Review: Xavier Axelson – Lavender

Author: Xavier Axelson
Reviewer: Lucy
Publisher:  JMS Books
Genre: Mm

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Summary: Following the sudden death of his father, Lawrence “Law” Crow must not only comfort his bereaved mother, but also find the strength to continue running the family business, a local and beloved lavender farm in the mountains of northern California. At first, consumed with his own grief and struggling to find meaning in life, Law indulges in his vices, mainly by surrendering to his sexual urges with numerous men, all in a desperate battle to forget his pain and to end the emotional turmoil tearing him apart.

But when a stunningly handsome and passionate Spanish soccer player named Garbi suddenly crosses his path, Law discovers light in the possibility of love. Does Garbi have the ability to heal Law’s shattered heart, provide him with purpose, and help him fully embrace the joy of living once again amidst the beautiful and fragrant lavender fields?

Review: This book begins with such emotional pain. The death of Law’s beloved father, in the lavender field he cherished, causes untold grief for the son and widow left behind. You can feel their agony in every word. Mom deals with it by ignoring everything, including her son, and Law deals with it with sex – anonymous, constant and emotionless. The story is told in first person by Law and his agony over losing his father is so raw. It starts to make him harsh in his dealings with life and yet, life has to go on.

When his mom leaves, returning to her native France, unable to deal with the reminders of her husband everywhere, Law is left with the lavender farm and the so difficult task of spreading his father’s ashes. It was little details, like lavender lemonade, that made the story more poignant, reminding us that yes, life continues even when you are screaming in grief and how do you deal with it?

It is in the middle of this despair that Law meets Garbi, a soccer player who ends up visiting the farm, and that is the beginning of some healing for Law. If not healing, at least a slowing of his self-destructive path. It should be noted that while these two are (hopefully) headed to a forever place, it isn’t so much romantic as just merciless hard sex as part of his healing.

Some of the scenes are hard to read because it is so unrelentingly sad. While I liked Garbi, I did wish for a little more for the two of them, as the connection is pretty instant. The setting of the lavender farm is a character unto itself and sounds beautiful.

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