Cover Artist: AngstyG
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Rosalind Abel here on the author’s Lavender Shore’s tour for The Garden. Welcome, Rosalind!
I’m so happy to be here at Scattered Thoughts with all of you for an exclusive excerpt from The Garden.
The Garden is the second book of the Lavender Shores series. Each of the novels can be read as a stand-alone or as part of the series. I’m going to let the excerpt and blurb speak themselves, but I will promise you romance, steamy sex, laughter, all the feels, and a happily ever after. Whether you read The Palisade (the first book in the series) or not, you will thoroughly enjoy this particular visit to Lavender Shores.
The Garden is available from Amazon and is also free on Kindle Unlimited. I can’t wait for you to fall in love with Gilbert, Walden, and Lavender Shores.
For our third stop on The Garden blog tour, I wanted to change things up. The first two stops were all about Gilbert and Walden’s sexual chemistry, but they also have a lot of sweetness and humor. I wanted to share a bit of that with you. Walden has just stayed the night at Gilbert’s for the first time, and he’s not quite sure where things stand. The original plan was for Gilbert to take him back to where he was staying, but it looks like that might be shifting…
“So no plans today, huh?”
My heart leaped. “Nope.”
Gilbert walked back to the kitchen. Maybe he was considering asking me to stay, maybe he wasn’t. “Breakfast will be ready soon. Help yourself to the shower and stuff if you need. Got about ten minutes.”
“You didn’t have to make breakfast.”
He laughed. “Well, you may regret that I did. Andrew and his dad are the great cooks. I’m pretty sure I’m in the process of turning the bacon into bricks.”
He could feed me pond scum and I’d be touched he made me breakfast. And rather confused by it. Gilbert didn’t seem the type to cook for a hookup. “In that case, how about I take a three-minute shower instead of ten. That will decrease the odds of burning breakfast.”
“It won’t, actually. No matter what I cook, it goes from raw to burnt. There’s no in-between.” He grinned, though his expression was walled off. “Go shower. Your breakfast is doomed either way.”
“All right, my coffee and I will be back shortly.” I retrieved my bag from beside the bed and then locked myself in the bathroom.
Brushing my teeth made me feel a little more human, and the few sips of coffee mixed with the hot shower eased the baby headache. As the night before, I was getting mixed messages from Gilbert. He was making me breakfast, but there hadn’t been any flirting or touches or hints of sex later. Did he still see me as a hookup? Had I crossed into the friend zone? Was I overthinking coffee and burnt breakfast? Yeah, probably.
After drying off, I put my boxers and T-shirt back on, grabbed my empty mug and left the bathroom.
Gilbert had set the small table by the window overlooking the lake. “I was right, breakfast is burnt, but I’ve got some raspberry preserves, if you cover the bacon and eggs in that, you won’t notice.”
I couldn’t suppress a shudder. “That sounds awful.”
He shrugged. “Actually, it works pretty well. When you cook like me, you learn tricks to cover up what you’ve done.”
“You really didn’t have to make me breakfast. I feel bad that you went to the trouble.”
“I wanted to. It’s nice having—” A blush rose to his cheeks, the first I’d ever seen on him, and he gave a quick shake of his head. “Like I said, you won’t thank me after you’ve tasted it, but my mother is Southern. She drilled into me that you cook for guests. So, I cooked.”
I was a guest. Okay, then. That could be a billion different things. I helped myself to another cup of coffee, more to give my hands something to do than anything else, and then sat at the table while Gilbert brought over the platter of eggs, bacon, and toast. Sure enough, all three were burnt. I grinned up at him, hoping he could hear the humor in my voice. “You weren’t kidding, were you?”
“Nope.” He set down the platter and then twisted to grab a large glass jar off the counter. “Here’s the preserves. Robert made them… er…. Robert is Andrew’s dad.” Gilbert sat and reached out his hand, letting it hover in the air between us.
I took it tentatively.
“You wanna say grace, or me?”
I nearly dropped his hand. “You want to pray?”
