Review: Rosalind Abel – The Shipwreck (Lavender Shores #4)

Author: Rosalind Abel
Reviewer: Natalie
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: MM/Erotic Romance

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Summary: Lamont Price’s romance novels have been a hit for the past few years. With his gorgeous looks, kind heart, and tender disposition, Lamont is the darling of Lavender Shores. He’s the guy everyone wants to be their best friend, the guy everyone wants to protect. But even with his success and the love of his family, Lamont feels hidden from those around him. Maybe the first step is attending a writing conference and revealing the man behind his pen name….

Tyler Dixon survives off his beauty and charm. From cover model to runway fashion to weekend arm candy, Tyler’s prices aren’t cheap. While his appearance is taking him places, his life as an artist has little more than flatlined. When an author hires him to appear as the face of her brand, Tyler thinks it’s just one more job. Little does he know another writer is going to steal all of his attention.

Escaping the conference to find some breathing room, Lamont runs into Tyler at a bar. Casual conversation leads to Lamont revealing his family’s obsession with helping him find love. It’s not a big deal to Tyler, who has played the role of boyfriend for other people in the past. Before either of them can rethink the situation, Tyler is in Lavender Shores meeting Lamont’s family. Though they’re only pretending to be in a relationship, the chemistry that ignites between them is anything but imaginary…

Review: Okay, I promised myself I wouldn’t start gushing over Lamont and Tyler, no matter how much I felt for them, particularly how I wanted to hug Lamont, and very possibly shedding tears. I said I wouldn’t fangirl over Rosalind Abel and my love for this series of erotic romances they’ve written. I swore I wouldn’t be all starry-eyed over yet another romantic setting; the weathered boat set above the rolling waves, and the mood-setting fogs. I lied! I totally did all that.

Rosalind had said there was a little bit of her in Lamont’s role as a writer. But I identified so hard with his character, not the writing, but so much of how his past had shaped him. I got emotionally attached from the first chapters, finding out what drove his loneliness and isolation. I had lots of empathy for Tyler’s character, too, and easily understood the reasons for the choices he made. In every book, the characters have gravitated to a particular place with special meaning for them. In this case it was the shipwreck that always drew Lamont, and taking Tyler there helped shape events in the story that followed. Part of the appeal of the entire Lavender Shores setting, for me, is how these places are a little bit magical in drawing people together but there’s no easy path to a happy ending and no mystical solutions.

I did have some reservations but they stem, primarily, from my personal tastes. I was not a fan of most of the sex scenes in this story, particularly the final scene in the book. I wasn’t able to reconcile it with the vision I built of Lamont in my own mind. Intellectually, I could see the author’s intent, and why Lamont would have that motivation, it just didn’t work for me. I will still recommend this book and series very highly, as gorgeous romances with thoughtful themes, genuine, humanly flawed figures and happily ever after endings.

*An ARC was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest opinion, for publication on Hearts On Fire Reviews*


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