Title: The Victorian (Lavender Shores Book 9)
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: December 17, 2018
Page Count: 321
Reviewed by: Kirstin
Heat Level: 4.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Sexy bartender Seth Marino is the epitome of the allure and sophistication for which the town of Lavender Shores is known. For twenty years, Seth has found contentment and happiness as co-owner of the Blue Blossom Bed-and-Breakfast. Seth’s kind heart, good looks, and humor charm both locals and tourists—except the one person who despises him.
Charley Perez began building the life of his dreams a few years before Seth moved to town. Just as his hard work was about to pay off, Charley saw his hopes for building a restaurant worthy of his abuela’s recipes slip through his fingers when Seth arrived. Sure, maybe Charley has a temper, perhaps he should smile more, but does the whole world have to lay out the red carpet for the slutty bartender while never giving Charley a break?
When Lavender Shores welcomes a star-studded food and wine celebration, Seth and Charley are forced to work together, leading to an explosion of anger and passion. Both men find the heat and fire of hatred morphing into an irresistible attraction. But even as Seth sees a different side of Charley, the hurt and anger of the past simmer below the surface, threatening the future. And a lifetime of struggle isn’t easy for Charley, who must find the courage to show his true self in seeking help and reaching for his dreams.
This is book #9 in the series and the first one that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Saying that, yes, there were other couples and characters mentioned, but I didn’t feel as though I had lost any of the story not knowing any of their particular histories.
Seth Marino is a sommelier and bartender and half owner of The Victorian Bed and Breakfast. Lavender Shores is a small community and everyone knows everyone else’s business, so it’s no secret that he and restaurant owner Charley Perez hate each other. But when Food Network comes to their town to showcase their fine dining and alcohol establishments, things between the two come to a head.
This book really captured me from the start. I love an enemies to lovers trope and this was definitely in that realm. I also dig the hurt/comfort that this provided.
I found both Charley and Seth to be very unique characters, yet I loved how they interacted with each other. I loved that even though the hate was so close to the surface, they could see when the other was just trying to cover a deeper emotion, or read into the exclamation for what it was. It showed a lot of development for them to get past everything and move forward.
The one part that bothered me was the fact that I just didn’t know where they stood during the entire story. After the first major incident, it seemed like they needed some time to find their bearings, but would be a cemented team by the end, which didn’t happen. That somewhat troubled me, to be honest.
Overall, this was a very well done enemies to lovers, hurt/comfort story with a bit of kink thrown in and a lot of cool characters from the town that added so much charm and interest to the already engrossing story. Well done.