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Western Shores

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Madison Wilson, a marine biologist, has recently graduated and is ready to start her adult life with her first job as a research technician in Santa Cruz. After moving to Capitola, a sweet and colorful beach town in Northern California, she is immediately enchanted by her new house, as well as her beautiful landlady, Ally. Ally Santos, a widow and single mother, is relieved Madison Wilson, a marine biologist, has recently graduated and is ready to start her adult life with her first job as a research technician in Santa Cruz. After moving to Capitola, a sweet and colorful beach town in Northern California, she is immediately enchanted by her new house, as well as her beautiful landlady, Ally. Ally Santos, a widow and single mother, is relieved to be rid of the fuss of holiday tenants, as she’s busy enough with her highly gifted son Theo and her bar, Western Shores. When a young, pink-haired girl moves into her pink house, she’s hoping life will get calmer, but nothing could have prepared her for the curious attraction she feels toward her new neighbor… Is Ally ready to embrace her feelings for someone who is not only a woman but also seventeen years her junior? And is Madison ready to take on the challenge of instant full adulthood with all its trappings, instead of slowly easing into it?


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Madison Wilson, a marine biologist, has recently graduated and is ready to start her adult life with her first job as a research technician in Santa Cruz. After moving to Capitola, a sweet and colorful beach town in Northern California, she is immediately enchanted by her new house, as well as her beautiful landlady, Ally. Ally Santos, a widow and single mother, is relieved Madison Wilson, a marine biologist, has recently graduated and is ready to start her adult life with her first job as a research technician in Santa Cruz. After moving to Capitola, a sweet and colorful beach town in Northern California, she is immediately enchanted by her new house, as well as her beautiful landlady, Ally. Ally Santos, a widow and single mother, is relieved to be rid of the fuss of holiday tenants, as she’s busy enough with her highly gifted son Theo and her bar, Western Shores. When a young, pink-haired girl moves into her pink house, she’s hoping life will get calmer, but nothing could have prepared her for the curious attraction she feels toward her new neighbor… Is Ally ready to embrace her feelings for someone who is not only a woman but also seventeen years her junior? And is Madison ready to take on the challenge of instant full adulthood with all its trappings, instead of slowly easing into it?

