Author: Rosalind Abel
Narrator: Kirt Graves
Release Date: September 13, 2017
Reviewed by Elaine
Cover Art: Using pastel colors, the cover is surprisingly bold with pink clouds, baby blue sky with twinkling stars, and a lovely purple field of lavender that is artistically focused. Two men are smiling and embracing, one is shirtless, and one is dressed in a white shirt. They are laughing and joyous; it is definitely a feel-good kind of cover.
Blurb: Good summarization of the plot, the blurb is the perfect length for my short attention span. It summarizes the plot and conflict perfectly. It adequately conveys Andrew’s desire for Mr. Right and sets up Joel’s tenacity in closing the deal while ignoring any personal needs and desires.
Plot: Holy hot hookups! At first, I thought the book was pure erotica, but Rosalind moves quickly from a no strings attached night with a stranger to something more in an instant. The emotional connection appears immediately, and neither man can resist wanting…….more. The intimate scenes are ample, and really well written. Plentiful enough that this girl was almost tempted to skip over one or two (I didn’t). The chemistry between Andrew and Joel is out of this world, helped along by the enduring emotional connection. The plot is not overly complicated and flows smoothly. The central conflict is one that makes me grind my teeth………secrets and lies. Ensnared as he is on the web he has weaved, I found myself getting angrier and more frustrated at Joel, and more sympathetic to Andrew. To me, this is a sign of great writing. You make me feel – good, bad or ugly……..you’ve done your job. I thought the situation and resolution were very realistic and the timing was spot on.
Main Characters: Andrew Kelly, Commercial Realtor & Joel Rhodes, Harvest Coffee executive.
Rosalind very capably captures the essence of her characters, from Joel’s bossy attitude to his desperate need to please his father, to Andrew’s innocence and inner strength. The characters are well-rounded and developed. Joel’s metamorphosis especially is dramatic yet believable.
Secondary Characters: Honestly, the secondary characters in this series are outstanding. In particular, Robert Kelly, Andrew’s father is the most interesting of characters. Crazy and irreverent, he can be sure to provide comedic relief and embarrassment for all.
Narration: The Palisade is 7 hours and 20 minutes long, which is an excellent length for the price. If I can get an audiobook at the 7-8 hour mark, I know that it can get me through a workday or long car ride. Kirt Graves…..what can I say? Kirt has a very soothing voice – mellow and slightly gravelly. Kirt has an excellent grasp of portraying different characters, and none of them (female included) take me out of the scenes. They suit the characters His pacing is perfect and the emotions the characters feel come across very clearly. I am exceeding picky with narrators, but Kirt looks like he is a narrator to watch! I will most definitely search for more of his work. He is a terrific fit for this series; it feels like the characters were tailor made for his artistry.
Conflict and Climax: Rome was not built in a day, and I am of the opinion that conflict resolution should follow the same example. Andrew and Joel did a LOT of soul-searching, and the writing reflects that.
Writing Style: Written in a third person alternating view, each chapter begins by telling us whose perspective we are listening to.
Technical Skill: Edited well, no proofreading errors were found by listening to the audio. Words were pronounced correctly. There was nothing that took me out of the story or made me run for a dictionary to look up pronunciation.
Price: Purchase for an Audible credit or $13.97
Overall Impression: The Palisade is the first book in a series set in the town of Lavender Shores, and is an enjoyable escape into the ups and downs of small-town living. The town seems perfect on the onset, but it’s kooky and downright lovable characters are the real draw. Combine the two, add in a ton of romance, a touch of controversy, stir well, and you have an addictive new world that I would be most happy to come home to.
9 out of 10!!