Adrian Rivera is a farmer. This isn’t exactly what his family, one of the founding families of Lavender Shores, envisioned for him, but he loves it. Circumstances find him a groomsman at former football player Harrison Getty’s wedding. Noticing Harrison doesn’t look so hot, Adrian follows him into the bathroom to make sure he’s ok. He gives Harrison a little pep talk, but in the end, Harrison grabs Adrian and kisses him! Adrian is confused, but he has been attracted to Harrison for some time. Now, he has to figure out what to do…leave it all alone or follow his heart.
Due to his fame as an NFL player, when Harrison came out, he became an admired figure in the gay community. This led to notoriety he was not quite prepared for. His publicist managed to land him a reality show, ala The Bachelor. He choose Will, a resident and member of another of the town’s founding families. Now Harrison is beginning to feel trapped by it all, and he’s having a difficult time with this wedding. When Adrian comes to him in the bathroom, Harrison gives in to the attraction he’s had for him. Now Harrison must figure out what he really wants and handle the consequences of his actions.
I’m going to start with reminding you The Glasshouse is the sixth story in the Lavender Shores series. I’ve read them all and love them passionately. The Glasshouse is a perfect addition and I loved it very much. While you don’t necessarily have to read the first five to grasp what is happening here, I honestly recommend you do. There are five founding families of the town and the stories revolve around them. Characters do cross back and forth between the books and it’s easier to be familiar with everyone even though there is some exposition. Also, I consider the town, Lavender Shores, to be a character unto itself. As the books go on, you learn more and more about it and its history. Of course, this is just a little suggestion, and if you do jump into the series with The Glasshouse, you’ll probably rush to get the other books.
The book starts with a bang. It just really takes off. While Harrison is facing a nerve wracking situation, it’s presented in a real, but slightly humorous, way. The author really captures what it must be like to be in Harrison’s head. I also was able to feel Adrian’s confusion. Yes, he was very attracted to Harrison, but he didn’t necessarily want to hurt Will and embarrass his family.
I loved Adrian and Harrison. They were troubled men, but they knew what they needed…and that was each other. They were well developed, multi dimensioned characters. There were many layers to work through. I found them to be compelling and sympathetic. I was hooked on them from the beginning.
I don’t want to give away too much of the story. It was romantic and sexy, but there was family drama, angst (not too much, though, don’t worry), humor, and sweeping and detailed world building. There is a feeling of reality, however I always considered Lavender Shores to be an almost ethereal place. Something out of a fantasy. There are no mentions of big box stores or chain restaurants. Instead, there is the beach, mom and pop shops, and a diner with home cooked meals and an owner who knows everything about everyone. And, of course, fields of lavender.
Above everything, there is the love that grows between Adrian and Harrison. They knew they’d be outcasts. Adrian would be considered a homewrecker, and Harrison, a cheating jerk (there is NO cheating though). They had to endure Will’s hatred. They genuinely felt bad about that, but there was no fighting their feelings.
There are a LOT of background characters here. Family members and townspeople are featured, but they’re never overwhelming and they’re important to the story. I didn’t find myself wishing so and so would just disappear. There weren’t any real big and bad people. Harrison’s publicist was a bitch, and that’s a problem that took a while to dispose of, but it was satisfying in the long run. The others make up life in Lavender Shores. As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, these particular characters do cross over from book to book. They’re worth getting to know, though.
The title of the story, The Glasshouse, describes a building in the middle of the fields at Adrian’s farm. It’s a rundown shed made of glass windows. Adrian wants to tear it down to make space for more crops, but in the end, it becomes…ahem…sentimental, and gets a makeover that made it magnificent. I don’t feel like I’m giving too much away by telling you that. Hehe.
The ending was perfect and I loved it! It was exactly the way it should be, and I was completely satisfied. I had happy tears, and I smiled for the rest of the day. As a bonus, the author includes a family tree for each of the founding familie, and a map of Lavender Shores. That will help you focus on the story because you do get a bit of a who’s who and a where’s where.
I recommend this book and this series with my whole heart. Do yourself a favor and pick it up.