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Lavender Shores #5

The Hideaway

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Lavender Shores’s resident tattoo artist, Connor Clark, looks the part—six foot six, musclebound, and covered in ink—and most definitely doesn’t blend in. Grafted into the Bryant family as a teenager to escape his abusive father, the Bryants saved his life, but Connor has never truly felt a part of the founding family royalty. And if his heart’s desire were revealed, it would betray everything the Bryants have done for him.

Micah Bryant was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He’s always had everything he ever wanted—save the one he desires most. Even moving to New York City for a few years didn’t dampen his passion. Not that Micah had expected it to. He’s known his destiny since he was nine years old, the moment it had walked through his door.

After years of longing, years of secrets and stolen moments of passion and love, Connor weakens enough to allow the town to see how he feels, and let the Bryants know his love for Micah is anything but brotherly. But no sooner had the decision been made than Connor’s biological family returns and shatters it all. Still, Micah holds on to the belief that their romance was written in the stars, but maybe he’d been wrong all those years...

258 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 5, 2017

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Rosalind Abel

10 books202 followers

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5 stars
256 (42%)
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229 (37%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 114 reviews
November 10, 2017
This is my favorite book of the series, even though it didn't start that way. The story begins 17 months AFTER the day Connor and Micah (almost) hook up in the bathroom; that's the prologue.

Chapter 1 plops us into the middle of a story: Connor and Micah are barely speaking. Micah has a boyfriend (which WTF?). And Connor's 17-year-old nephew, gay and rescued from his ultra-religious, homophobic family (Connor's brother is Moses' dad), is now living with him. Connor and Micah's mom has adopted Moses as one of her own, just like she did Connor so many years ago.

Connor is still completely freaked out about acknowledging to anyone that he's in love with his "brother" (not biological, but they were raised together since Connor was 13 and Micah was 9). Micah has stopped pushing. Mostly. That all changes when they have sex in a classroom on a desk.

Sex on a desk always changes everything.

There is some definite angst here, but the story also oozes true love and forever. Also SEX. Lots and lots of sex, and not just on a desk! Connor turns tattooing into porn.

Something about the Lavender Shores series has me hooked. It's like running into an old friend: comforting and exciting all at once.

In the author's note, Rosalind talks about possibly writing five more books in the series IF the first five books find a wider audience. So, people, please give this series a go. It's a bit OTT with the small town charm at times, but it's really romantic and sexy, and I would hate not to get Moses' (or Seth's or Charlie's) story.
Profile Image for CrabbyPatty.
1,575 reviews170 followers
November 10, 2017
In The Hideaway, we get the story of Micah and Connor ... the two Bryant brothers. Not biological brothers, but Connor Clark was enfolded by the Bryant family when he was 13 and escaped from his abusive uber-religious family. Gilbert Bryant considers Connor his brother, but over the years nine-year-old Micah Bryant goes from hero worship to falling in love with Connor.

As the story begins, we learn that Connor and Micah desperately love each other ... but how on earth do you tell your family, your friends, heck all of Lavender Shores, that the Bryant "brothers" are soul mates, and lovers, and dream of a life together? Rosalind Abel carefully crafts this nuanced relationship, full of doubt on Connor's part of depriving Micah of a life in the limelight as a violin virtuoso in NYC. Over the years they have each struggled with revealing everything, but when Connor's younger brother Moses comes into their lives, their plans are placed on the back burner once again.

I struggled with The Hideaway in the beginning because so much is unknown, but as Connor and Micah's story slowly unfolds, the pieces come together and the full emotional impact hits you hard. The pace of the story felt a bit slow in the middle and the built-up to the final revelation by Connor and Micah seemed to take a long time, but the ending beautifully tied everything together. I also loved how we get a brief story of Lavender Shore's past and I would dearly love to read a story focusing on Lavender Shore's creation after WWII.

4.5 stars and a Recommended Read for The Hideaway, and here's hoping there are more Lavender Shores books to come!

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Review also posted at Gay Book Reviews - check it out!
Profile Image for haletostilinski.
1,194 reviews369 followers
November 15, 2018
4.5 stars rounded up!

I ended up very much enjoying this one. I'm coming in the in the middle of the series, but thankfully I wasn't too out of the loop on things and this one - and I'm assuming the rest - can be read as a standalones. But I enjoyed this one so much that I'm going go to the beginning and start reading all of this in order now.

This blurb was the one that caught my attention the most, and I've had it on the back burner and finally decided to give it a try. I'm so glad I did.

Micah and Connor have practically been family since he was 13 and Micah was 9. They were considered brothers by the Bryant family and everyone called them each other's brother, even Connor himself at times.

