Category Archives: Brandon Witt

THE PALISADE (Lavender Shores #1) by ROSALIND ABEL :: REVIEW

Standalone in Series – Sweet MM Romance

SYNOPSIS
Confident businessman Joel Rhodes sees the small California town of Lavender Shores as nothing more than a business opportunity and a final stepping stone to the position he’s been working toward his entire life. It was supposed to be just one night in town to close the deal, and sleeping with one of the local men, no matter how gorgeous, meant nothing more than a few hours of fun.

Andrew Kelly is perfectly content with the life he has in his hometown. So much so that the only thing missing is someone to share it with. Going to bed with a tourist was never meant to be the answer to his dreams, just a beautiful distraction. He could get back to looking for Mr. Right the next day.

Both Andrew’s and Joel’s worlds are turned upside down when a few hours of pleasure get extended to a couple of days. Even that shouldn’t have been a big deal. You can’t fall in love in that amount of time. That isn’t how it works. However, if destinies collide, a few short days may be all it takes to find your soul mate. Even so, when secrets and motivations get tangled, fate may do nothing more than leave two hearts in pieces.

PALISADE is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

“Make sure, when your dreams finally start to come true, you notice. Don’t’ let it pass without noticing. Most people do.”

That’s it! We’re packing our bags and moving to the glorious town of Lavender Shores to spend time with the warm hearted, quirky, sweet witty and rich characters so lovingly created by Rosalind Abel, in The Palisades. Oh and get ready Regina, because we plan on gate crashing your Tuesday night Boozy Bookclub! That sounds like our kind of night!

The Palisade was the first book in the Lavender Shore Series by Rosalind Abel and if this is an indication of what to expect, we’re ready for more! More of the stunning surroundings, more of the sweetness and more of the very steamy sex! These guys both sweetened AND burned up the pages!

Rosalind Abel reached deep into our imaginations, so vividly creating a life in Lavender Shores that made us feel as though we were right there with Joel as he took in his first taste of Lavender Shores. Admiring the scenery, getting acquainted with the locals, basking in The Palisades setting….oh boy, this place sounds like heaven…we could visualise the lavender swaying in the breeze!

This really was the sweetest of sweet escape. Yes it was insta love, but it’s a love we felt. We believed the soulmate connection between Joel and Andrew, no question. We’re not big fans of insta love because it doesn’t always work; that connection, that intensity of feelings, we much prefer a slow build, but in this case, we absolutely felt it between Joel and Andrew. It was beautiful, magical, passionate and fraught with the anticipation of knowing it would be tested.

‘Even when I came, I refused to break the kiss, crying out into his mouth, and then crashing onto him as he pulled me close.’

Joel Rhodes, is the 35 year old successful businessman, visiting Lavender Shores with an agenda, and dealing with the hopeless task of trying to please his overbearing father. He’s confident, handsome, charismatic, and underneath the façade he’s quite vulnerable, hurt and conflicted.

‘He looked into my eyes, and I saw the forever. Past the heat and lust. I saw forever.’

Andrew Kelly has lived in Lavender Shores all his 33 years. The town is in his blood. He loves it dearly and would never leave. This man was so sensitive and so kind. We took him (and Joel) into our hearts immediately, also falling in love with Andrew’s quirky family. They were so entertaining, especially his Dad, who had us in fits and his relationship with his son saw our hearts bursting.

“I’ve been told something’s wrong with me my whole life because I love my town so much.”

At first the connection between Andrew and Joel is physical. A crackling chemistry igniting which saw them heating up the sheets in record time, but there was so much more between these two men. Joel and Andrew began to enjoy days of carefree bliss, hot and heavy sex and a connection that sees their feelings catapult into deep emotions causing them to realise they may have a future. However, Joel is hiding secrets that could spell the end of their heady feelings.

‘I wanted…a home. Someone to come home to, to build a life with, to fall asleep at night and wake up next to. Someone to make love with, fight with, cry with, sit and watch stupid television with. I wanted him.’

The Palisades was the perfect mix of fun, frivolity, emotion and drama. Nothing felt overdone, it was, in all regards, one of those pleasantly beautiful, smile inducing reads. The type you happily give yourselves over to, enjoying every moment spent with fictional friends you can’t wait to return to. ‘Til next time, save a wine for us Regina, because we’ll be seeing you again in Lavender Shores!


Rosalind Abel is a Pen Name for Brandon Witt
TBB RECOMMENDATION – BRANDON WITT’S THE SHATTERED DOOR
Click the picture below for our review

SYNOPSIS

After a tortured childhood and years of soul-searching, Brooke Morrison has finally settled into a comfortable life. While his sexuality prohibits him from practicing his degree in youth ministry in a church setting, he’s found a fulfilling job as a youth counselor at a residential treatment facility in Colorado. He falls in love, marries the man of his dreams, and makes peace with God. He’s happy.

Then his buried past drags him back to the Ozarks.

The life Brooke has worked so hard to build is crumbling in his hands in the face of painful memories and past abuse, and his confidence is withering. In El Dorado Springs, where his nightmares come to life, Brooke desperately seeks closure life doesn’t offer. Brooke must find value in himself, in his marriage, and in the world around him—and create the hope and perseverance to keep his past from swallowing him whole.

THE SHATTERED DOOR is available to purchase below
Amazon us | Amazon uk

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Filed under 4 Stars, Brandon Witt, Pick an Author

THE SHATTERED DOOR by BRANDON WITT

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SYNOPSIS

After a tortured childhood and years of soul-searching, Brooke Morrison has finally settled into a comfortable life. While his sexuality prohibits him from practicing his degree in youth ministry in a church setting, he’s found a fulfilling job as a youth counselor at a residential treatment facility in Colorado. He falls in love, marries the man of his dreams, and makes peace with God. He’s happy.