He nodded seriously, then a smile broke through. “Damn, I really thought I could pull that off. I so wanted to see your reaction and hear what you’d pray about.” He chuckled. “Though, it’s probably good we didn’t try. I’m pretty certain if I prayed, lightning would be the only answer we got.”
I snorted. “Yeah, you and me both.”
Suddenly we were aware we were holding hands. Granted, awkwardly holding hands, but holding hands nonetheless. I started to pull away, but Gilbert gave a quick squeeze before letting go. “Thanks for staying last night.”
For some reason my throat constricted, leaving me no other choice but to nod. I couldn’t deny I was feeling so much more for him than I should, than made any sense.
Looking uncomfortable, Gilbert focused on his food. He didn’t taste it before lathering the bacon with preserves.
I took a bite of mine, then followed suit.
“Told ya.” Gilbert took a big mouthful of the bacon and gave a satisfied nod. “Robert knows what he’s doing.”
Surprisingly the combo of burnt bacon and sweet raspberry was pretty good. Much better than anticipated. “Huh, you were right. Though I’m not sure I trust you on the eggs and preserves.”
“It’s not as good as the bacon, but it still helps.”
Awkward silence fell, but it wasn’t tense. Nothing felt like we needed to rush through to get it over with. I simply didn’t know what to say. Gilbert didn’t seem to either.
The eggs were terrible, with or without the preserves, so I stuffed them between two burnt pieces of toast.
“Huh.” Gilbert copied and then nodded in approval. “Where were you years ago? You literally just changed my life.”
And no, I wasn’t going to read into that. All he meant was that I’d upgraded disgusting eggs to tolerable. Not that he wanted me in his life. Even the fantasy of that flitting through my mind should’ve been enough to cause me to stab myself in the eye with a fork. “Sandwiches cure anything.”
We were talking about food. We had crazy sexual energy, and we were still there talking about food! This had to end. But I couldn’t figure out how to do it, other than standing up and stripping off my clothes. I considered that option, far more seriously than I should’ve. But doing so would’ve required another shot or two of scotch.
“So, I was thinking.” Gilbert’s gaze focused on his sandwich, not darting toward me at all. “I got up early this morning to work on a design that’s due next week. I’m actually pretty close to getting it done. Do you mind if I wrap it up after breakfast? It should only take a half hour or so.”
Seemed like a strange request, but it meant more time with him. Awkward or not, I didn’t care. “No, that sounds good. Like I said, there’s no plans for me to get back to. Take all the time you need.”
“Yeah?” He glanced at me then. “I was also thinking, after I’m done with that, if you wanted to hang out for a while, we could….” He shrugged. “You know….”
My God, he was nervous. I suppose that should’ve been obvious, but the idea of Gilbert being nervous about me was stupid. And kinda wonderful. “I’d like that, and my friends aren’t coming until around noon tomorrow. I’ve got all day.” Maybe I was pushing my luck, but I wanted to make it overtly clear I wanted as much of his time as he was willing to give.
Again, his smile was unreadable. Whether the idea sounded good to him or not, I couldn’t tell. “Okay, great. I’ll wrap the project up.” A familiar glint came into his eyes. “And then I’ll focus on your ass. I had plans for it last night, but I got… carried away.”
“Oh.” The switch was so abrupt that it threw me. My cock was quicker than my brain, however, and it sprang to life, thankfully hidden under the table. At least I supposed thankfully was the right word.
“That okay?” He sounded a bit nervous again.
“Oh, yeah. That’s totally, totally okay! More than okay.”
“Great.” He nodded, and Gilbert was back again. “I’ll wrap this up and then make up for feeding you a burnt breakfast.”
To be continued. . .
You definitely don’t want to miss Gilbert making up for that burnt breakfast.
I hope you enjoyed that glimpse of The Garden, and the chemistry between Walden and Gilbert. Pick up the book on Amazon and visit the town of Lavender Shores at: http://www.lavendershores.com. Thank you so, so much! ~ Rosalind
Blurb for The Garden
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.
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:
(Rosalind Abel Author)
July 25—The Novel Approach
July 28—Love Bytes
July 31—Scattered Thoughts
August 2—Boy Meets Boy