But they aren't actually brothers. For 13 years Connor lived with his biological family, with a brother who didn't turn out much different than their abusive father and religious fanatic of a mother. So no, Connor and Micah aren't biologically brothers. And the moment Micah saw Connor, he knew he was it for him. One look at him and it was over for him as a 9 year old.

But it takes about 18 years for him to finally convince Connor to give them a chance. Or more accurately, for Connor to get his head out of his ass. They started their sexual relationship when Micah was 18 and Connor 22, but they've kept it secret for 9 years, Connor too afraid of the reaction of their family and losing them and Micah as well to actually commit to Micah.

Before they finally get together, they only came together in quick, rough sexcapades, in dark closets and such, but especially in their hideaway, a cavern like place along the beach that Micah found when he was young and only showed to Connor. They would meet there to have sex. Micah and Connor have sex with others over the years, trying to forget the other, to replace them somehow, and Micah even tries a relationship with another guy, Seth, who was a casual sex buddy of his for years before then.

But it doesn't work out. It never works out with anyone else, because all they truly want is each other. Like Micah thinks in the book, all the other men are fast food, while you're really craving some other meal, and that craving doesn't go away just because you settle for fast food. Pretty good metaphor for it.

It was fun with others, pleasurable even, but it wasn't what Micah or Connor really wanted. They just wanted each other.

But Connor had to get past his fear of not only their family finding out, but his fear of holding Micah back.

I have to admit I got frustrated with Connor, with his constant refusal to give and just be with Micah. While understandable, most definitely, it also takes him 11 years to get to a place to accept it and want it (Micah tries to get with him when he's 16 and Connor is 20, but Connor says no. But he definitely was woken up to his feelings for Micah since then.) And apparently over a time jump, Connor and Micah got close to telling their family before Moses, Connor's biological nephew, shows up, ending what they were building.

But after almost a year apart, they can't stay away, and end up having sex. (Micah and Seth have an open relationship, so no cheating happens, and Micah breaks up with Seth anyway right after it happens, knowing he'll never able to truly let Connor go, that he truly just wants him.)

I did also think that the fallout once their family does find out could have been handled a tad better. Some of them don't handle it well at all, but then they seemed to get past it fairly quickly. Or at least okay with it, if not completely comfortable with it. I wanted to see all the conversations Micah and Connor had with their family, like Connor talking to Patrick, as well as Gilbert, and a convo with Micah and Gilbert, and also what about the sisters? What were their reactions? And so forth. We get some drama, but then it's over fairly quickly and almost glossed over. Gilbert becomes okay with it surprisingly quickly after his initial reaction and so on. I wanted more with that.

But despite my frustrations with that and how it was handled, it didn't detract too much from my overall enjoyment of this book. Micah and Connor had amazing chemistry - sizzling chemistry (all their sex scenes are scorching hot. Especially the one in the tattoo parlor...DAMN *fansself*), and their love was very apparent and strong and passionate, and I loved that.

Seeing the other characters definitely made me interested for their stories as well. (And yes I soo can't wait for that enemies-to-lovers story coming up with Seth and Charlie. Gimme! :D)

Definitely loved this overall, and definitely recommend. This definitely got me to try reading the others as well. Two thumbs up from me! :D
Profile Image for Cadiva.
3,349 reviews309 followers
November 10, 2017
The one I'd been waiting for!

Best one yet easily for me. I'd been waiting for Connor and Micah's story since this series started and I first read the hints on the author's website that there might be more between this pair than just brothers (not blood brothers so stop panicking!)

It was certainly worth the effort and the wait, although I'd have loved to read it earlier in the series, it really did work best as the final one in this first block of five stories from Brandon Witt's alter ego.

There were times when I wanted to give Connor a shake and tell him to get over himself and I really truly wanted to punch Gilbert at one point because of his reaction, but overall I think the situation was very well handled.

Micah's little hideaway was a perfect location for a lot of the most emotional scenes in the book and, as ever, Rosalind's light touch gave the narrative credibility.

The angsty was also believable and the epilogue was fantastic so this one gets a thumbs up there as well. Now I want to know why Seth hates Charlie so much and if Adrian and the red headed bookstore owner get their own story.

EDITED: I've stolen this bit from ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ review because it's a good point she makes!

In the author's note, Rosalind talks about possibly writing five more books in the series IF the first five books find a wider audience. So, people, please give this series a go. It's a bit OTT with the small town charm at times, but it's really romantic and sexy, and I would hate not to get Moses' (or Seth's or Charlie's) story.
Profile Image for Christelle.
808 reviews
December 8, 2017
**3.5 stars**

Don’t get me wrong : I liked it, but it didn’t woo me.

This time, we get Micah and Connor’s story. Connor was adopted by Micah’s parents, escaping a religious and abusive family. And from day one, Micah worshipped Connor. And once Micah grew up, he accepted his loving feelings for Connor, a love that Connor fights as much as he can.

