Love Bytes is delighted and super excited to show you exclusively the brand new cover of Rosalind Abel’s upcoming release “The Garden”, book 2 in the Lavender Shores series.
Thank you to Love Bytes for hosting the cover reveal of The Garden. And thank you, readers, for stopping by to check out my second book in the Lavender Shores series.
Deep in the heart of the National Seashore on the Northern California coast is the charming town of Lavender Shores. In this series, you’ll be swept up in the beauty and romance as our heroes find passion and love. Each novel will be able to be enjoyed on its own, but will have familiar characters throughout the series. The Garden follows Gilbert and Walden as one afternoon of passion gets under their skin in a way neither can shake as much as they try. As in each Lavender Shores novel, I can promise you’ll be fanning yourself from the plentiful hot and sexy moments, swoon over romance and longing, and sigh in contentment as happily-ever-afters are discovered.
Feel free to meet the men and explore Lavender Shores at the http://www.lavendershores.com .
The Garden Amazon Link
Publication date: July 25, 2017
Cover Artist: AngstyG
The Garden Blurb:
Beautiful Gilbert Bryant designs jewelry for the rich and famous, and he made his escape from his gossipy little hometown of Lavender Shores. However, with so many friends and family, he keeps getting pulled back. When he attends his best friend’s engagement party, Gilbert can’t help but sample one of the new men in town. It’s just some innocent—or not so innocent—fun. Nothing that will even cross his mind once he gets back to his everyday life.
Walden Thompson dreamed about living in Lavender Shores since he visited as a child. He finally gets his chance, and he embraces the opportunity to start over, to become someone new. He leaves both hurts and dangerous habits in the past, where they belong. When Gilbert crosses his path, Walden gives in to his baser instincts. He can indulge in the carnal pleasures this once and still be okay.
Their few hours together haunt Gilbert, the two-hundred-mile buffer from home no longer shutting out the past or the sexy man he left behind. Walden is just beginning to recover from the smoldering encounter with Gilbert when they are thrust together once more. This time, neither of them can walk away, no matter how hard they try. But when their pasts crash into each other as surely as the magnetism that pulls them together, walking away may be the only option.
Fresh meat. Whoever designed the gym so the Stairmasters were directly in front of the treadmills needed a raise. Like, for real. Every step the guy took made that ass clench, flex, and relax with the tiniest bounce. I wanted to fling myself off the running torture device and dive in.
He had to be a bottom. Simply had to be, with an ass like that. If not, well, then the world was broken.
Considering that the world actually was broken, he was probably a top. Or straight, God forbid. Nah, not with an ass like that. Even God couldn’t be that cruel. Although, that outfit. Cutoff sweatpants right at his knees, a paint-stained T-shirt with both sleeves ripped off, and not stylishly either, more likely the guy had too many drinks while watching Project Runway and attacked his closet. That outfit screamed straight or an absence of mirrors.
At the thought, my gaze flicked to the wall of mirrors, and our eyes met.
The ass wasn’t the only fine thing about the man. Well-proportioned face, angled enough to be masculine but round enough to give off a boyish air. Wavy dark blond hair bouncing around his cheeks and nearly hitting the nape of his neck in the back. Handsome, but unassumingly so.
We’d been playing the “I’m looking, I’m flirting, no, I’m not really” game for the past hour. I thought I’d been imagining it while we did weights, me on the incline press, him doing squats, and again, I have to point out, that ass! But, our mutual staring competition in the mirror had gotten longer with each round.
He wanted me.
And I was totally fine with that. I could get him out of those horrid clothes and see exactly how much perfection waited underneath. He looked thick, corn-fed. God, I loved Midwestern boys, visiting the West Coast, feeling free to let their gay freak flag fly for the first time. I had this guy pegged; those nervous heated glances told the tale.
I hated being back home in Lavender Shores, but the gay tourists were always a sure thing, even in the off-season like it was.
Not attempting to be subtle, I broke eye contact, tilted my head, and tried to inspect his crotch. Hard to see through the reflected maze of equipment, but thanks to those shameful sweats, the amount of flopping around was impressive.
Even if he wasn’t a bottom, he would be a good time. Not my position of choice, but for the right guy, I could flip. Well, not that kind of right guy, but for one who looked like sweaty straight boy over there? Hell, yeah.
He was blushing when I looked back up. And again, I say, hell yeah.
Something lightly smacked my shoulder, and I nearly stumbled in my stride on the treadmill. I gripped the handhold and looked over. One of the most handsome men in Lavender Shores shook his head in judgment at me. When I’d first met Donovan, his close-cropped hair had been jet black, but fourteen years later, nearly half had gone to silver, and he was even hotter than before. It had been nearly five months since I’d seen him in person, and I swore the amount of silver had nearly doubled. I pulled out one of my earbuds and hit Pause on the screen of my iPad. “Dr. Carlisle, billing me for my biweekly therapist sessions not enough? Is the hospital giving you kickbacks if you cause physical injury and send people their way?” I glowered at him. Even after all these years, it took effort not to flirt. “Should I be calling your brother-in-law, since he handles malpractice litigation?”