30 review for Western Shores

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jude in the Stars

    Edit: October 22nd, 2020 With Northern Vows, the fifth and final book in the Compass series, being released next week, I wanted to get back in the mood and reacquaint myself with the characters. I had not had time to listen to this audiobook yet, so it was perfect. I don’t have much to add to my first review, except that Addison Barnes’ narration is still as good, the chemistry between Madison and Ally is still as strong, and I still love them both individually and as a couple. -------------------- Edit: October 22nd, 2020 With Northern Vows, the fifth and final book in the Compass series, being released next week, I wanted to get back in the mood and reacquaint myself with the characters. I had not had time to listen to this audiobook yet, so it was perfect. I don’t have much to add to my first review, except that Addison Barnes’ narration is still as good, the chemistry between Madison and Ally is still as strong, and I still love them both individually and as a couple. ------------------------------------------------ I fell in love with Lise Gold‘s books with Northern Lights, the first in the Compass series. The characters in this book and the following one, Southern Roots, make up one of my favourite couples in lesfic. There’s Melissa Brayden‘s Jess and Brooklyn and there’s Hannah and Kristine. Western Shores is the fourth – but not last, yay! – book in the series. Madison Wilson, Hannah’s half-sister, is a marine biologist, about to start her new (and first) job as a research technician in Santa Cruz, in Northern California. Despite her mother’s misgivings, Madison is set on living in the tiniest and cutest pink house on the beach in colourful Capitola. Ally Santos, her new landlady, also owns the bar next door, Western Shores, and the blue house, in which she lives with her astoundingly intelligent son Theo. Theo’s father, the love of Ally’s life, died nine years ago, when the boy was two, and Ally never imagined falling in love again, let alone with a pink-haired woman who is seventeen years younger than she is. I’ve said it before, I’m not an age gap fan. I find it hard to believe that two women, in very different places in life, will still manage to have enough in common to stay together in the long term. I don’t always buy the younger character’s uncanny mature way of thinking or, if they act their own age, I can’t see the older one finding them more than cute. No judgement, it’s just me, my experience, my background. Yet, once in a while, I fall for it. Some authors manage to flawlessly balance all the obstacles and make the attraction feel real. Caren Werlinger did it in the most beautiful way in Invisible, as Music, which, admittedly, is not a romance (but it’s definitely a love story). As much as I have faith in Lise Gold’s ability to write wonderful love stories, I was a bit wary when I found out this new book would feature an age-gap romance. Anxiety is my way of life, so of course I overreacted. Remind me next time to trust the authors who have already earned that trust. The age gap is addressed from the start, delicately, in pure Lise Gold fashion. The attraction between Madison and Ally flows organically from the first time they meet. Lise Gold has a knack for creating the sweetest, kindest and most charming characters, and Madison falls perfectly in that category. Not only do I understand why Ally would fall for her but I don’t see how she could not. It also helps that, even though Madison is twenty-three and only just starting her life as an adult, with her first job and all, Ally’s life has been rather stagnant in recent years. Madison comes into her life at a moment when everything is about to change anyway. Ally might not see it that way at first, but the timing is ideal. As usual, the author writes chemistry really well and her love scenes (I’m not only talking about sex here) make my heart melt. The first night Ally and Madison spend together is delightful and a little heartbreaking. And it only gets better from then on. I can’t wait for the audiobook to be released, I have a feeling it will be even lovelier. I received a copy from the publisher and I am voluntarily leaving a review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Corporate Slave

    This is Lise Gold’s 4th book in the compass series! Now I believe I’ve shown my love for this series on the 3 other occasions where I reviewed 3 incredible books in this series! To be honest, I had a feeling I would like this one the least! But Lise Gold has every right now to give me a slap on the face for doubting her (a gentle slap please this is meant as a joke) 😁 Pulling off an age gap read is not easy, but the author really did it well.. I didn’t feel the age gap that much! What annoyed me This is Lise Gold’s 4th book in the compass series! Now I believe I’ve shown my love for this series on the 3 other occasions where I reviewed 3 incredible books in this series! To be honest, I had a feeling I would like this one the least! But Lise Gold has every right now to give me a slap on the face for doubting her (a gentle slap please this is meant as a joke) 😁 Pulling off an age gap read is not easy, but the author really did it well.. I didn’t feel the age gap that much! What annoyed me a little is Ally, one of the MCs kept reminding me of the age gap constantly! Woman, move on, if we the readers didn’t feel it, why are you reminding us all the time :) Madisson, the other MC was so HOT! I fell in love with her character! I fell in love with how smart she is, how caring and patient she was with Ally. I also loved the supporting characters and especially Madisson’s mom :) This was such a romantic read that made me so happy! And for additional bonus points, the sex scenes were incredible! A lot of authors can pull off great sex scenes but what I liked most about Lise Gold is there’s always a twist of emotional intensity coupled with it..

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I love age gap romances and this was a solid one. 4.5 Stars Positives - Age Gap - Beachy setting - Incredibly sexy older woman - Feel good romance - Solid character growth/development Negatives - There were quite a few typos involving quotation marks. I'm by no means with the grammar police and normally a few mistakes don't bother me but because it was dialogue, I found that it kept pulling me out of the story. Did she say that out loud? Oh, she wasn't supposed to be saying that out loud... Minor complai I love age gap romances and this was a solid one. 4.5 Stars Positives - Age Gap - Beachy setting - Incredibly sexy older woman - Feel good romance - Solid character growth/development Negatives - There were quite a few typos involving quotation marks. I'm by no means with the grammar police and normally a few mistakes don't bother me but because it was dialogue, I found that it kept pulling me out of the story. Did she say that out loud? Oh, she wasn't supposed to be saying that out loud... Minor complaint and an easy fix that I hope the author makes because it's such a good story.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Loek Krancher