What I couldn’t comprehend was the need for Connor to stay away from Micah while their connections was very apparent and their family always showed love and acceptance. So much time wasted for them **sigh**
But Micah and Connor were great characters and it was nice and hot to follow them to their HEA.

In overall, a nice series to follow. The kind you go back to, simply because it’s sexy and romantic and the characters are charming.
Profile Image for Antisocial Recluse.
2,710 reviews
October 31, 2017
Every book in this series so far has been a stellar read but this just went to the top of the list. Rosalind Abel brought their A game for Connor’s story, the adopted son of the Bryant family, who’s been rather enigmatic until now. I was anticipating a different beginning to this book, since we last saw him with Micah in The Shipwreck. However, Connor’s life has changed drastically, since his 17 year old nephew, Moses, is now in his care. The background for both Connor and Moses is distressing, since both were raised by a family of religious zealots. It was also surprising and affecting to learn the history of Connor and Micah’s nearly decade long, ill-fated love affair. Micah wasn’t afraid to bring it to light but Connor had fears that were hard to see being insurmountable.

A personal standard for really good stories is achieving emotional investment, and I growled, cursed and sighed at my tablet over the obstacles Connor placed in Micah’s way. I really identified with Micah’s frustration, including the seemingly universal view of his decision in returning to Lavender Shores. Connor had me utterly fed up with him through much of the first half, and wanting Micah to give him a smack. I should have had more faith, because of course I ended up in tears for both of them reading the last chapters, finally able to grasp Connor’s concerns. It’s often an education in the human psyche in these stories, when character reactions don’t match my expectations, and then it hits me just how obvious it should have been. Connor relationship with Moses was so touching and he was so careful with Moses’ mind and heart.

This was an emotional, thought-provoking and gratifying addition to the series with an epilogue that’s gloriously romantic and seriously sexy. I recommend reading this series in order, since the characters and family appear throughout and are interconnected. A family tree on Rosalind Abel’s website is a big help too. I think if you jump in, you’ll be fine except for the founding family info and missing a few references to prior events. You’d also miss the fun and joy exploring this unique town and its residents. Already a fan? One-click this baby now!

* An ARC was provided by the author or publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review for Hearts On Fire Reviews*
Profile Image for Debra.
2,002 reviews231 followers
November 7, 2017
Reviewed for Sinfully.

4.5 stars

One of the things I really love about the Lavender Shores series is that every book has a different feel. This one ratcheted up the angst and heartache, but once again gave me a beautiful love story. If you haven’t read any of the prior books, this one would work very well as a standalone.

For Micah Bryant and Connor Clark, their clandestine love affair has been going on for years. Connor was brought into the Bryant family at thirteen and raised as their own, escaping an abusive, religiously fanatical family. What started out as hero-worship for nine year old Micah, grew to full on love over the years and once he was old enough, Micah knew that Connor was his soul-mate. After his first advances toward Connor were thwarted as a teenager, things slowly started to change and soon the two men started a roller-coaster relationship that has been on and off for close to a decade. As much as Connor has fallen in love with Micah, he continuously hurts him by getting together and then pushing Micah away. Connor struggles with fear and shame, worrying about losing his family, what people will think about them considering they were raised as brothers and fearing he’d be holding Micah back from the life he deserves to live as a musician in New York. Connor still feels like he doesn’t fully fit into the Bryant family, through no fault of theirs. This is something within Connor that he needs to work through.

Micah has spent time chasing his dream as a musician living in New York City, but has since returned to Lavender Shores and gone into business with a local farmer. Nobody can understand why Micah left NYC to come back, especially his mother. Micah, however, is finally living the life he wants, indulging all of his passions. Working the land in Lavender Shores, travelling to NYC for jobs as a musician and being close to Connor in the hopes that Connor will come to his senses one day. They are at two ends of the spectrum with Micah never losing hope and Connor angsting and throwing up walls whenever things get too intense.

Just when things were finally looking like they would work out, Connor took in his teenage nephew, Moses who was in the same situation as Connor found himself in when he was taken in by the Bryants. Connor has vowed to protect Moses from his abusive, religious fanatic of a father (Connor’s brother Russell). Moses living with Connor is one more reason for Micah and Connor to be apart, but they never stay apart for long and secrets always have a way of coming out in a small town. Even in a place as accepting as Lavender Shores, Connor realizes that a relationship between “brothers” is going to push those boundaries.

