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review 2018-08-15 18:04
The Glasshouse (Lavender Shores #6) by Rosalind Abel 3.5 Stars!
The Glasshouse (Lavender Shores #6) - Rosalind Abel

Adrian Rivera lives as he damn well pleases, defying his Lavender Shores family to spend his days farming the beautiful Northern California land. Not one to daydream of true love and romance, Adrian’s social life has always been filled with sex and plenty of good times. 

Harrison Getty went from NFL star quarterback to America’s gay heartthrob, to reality TV star—with his wedding day broadcast live on national television. But Harrison feels trapped in a Hollywood life dictated by others. To breathe again, he runs from it all… 



 

Adrian’s attraction to Harrison has been building for months—even as Harrison prepared to marry another man. Lightning strikes between them, stirring emotions and passions as Adrian finds “the one,” a love that’s meant to be. But can Harrison stop running long enough to know his own heart? 

Amid scandals and betrayals, Adrian and Harrison struggle to grow their new love even as life’s storms threaten to shatter it all…


 

Review

 

 

The Glasshouse is likely the most Soap Operay of the books I have read in this series with warring family, runaway grooms, sex tapes, and public throw downs. 

At the heart of the story though is Harrison's need to center himself. Harrison character is really well developed. Adrain is well done as well, even if I think he could have been more thoughtful about what was happening with Harrison at the start of their relationship. However, he redeems himself by waiting and supporting when Harrison gets to a point he is ready to really deal with his demons.

The outside conflicts could be much better written but the romance, setting and circle of friends are well done.

I hope Will gets his own book. :)
 
 

 

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review 2018-08-04 18:58
The Alcove (Lavender Shores, #7) by Rosalind Abel 3.5 Star Review!
The Alcove (Lavender Shores #7) - Rosalind Abel

Jasper Getty is living his dream as the owner of the charming bookshop, Lavender Pages. For seven years, he’s enjoyed the safety and freedom to be himself, selling books by day and curling up and getting lost in novels by night. But a dark page from the past comes back to haunt Jasper as his ex begins stalking him.
Russell Wallace hit reset on his life in Nashville and became a bodyguard after decades of living according to family expectations. But even years later, he doesn’t believe he deserves happiness. When

 

Russell is asked to travel to the beautiful seaside town of Lavender Shores to protect a friend’s brother, he expects nothing more than a job and a paycheck.
But Lavender Shores reveals a world Russell never imagined, and his immediate attraction to the adorably geeky

 

Jasper complicates an already difficult job. Jolted by the memory of a shared moment and paths that crossed years ago intensifies the sparks into a bonfire of passion and hope. 
When danger comes pounding at the door, Jasper is in danger of losing his life… and his heart.

 

Review

 

We get the bodyguard theme in this romance with fun nods to the Houston/Costner film. The other great fun of this book is we have a ginger bookworm hero. Yea! And he loves romance and cozy mysteries so there is all kinds of great allusions, romance conferences, and book club joy.

Jasper gives books to Russell which we all know much better than flowers. The stalker aspect of the book is of less interest to me but Jasper does end up saving his self. 

Able/Witt always does a wonderful job with sex positive love stories and we get this here along with the lingering impact of domestic abuse and internalized homophobia. I wish we have a bit more unknotting of Russell's issues and more time after the heroes commit to each other but this book is a bookworm's delight overall.

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review 2018-08-02 18:27
The Shipwreck (Lavender Shores, #4) by Rosalind Abel 3.5 Star Review!
The Shipwreck - Rosalind Abel

Lamont Price’s romance novels have been a hit for the past few years. With his gorgeous looks, kind heart, and tender disposition, Lamont is the darling of Lavender Shores. He’s the guy everyone wants to be their best friend, the guy everyone wants to protect. But even with his success and the love of his family, Lamont feels hidden from those around him. Maybe the first step is attending a writing conference and revealing the man behind his pen name....

Tyler Dixon survives off his beauty and charm. From cover model to runway fashion to weekend arm candy, Tyler’s prices aren’t cheap. While his appearance is taking him places, his life as an artist has little more than flatlined. When an author hires him to appear as the face of her brand, Tyler thinks it’s just one more job. Little does he know another writer is going to steal all of his attention.

Escaping the conference to find some breathing room, Lamont runs into Tyler at a bar. Casual conversation leads to Lamont revealing his family’s obsession with helping him find love. It’s not a big deal to Tyler, who has played the role of boyfriend for other people in the past. Before either of them can rethink the situation, Tyler is in Lavender Shores meeting Lamont’s family. Though they’re only pretending to be in a relationship, the chemistry that ignites between them is anything but imaginary…

 

Review

 

I finally started reading the very tropey Lavender Shores series set in a very queer friendly fictionial beachside town in Northern California. 