    Just perfect! Capitola is the perfect backdrop for Western Shores. I could easily pictured the breathtaking view of the coastline with the brightly painted houses and the sandy beach. I could feel the intimate atmosphere in this laid-back small town. And that’s because Lise Gold tells her story very vividly. Being a single mum and the age difference is a huge barrier for Ally. She couldn't fall for her. It was all wrong but how could she resist her, how could she stop her feelings? Madison does e Just perfect! Capitola is the perfect backdrop for Western Shores. I could easily pictured the breathtaking view of the coastline with the brightly painted houses and the sandy beach. I could feel the intimate atmosphere in this laid-back small town. And that’s because Lise Gold tells her story very vividly. Being a single mum and the age difference is a huge barrier for Ally. She couldn't fall for her. It was all wrong but how could she resist her, how could she stop her feelings? Madison does everything she can to convince her that they belong together. I loved the warm comfort of this age gap romance. I liked that the attraction was instant and I loved the three main characters. Their obstacles are realistic and I could understand their worries and their fear of ending up with a broken heart. Western Shores is absolutely high on my list of favorite age-gap romances and I highly recommend this beautiful written story.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Heinerway

    This was an incredible sweet story, and even things happen within a few months, it looks for me as an almost-love-at-first-sight affair. I liked both Madison and Ally (and Theo) and thought they suited each other perfectly.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kexx

    Really enjoyed this book - I'd forgotten how good Lise is - she really sucked me into the relationship and the life it brought. A worthy finale. Thank you. Really enjoyed this book - I'd forgotten how good Lise is - she really sucked me into the relationship and the life it brought. A worthy finale. Thank you.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Farah

    This review is based on my personal opinion and its purpose is not to discourage you from reading this book. You may have a different experience or interpretation which is totally okay. Every reader has different taste, Everybody's entitled to their opinion, right? When I saw that one of the leads was a marine biologist, this book became a must read for me. You see, I have a thing for marine biologist, beaches, sea creatures and cafes serving varieties of seafood. Ms.Gold certainly does an amazing This review is based on my personal opinion and its purpose is not to discourage you from reading this book. You may have a different experience or interpretation which is totally okay. Every reader has different taste, Everybody's entitled to their opinion, right? When I saw that one of the leads was a marine biologist, this book became a must read for me. You see, I have a thing for marine biologist, beaches, sea creatures and cafes serving varieties of seafood. Ms.Gold certainly does an amazing job bringing the beach/ocean setting to life, allowing you to forget you are even reading. As for the romance element, real and sensual are the best ways to describe it. I love Ally and Madison's meaningful scenes happen around the beach, their should we have dessert first before dinner session, learning about one another and of course their physical attraction and execution. There are some moments of brilliance sprinkled throughout the pages and plenty of scenes I find myself eating up, but unfortunately the things I don't care for cast a much bigger shadow. The author tackles a host of issues with these two but she fails to deliver the deep, unwavering intensity a story like this demands from its lead characters. Sure, the words are there, but the underlying feelings are somehow absent. Anyway, I enjoyed this sweet and sexy romance. The idea for the story is great. The atmosphere of the book is top-notch. The dialogues are fun and enticing.The characters are likable. The first dish Ally served to Madison was calamari with garlic dip. Smart move there, Ms.Gold. So here's a favorite Malaysian dish, for anyone who dares. Sotong Goreng Tepung - Deep Fried Squid Recipe For 5OOg of Squid (more or less) Dry Ingredients 5 tbsp of flour 5 tbsp of corn starch Half tspn of soda bicarbonate Half tspn of baking powder A pich of salt Mix well Wet Ingredients -put directly on the cleaned squid and mix well. - 1 egg - A few dashes of oyster sauce - 1 tspn of turmeric powder, for coloring - Add in just a little of the flour mixture Heat oil in a wok/non stick pan - Take a few squid and place in the flour mixture, turn to coat. - Fry the squid. Several pieces at a time, until golden brown, drain on paper towels. - Enjoy! - Most Malaysians enjoy their deep-fried squid with sweet and spicy chilli sauce, I prefer to devour them with thinly sliced Thai chilli. Love our oceans. Practice beach clean up because we can and we care.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    Nice, sweet, full of love in a perfect environment. Can't ask for more. Nice, sweet, full of love in a perfect environment. Can't ask for more.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    A sweet age-gap romance between vivacious Madison and not-so-straight Ally. No ice queen involved...so nothing to thaw. Not much angst either. But that doesn’t mean that it is any less interesting... Heck... I enjoyed it 🙂

