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The Victorian

(Lavender Shores #9)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  161 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Sexy bartender Seth Marino is the epitome of the allure and sophistication for which the town of Lavender Shores is known. For twenty years, Seth has found contentment and happiness as co-owner of the Blue Blossom Bed-and-Breakfast. Seth’s kind heart, good looks, and humor charm both locals and tourists—except the one person who despises him.

Charley Perez began building t
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published December 17th 2018
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**4.5 stars**

I just LOVED it : for me, the best of the "Lavender Shores" series, set in a small town closed to San Francisco, filled with many, many hot gay men. Each time I read one of the books of this series, I can’t help going on the “Lavender Shores website” dedicated to this series with lovely pics of the settings and many of the characters.

It can be read as a standalone and this time, we finally get the story of the “famous” bartender, Seth, and his long-time enemy, Charley, owner of a M
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely perfectly judged enemies to lovers romance

Since they both appeared on the streets of Lavender Shores I've felt there was something behind the intense hatred and competition between Charlie and Seth.

However, never in a million years would I have imagined this complex and incredibly moving backstory which is wound out so cleverly by the author.

This is a true enemies to lovers narrative, there's no 'oh we just don't get on' feeling here, it's outright disgust and anger and resentment and
Whoo...this is hard to truly rate. I think I'm gonna have to go with 3.75 stars rounded up which...I haven't given a book in this series less than 4 stars before, but...I couldn't quite give this one the full four stars, because too much frustrated me.

I LOVE enemies to lovers stories, it's no secret. It is my bread and butter when done right. This...wasn't quite done right. The enemies part of the whole thing was definitely there, there's no doubt about that, but this felt more like a one sided
4.5 stars!

On the more serious side of the books in the series, Charley and Seth take enemies to lovers to a whole new level. While Charley is known around town as a hothead and an asshole, it seems that most of his ire is focused on Seth Marino, everyone's favorite slutty bartender/co-owner of the Blue Blossom B&B and the founding families. Two decades of hate come to a head in this story, which starts off with a scene that will heat up your reader and push Charley over the edge.

The tension
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hello Lavender Shores! I can’t believe this is book 9! Just wow. I have some history with Lavender Shores. I mean, 9 books in his history guys. It has been an interesting ride. I have really enjoyed some of the stories and loathed others. On average out of 8 books I might just barely be at 3★'s, one of the books it looks like I didn’t even rate! But, truthfully, I can’t stop reading them and I love getting to visit again and again.

So, yeah, I seem to jump right into these books and never really
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
There was a lot going on in this book - so much hurt and angst. This really was an enemy to lovers book, but I’m not sure how they managed that. Charley had a brick wall so thick and high around him that no one could get through. He was sharp, cruel and nasty, but deep down just a shameful hurtful mess. Seth deserves a medal for his persistence and ability to look beyond the acid and realize Charley’s words and actions were all based on pain and vulnerability. There was a lot in this one...maybe ...more
♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣
Twenty years of strong dislike can't be easily nor quickly swept away. Seth 'n Charley will tell ya that, with gusto, especially at the start of this here tale of theirs.

The biggest, best, and brightest reason that this works for me: both of these people are intelligent, have full lives with friends and family, and have much to be thankful for and proud of regarding their careers. In other words, this isn't some thinly applied layer of fake-itude on the 'enemies' side of the equation just to set
Dec 19, 2018 rated it liked it
It took an interesting turn and I did like it but I just felt like the relationship wasn't developed properly.
Mia Sciberras
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A perfect enemies to lovers story, but so much more. This book delves into the depths of anger, anxiety and depression but pushes its characters through this in such an incredible, honest even brutal way but by god, it's written in such a manner that you accept the blows whilst fully engaging you in Charley and Seth's burgeoning romance. There is incredible light at the end of the tunnel for our two MCs. This series goes from strength to strength and delivers on its trope-theme with a flourish. ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! True enemies to lovers right here.
I adored the MC's and the fact that they had to fight for their HEA. No insta love in this one :)
Joyfully Jay
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kenna
A Joyfully Jay review.

3.5 stars

I’ve struggled a bit with this review and I’ve had to give careful consideration about how I wanted to word it. Now, I’m a huge fan of the Lavender Shores series. It’s been one of my all time favorites. I was anxiously waiting for this new book because I’ve been a bit of a fan of Seth’s and he would finally be getting his own story. I hate to admit, though, I was disappointed with it.