The emotional ante and heartache were definitely upped with this story. There were so many ups and downs as Connor takes one step forward and two steps back for much of the book. I just wanted to shake Connor for what he was doing to Micah. Even when Micah tries to see other men he knows deep down that it will always, only be Connor for him. No one else can ever measure up, but Micah finally does reach a breaking point and Connor is finally forced to realize that of all his fears, losing Micah is the one that would hurt the most. As the story unfolds the reader begins to understand how much of Connor’s fears are tied up in the pain inflicted by his biological family so long ago, a pain which is brought back to the surface by what his nephew is suffering through.

It’s not all heartache. There are the shenanigans readers have come to expect from the founding families of the town and a couple of side characters who are crying out for a story. There is also plenty of sex in the book. When Micah and Connor are together, they are rather daring and smoking hot. You really get the feel that they physically can’t resist being together when and where the moment strikes and that man of those times they fear it may be their last time. There is also time spent at the gorgeous hideaway of the title, which can be calming but also bittersweet.

But of course, in Lavender Shores, the reader is guaranteed a happy ending for our couples and I’ll admit to sobbing through most of the Epilogue. It was as beautiful as the oceanside hideaway that was so well described throughout the story. I’m not sure if this is the last in the series, but if it is. it definitely went out on a high note. If not, I think Seth, the feisty bartender we first met in The Palisade is deserving of some happiness, especially after his part in this story.

Profile Image for L Ann.
433 reviews63 followers
December 19, 2022
As much as I enjoyed Micah and Connor's story, it didn't pack the same emotional punch as the previous stories had. I expected there to be a lot more angst considering the MCs were raised as brothers, but other than their other brother's inital anger upon discovering them in bed together and their mom, Regina, crying when they finally told her, they didn't really experience any backlash whatsoever.

Also, since they were already in love when the the story began there wasn't any drama associated with them trying to figure out and accept their feelings for each other. The whole thing was just ho-hum and if I didn't already feel invested their story from previous stories I don't think I would have rated this more than 2 stars.

This is the last story we get featuring the Kelly/Bryant clan so it would have been nice for the epilogue to include all of them. I'm going to miss their families so much and even though I'm sure they'll make appearances in the upcoming stories it won't be the same. Of the four stories featuring their families this was the weakest. 2.5 stars, rounded up

The Palisade 4.25 stars
The Garden 2.5 stars
The Veranda not interested
The Shipwreck 5 stars
The Hideaway 2.5 stars
Profile Image for Chris.
2,067 reviews
November 30, 2017
3.5 for this one. While I enjoyed this book it just didn’t feel balanced for me - Conner & Micah were great characters but the brothers to husband vibe, while cute, was hard to imagine. I understood the reactions from others and in no way did it feel taboo, it just felt out of balance. I’ve stuck with this series and have enjoyed the easy read... but now it’s time for some heat !
Profile Image for Sandra .
1,717 reviews308 followers
November 8, 2017
4.5 stars!

In this 5th book in this fantastic series we finally get the story of Connor and Micah, the two Bryant brothers. Well, they're not actually blood-related brothers, because that would be super icky, but Connor Clark was sort of adopted into the Bryant family when he was merely 13, escaping from his super-religious and abusive family, and Micah has been in love with him ever since.

Micah even tried seducing Connor when he was just 16 and Connor was 20 and home from college.

The book starts really slow - all the reader knows is that Micah and Connor love each other desperately but can't find a way to come clean to their family and their friends about being in love and soulmates and wanting to be a couple - I mean, how would you tell your family that you're in love with who they consider to be your brother, amirite?

But they're gonna do it - they're gonna come out. And then Connor's nephew Moses, 17 and in dire need of rescue himself, comes to live with Connor, and all thoughts of coming out as lovers fly out the window.

There's a lot of heartache and pain within, and the author did a fabulous job pulling me into the story, wanting these two men to have their happy ending. The characters are fully fleshed out, and it is clear that they love each other very much. And yet, Connor worries that he might be holding Micah back from pursuing his violin virtuoso career in NYC if he allows himself to grab onto the younger man with both hands, never thinking that Micah is perfectly happy being in Lavender Shores and actually doesn't want to live in NYC. I mean, it's not like he asked - he just assumed.

And Micah is so patient. He keeps waiting for Connor to find the courage to come clean, while pretending to be happy with stolen moments in their hideaway - a underground cove near Micah's house - where they are free to be open and affectionate.

For a lot of the book, their relationship is fraught with tension, for obvious reasons, and Micah actually has a boyfriend of sorts for a while in Seth (who needs his own book, stat), but it's a casual and open relationship which ends amicably.

It's possibly that a reader might find a sexual and romantic relationship between two brothers objectionable, but it's important to remember that they're not blood-related, and that Connor was never officially adopted by the Bryants, so there are no legal ties either. Additionally, it is very clear from the start that Micah never thought of Connor as his brother - for him, Connor is always the man he loves; Connor is his soulmate.