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ameliah Faith

    Love on the Ocean Madison is a twenty three year old Marine Biologist who has moved to Capitola, CA to work on a dolphin study. She wants to rent on the beach and finds the perfect, tiny but beautiful, pink house that perfectly matches her pink hair. Madison is also enchanted with Ally, her new landlady and would love to be more than friends, if only the alluring older woman felt the same… It’s a lovely dream until Ally starts thinking about Madison just as much… Ally is a beautiful widow with an Love on the Ocean Madison is a twenty three year old Marine Biologist who has moved to Capitola, CA to work on a dolphin study. She wants to rent on the beach and finds the perfect, tiny but beautiful, pink house that perfectly matches her pink hair. Madison is also enchanted with Ally, her new landlady and would love to be more than friends, if only the alluring older woman felt the same… It’s a lovely dream until Ally starts thinking about Madison just as much… Ally is a beautiful widow with an incredibly intelligent eleven year old son. The boy genius is just as excited as his mom is to have the skateboarding biologist for a neighbour as he loves all things sea related so there is a lot for them to bond over. There are so many things Ally is afraid of and Madison’s age is a big part of that. With her son needing new challenges, there will be major changes to all their lives. Is there any hope for the three of them to find their way through these newfound waters and into a life together? This is the fourth book in Ms Gold’s Compass Series and like all the rest, sweet, beautiful and wonderful. I adored the romance between Madison and Ally. It was so heart felt and tender. They started out as friends and it grew into more. I could relate to the fears that Ally had and I could also understand Madison’s attraction. The storyline with Theo, Ally’s son is fantastic too. He is such a riot. He’s so smart and full of energy, so much bouncy fun! The three of them have such a wonderful time together and some amazing adventures that were so well detailed, I felt like I was there! I certainly wanted to be! The whole story was filled with happy, feel good mushy sweetness and I couldn’t get enough. I am so bummed to see this series come to an end but I have them all in my To Be Read Again pile where they will be much loved!

  11. 5 out of 5

    JWG1973UK

    I LOVE THIS SERIES. THIS IS BOOK 4 OF THE COMPASS SERIES AND LIKE ALL THE OTHERS IT WAS A GREAT READ. I SEEM TO BE READING MORE AGE GAP AT THE MOMENT EVEN THOUGH I THINK A 17 YEAR AGE GAP IS A BIT MUCH (PERSONAL PREFERENCE) I REALLY LIKED THE CHARACTERS OF ALLY AND MADISON AND I ESPECIALLY LOVED THEO WHO IS ALLY'S SON. IF YOU LIKE AGE GAP ROMANCES THEN THIS COULD BE FOR YOU. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND READING THIS SERIES. I WOULD SAY AS MUCH AS I LOVED THIS I STILL PREFER THE FIRST TWO BOOKS IN THE SERIE I LOVE THIS SERIES. THIS IS BOOK 4 OF THE COMPASS SERIES AND LIKE ALL THE OTHERS IT WAS A GREAT READ. I SEEM TO BE READING MORE AGE GAP AT THE MOMENT EVEN THOUGH I THINK A 17 YEAR AGE GAP IS A BIT MUCH (PERSONAL PREFERENCE) I REALLY LIKED THE CHARACTERS OF ALLY AND MADISON AND I ESPECIALLY LOVED THEO WHO IS ALLY'S SON. IF YOU LIKE AGE GAP ROMANCES THEN THIS COULD BE FOR YOU. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND READING THIS SERIES. I WOULD SAY AS MUCH AS I LOVED THIS I STILL PREFER THE FIRST TWO BOOKS IN THE SERIES.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    I’m a huge fan of this series and author. What a great addition to the series. An age gap romance that shows you chemistry is everything and she is just a number.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine Rusnack

