Title: The Garden (Lavender Shores #2)
Author: Rosalind Abel and Kirt Graves (Narrator)
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications
Release Date: December 11th 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
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.
The Garden is about two men with troubled pasts who aren’t looking for, but both desperately need, someone special in their lives. Ultimately this is a sweet romance featuring a hookup that becomes a friends with benefits thing to something more.
The dual POV works beautifully here. There’s a lovely thread of hurt/comfort throughout, and while there’s lots of sex, it’s supported through the characters getting to know one another…sometimes even when putting themselves out there makes them uncomfortable.
There is some humor that helps lighten the angst, and a lot of passion and emotion to the story that I wish were highlighted more in the narration.
Kirt Graves delivers a more subdued reading with different character voices, but only mild embellishment in tone to highlight some of the humor or passion.
In my opinion I think this audio will appeal more to those who prefer to have less “performance” or “acting” in their audiobooks.
Bottom line, this is a sweet and angsty romance with some humor, lots of hot sexy times, and a pretty awesome HEA.