This book is full of heartache and pain, but also much love, and it is that love which carries the day and makes it worth all the tears.

Highly recommended.

While the books in this series can be read as stand-alones, I wouldn't recommend you read them out of order, as all of them build upon their predecessors to some extent.

I also hope that the author has more books planned. While The Hideaway provides us with a natural stopping point, there are plenty of other characters in this fictional town who deserve their own chance at lasting love.

** I received a free copy of this book from its author. A review was not promised in return. **
Profile Image for namericanwordcat.
2,442 reviews408 followers
August 12, 2018
3.5 Stars

It took a good deal of trust in this writer to get me to read this book. I really can't stand forbidden romances of this nature with stepbrother or in this case adopted brother. I have an adopted brother so eww. But he was adopted when I was a toddler and he was just four and Connor comes into his adopted family as teen. I can squint my eyes and deal with this plot.

Anyway, Connor is a wonderful hero. Micah is great too but privileged, naive, and reckless in places, I like that he grows and pays certain costs.

Micah's mother's need for him to leave Lavender Shores to be a great musician is an out of tune beat in the story that is distracting or really not given the page time to make this aspect of the story work.

Micah and Connor have a hot and cold, push and pull relationship that is painful to read at times but Abel does nice work with this dynamic.

The family piece is really well done but more time could have been spent with Connor's nephew.

I like this series a great deal and am happy for this HEA but there are always aspects of these books that need more craft to be truely wonderful and re readable.

Profile Image for Jennifer☠Pher☠.
2,735 reviews230 followers
November 10, 2017

This was a difficult read for me. I was a bit uncomfortable through the whole thing.

I think I still enjoyed it, difficult or not.

Sometimes the difficult is the most rewarding I guess because the end was a spectacular reward.

The last two books in this series have been so hard for me to rate and review. I think I expect fluff and fun from these books and forget they are so much more.

Who is next? Five more books to go!

Stealing this from Dani's review because it needs to be said again!!

In the author's note, Rosalind talks about possibly writing five more books in the series IF the first five books find a wider audience. So, people, please give this series a go. It's a bit OTT with the small town charm at times, but it's really romantic and sexy, and I would hate not to get Moses' (or Seth's or Charlie's) story.
Profile Image for Leslie.
1,127 reviews229 followers
August 11, 2019
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 Stars
🔥🔥🔥🔥/5 Heat

I continue to live dangerously and read this series completely out of order. 🤷🏻‍♀️Sorry, not sorry. I loved Micah and Connor and the tiny amount of the taboo or forbidden factor. Not enough to be icky but enough to make them extra hot together.
Profile Image for Ed Davis.
2,310 reviews68 followers
September 17, 2022
Interesting, many of my Goodreads friends loved this as their favorite of the series. It was my least favorite. There was too much angst for me. I also thought everything was resolved too quickly. Everyone was shocked, but quickly adjusted. Oh well, I’m not sorry I read it.
Profile Image for Elaine White.
Author 41 books236 followers
July 16, 2018
Book – The Hideaway
Series – Lavender Shores #5
Author – Rosalind Abel
Star rating - ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 266
Cover – Gorgeous!
POV – 1st person, dual POV
Would I read it again – Yes!
Genre – LGBT, Romance, Contemporary
Content Warning – history of parental abuse, religious homophobia

I've said it before, and I'll say it again – every book in this series that I read is my favourite, until the next one comes out. The proof is in the fact that I've rated EVERY. SINGLE. BOOK five stars. I'd give them ten, if I could.

This one was ALL the feels. All of them! From start the finish.

I remember when I read book 4, and I read the “snippet” of this one at the back. I was gutted, because I'd blown through my book budget when this book released and have been so busy with other things since then that my own TBR list took a back seat. I've been dying to find out how Connor and Micah's story went for seven months! Far too long. So long that I squeed so hard when I finally sat down and read that first chapter, knowing I had the rest of the book right there in my hands.

I kind of loved that Micah was a mystery. He hasn't featured too heavily in the other books of the series, really only mentioned briefly here and there, so it was nice to get to know him properly, to see his place in the family and in Connor's life. Connor has featured quite heavily in about two or three of the previous stories, even only as a side character, so it was great to finally get to understand their connection, to see how they worked together and within their family.

I loved the way that Micah and Connor's relationship was explored, that some of their background was explained and we got to see how it all came together. I'm the type of person who gets squidgy about “too close” relationships – e.g. the MC dating their dad's ex or whatever – but this was really well done. It was made perfectly clear that while Connor had thought of Micah as a brother at first, that changed after a pivotal moment, and Micah's confession of his feelings, when they were both of an age to understand what they felt and what it meant. Connor was never officially adopted or fostered or anything, so there was no legal relationship to work around, only the one the family had fostered in their hearts. Even then, I loved that Micah was just so damned sure that it would all work out. That it would be okay and everyone would understand. And I understood why Connor didn't agree, why he didn't want to take the risk, why he kept trying to push Micah away.