Donovan Carlisle ignored the prod and cast a glance toward sweet ass over there. “You looked like you’re preparing to attack.”
“You know me well. And you should. I pay you enough to.” I shrugged and dipped my chin to the iPad. “I’m catching up on The Walking Dead. Do I look hungry?”
He grimaced. “I swear; you’re enough to make me hang up my hat. No progress at all.”
I flashed him a grin, making sure to expose my canine teeth, which I supposed was more vampire than zombie, but whatever. “I’d say you’re doing just fine, Doc. Maintaining homeostasis is what I’d call success. At least I’m not going backward.” I held up my finger. “And don’t bring up last year’s episode.”
Furrowed brows. “You know I’d never discuss such things in public, Gilbert.”
“Always so serious, Doctor.”
He rolled his eyes.
God, I loved getting under his skin. He’d been my therapist since I was sixteen. We’d been on a first-name basis since day one. He was one of my longest running friends at this point, or relationships, or something. Though I’m not certain what he’d say at thoughts like that.
“I almost called you yesterday.”
“Yeah?” Another teeth flash. “Missed me?”
Donovan sighed. Apparently, I wasn’t worth the effort of a second eye roll. “You scheduled our phone session for this coming Tuesday, but I figured you’d be in town for Andrew’s engagement party tomorrow. And we both know you won’t be in any shape to drive. Why don’t we have a face-to-face session before you head back home on Monday? It’s been too long.”
“I’m not having any crazy emotions around my best friend buying my house or living in it with the man of his dreams.” And look at that; I could say that phrase without gagging. Only for Andrew. “I’m fine, Doc.”
Donovan just stared at me, those dark brown eyes of his leveling at me knowingly.
“Fine.” He was one of maybe five people who could guilt me into something. “I’ll see you Monday.”
He grinned and then nodded. “Perfect. Though I’ll see you tomorrow as well.”
“Oh, right.” Engagement party. The entire reason I’d come back to this hellhole of a town. Donovan started to walk away. “And, Doc?”
He glanced back.
“You probably want to make sure you’re out of the showers pretty quickly.” I jutted my chin to the fresh meat on the treadmill. “Unless, of course, you want a live show about what we’ll talk about on Monday.”
Another eye roll. Success!
“And again I say, you haven’t changed since you were sixteen. I really do need to hang up my hat.” With a smile and slight wave, he left.
Chuckling to myself, I popped my earbud back in and hit Play, and zombie gurgles filled my ears. I barely noticed what happened on the screen; Donovan’s all too-aware stare still eating at me.
I wasn’t having feelings about Andrew’s engagement. Well, I was, but they were good feelings. I was happy for him. Him and Joel. Thrilled, even. Though Andrew and I had been best friends our whole lives, we couldn’t be more different. He was like my twin sister, Lacy. Both were homebodies, both in love with anything Lavender Shores. Both wanted nothing more than the perfect romance, the perfect home, and the perfect little life. I’d often wondered if Andrew and I had been switched at birth and he was Lacey’s twin; it would’ve made more sense. They were both bright and happy—like puppies wearing cheerleader outfits. I… wasn’t.
And, as far as the house? I was glad it was gone. When I’d left Lavender Shores, I’d promised myself I’d never come back. Of course, I knew there’d be plenty of times like these. With families as large as Andrew’s and mine, there would always be some event or other that I needed to return for. But, they would be blips. A day here or there and then out. I was glad that house was gone, really. Especially since it got to play such a big part in Andrew building a home with his husband to be.
I was glad it was gone.
Although the number of times I’d said that to myself made me wonder otherwise. Or maybe that was just due to Dr. Donovan Carlisle’s knowing brown eyes. Stupid therapist.
I was glad the house was gone. There. I’d said it again, and I meant it. That particular avenue back to Lavender Shores was gone. Thank God!
A wet ripping sound brought my attention back to the iPad. A zombie was chowing down on a kid. I grimaced and hit the Home button, making the show disappear.
God, fucking therapist. Even ruined my enjoyment of zombies. Why was I paying him again?
I suddenly remembered that corn-fed ass, which instantly caused my mood to brighten. I glanced up, but the ass was gone. I halted, which caused me to shoot backward, and I had to grip the railings with both hands to keep from a complete crashing fiasco, as I got my pace back once more. Once certain I wasn’t going to give the gossipy people in town something actually embarrassing to talk about, I focused on the mirror, searching for corn-fed. Sure enough, every Stairmaster was empty, and I couldn’t find his reflection anywhere. Conscious of looking desperate if he did happen to be nearby, I glanced around the cardio room.
