Friday, June 29, 2012
Review: On Lavender Lane
Former Navy SEAL Lucas Chaffee is settling back into civilian life, refurbishing a farmhouse for an old friend who plans to turn it into a culinary school. Celebrity TV chef Madeline Durand has been publicly humiliated by a philandering husband. So Madeline jumps at the chance to return to Shelter Bay to recover and help her grandmother turn the family farm into a new business.
Little does she know that the man who broke her heart years ago is already on the job-or that he's going to cook up a recipe of passion, patience, and perseverance to win her over.
While this was an ok read if a mindless romance is what you are seeking, it isn't very realistic. Maddy is a celebrity TV chef who is married to a chef who owns a chain of high-dollar restaurants. Everything she does is to support him, though she married him seeking a partnership. When videos of him cheating end up on You Tube he dumps her for a richer woman and she runs home to her grandmother to lick her wounds. While there she runs into her high school flame, the ex-SEAL.
The book contains a sub-plot about an abused woman who flees her home in Colorado for a battered women's shelter in Oregon. She escapes her home via an "underground railroad" and is living under an assumed name. She was a young woman swept off her feet by a rich handsome man,a man who came to control her every move, a man who physically abused her. I could see a lot of parallels between her and Maddy; though luckily for Maddy, her ex, while a jerk, was not violent. This subplot provides the climax for the book but I found the scene highly unrealistic and it left more questions than it answered. I think this woman's story would have made an interesting book. If she and the guy she is with in this book end up as the main couple in another book, this part of the story will need to be retold.
I've been known to complain that a Christian novel was preachy, or a sermon wrapped up as a story. Well, this isn't a Christian novel, but if environmentalism/green/organic food was a religion, I'd classify this novel as preachy. They discussed those topics ad nauseum.
The book contains plenty of lust and lusting to go with the love and when Maddy and Lucas do finally end up in bed together, readers get to watch. While there are certainly "hotter" books out there, the scene is too descriptive to be described as a lot of flowery language only.
All in all, I'd say the book is an ok mindless read if that's what you are in the mood for, but there are better romances out there. Grade: B-.
I purchased this book with my own money, so I certainly can say whatever I want about it.