I'll admit that, at times in the first 20-30%, I thought there was an imbalance in their relationship. I felt that Micah was more committed to it than Connor, that it was a bit unhealthy and a bit too close to obsession, a drug they couldn't live without. But, as time went on and more of their relationship was explored, the hurt and vulnerability in both of them was so easy to see, and I could see the truth. It was inevitable. THEY were inevitable. It was so clear that, whether Connor needed to be saved by his family or not, the fact that he was Gilbert's best friend growing out would have brought him and Micah together eventually, and things would have ended up the exact same way. And I love that, despite how hard they fought for and against each other, they both realised that, in the end.

When it comes to the side characters, I have to admit that I loved seeing Seth again – even if he was dating Micah, for a while – and I was intrigued by his obvious history with Charlie. I have the next two books in the series and they're not listed, so I can only hope that their story takes place in book 8! I was, however, thrilled to find out that Adrian has his book next, which I'm excited to see. I want to find out about that date from the Meat Market.

And, O.M.G. The Meat Market! One of the most insane and hilarious things I've ever seen. And, in this series – with Robert – that is saying something! And I fell in love with the moment they entire family came together to stand up to Russell.

As usual, the series does an excellent job of giving each character decent on-page time before giving them their own book. Going into the next book, I feel like I know Adrian already, that I have a hint of what his character is like and how his story might unfold. I don't doubt I'll be surprised and have a blast, but I also know that I'll love every second, because I already love his character. And though Jasper didn't get any real page time in this book, I remember his part in the previous book, within his book store, and look forward to reading his story, too. Because, that's what this series does – it makes you care about even the small characters, who appear for maybe two seconds or barely have any spoken words – until you open up every future book hoping that they'll find their story, but also knowing that if they do, you already feel like you know them. Everyone in Lavender Shores is familiar. They're comforting. Welcoming. Homely. And no matter how many books this series continues for, I'll be right there, ready to enjoy the next adventure with them. Even if it keeps going for so long that Moses gets his own romance.


Overall, I loved every minute of it. It was heartwarming, reassuring, comforting, but also heartbreaking, shattering, and emotionally gruelling. Everything you want in a book.

Was there anything I missed? Yeah, I would have loved to have seen a flashback or a description of the moment Connor first kissed Micah – as it mentioned he made that first move later, after the age-16 incident – and how that made Micah feel, to finally have his feelings returned, what spurred it on, and where it led. I would have loved to see Connor's talk with Micah's dad, and the family accepting them. But, those would have just been the cherry on top of an already perfect book. Things I want because no book is every long enough, no story lasts forever, and I never want to stop reading a Lavender Shores book, once I start.


Series: This is something I just want to say before I get started on my review. Yes, these books *can* be read as standalones. They're one of the only series that make the claim that actually live up to it. However, I would HIGHLY recommend reading them in order. This is mostly because of all the important nuances that you'll notice and appreciate more, such as the meaning of the name Sandy and its importance to Andrew and Joel. The nuances are what hold the series together, linking everyone and everything to each other, and to the series as a whole. It is well worth reading them in order just to know and appreciate those moments more.


Favourite Quotes

“What was Lavender Shores if not some version of a Hallmark movie? That wasn't me, never had been. I was more a late-night drama, one with TV ratings, warning of language, violence, and adult situations. I was a person from the real world who had fallen into the rabbit hole and landed in a fantasy cartoon.”

“I knew nothing and no one could give me whatever this unnamable feeling was, whatever this sense of rightness was called that settled into my gut, into my soul. I was never sure if it was promised to arrive, but I had known what this was. Destiny. Pure and simple.”
Profile Image for Lulu.
920 reviews20 followers
November 9, 2020
"That settled it. Aliens had landed and invaded Conner's body. I wasn't exactly sure why they would fly all the way to earth to tell me to shower and put on a suit, but it was the only explanation"