These are fun reads with a great cast and setting. Here we get love lorn and shy Lamont a romance writer from one of the town's founding families and Tyler, cover model, photographer, and porn star.

So, opposite attract with one hero needing emotionial connection for sex (though not demi) and the other shutting down emotions and sex after a cheating and mentally abusive ex. 

The chemistry between these too is solar and we get a little pretend relationship thrown in. 

The drama comes from Tyler not sharing his adult film work in due time as you might guess. But this conflict is handled really well as really being an internal conflict for each hero and the book remains very sex positive and non shaming.

There are some cool aspects of the book I really liked such has both Tyler and Lamont have great parents though very different from each other, Tyler is very well endowed and Lamont doesn't just take him, and these two talk for the most part. Lamont get therapy. Tyler evaluates his choices with great self reflection and honesty. 

Some parts of the book go a bit fast at the end but a nice read overall.
 
 

 

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text 2018-07-25 15:03
The Alcove (Lavender Shores #7) by Rosalind Abel
The Alcove (Lavender Shores #7) - Rosalind Abel

Jasper Getty is living his dream as the owner of the charming bookshop, Lavender Pages. For seven years, he’s enjoyed the safety and freedom to be himself, selling books by day and curling up and getting lost in novels by night. But a dark page from the past comes back to haunt Jasper as his ex begins stalking him.

Russell Wallace hit reset on his life in Nashville and became a bodyguard after decades of living according to family expectations. But even years later, he doesn’t believe he deserves happiness. When Russell is asked to travel to the beautiful seaside town of Lavender Shores to protect a friend’s brother, he expects nothing more than a job and a paycheck.

But Lavender Shores reveals a world Russell never imagined, and his immediate attraction to the adorably geeky Jasper complicates an already difficult job. Jolted by the memory of a shared moment and paths that crossed years ago intensifies the sparks into a bonfire of passion and hope. 

When danger comes pounding at the door, Jasper is in danger of losing his life… and his heart.

 

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/07/25/The-Alcove-Lavender-Shores-7-by-Rosalind-Abel
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review 2018-06-03 02:14
ARC Review: The Glasshouse by Rosalind Abel
The Glasshouse (Lavender Shores #6) - Rosalind Abel
The Glasshouse is the 6th book in the Lavender Shores series, and tells the romance of Adrian and Harrison.

You may remember Adrian Rivera as Micah's business partner, growing organic produce they sell to the businesses in Lavender Shores. On the farm is an old, somewhat dilapidated glass house (a growing house) with which Adrian isn't sure what to do. The Riveras are of course a founding family. 

Harrison Getty is a former NFL football player, now underwear model (after a career-ending injury), who's been starring in a reality TV show about his romance with and upcoming wedding to Will Epstein, who is also a member of a founding family. Their wedding ceremony will be broadcast live on national TV (as one does, I suppose). 

Adrian has a crush on Harrison, but obviously that can't go anywhere because Harrison is getting married to Will. He's one of the groomsmen and trying his best to keep his distance, and his mask in place.

And then Harrison, overwhelmed, unsure, and feeling trapped, runs. While the cameras are rolling.

Oh, the scandal!!!

And this is only the first chapter or so. Obviously, I'm not going to give away the entire plot here. Let's just say that Will leaves town to escape the humiliation (I did feel sorry for him), and Harrison hides in his brother Jasper's apartment. 

The fallout is massive, for sure, and gets worse when Harrison and Adrian are caught in a passionate embrace in said glasshouse. 

It's obvious from the start that Harrison hasn't been happy for some time, not with Will, not with how his life was going, and not with the TV crews following his every move. For a very long time, Harrison has been who everyone expected him to be, to the point that he doesn't even know what he really wants anymore. Or who he really is. So he's got some work to do on that front, and I really liked how the author gave him that chance here. 

The glasshouse becomes an important part of their story, and I thought that the analogy the author used here was rather clever - as Adrian cleans up the glasshouse (which is sort of the foundation of their romance) and reclaims the space, so Harrison de-clutters his life to make room for the person he wants to be, to make space for his true wants and needs. 

While some aspects of this book touch on couples from the previous books, and supporting characters from the series show up here as well, this can be read as a stand-alone, especially if you've reviewed the author's website that fully lays out how everyone is connected in this town. 

Though, to be honest, I would recommend you read the entire series. These are feel-good, easy reads, high on romance and passion, and well worth your time. 


** I received a free copy of this book from its author in exchange for an honest review. **

 

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