Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Release Day Review: The Palisade (Lavender Shores #1) by Rosalind Abel

The PalisadeTitle ~ The Palisade

Author ~ Rosalind Abel

Publisher ~ Wings of Ink Publications

Published ~ 20th June 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance





Confident businessman Joel Rhodes sees the small California town of Lavender Shores as nothing more than a business transaction and a final stepping-stone to the position he’s been working towards his entire life. It was supposed to be nothing more than one night in town to close the deal, and sleeping with one of the local men, no matter how gorgeous, meant nothing more than a few hours of fun.
Andrew Kelly is perfectly content with the life he has in his hometown. So much so, that the only thing missing is someone to share it with. Going to bed with a tourist was never meant to be the answer to his dreams, just a beautiful distraction. He could get back to looking for Mr. Right the next day.
Both Andrew and Joel’s worlds are turned upside down when a few hours of pleasure gets extended to a couple of days. Even that shouldn’t be a big deal. You can’t fall in love in such a short time, that isn’t how it works. However, if destinies collide, a few short days may be all it takes to find your soul mate. Even so, when secrets and motivations get tangled, destiny may do nothing more than leave two hearts in pieces.


Debra’s Review

If you read my reviews you know I’m a fan of Brandon Witt’s emotional, angsty books. When I found out he was launching a new line of romance stories under the name Rosalind Abel (to distinguish from his gay fiction) I knew I had to check it out. So, for those of you who feared reading him because of his heavy storylines, this is the book you want to read. I absolutely loved it! It’s low angst, all out romance with plenty of hot sex and two MCs you will be rooting for from page one.

Andrew is a complete romantic. He is content with his life, living in the idyllic, LGBT-friendly community of Lavender Shore and can’t imagine living anywhere else. This has led to a string of failed relationships as many men can’t imagine staying in such a small, close community. Even Andrew’s best friend Gilbert, the son of another founding family, up and left as soon as he could.

Joel would seem to be the heir apparent to the Harvest Coffee empire, but not if you ask his father. The man tests him and degrades him at every turn. Joel is in Lavender Shores to score a location for their new Comfort Coffee flagship store. A few days to seal the deal and he’s gone. If he gets this taken care of it should prove to his father that he is ready to take his place next in line to run Harvest Coffee. It’s not going to be easy, Lavender Shores is unlike most places, and Joel is about to find out just how tough it will be, especially after meeting Andrew.

When Andrew and Joel first lay eyes on each other there is an instant attraction. Before their hook up is even starting, both men feel something more. There is insta-lust and insta-love, the sex is hot, Joel’s mouth is dirty and it all worked for me. These two can’t get enough of each other and I couldn’t get enough of them. As Andrew helps Joel scout out a place for his business, Joel is keeping a secret; he can’t let Andrew know just what the business plans are. The two grow closer, spending every minute of their few days together, falling in love. The insta-love perplexes the MCs but as much as their logical minds want to, they can’t deny that what their hearts, bodies and souls are screaming – they are meant to be together. But Joel is lying and when Andrew finds out it’s a devastating blow. Is running from Lavender Shores back to the fast-paced but unsatisfying life Joel lives the right move?

This book gushes romance. I was enraptured. I loved the MCs, who have off-the-charts chemistry, there’s plenty of tension, thanks to the lie that hovers between Andrew and Joel, and the setting is beautiful. Andrew is wonderful from the moment he appears. He knows who he is and what he wants, but he hasn’t quite reached out and grabbed it. Joel… I wanted to shake him. He is living to please a father that, at best, is indifferent towards him but mostly appears disgusted. He is confident in his business abilities, but his father keeps blocking him. The happiness he feels with Andrew is something he will never have if his father has his way. Frankly, Joel needed to grow a pair and reassess his life. I loved watching him fight that internal battle as he is clear that Andrew is everything he could ever want in another person, but just can’t quite remove himself from the path he has chosen.

This first book sets up the town and some of its inhabitants very nicely. Andrew’s, and his best-friend Gilbert’s parents, two of the town’s founding families, are quite entertaining. At times they bordered on over the top, but never pushed over that line. Gilbert, who couldn’t run from the town fast enough, has quite a story to tell, and will be the subject of the next book, and Andrew’s brother, the romance writer who needs a career boost was also prominently featured.

With a book a month planned through October, I can only hope that the momentum of this first story continues. The Palisade was emotional, entertaining and full of the romance and hot loving that I was promised. If you’re a romance junkie, I can’t recommend it enough - just go grab it.

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