Donovan met my gaze from his spot on an elliptical and gave a knowing shake of his head.
I flipped him off with a grin then hit the emergency Stop button, bringing the spinning belt to a halt, once again causing me to nearly stumble. For fuck’s sakes, you’d think I had no moves at all. It seemed corn-fed was having quite the effect on me.
And, maybe he was straight. Any gay guy knew to catch the other one’s attention before heading to the showers. It was like he’d waited until I’d been distracted to make his getaway.
Nah. No way. He’d been interested. No doubt at all.
Maybe he was doing another round of weights, despite the amount of sweating he’d been doing. Gross, but what could you expect from a guy who didn’t know proper gym attire.
I made my way through the rest of the gym, careful to appear like I wasn’t looking at all. Giving a nod here and there toward a few of the locals I didn’t loathe and avoiding making eye contact with the ones I’d played with in the showers before. No reason to risk sending an accidental invitation. If I couldn’t find corn-fed, I’d do another pass inviting a few of them for a repeat performance.
He was nowhere to be seen. Damn. Surely I’d not misread him that badly.
Deciding to take a pass through the locker room, I’d nearly given up, when I noticed the cutoff sweatpants hanging on a hook outside the hall of showers.
Not sure how much time I had, as it seemed corn-fed wasn’t playing by the rules, I hurried to my locker, stripped down, grabbed a towel, and entered the showers.
The first two stalls were occupied, curtains open, and both men gave a pretense of turning away, trying to hide their erections. Noticing it was me, they stopped bothering and continued stroking for each other. I spared a glance. One of them was rather impressive but old news.
The next three showers were empty. But a shadowy figure was visible behind the frosted glass of the last one, though its curtain was drawn.
Corn-fed no doubt, judging from the blurry thickness of the body, though it looked like he was wearing shorts in the shower. Seriously? Shorts and a closed curtain?
Straight and not interested?
No way. No fucking way. I was good at this game. Both the playing of it and knowing exactly who the players were. And corn-fed was most definitely wanting to play.
I chose the shower across and down one from him, hung my towel on the rack, turned on the spray, and stepped in. Leaving the curtain open, I stood under the water, rinsing off the sweat, and had to rake my fingers through my long bangs to get them out of my eyes before turning around.
Corn-fed’s silhouette faced me, and though I couldn’t see his expression, I could feel his gaze on me. After getting a bit of soap on my hands, I rubbed it over my body, making sure to move just slow enough over the flat planes of my chest and ridges of my abs to show that I wasn’t actually washing, but didn’t look like I was fondling myself like a freak either. Letting my hand dip lower, I encircled my dick, giving it a couple of strokes. Just enough to help it plump up a touch, though it wasn’t all that necessary, as it was stiffening rapidly at the feel of corn-fed’s gaze on me.
His shower shut off and corn-fed pulled open the curtain. And fuck. He was hotter than I’d even anticipated. And taller up close. I was nearly six foot, but I was willing to bet he was a good five inches taller than I was. Thick, heavy muscles looked chiseled over his chest, shoulders, and arms. The thighs and calves showing from his shorts made it clear he never skipped leg day. His handsome face flushed bright red, but his blue gaze darted at my growing erection as he stepped out, the briefest of glances. Brief enough it made me question if I was pushing things with a straight guy. I nearly turned around, but noticed the huge bulge in his swim trunks right before he pulled the towel off the hook and held it in front of him, cutting off my view.
So, we were back to interested and gay. Or at least gay enough.
Without another glace, at my cock or my eyes, corn-fed walked from the showers, passed the two men who were getting close to heaven, judging from the sounds they were making, and entered the coed wet area.
Well, I’ll be… Looked like I was going to have some fun in the steam room or sauna instead of the showers. I liked that a lot more anyway. Hurriedly, I rinsed the soap off my body and turned off the shower. I nearly went back to my locker and got a pair of shorts, since swimsuits were required in the co-ed area, but I didn’t take the time. I wrapped the towel around my waist, holding the knot securely so my hard-on was covered, and followed corn-fed’s path. Luckily, I didn’t give a shit about the rules and just having a towel would make for a lot easier access.
For the next fifteen minutes or so, I actually wasn’t going to mind being back home.
I hope you enjoyed getting that brief glimpse at Gilbert and Walden. Their story is up for pre-order at Amazon (on sale for $2.99 for pre-orders and through release day—after release day it will be the regular price of $3.99). It is also part of Kindle Unlimited. It will be available on July 25, 2017.
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.
Rosalind Abel Information page:
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
(Rosalind Abel Author)
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