Review: The Palisade (Lavender Shores #1) by Rosalind Abel

Confident businessman Joel Rhodes sees the small California town of Lavender Shores as nothing more than a business opportunity and a final stepping stone to the position he’s been working toward his entire life. It was supposed to be just one night in town to close the deal, and sleeping with one of the local men, no matter how gorgeous, meant nothing more than a few hours of fun.
Andrew Kelly is perfectly content with the life he has in his hometown. So much so that the only thing missing is someone to share it with. Going to bed with a tourist was never meant to be the answer to his dreams, just a beautiful distraction. He could get back to looking for Mr. Right the next day.
Both Andrew’s and Joel’s worlds are turned upside down when a few hours of pleasure get extended to a couple of days. Even that shouldn’t have been a big deal. You can’t fall in love in that amount of time. That isn’t how it works. However, if destinies collide, a few short days may be all it takes to find your soul mate. Even so, when secrets and motivations get tangled, fate may do nothing more than leave two hearts in pieces.

Boy howdy, did I love this book! 

This shouldn’t have worked for me.  One of the things I dislike the most in stories is a lack of communication; followed closely by secret keeping.  Both of these breed mistrust and could easily be avoided if the morons would just talk to each other.  This story has more of the keeping secrets issue than the lack of communication, so it shouldn’t have worked.  Like, at all.  But it did. On so many levels.

Joel has come to Lavender Shores at the behest of his millionaire father to secure a location for their new flagship coffee shop.  It doesn’t matter if the laws in this sleepy town by the sea prohibit anyone from opening a chain of any kind, nor does it matter if they only allow one of each type of business to be open at a time.  His father wants it so he’s going to get it, even if it means throwing his son in front of the firing line.

Andrew was born in Lavender Shores and has no intention or desire to ever leave.  He loves his quaint, odd-ball little town.  He couldn’t picture himself living anywhere else.  It may have caused him some serious heartache throughout the years as every guy he’s dated eventually left but it’s worth it to him to wake up every morning in what he feels is the best place in the world to live.  His dream of white picket fences, two dogs and three kids seems to get farther and farther away as the years go by but he hasn’t given up on it yet.  He knows he’ll have his dream someday, but while he’s waiting for Mr. Everything to show up he’s gonna have some fun.  And it looks like Mr. Fun just showed up.

He was going to taste me.  Lick me.  Bite me.  Devour me.

Lordy, is it getting hot in here? 

Man, y’all, this book is soooo romantic!  Completely swoon worthy.  What starts out as an incendiary eye-fuck across the room and a burn-the-hotel-to-the-ground one night stand swiftly progresses to one of the most romantically romantic romances I’ve read in a while.  I tell you, I had hearts in my eyes and was in danger of falling out of my chair in a swoon to rival any Southern belle.  Here, let me give you a little taste of what it feels like to have your heart burst from an overflowing of emotion:

[…]he looked into my eyes, and I saw the forever.  Past the heat and lust, I saw forever.  Saw our lives in this little house.  Saw three kids.  Two dogs.  Saw laughter, fights, and love-making.  Saw our hands clasped as our skin aged.

I saw his declaration of love in his green eyes as clearly as my heart shouted it from my chest. 

The writing in this book is superb.  It’s been a while since I was sucked into a book so far that I couldn’t tell where their lives ended and mine began.  The outpouring of emotions, from love, laughter, anger, despair had my heart so full that it leaked out of my eyes.  I cried a lot during this book.  I cried happy tears, I cried angry tears and I cried tears just because my body didn’t know how else to deal with all of the feelings I was having.  It was just so… so… charming!  It charmed the pants right off me.

I’m so glad I took a chance on this book.  To think, if I had passed this up I would’ve missed out on Andrew’s sweet innocence, on watching Joel’s whole world light up over a simple baseball card, on meeting Andrew’s family – especially his dad.  Andrew’s dad is in a class of his own.  You gotta meet him, people!  You’ll be sorry if you don’t, I can promise you that.  I’m also squee-worthy excited that there are more books to come in this amazing series.  I cannot wait to read the next book.  Cannot. Wait.

So, if you haven’t guessed by now from my review, I highly, highly highly recommend this book to all you romance lovers out there.  This one’s for the history books, my friends. 


Love this book!