I think this one was my favorite so far #5 😁
There was long history and struggle and heartache, though it still carried some sweetness.
Profile Image for Wax.
1,295 reviews21 followers
May 2, 2020
I'm so torn. I did like the story with the pining between the two MCs. However, they were so frustrating in how they behaved.
Profile Image for Ann.
516 reviews12 followers
October 25, 2017
Connor and Micah's story. The hoops they have to jump to until they find their HEA! So beautifully written. One which will need a plentiful supply of tissues to hand.
Profile Image for Jess A Jaye.
469 reviews17 followers
November 7, 2017
Another fab installment in the Lavender Shores series. The angst level was cranked up on this one in some ways compared to the rest of the series. Seeing Micah and Connor struggle with their love for each other and keeping their years long relationship a secret is heartbreaking. They belong together but felt they couldn't be out to their family. Not because they are gay but because they a brothers. Don't worry its not the icky kind. Connor was taken in by Micah's family after being rejected by his own uber religious family.
Connor feels that he has never really been a true part of the family. He fears being rejected again if the truth comes out. Silly boy - that family adored him, as does Micah.
Seeing Connor raising his nephew, after he too escaped his family, is heartwarming but will make you hate Connor and Moses bio family even more.
The sense of place in this book is once again beautifully and magically weaved in throughout. I'm not sure how Rosalind does it but i can always imagine myself in all the places she describes. Micah and Connor's shoreline hideaway is no different.
Although Lamont's book is still my favourite, Micah and Connor totally stole my heart.
Profile Image for DTM.
1,176 reviews5 followers
November 7, 2017
I’m so in love with the Lavender Shore series. I’ve been anxiously awaiting Micah and Connor’s story..I was NOT disappointed..This is not an easy story. It’s an emotional journey for the boys and the reader, but they do get their HEA!!!! The Hideaway is not as whimsical as some of the other stories. It’s is definitely grittier, and you will feel it in your gut. I absolutely loved it!! The entire series is a must read and so well written! I want more please! (The entire series is on KU)
Profile Image for Maggie.
436 reviews
November 7, 2017
Love this series

I think this is my favorite of the entire series so far! I just love Connor and Micah. To overcome his past, dealing with his nephew and finally coming to terms with his feelings, this journey Connor has been on is so well worth it. Well done!!
Profile Image for The Smutbrarians.
2,231 reviews1,731 followers
November 9, 2017
Storyline: 5
Angst: 4
Tissue: 1
Value: 5
Panty Scorching: 5
Over All Rating: 4.25 Stars
Kindle eArc provided by Author
Reviewed by Robin

Connor Clark is the black sheep of the Bryant family. Well, the pygmy goat as his unique family renamed him. Covered in ink, the tattoo artist loves adopted family but would they feel the same if they knew his loving feelings for his brother. Micah Bryant is a talented violinist and organic vegetable grower. Recently moving back into the area has rekindled his own feelings for Connor. Over the years, they have tried to push down the attraction that pulls them together, but lately Micah has tried to convince Connor that perhaps they could be together. But then life throws another obstacle at them that places the romance on hold. Perhaps permanently.

“Swallowing, I tightened my hands into trembling fists, demanding they not reach out, they not touch him. It was all the effort I could summon. Still, I couldn’t move, couldn’t speak.

Micah’s hand came to rest on the side of my face, his thumb by my ear, his fingers curling at my nape, and he kissed me.

My willpower shattered. All the effort I’d put during the last year or so into avoiding moments like these wafted away into nothingness. My fists unfolded and one hand gripped the back of his neck hard enough to bruise while the other clenched the back of his jeans and pulled him against me. His mouth opened and my tongue accepted the invitation, slipping in to get lost in the familiar taste of Micah, the flavor beneath the cinnamon and sugar, the flavor I’d sought in so many other men but could never find. I let out a groan. One of guilt and surrender. A groan sounding like a man in the desert finally discovering water.”

I can't tell you how excited I was about getting Connor and Micah's story. I really felt awful for Micah and how every time his hopes would get up Connor would play the same excuse about why they couldn't be together. I don't know how his heart could stand it. It was breaking my heart with every single pull back. But when the twist happens, I got it. I could see where Connor was coming from all along. Such an emotional roller coaster but so worth it in the end. Just an amazing series. I so want Seth's story. I have been in love with that bartender since book one!

These lighthearted romances always lift my heart when I read about the family, friends and newcomers to Lavender Shores. I wish I could move there because it sounds idyllic. So welcoming and I really, really need to meet Robert Kelly. I think he’d brighten my mood no matter how my day had been.
Profile Image for Carra.
1,679 reviews25 followers
November 8, 2017
I have probably thought this after each book in this series, but this one’s my favorite of the Lavender Shores series so far! Everything about Connor and Micah’s story was just clutching at my heart. It’s a situation where you KNOW there’s nothing wrong with the way that they feel about each other, but so many people get stuck on the terminology of ��brother” that it creates circumstances that others can’t see past.

It was heartbreaking to me to see Connor being torn apart like he was. You could see it with Micah as well, but it was so much more evident with Connor since he had the added worry of whether the Bryants would reject him if he and Micah were to go public with their feelings, causing him to lose his family all over again. If you’re thinking the emotional impact of this story is high, you’d be absolutely right—especially once you add in the fact that Connor is taking care of his nephew who is going through almost exactly what Connor did with his family.

