, of course, Andre is there to help. He’s a great guy, always willing to do the right thing. The trip to the Alaskan wilderness turns out to be a revelation and Will learns more about Andre than he ever imagined. Like that Andre has found an interesting way to try to get over the death of his wife and move on. Like spending intimate time with men.
In the end, Will runs. He’d run after Harrison left him at the altar and he runs before Andre can hurt him. In reality, though it’s already too late. The separation hurts both of them and only a tragedy can bring Will back to the town he has a love/hate relationship with. This time, however, the men find the attraction is too strong and admit they’re happier together – whether as friends or as something more.
When Harrison and Adrian find out about the unusual pairing, it’s Adrian who really loses it: “Will Epstein? Will? He’s about as interesting as a cardboard paper doll and has a stick up his ass the size of a pine tree. And an arrogant pine tree at that.” I understood where he was coming from and if I hadn’t witnessed Will’s growth as a person, I might have felt the same way. In the end, it’s Andre who has the profound realization:
Will hadn’t just been a friend. Though we’d never dated, never kissed, never touched in that way, he’d become my partner, my other half. Somewhere between our drunken grief at the beginning and the years that followed, he’d slid into the place in my heart Meghan had occupied, not shoving her away, but simply coming alongside her. The place in my home as well. Dinners with Katniss, the three of us watching movies, playing games. He’d become my confidant, the one I told nearly everything to, the one who didn’t require explanation, the one who just knew. I’d called him friend, but he’d been family. He’d been…
Everything clarified, nearly painfully so. The fuzzy edges coming into razor sharp focus. Compounding the loss of what I’d not even realized I’d had. Shining a light on the hole that had been ripped open the year before.
This time, both men run together, opting to head back to Alaska to find some peace. To find time to discover the depth of their feelings. Oh, and to have a little fun as well. I love the banter between the two that comes from the years of friendship. As Will notes:
I grasped Andre’s cock and gave it a matching stroke. “How many people get to make love under the Northern Lights? And here we are cracking jokes.” Maybe it shouldn’t have surprised me after all our years of friendship, but I’d never experienced sex in a way where it felt so easy, so fun.
“Well, we can’t have that.” He scooted closer so his chest brushed against mine and the hears of our cocks bumped as we stroked. His smile faded and he lowered his voice to a gravelly whisper. “Will Epstein, you are the most magnificent man in the world. Come ravish me under the dancing lights of heaven. Allow our spirits to connect through our eyes as you ravage my body…” He lowered his voice deeper yet. “Nay, ravage my soul as you pummel me with your velvet sword of lust.” He tugged again on my cock and then tilted his head as his voice returned to normal. “Sword of lust or velvet fuck hammer? Which do you think indicates the perfect combination of true love and a prostate pounding sex tool?”
I loved that moment – when I knew the men would be okay. When I realized they were meant to be together. In the end, I got my happy ending.
I have enjoyed all the Lavender Shores books and listening to them on audio is a real treat. Kirt Graves has narrated the entire series and I love the consistency he brings. Each performance is spot on. Another great listen.
10/10 Pots of Gold – Compares to 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.