Book: The Veranda
Series: Lavender Shores #3
Release Date: August 25, 2017
Length: 273 pages
Reviewed by Michael
Donovan Carlisle helps countless people in Lavender Shores with his skills as a therapist. It seems, however, that his ability to enable others to live their happiest life only works outside of himself. Donovan truly loves his life, but isn’t able to find a relationship that satisfies his heart’s craving. Maybe the problem is that the only man he wants is off-limits.
Spencer Epstein came to Lavender Shores to find himself. Instead, he married one of the local town beauties. He’d thought his prayers had finally been answered. Then, he met his pregnant fiancée’s brother. It turned out those answered prayers were just cruel twists of fate.
A decade later, after a divorce and crumbling of all Spencer thought was set in stone, he sees his brother-in-law at a masquerade sex party. He takes full advantage of the anonymity and acts on the desires he’s held at bay all those years. The problem is, those silent and frenzied moments didn’t satiate anything. The fire and heat between the two men only grows as secrets are uncovered and they must determine if the cost of their passion is too high.
This is one of those series that just keeps getting better.
With this book, the focus shifts to Donovan Carlisle, Lavender Shores resident psychiatrist, and Spencer Epstein. Spencer and Donovan have feelings for each other, although neither knows about the other. They can’t act on those feeling because…wait for it…Spencer was married to Donovan’s sister, Erica.
I’ll give you a minute and let that sink in.
I had to read that line a couple of times just to overcome my surprise.
Talk about juicy.
And it only gets better from there.
Their relationship is almost soap operatic by nature and necessity. Lavender Shores a small town where everyone literally knows everyone. There’s a certain amount of sneaking around that is required in order for them to be together. Spencer doesn’t want to hurt his kids, and Donovan doesn’t want to hurt his sister. This all works great, until it begins to put a strain on their relationship, as secrets often do. And, as with every good soap opera romance, once the secret comes out, it does so with rather explosive results. Although, I was fulling expecting Erica to react one way and was pleasantly surprised to find she didn’t.
I love this series because it does a great job of mixing high drama with an almost fairy tale setting, focusing on one location within Lavender Shores. This time around, it’s Donovan’s veranda, or front porch. Hence the books title. Now, you wouldn’t think there would be anything magical about a front porch. But you’d be wrong. Like the other books, this porch, or Veranda, is a peaceful setting, a place Donovan can go to in order to relax and unwind, to rid himself of worries of the day.
I also love this series because of the large cast of characters. In less capable hands, I would fear a cast this size of becoming unruly. Have no fear, even though the cast of Lavender Shores is large, each book focuses on a select few, just the ones integral to the story. But for those curious about the Lavender Shores cast, an appendix has been added to this book that may be useful to new readers coming in with this book or readers of the previous two that want a refresher on the who’s who.
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