Then his buried past drags him back to the Ozarks.

The life Brooke has worked so hard to build is crumbling in his hands in the face of painful memories and past abuse, and his confidence is withering. In El Dorado Springs, where his nightmares come to life, Brooke desperately seeks closure life doesn’t offer. Brooke must find value in himself, in his marriage, and in the world around him—and create the hope and perseverance to keep his past from swallowing him whole.

THE SHATTERED DOOR is available to purchase below
Amazon us | Amazon uk

door

Reviewed by Gitte

5++ Stars

I think I can safely say that this story is one which has touched me and affected me more than many before it. Every so often, and I mean often, I had to stop reading and try and process and digest what I’d just read. Call me naïve, hell, call me ignorant, but I have never in my thirty-eight years of life come across anything remotely close to what I just read. I grew up in five different countries, lived in more small villages, towns and cities than is typical growing up, yet I have never come across such hatred or even personally known of its existence. Yet exist it does, sadly. It breaks my heart.

However, this story is not just a story of prejudice and hate, it’s a story of family and friendships, of support and guidance, of love and hope. What I have to mention is that there is obviously a heavy theme of religion which isn’t for everyone. It actually isn’t something I myself enjoy in books, however, this story is about so much more and if you’re like me, you will fall in love with the characters and the battle of staying true to who you are to achieve contentment and happiness in life.

What our hero Brooklyn has to go through as a gay Christian whose vocation in life (not job may I add) is helping kids in youth groups, is truly appalling. Not only has he had a traumatic childhood, it literally continues into his adulthood. This guy is still finding his place in life whilst his sexuality, his beliefs, his past and his present makes him question himself tremendously. His growth and his strength in this story is immense as he finds love and purpose. His wanting to be accepted for who he is; well it’s heart-breaking. How many times can you be labelled something horrible, be negatively judged by the society within which you live, be treated atrociously before it breaks you? Before you feel there’s no choice but to give in or give up?

‘What if I just stayed in bed? What if I simply never left my house again? What if I just quit breathing and drifted away?’ ~ Brooke

Yes, I go to church, yes I’m a believer, no my Christianity by definition if there is such a thing, does not play a major part in how I treat other people or how I perceive and view the world. What plays a part is my own sense of what’s right and what’s wrong. The fundamentals and yard sticks, if you will, are there in society and who initially put them there, where it all began, what its role is and how you and I follow. Well, that’s an ongoing discussion in life and has no place in this review.  But love does. Because love does not discriminate, love does not judge, love is the fundamental, the yardstick, the guide. Love is not wrong. Love conquers fear of the unknown and brings on hope. With a majority, you’ll always find a minority and vice versa, they walk hand in hand. The difficult but important thing is to not judge by who is the loudest but by what you feel in your heart when you truly examine it.

Brooke meets Jed at what I suppose is a crucial moment in his life. He’s finding his feet on his own and coming to terms with who he is out of hiding; away from home. He’s also standing at a crossroad due to the health of his Mum back home.

“You’re the man I’ve longed for and prayed for.” – Jed

There’s one emotional scene in the rain where a question is asked and the poignancy of this story, through the words said, plays out between Jed and Brooke. This scene right here is the crux of it and I cried with happy tears.

Jed was fantastic for Brooke, he was the light to the dark, the certainty to the uncertainty. He brought humour, support, love, strength and a balanced voice to the journey.

“Goodnight, Brooke. Someday, I want to dance in an elevator with you.” – Jed

Reading The shattered Door I couldn’t help question everything. I’m a maudlin thinker anyway and get caught up in my own thoughts so much so that the world disappears, I can be a moody bitch at times yet this story made me into a raging mad woman. I hated humanity in this story. I hated what this small collection of people thought was right to do in the name of religion. I hated certain characters, one in particular who broke the mold for nomination of world’s worst Mum.

“You are worthless, you dumb little fuck.” ~ Rose

I can safely say hate here and I own that hate, because it’s an emotion, what I consequently do with that emotion is the important thing. What I did was, I cried at the injustice, at the depravity, at the violence, at the hatred through verbal abuse. I raged at the prejudice, at the fear of the unknown which can turn ugly, at the wrongness, but I did this all in the sanctuary of my own living room, best place really for your very own ‘soap box’.

We all have a beginning and we all have an end, what we choose to do in the middle is all us; it’s on us!

Now, I’m not perfect, I too can sometimes judge to easily and later regret that fact, I know this, and I own it. But I do not understand, and I never will, how hatred can be aimed at love, what is more beautiful? Love can be all encompassing and comes with many faces and in many guises and through many actions. It should be celebrated, not sullied by fear and labels.

So, after my crying and the raging, I rejoiced in the love and the hope that came out of the hate and the darkness. I celebrated the strength and the bravery and the unwavering faith of our characters.  I was absolutely exhausted by the end I have to tell you!

What an incredibly well written emotional story, as if you haven’t already guessed HA! It really is quite a journey our Brooke goes on, one which I strongly encourage everyone to read. It’ll hurt, it’ll make you question, yet it will also bring home the importance of respect, decency, the good that exists and the importance of faith, whatever that might be, and importantly it brings home hope. It will also make you smile through tears and chuckle a few times too at the sarcasm and irony. It was passionate, intense, beautiful and poignant.

‘How wonderful it would be to not care what others thought.’

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Filed under 5 Stars, Brandon Witt, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte