Jasper Getty is living his dream as the owner of the charming bookshop, Lavender Pages. For seven years, he’s enjoyed the safety and freedom to be himself, selling books by day and curling up and getting lost in novels by night. But a dark page from the past comes back to haunt Jasper as his ex begins stalking him.
Russell Wallace hit reset on his life in Nashville and became a bodyguard after decades of living according to family expectations. But even years later, he doesn’t believe he deserves happiness. When Russell is asked to travel to the beautiful seaside town of Lavender Shores to protect a friend’s brother, he expects nothing more than a job and a paycheck.
But Lavender Shores reveals a world Russell never imagined, and his immediate attraction to the adorably geeky Jasper complicates an already difficult job. Jolted by the memory of a shared moment and paths that crossed years ago intensifies the sparks into a bonfire of passion and hope.
When danger comes pounding at the door, Jasper is in danger of losing his life… and his heart.
Title: The Alcove
Series: Lavender Shores #7
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications, LLC
Release Date: May 29, 2018
Genre: M/M Romance
Length: 303 pages
Review by Elaine White
Star rating – ★★★★★
Cover – Beautiful!
POV – 1stperson, dual POV
Would I read it again – Yes!
Genre – LGBT, Romance, Contemporary, May/December
Content Warning – stalking, domestic abuse, violence, history of child abuse, scenes of therapy discussing child abuse and homophobic families
I fell in love before the end of Prologue: Part One, and I stayed in love long after ‘The End’.
I’ve fallen in love with every Lavender Shores book as the series has progressed, but this one is just…too much for words. Decadent. Stunning. Heart-wrenching. Bottom-lip-biting worthy. Awkward, cute, romantic. Full of sizzling chemistry. All of that and more.
I’ve been left so speechless by this one that I barely know where to start.
Jasper has been one of my favourite side characters for a long time now, but seeing him get his own story proved that he is so much more than I ever thought he was, in all the right ways. He’s hot. He’s a geek. He’s a reader. He’s ginger. What more could I want? Then comes along Russell, the hot, bodybuilder type bodyguard with a cop-history, and HELLO! Perfect couple.
I was, honestly, amazed to see how brave and strong Jasper was. He’s suffered five years with the horror that was Neal – a drug dealer, a domestic abuser, and a manipulator – and he somehow managed to not only save himself, to walk away and start a new life, but he was genuinely happy. He got his bookstore, he got his alcove, and he had his brother. That was all he wanted. Seeing him with Russell, both in the past within the Prologue, and in the present, was so utterly beautiful. The romance between them was soft, charming, and tentative. It didn’t have that rushing, lusty heat that some of the others had; the intense physical urge; the “take me now” and “use me” passion and demand. This one was tender, unsure, loaded with unresolved chemistry and always just on the cusp of dropping headlong into the abyss of unbridled passion. I loved every second.
Again, the minor characters did their part to make this feel like an amazingly beautiful community, to offer support and love at all the right times, and to be there for one another through good and bad. I swear, I almost swooned when I first read about Xander, thinking about how perfect he would be for Moses. We definitely need a little young-love romance in there, right? And Pete? Oh. My. God. Pete nearly killed me. He had me in tears when he was signing Lavender Loves. The book club is something that was always talked about but never really shown on page in all its glory and BY. GOD! Maybe it shouldn’t have been. Robert took my breath away. Jasper drunk was so stinkin’ adorable! And Russell’s terror was hilarious.
Neal was a terrifying villain for the simple fact that he was real. That he portrays thousands of real, evil people who are in the world today, terrorizing someone they claim to love. Just as the parents of Xander and Alex, the kids at the youth centre, are scarily all too real, too. Their experiences, the stalking, the abuse, the taunts and the shame that they’ve been made to endue are one of the most well written but frightening parts about the book (and the series) because it’s REAL! They happen every day, in countries all around the world. Yet, the way Rosalind Abel deals with their part in the storyline is real too. Not everything has a shiny, happy ending. Not even villain is put in prison and stays there like they’re supposed to. Not every bad guy is considered evil to cops and blamed for their actions. Sometimes, the cops relate to the bad guys. Sometimes, there’s not enough evidence. And it’s that realness that thrusts a fist through your chest and grips your heart so tight. It makes the joys so much higher, the pain hurt so much more, and the ache stay with you that much longer.
Because I can’t say too much about the plot, without giving it away, I’m going to limit myself to pinpointing some of the best, most beautiful moments, with a quote. I can’t explain what they did to me, why they matter, or what they mean, but just know that they were THE moments of unquestionable brilliance:
“I’d like it if you stayed.”
“I collapsed to my knees, joining them.”
“I want you to be part of the pages.”
“I’m glad this can be an uncomfortable experience for both of us.”
Utterly, truly, perfect. It took my breath away.
The months cannot go fast enough. I want my greedy little hands on The WildernessRIGHT. NOW! And, I want it to be either Andre or Seth, because I would kill to see Kimberly Epstein’s face!
“So that was what love was. Loving someone so much that you simultaneously wanted to smother them with a pillow, because they were pissing you off so badly and yet needing to wrap them in your arms and hold them just so you could breathe.”
““I don’t want to hurt you. I love you.”
I only stared at him. In numb horror. Thiswas the man I’d given my life to for five years. […] Thiswas going to be the man who killed me.”
About the Author
Rosalind Abel grew up tending chickens alongside her sweet and faithful Chow, Lord Elgin. While her fantasy of writing novels was born during her teen years, she never would have dreamed she’d one day publish steamy romances about gorgeous men. However, sometimes life turns out better than planned.
In between crafting scorching sex scenes and helping her men find their soul mates, Rosalind enjoys cooking, collecting toys, and making the best damn scrapbooks in the world (this claim hasn’t been proven, but she’s willing to put good money on it).
She adores MM Romance, the power it has to sweep the reader away into worlds filled with passion, steam, and love. Rosalind also enjoys her collection of plot bunnies and welcomes new fuzzy ones into her home all the time, so feel free to send any adorable ones her way.
Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2qoiuLC
Facebook Author page: http://bit.ly/2rH8C4o
Rosalind Abel Website: http://www.rosalindabel.com
Lavender Shores Website: http://www.lavendershores.com