Connor and Micah have some intense chemistry going on between them, plus a whole ton of tension thanks to their family situation. There were some points where I was frustrated because while they did grow up together as a “family”, they are not related to each other at all which is the main point that needs to get across to everyone—and not everyone is willing to see it like that.

Even though this is the fifth book in the series, it can be read as a standalone…but as I’m sure you might guess (especially once you start reading it), you’ll find yourself wanting to know the stories of the other couples in the series. I personally would recommend reading the series in order to get the full background of all the couples and the town as well.

I simply loved The Hideaway, and it gets 5 stars from me. It’s a story I highly recommend, and it’s one I know I’ll not only be re-reading in the future, but also one I’m going to add to my paperback collection as well! This story is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.
99 reviews3 followers
October 28, 2017

Book: The Hideaway
Series: Lavender Falls Book# 5
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Amazon Digital
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rated Mature M/M
Release Date Nov 7 2017
Page Count ?

I have been enthralled by this wonderful series. Our author has set up a ack drop with a beautiful town in the North West Called Lavender Falls. The town the scenery is a picture in my mind of a Currier and Ives painting of perfection.

Our author has taken that perfection of Lavender Falls and now introduces us to the inhabitants of the town and the families living there. What a wonderful series this has become, us getting to know the Bryant’s and the Kelly’s and others up and down Main Street USA.

We had a quick look at Connor Clark coming down the stairs at a Baby Naming Shower
in the last book The Shipwreck. Brought into the family because of parental abuse, Connor and Gilbert Bryant were best buds, now brothers of the heart. Micah was the adoring baby looking up to Connor as his superhero. Micah had it all, talent, money and was quickly thought he was on his way for bigger things n life as a violinist.

But the night Connor was home from college, waking up to 16 year old baby Micah trying to seduce him, things were never the same. Years of longing for both of them, having them sneak off to share private moments, alone, knowing the risk they took. How would everyone react to their feelings?

Connor’s shame at who he was, does not allow him to truly feel he is a Bryant. Back from school after studying art he has opened up a tattoo shop in town called Lavender Ink and quite looks the part. Tall, long hair and covered in tats .

Micah home from years in NYC opens a Farm Store sellig produce to the stores and restaurants in town and plays the violin gigs as he wants. It is time now for Micah to make his last attempt to have it all…..Connor in his bed..

I must say this was one of the hardest books to read, the most romantic book to read and the best book of the series!!!!! Or did I say that about the last book??????

Cannot wait for more…..

Profile Image for Dixiecowgirl.
1,396 reviews23 followers
November 7, 2017
What happens when you know in your heart that you are right, but you are afraid that everyone will think you are wrong? Imagine the heartbreak when the person you love, if you love him openly, that action could lose you your family? The Hideaway is filled with laughs, tears, complex characters and delightfully written characters. The characters and town is so well developed that you feel it in your heart! Hot men engaging in intense moments of passion will steam up your glasses!

Micah and Connor are super special! Their relationship survived more than most, just because of perceived norms and guidelines of society. Micah believed and pursued his dream of having a relationship with Conner and i love his incredible strength and determination. Connor had already lost so much with his birth family, you can feel his pain and fear of losing his real family. I thought the family reactions and resulting interactions were pretty spot on and as with all things change takes time for acceptance.

The Hideaway, book 5 of the Lavender Shore series, knocks it out of the park and you will be glad that your read it!

I received an ARC at no cost from the author
Profile Image for MiaReadsMMBooks  .
362 reviews40 followers
October 28, 2017
I was very lucky to recieve an ARC for The Hideaway via Brandon Witt and I'll be the first to say I'm a big fan of this series and have thoroughly enjoyed the lives, the loves & lovers, the premise of Lavender Shores and it's founding families. These books have this wonderful balance of angst given just the right level of emotions to get the heart racing, humour to have the lips decidedly quirking and passion that is embraced in this sexy, delightful way that is endearing, enlightening and lusty too.

We've seen lots of clues as to the potential  hidden relationship between Micah and Connor in the previous books, always appearing separately in family situations where if anyone had been paying attention, it would have been decidedly suspicious, so it's been a real pleasure to finally, finally get to witness their love fully coming into fruition and out in the open.

It's not an easy journey for these two "brothers", forced into a sibling relationship despite feeling anything but brotherly for each other and not being related in the true definition of the word. Expect lots of unexpected turns in their journey, you'll be cheering for them all along the way (even in this moments you'll want to knock one of them over the head for various moments of stupidity) and will love their HEA as much as I do.

A definite 5 stars from me. I cannot wait to read more from Lavender Shores!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 114 reviews

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