    Ally and Madison fit together perfectly Madison may be younger than Ally but she was more sure of their relationship right from the beginning. Theo really was a great kid. The story is so vivid and beautiful. There is no shortage of hot scenes between Ally and Madison. Very well done

  14. 4 out of 5

    Grfb

    What can I say about Lise Gold? I can't hide the fact that she's one of my favorite authors and even though I have to admit that I was skeptical about this one due to the age-gap plot, I have to say that this book was probably the best one of the Compass series! I literally fell in love with both Ally and Madison and it's something rare for me as I usually tend to identify only with one of the main characters of a book. In this case everything felt so organic and developed naturally, that even th What can I say about Lise Gold? I can't hide the fact that she's one of my favorite authors and even though I have to admit that I was skeptical about this one due to the age-gap plot, I have to say that this book was probably the best one of the Compass series! I literally fell in love with both Ally and Madison and it's something rare for me as I usually tend to identify only with one of the main characters of a book. In this case everything felt so organic and developed naturally, that even though Ally had a big issue with her 17 years age gap from Madison, I wasn't bothered because these two people were since the beginning on the same wavelength. Highly recommended and I actually hope for more books from the Compass series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Eugenia Anton

    Lise Gold is one of my favorite authors. I started with Lily’s Fire, which I loved, and every single book she’s written. This book deals with an age gap romance but it works beautifully. It has ties to her previous Compass series. The story takes place in the Monterey California coast line, which is one of my favorite areas in the country. The book is very well written, I couldn’t put it down. looking forward to Lise’s next story.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nadia

    2.5 stars Madison historically went after "straight" women and has gotten hurt multiple times in the past, yet she doesn't really resist the pull that she feels towards Ally. Ally thought she was "straight" her whole life (except that one night in college), she has an 11 yo son, and is still close with her MIL. Yet she is so enamoured by Madison that all of this stuff doesn't really matter to her too much. I wish I liked this book. I didn't like the voice of the book, I don't think I ever really 2.5 stars Madison historically went after "straight" women and has gotten hurt multiple times in the past, yet she doesn't really resist the pull that she feels towards Ally. Ally thought she was "straight" her whole life (except that one night in college), she has an 11 yo son, and is still close with her MIL. Yet she is so enamoured by Madison that all of this stuff doesn't really matter to her too much. I wish I liked this book. I didn't like the voice of the book, I don't think I ever really got to know/understand the inner workings of each of the women. I get that you are attracted physically to one another, but I never felt a real connection. There were a lot of obstacles that could have been explored in-depth, but they weren't.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Zingari

