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review 2017-06-17 02:50
ARC Review: The Palisade by Rosalind Abel
The Palisade (Lavender Shores) - Rosalind Abel

Lavender Shores is a new series by Rosalind Abel (aka Brandon Witt), and it's certainly off to a great start.

In this first book, we meet Andrew Kelly, whose family was one of the founders of Lavender Shores, a small tourist town/LGBTQ haven north of San Francisco, bordered by the Point Reyes National Seaboard. I've never been in that area, but the descriptions of the landscape in the book paint a gorgeous picture.

Joel Rhodes has come to Lavender Shores at the behest of his father and boss to scope out the town for a new flagship store for his father's coffee empire, and close a deal for the store. He knows this is likely a test, one he's willing to take, but also realizes that he likely will never please his father despite his best efforts. It was fairly easy to feel kind of sorry for Joel from the start.

They first meet at a local restaurant where Andrew's family is celebrating his older brother's birthday and Joel just happens to be in the same restaurant the evening he arrives in town. Attraction is immediate and fiery, and Joel and Andrew spend a hot night together.

The very next day Joel is both delighted and dismayed to discover that Andrew is a real estate agent, handling the commercial properties. As they thus meet again, and as their night of passion still lingers, the two men spend more time getting to know each other. An extra day leads to a week, and falling in love happens quicker than either of them thought.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Like I said in my final update, there's hot sex, a ton of emotion, a tight narrative, and a well-chosen location, with excellent use of romance tropes - what's not to love?

There's a bit of angst, of course, because there has to be. Falling in love in a week, developing such a strong bond in such a short amount of time - there's got to be some angst to level out that playing field. Joel's in a terrible position, what with his father's expectations and his own desires at complete opposites, and Andrew is unable and unwilling to leave Lavender Shores behind, happy and content to stay in the small town he calls home - thus theirs is not a smooth ride to everlasting happiness.

But love will find a way, and there's the most amazing and teary-eye-causing happy ending, and I was overjoyed to see them so in love. Joel finds in Andrew what he's been missing most his life. And Andrew gets exactly what he's dreamed of for so long.

A sweeping romance, excellent pacing, and a cast of fantastic characters (Andrew's dad is a hoot), except perhaps Joel's father, who was a bit of a caricature horrible man, made this book a fabulous read and a real page-turner. There are quite a few sexy times inside but none of them felt superfluous and all of them helped move the relationship and thus the plot forward. I also want to point out that this being the first in a series, the author did a fantastic job introducing the town and its people without it distracting from the main couple's romance.

Highly recommended. I can hardly wait for the next installment.


** I received a free copy of this book from its author. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2017-03-28 14:09
Wild Lavender
Wild Lavender - Lynne Connolly

'Wild Lavender' by Lynne Connolly is book Seven in the "The Emperors of London" series.  This is the story of Helena and Tom.  This book is broken down in two different parts in their lives.  One being where Helena and Tom meet before they know who the other one is which this first part coincides with the previous book "Veiled In Blue" which has Helena brother Julius as the main character in that book.  Tom and Helena try to secretly keep meeting but then Tom ends things without explaining.   The next part of the book has Helena settling into being a spinster and wanting her own home but her mother still wanting to marry her off.  Tom is there to help her when a suitor takes to make her marry him.  This opens up old wounds and Helena wants to know why Tom ended their relationship.  
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Source: www.amazon.com/Lavender-Emperors-London-Lynne-Connolly-ebook/dp/B01HWKOFAQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490551490&sr=8-1&keywords=Wild+Lavender
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text 2016-06-01 09:29
Free June 2016 Desktop Wallpaper Download
Hello dears!
 

May has gone by so quickly. I am shocked to say the least.
And though I am a tad bit late, I have the June Desktop Wallpaper with me.

 

For this I used the clone tool, different layers & layer masks. Changing the colouring, and giving it a slightly 'canvasy' look by using & mixing different textures.
Also a bit of dodge & burn was used, where it was needed.

I wanted to give it that grainy, stark feeling of some of those old retro photos. Being bolder with the colours yet having that slighly dreamy feeling.

 

Well, on to the Wallpaper for June 2016.

 

June2016-DeskCal

 

I hope it is to your liking.

 

Yours,
 Nokta

 

P.S.: Feel free to share this Calendar. And don't forget, Constructive criticism and comments in general are always welcome!

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review 2016-06-01 00:00
Love on Lavender Island
Love on Lavender Island - Lauren Christo... Love on Lavender Island - Lauren Christopher A love story that was years in the making. When Paige left Lavender Island, she planned to put old hurts, family drama and her teenage crush in the rear view mirror. Her big dreams didn't turn out how she planned and she's returned home with a bruised ego and an idea that she's determined to make work. Too bad a grownup Adam is just as fascinating as the teenage one. Will she risk her heart or will she end up breaking his? Love on Lavender Island is full of difficult choices but it also is about grabbing onto what makes one happy. A cute read about not knowing what you want until you almost lose it. Teaches the importance of being true to oneself.
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review 2016-04-16 19:30
Great female historical figures and an enjoyable regency mystery
The Sans Pareil Mystery (The Detective Lavender Mysteries Book 2) - Karen Charlton

I was provided with a free copy of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review.

This is the first novel in the series of the Detective Lavender Mysteries I’ve read and the first regency detective novel too, and I thought it was an enjoyable ride.

I liked the characters (although perhaps a bit more the sidekicks). Like in a musical or an operetta, we have the serious and higher class protagonists (although Lavender isn’t a nobleman, but he’s well-educated) and then we have Constable Woods, and the servants. There are also the seedy characters around Bow Street, which together with the well-researched architectonic details and the language of the period create a credible atmosphere and bring to life the London of the era.

The characters created by the author mix with real historical figures, and I was in particular fascinated by the extraordinary women she chooses to portray, like Jane Scott and Dorothy Jordan, one the owner of a theatre, a writer and actress (the Sans-Pareil of the title) and the other the mistress of the Prince of Wales, and a comedy actress who kept the prince and ten children with her own work.

There are intrigues, murders, kidnappings, spies, romance… The book is a page-turner, and I enjoyed the setting, the descriptions of London, the intrigues and the mystery, fast-pace, the theatrical setting, and the humour. Lavender gets a lot of help from other characters and sometimes pure luck, but he manages to get the case to a satisfying conclusion (and there’s romance too!).

An easy and light read, with interesting and not heavily laid historical background, and good pace and sense of humour. Very enjoyable.

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