Let me start with the good. Rosalind Abel has an incredible writing style. Her ch
JD Crittendon
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Romantic Pairing Like Fine Wine & Great Food!

In the end, the perfect pairing of Seth & Charley. This romantic story was a bit of a departure from Ms Abel’s sweet, light normal style. The first half of the story, I was not a fan of Charley. However, when the kitchen scene exploded and subsequent interaction of the MCs...I started to like the pairing much more. It was a bit of genius on author’s part!
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love an amazing enemies to lovers book and this is definitely one. This is also a slow burn so it just makes the sexual tension in this off the charts! I love following Seth and Charley's story as they go for their happy ending. Just another amazing story for the Lavender Shore series!!
Excellent, slow burn, true enemies to lovers....Make no mistake, Charley and Seth hate each other when this book begins...There is no insta here; no insta love nor insta resolution....There are a lot of issues these 2 men (40's) have to work through to get to their HEA. Very well written, there are some seriously angry moments, sex included, and some very touching and tender moments as well. The author takes the reader through the healing and discovery process of these 2 men...there is nothing I ...more
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

This interpretation of the enemies to lovers trope was unexpected and unusual. Charley and Seth have been enemies through the series but I couldn’t remember if a reason was ever given but Charley has been shown being angry and unreasonable with people all through the series. The prologue is surprising, and surprisingly hot, setting the scene for an escalation of hostilities, mostly by Charley. It takes quite a while to discover what his problem is and it’s a bit shocking when it finall
Elaine White
Reviewed for Divine Magazine


The Victorian
Lavender Shores, Book 9
Rosalind Abel

321 Pages
POV: 1st person, dual POV
Content Warning: this story deals with issues of mental health (depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts), parental abuse, alcoholism and touches upon transphobia and slut-shaming


Holy Cow! What a way to start with a bang! Once again, Rosalind Abel gives us a Prologue of two halves – one half from Seth's POV and another from Charley
Erryn Barratt
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
True Enemies to Hot Lovers

I have loved every Lavender Shores novel and snapped up this one in a heartbeat. It’s tough for me to say that this was not my favorite. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Did I cry? Yes. Did I struggle? Yes.

Each Lavender Shores book is considered a standalone, but having the family tree does help. There is a lot of emphasis on the founding families and although other reader may not have had a problem with this, I haven’t always understood all the rivalries, marriages, etc. This book
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m
Reviewed for Rainbow Gold Reviews. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Boy do I love this series. I love Lavender Shores and all the wonderful and crazy people living there. As a reader I’ve seen some ups and downs to living in that small town, and I still wish I could live there. I didn’t realize how time was progressing in the series at first, but in The Victorian we are now ten years after the first romance, The Palisades. Some of these characters are aging but it seems like
Victoria Smiser
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I always cheer when there is a new book in the Lavender Shores collection, although I know there will be no sleep the night it arrives.
Of course, Ms. Abel does not disappoint this time either. Seth Marino and Charley Perez have been two elusive characters on the sidelines of the other stories. Without knowing why, readers have understood there was a long-standing unease between them bordering on disgust and hate. Ms. Abel lets the anger build without immediately defining the causes. Since they a
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is book #9 in the series and the first one that I've had the pleasure of reading. Saying that, yes, there were other couples and characters mentioned, but I didn't feel as though I had lost any of the story not knowing any of theirparticular histories.

Seth Marino is a sommelier and bartender and half owner of The Victorian Bed and Breakfast. Lavender Shores is a small community and everyone knows everyone else's business, so it's no secret that he and restaurant owner Charley Perez hate eac
Misty M
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Hot enemies to lovers

I admit I'd given up on this series. I'm a fan of the author, but some of the characters that are more like caricatures (mostly Robert) were just not for me. And they featured to prominently in every book to win over. But I heard this was an epic enemies to lovers with Seth and Charley, so I had to try.
It was a great enemies to lovers, I loved that there was no magic d*ck moment that solved all their conflict. They stayed enemies even after the initial times of coming togeth
Grammy 1
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book: The Victorian
Series: Lavender Shores Bk 9
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Amazon Digital
Release date !2/17/18
Pages: 338
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rated: Mature M/M

