Book: The Garden
Series: Lavender Shores #2
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Length: 267 pages
Reviewed by Michael
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.
Welcome back to Lavender Shores. Glad you could make it.
If this is your first visit, don’t worry, we’ll get you caught up on all of the small town gossips. 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.
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