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The Garden is about two men with troubled pasts who aren't looking for, but both desperately need, someone special in their lives. Ultimately this is a sweet romance featuring a hookup that becomes a friends with benefits thing to something more.
The dual POV works beautifully here. There's a lovely thread of hurt/comfort throughout, and while there's lots of sex, it's supported through the characters getting to know one another...sometimes even when putting themselves out there makes them uncomfortable.
There is some humor that helps lighten the angst, and a lot of passion and emotion to the story that I wish were highlighted more in the narration.
Kirt Graves delivers a more subdued reading with different character voices, but only mild embellishment in tone to highlight some of the humor or passion.
In my opinion I think this audio will appeal more to those who prefer to have less "performance" or "acting" in their audiobooks.
Bottom line, this is a sweet and angsty romance with some humor, lots of hot sexy times, and a pretty awesome HEA.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted both the ebook and audio file of this book.
This is book two in the series, but can be read as a stand alone. Andrew and Joel from book one take part here, and I loved that, but you don't need their story to follow this one.
Gilbert is in town for Andrew and Joel's engagement party. He fins solace in Walden, the man who catches his eye at the gym. But it will only ever be sex for Gilbert, right? He doesn't do relationships. Neither does Walden, but it creeps up on them both and neither wants to walk, or commit. But they both have a dark past. Can they overcome that??
I said in my review for book one, The Palisade, that I was looking forward to Gilbert's story, and I was not disappointed.
His past, the one he ran from town for, smacks him in the face every time he comes back to town. And he hates being in Lavender Shores for that reason. But he won't let Andrew, his best friend, down. Meeting Walden, and then discovering his profession, and then Gilbert STILL not being able to walk away, is a shock to his system. Walden's past has a darker undertone and one that could well have been a deal breaker but Gilbert is like...and??
I loved how both men fought hard against their feelings! Loved that they battled with their innermost desires and insecurities. Loved that they were able to overcome it all.
Again written in the first person, from both men. Because I KNEW this going in, I was aware and able to set my mind in the right place, cos lord knows, I say it often enough that i don't like first person books!! But because I KNEW that, I really did enjoy it. And you do get a better sense of the person in the first. Not sure I would have got it all from a third person book. huh. Check me out! Might actually be getting over it!
I've filed this on the Over 18 shelf, because there are some darker undertones, and some might find them difficult to read. Nothing is described in great detail, but you are told about them.
I have book three, The Veranda, to read shortly. That is Donovan's book, Gilbert's therapist. I loved their interaction here. I look forward to getting into Donovan's mind!
Creeping up to 4 stars
Kirt Graves continues to narrate this series. And he is growing on me!
He manages to get across things that I miss when reading, the depth of his emotions is powerful and comes across amazingly well. I do find, more and more, I'm enjoying LISTENING to first person books, and that can only be because of the outstanding narration of those books.
Graves voices for Gilbert and Walden are just what I heard in my head (do you do that? hear people talking in your head when you are reading?? ) when I read this book. When Joel and Andrew pop up, the voices are consistent from The Palisade. I had no trouble keeping up with multi person conversations.
When Walden tells Gilbert what he did, Graves manages to pull out all the stops and I cried at that bit! I knew it was coming, of course, but I wasn't prepared for it, actually hearing it in Walden's voice.
I cannot wait to see what Graves does with Donovan and Spencer (book3) but I'm especially keen to get my hands on Lamont and Tyler's story (book4)
4 stars for the book
5 stars for the narration
4.5 stars overall
**same worded review will appear elsewhere**