I love this series, and have waited and waited for sexy bartender Seth Marino to finally find ‘his person’.
Rosalind Abel has built a beautiful town for her readers on the beautiful hillside of Lavender Shores.
Seth has his past laden with hurt and pain and settled there over 20 years ago finding a place to belong.
He is n
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Had a hard time with this one

Let me start by saying I am a huge fan of this series. I’ve enjoyed the world building and most of the main characters have been easy to root for. However I had a hard time here. Charley is so intensely unlikeable for the first half of the book I had a tough time continuing as I not only didn’t care about him I didn’t want him to get a HEA! There is ultimately an explanation but it comes waaayyyyy late in the book. The story moves slowly and if I didn’t know the seri
Molli B.
Maybe it's recency bias, but I think this is my favorite of the lot, so far (well, of the ones I've read...maybe five?). I'm a fan of books that deal well with mental illness, and I think that's done here. Also, TRUE enemies to lovers, pretty believably. And they're older (older than me!), and they still have lives, so that's always appreciated ;)

I also feel like there's more that could come out of their storyline, but that's not really how this world works, so...IDK! Hopefully it means we'll se
Christie Howell
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Victorian.

Seth and Charley were enemies that shared an attraction neither wanted to acknowledge. They hated each other, until a mutual friend (hookup) decided to get them together in a three-way. Keeping their identity a secret Silas not knowing how they felt about each other sets up the threesome and they're all in and loving the secret aspect until a mishap happens and blindfolds come off. Charley feels betrayed and angry and on top of that he can't get the slutty but handsome bartender S
Vicki Easom Johnson
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm not good at reviews, at all, but here goes...

As I sit here with only a couple of hours left in the book, there are years streaming down my face. This series has been amazing! Yet, this one book, this one story, this one couple, has me absolutely torn apart. I knew going in that it was going to be a tough read for me. I was right. Oh, but how could I not revisit Lavender Shores? This book is the best by far.

Charley and Seth are broken. Broken men who need to find a way to get along.

I hate s
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enemies to lovers with a dash of crazy.

Charley’s Perez’s absolute hatred of everything “founding family” (with a special brand of loathing reserved for Seth Marino, co-owner of the Blue Blossom B&B) seems...irrational.

The low simmering animosity reaches a boiling point after Silas, a mutual friend, sets up a blind sexual fantasy between the two men that goes horribly wrong—and just a little bit right.

I enjoyed this dark departure from the tried and true Lavender Shores romance formula. There
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This got me! It hit me in every way both breaking my heart and giving me all the tender moments and laughs as well. Rosalind Abel has written at truly heartbreakingly amazing book here that I will not forget for a long time to come.
Charley and Seth have had a hate/hate relationship for years. After a terrible mistake one night and with now been thrown together for the Lavender Shores Food and Wine Festival - civility is called for. Histories come to light, battles are fought and overcome, with h
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Couldn’t put it down!

Wow, this one started off amazing and crazy at the same time. I’m not a fan of enemies to lovers, at all. However, this was so much more than enemies to lovers. Anger and depression can go hand in hand and this was a perfect example of how it can be. The plot was really engaging and I read it all in one go. Charley really resounded with me, but Seth did as well. It will be fun to see where they are at in their relationship in future books. Definitely one of my top 3 in the s
Unsolicited Reviews
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, gay, enemys-to-lovers
This was a pretty awesome book overall. The adult scene at the beginning was amazing. The way it panned out even better. The writing was excellent. The drama was predictable but enjoyable. This was my first Rosalind book and I wasn't disappointed. Will be reading more from her.The only thing that was a little confusing was the whole age thing. One said he was born in 1980 yet it seemed they were older. Maybe this book was posted in the future. I can't be sure. Since I didn't see anything stating ...more
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Other books in the series

Lavender Shores (9 books)
  • The Palisade (Lavender Shores, #1)
  • The Garden (Lavender Shores, #2)
  • The Veranda (Lavender Shores, #3)
  • The Shipwreck (Lavender Shores, #4)
  • The Hideaway (Lavender Shores, #5)
  • The Glasshouse (Lavender Shores #6)
  • The Alcove (Lavender Shores, #7)
  • The Wilderness (Lavender Shores, #8)