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The Garden (Lavender Shores) Paperback – 22 Jul 2017
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Top customer reviews
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Walden Thompson is a teacher who meets Gilbert quite accidentally at the gym and they hook up. He knows he could have so much more with Gilbert if only he will let him in.
This is Rosalind Abel’s second book in the Palisade series and does not disappoint. It has everything. Characters full of angst, heartache and heartbreak, and of course a happy ever after! This is really well written and definitely one to buy if you like romance with a capital R.
This is book two in the series, but can be read as a stand alone. Andrew and Joel from book one take part here, and I loved that, but you don't need their story to follow this one.
Gilbert is in town for Andrew and Joel's engagement party. He fins solace in Walden, the man who catches his eye at the gym. But it will only ever be sex for Gilbert, right? He doesn't do relationships. Neither does Walden, but it creeps up on them both and neither wants to walk, or commit. But they both have a dark past. Can they overcome that??
I said in my review for book one, The Palisade, that I was looking forward to Gilbert's story, and I was not disappointed.
His past, the one he ran from town for, smacks him in the face every time he comes back to town. And he hates being in Lavender Shores for that reason. But he won't let Andrew, his best friend, down. Meeting Walden, and then discovering his profession, and then Gilbert STILL not being able to walk away, is a shock to his system. Walden's past has a darker undertone and one that could well have been a deal breaker but Gilbert is like...and??
I loved how both men fought hard against their feelings! Loved that they battled with their innermost desires and insecurities. Loved that they were able to overcome it all.
Again written in the first person, from both men. Because I KNEW this going in, I was aware and able to set my mind in the right place, cos lord knows, I say it often enough that i don't like first person books!! But because I KNEW that, I really did enjoy it. And you do get a better sense of the person in the first. Not sure I would have got it all from a third person book. huh. Check me out! Might actually be getting over it!
I've filed this on the Over 18 shelf, because there are some darker undertones, and some might find them difficult to read. Nothing is described in great detail, but you are told about them.
I have book three, The Veranda, to read shortly. That is Donovan's book, Gilbert's therapist. I loved their interaction here. I look forward to getting into Donovan's mind!
Kirt Graves continues to narrate this series. And he is growing on me!
He manages to get across things that I miss when reading, the depth of his emotions is powerful and comes across amazingly well. I do find, more and more, I'm enjoying LISTENING to first person books, and that can only be because of the outstanding narration of those books.
Graves voices for Gilbert and Walden are just what I heard in my head (do you do that? hear people talking in your head when you are reading?? ) when I read this book. When Joel and Andrew pop up, the voices are consistent from The Palisade. I had no trouble keeping up with multi person conversations.
When Walden tells Gilbert what he did, Graves manages to pull out all the stops and I cried at that bit! I knew it was coming, of course, but I wasn't prepared for it, actually hearing it in Walden's voice.
I cannot wait to see what Graves does with Donovan and Spencer (book3) but I'm especially keen to get my hands on Lamont and Tyler's story (book4)
4 stars for the book
5 stars for the narration
4.5 stars overall
**same worded review will appear elsewhere**
Both Walden and Gilbert had huge amounts of baggage but together they managed to even out the doubts and fears of past mistakes to make some seriously hot and steamy encounters mean more than just a hook up.
I liked how, while it was another super fast relationship, the ground work of good communication and honesty with each other was firmly planted as they realised there was more than just the sex drawing them together.
This is a really cool setting, I liked the world building in the first book, and we get more of that here which helps ground the story in its coastal quirky California home.
It was also nice to see Andrew and Joel being happy and to catch up with the res t of the crazy inhabitants of Lavender Shores.
The teaser of book three looks like it's going to be even better and a pairing which hadn't event popped my radar!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
If this is your first visit, don’t worry, we’ll get you caught up on all of the small town gossip. Unfortunately, if you’re Gilbert, you may be the topic of said gossip.
From his introduction as Andrew’s best friend in “The Palisade”, Gilbert was the character I was most excited to read about. Even in that book, he was treated as the dark spot in the otherwise colorful landscape of Lavender Shores, and that treatment has left scars and survival skills that, while perhaps not the healthiest, allow him to survive day-to-day. He’s run away, if you will, from the town he grew up in, only returning when absolutely necessary.
Walden is a new teacher in Lavender Shores. He, too, is running from his hurtful past. Passing through the small town as a child, he made it his dream to move there because of its openness. Accepting a teaching position allows him to not only attain his dream, but also reset his life, thereby leaving the past behind.
But, as we all know, we may be done with the past, but the past is never done with us. That’s especially true for both of these characters.
There’s a unique dichotomy at play. You have a relatively open town, accepting of all walks of life, and yet simply by virtue of its size, you also have the problems of basic human nature, including rampant gossip.
A Lavender Shores book wouldn’t be complete without some fairy tale element. This time, you get it with The Garden. Yes, that capitalized on purpose because, much like The Palisade, it plays an integral role in not only the book, but also the developing relationship of Gilbert and Walden. Think The Enchanted Forest, but on a smaller scale.
This is another beautiful book in the series, all about breaking free of ones past once and for all, and finally allowing yourself to be happy, to be loved, and to love unconditionally.
Oh, and there’s a wedding. Bring your tissues.
From the beginning, Gilbert and Walden have undeniable chemistry. But throughout the book, I doubted if they would make it to their Happily Ever After. This is the sign of a great writer: you know it's supposed to be a romance, presumably with a happy ending, yet, Rosalind Abel (aka Brandon Witt) takes you through the characters' angst. You feel your stomach drop with uncertainty, you feel your palms sweat with nerves. Your mouth goes dry at the very moment you need to speak. You are right in the middle of lust-turning-to-love. You have a front row seat to ups and downs of a new relationship, and you get to see the character's flaws up close and personal.
This story is very well written, and the characters are so realistic you feel as if you're supposed to meet up later for coffee. I'm looking forward to future installments in this series, partly because it will give me the perfect excuse to go back and read the first two books. Another marvelous book from this author. Enjoy!
Gilbert and Walden had an amazing story to tell us about how love is possible even after mistakes and that there can be a love match out there for us. I loved how these two found a beautiful fit with each other even when they didn't think they would ever fit with anyone. My heart melted as they shared their pain and helped heal each other with trust. I loved that the idea that long term therapy was treated as an important and normal part of a persons journey to get healthy. We often need professional help becoming healthy and i love that this was included as a normal part of the story.
i love this amazing story about Gilbert and Walden! I am hooked on the Lavender Shores series by Rosalind Abe and cannot wait for the next book!