Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Release Day Review: The Garden (Lavender Shores #2) by Rosalind Abel

the gardenTitle ~ The Garden (Lavender Shores #2)

Author ~ Rosalind Abel

Publisher ~ Wings of Ink Publications, LLC

Published ~ 25th July 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance





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.


Debra’s Review

I am absolutely loving this series! This story definitely works as a standalone, although we met Gilbert in the previous book and we do get to check in with Joel and Andrew from The Palisade. It also had a very different feel to it, adding a bit of angst, but still bringing the sex and romance I loved with the last book.

Gilbert has been in therapy since he was 16 years old and still can’t forgive himself for what happened back then. He ran from gossipy Lavender Shores as quickly as he could and only goes back occasionally to visit his family. He is now back to attend his best friend Andrew’s engagement party. Sexy, with an arrogant air about him, he is a successful jewelry designer and has set about working his way through the male population between Lavender Shores and Lake Tahoe. Walden, on the other hand, dreamed of living in Lavender Shores since he used to drive through it as a child with his religious, disapproving parents. He is now living out his dream, recently moved in and working as a teacher. Walden may dress a bit nerdy, but there is so much more beneath that surface. He also has had his share of heartache, pain and regret and is now living in a self-imposed state of celibacy. It seems to be sticking until he meets Gilbert at the gym. One intense hook-up and each is stuck in the other’s head.

Told in alternating points of view, the story starts off with several hook ups over a period of about six months, jumping from meeting to meeting. Each man has their own reason for not wanting a relationship. When they realize how much they are looking forward to being with each other, how much they miss each other in between and that feelings are getting involved, they decide that they need to put the brakes on things. Can they be friends without benefits those times when Gilbert returns to Lavender Shores? If not, can they go back to existing without having a presence in each others’ lives? Yeah, right – we all know that’s not going to happen!

This story had a more serious tone than the last one. Gilbert’s and Walden’s issues are all within themselves. There are no outside influences trying to keep them apart or working to ruin them. Both men are struggling with pasts they don’t think they can ever overcome. Neither thinks he is worthy of the other. They each have plenty of self-doubt, self-loathing and aren’t willing to cut themselves a break. Although there are hints from the start about some of what Gilbert went through as a teenager, Walden’s past is a bit more mysterious and it didn’t pan out completely the way I expected.

While they immediately realize that they are perfect for each other sexually, it takes a bit longer for them to realize that they also are in a position to offer each other the emotional support and understanding, without judgment, that others have been unable to. In bed, from the start, they are explosive together! The dirty talk, the no holds barred sex, each is able to get just what they want and need from the other. When things start to get to the “more than just sex point” the intensity of the kissing alone…. Wow! But just as good is the emotional aspect of the story. I loved being with them as they worked through their issues individually and together. Gilbert makes good use of his therapy sessions while Walden unburdens himself to Gilbert. The mutual trust and understanding they build is touching and something neither expected.

“One day we’re going to believe we deserve each other.”

As much as I liked the first book, I liked Gilbert and Walden’s story even more. Even though they really start to fall for each other over the course of those first few meetings, this isn’t insta-love. These two work for it. The emotional breakthroughs and honest conversations between the men grabbed me just as much as the super hot sex. The more I got into the story, the more their layers were revealed and the more I realized what a struggle it really would be for both of them to get to their HEA, made me root for them even harder. Their HEA was well earned and I am so happy I was on the journey with them. I can’t wait for the next story in this series.

Purchase Links



The PalisadeThe Palisade (Lavender Shores #1)

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.

Review :: Amazon Global Link


Meet Rosalind Abel 

Rosalind Abel grew up tending chickens along side her sweet rosalind abeland 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.




  1. This series sounds so good! I can't wait to read these!

  2. Thanks! Both books have been different and I enjoyed them both. I hope you like it when you get to it.