Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Release Day Review: The Veranda (Lavender Shores #3) by Rosalind Abel

TheVeranda-Abel-FullSizeTitle ~ The Veranda (Lavender Shores #3)

Author ~ Rosalind Abel

Publisher ~ Wings of Ink Publications

Published ~ 29th August 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance

Rating

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Synopsis

Donovan Carlisle helps countless people in Lavender Shores with his skills as a therapist. It seems, however, that his ability to enable others to live their happiest life only works outside of himself. Donovan truly loves his life, but isn’t able to find a relationship that satisfies his heart’s craving. Maybe the problem is that the only man he wants is off-limits.
Spencer Epstein came to Lavender Shores to find himself. Instead, he married one of the local town beauties. He’d thought his prayers had finally been answered. Then, he met his pregnant fiancée’s brother. It turned out those answered prayers were just cruel twists of fate.
A decade later, after a divorce and crumbling of all Spencer thought was set in stone, he sees his brother-in-law at a masquerade sex party. He takes full advantage of the anonymity and acts on the desires he’s held at bay all those years. The problem is, those silent and frenzied moments didn’t satiate anything. The fire and heat between the two men only grows as secrets are uncovered and they must determine if the cost of their passion is too high.

 

Debra’s Review

This is another very romantic story in the Lavender Shores series. While they all work as standalone stories, I’d suggest reading from the start, not just because the stories are all so good, but also because the history of this unique town has been explained, the characters have all been introduced before and favorite couples return in each book. This story takes place two years from the start of the first book so there are plenty of updates on both Andrew and Joel and Gilbert and Walden.

Spencer has known he was gay since he was a child, but he had a problem accepting it. His preacher parents had him in years of therapy to try to pray the gay away. He thought his prayers had been answered with Erica and he moved to Lavender Shores with her to be married. Those thoughts changed the night of his engagement party when he met her half-brother Donovan and his whole carefully, but poorly, constructed pretend world came crashing down. Spencer shoved those feelings back down again, married Erica, had children and played the part of faithful husband. Donovan was similarly struck that night and the two have existed as brothers-in-law for 10 years while carefully trying to hide the lust and desire that never went away but grew. Now that Spencer is divorced he’s ready to try to live the way he was always meant to. When he discovers Donovan is at the same masquerade sex party, Spencer takes his chance and figures the anonymity will help. He doesn’t realize Donovan knows it’s him and the encounter sets the men on a path that has some very big obstacles to overcome.

One of Spencer’s obstacles is the internalized guilt that comes from growing up with his preacher family. He’s had an ingrained belief from a very young age that something was wrong with him being gay and he needed to work at changing it. Now he realizes how wrong that was, but still has a nagging voice that shows up occasionally. Donovan’s fears mostly revolve around his being with Spencer seen as betraying his family and how it would look to the residents of Lavender Shores. Both know the biggest hurdle to overcome will be how Spencer and Erica’s children will react. They fear that after spending so long pushing down their desires, that what they are building could all be ripped away in an instant.

Spencer and Donovan are another wonderful couple. They’re not kids and they don’t act like it, except maybe in bed. Spencer is all in on exploring everything he’s missed out on and these two definitely have fun. They also talk, for the most part and really try to make things work. A little help from their friends is the only other thing they really need to figure things out and it’s nice to see the support they receive from them when they couldn’t necessarily count on their families.

Even though the “I love yous” come quickly, this is not insta-love in my opinion. Spencer and Donovan have spent 10 years hiding their deeper feelings and getting to know each other as friends and family. Their new relationship moved quickly but naturally under the circumstances. I really adored these two together, from the sex to the banter and to their understanding and respect for each other, they were a great couple, but the familiarity they shared took away some of the intensity we got in the prior books which had more of a “will they won’t they” component, and it settled into a more quiet love story, making it feel different from the first two books. These two still had a lot to learn about each other and their exploration of everything they wanted but couldn’t have over the years was romantic and sexy, especially when Donovan gets to play out his fantasies surrounding his fantasies about a man in a suit.

I have to mention one part of the book that I struggled a bit with. If you’ve read the prior books, you’ve met Erica. She’s a bitch on wheels. Just nasty. Donovan and Spencer are apparently the only people in town that Erica doesn’t hold in public contempt, but even so and despite what we’re told about her not having a problem with LGBT people, she still uses Spencer’s homosexuality as a weapon against him and has from the start. Erica’s behavior is unpredictable and it’s not clear at all to me why Spencer ever actually loved her or even liked her. It’s a minor bother, but it still nagged at me throughout.

I’m going to say again that I’m really enjoying this series. Each book has had a different feel, but all of them have a good combination of romance, humor, drama, sex and a quirky town full of characters. I’m so glad there are more to come and I can’t wait for Lamont to finally find his HEA. This will be a perfect read for you if you like stories about people casting off their past to embrace the person they were always meant to be and finding their soulmate in the process.

Purchase Links

AMAZON GLOBAL LINK

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The Lavender Shores Series

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

the gardenThe Garden (Lavender Shores #2)

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.

Review :: Amazon Global Link

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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.

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