    Ally and Madison were a sweet pair. I loved how they initially fell into their attraction for one another. Theo was great and I loved how intelligent and interested in everything he was. The side characters were nice, though I would have liked more of them. Don't think this is spoiler, but just in case: (view spoiler)[I think my biggest set back when reading this was the length, and waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop. Since the conflict was admitted so early, staying consistent/persist Ally and Madison were a sweet pair. I loved how they initially fell into their attraction for one another. Theo was great and I loved how intelligent and interested in everything he was. The side characters were nice, though I would have liked more of them. Don't think this is spoiler, but just in case: (view spoiler)[I think my biggest set back when reading this was the length, and waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop. Since the conflict was admitted so early, staying consistent/persistent throughout, I kind of was dreading the rest because I was thinking, like most books, they'd really hit it rough around 70-80%. Yet, there was nothing else substantial, and that constant apprehension cut some of my enjoyment reading this. I was ready for an ending by 46%. There was no 'honeymoon' period in which they had no qualms or hesitations. They were never blissfully ignorant and happy. I felt like I was treading water until the book started coming to a close and I realized there was no bigger and badder boogeyman waiting. I also found it hard to believe anyone could be that intensely attracted to anyone. Attraction is one thing, but this was on another level. Hey though, if you have it, I'm happy for you. (hide spoiler)] Even after all that, I still liked it. Descriptions were wonderful about both the people and places. Also, I'm a sucker for a HEA.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    We are often surprised by where are heart takes us. This is a spectacular novel and such a beautiful next one in the Compass series. Ally, Theo and Madison are such different spirits and yet they are woven together. The instant relationship between Ally and Madison was electric and touching. The is such a brilliant boy who quickly connected with Madison on the marine biology they both love. It was not surprising to see Ally worry about so many issues but love truely conquered the heart. I kept th We are often surprised by where are heart takes us. This is a spectacular novel and such a beautiful next one in the Compass series. Ally, Theo and Madison are such different spirits and yet they are woven together. The instant relationship between Ally and Madison was electric and touching. The is such a brilliant boy who quickly connected with Madison on the marine biology they both love. It was not surprising to see Ally worry about so many issues but love truely conquered the heart. I kept thinking what a long story this is but as I approached the end I was so delighted in every minute. I loved the various charges who added so much depth to the story. I also enjoyed having visits with Hannah and Kristie. Oh I just loved this book and the whole series. Another brilliant story by Lise Gold!!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    A fitting conclusion to the Compass Series Lise Gold again comes up trumps, creating two likeable leads in Madison and Ally. Her writing style is engaging and easily draws the reader into rooting for these characters. The stuff about marine biology and having a gifted child were interesting plot elements. We also get to reconnect with Hannah and Kristine which is always a welcome bonus. The only downside for me was a handful of small typos that should have been picked up, however these were minor A fitting conclusion to the Compass Series Lise Gold again comes up trumps, creating two likeable leads in Madison and Ally. Her writing style is engaging and easily draws the reader into rooting for these characters. The stuff about marine biology and having a gifted child were interesting plot elements. We also get to reconnect with Hannah and Kristine which is always a welcome bonus. The only downside for me was a handful of small typos that should have been picked up, however these were minor and in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the book. A great read from a consistently strong author.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    As usual, an amazing book. I love it. It's weird the age-gap thing, 17 is really a lot, but Madison doesn't act like a 23yo woman, she's really mature, so I guess that help. Still, I keep thinking when Madison is 33 and Ally 50, I don't know if that works, but who am I to judge? I love stories with kids envolved, Theo is amazing, I loved him. (I'd appreciate recommendations btw) I really wanna know how the hell Madison gets to keep her hair soft being pink and with she being on the beach all the t As usual, an amazing book. I love it. It's weird the age-gap thing, 17 is really a lot, but Madison doesn't act like a 23yo woman, she's really mature, so I guess that help. Still, I keep thinking when Madison is 33 and Ally 50, I don't know if that works, but who am I to judge? I love stories with kids envolved, Theo is amazing, I loved him. (I'd appreciate recommendations btw) I really wanna know how the hell Madison gets to keep her hair soft being pink and with she being on the beach all the time, I need that miracle. F/f explicit, hot, just the way I like it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Em Lewis

    Another fabulous story, age gap at the beach, perfect.

  22. 5 out of 5

    SaL

    Loved it! Lise Gold has done it again. Book 4 of the Compass Series is a beautiful story about ageism. Young Pink haired Madison rents a tiny pink house belonging to the beautiful bohemian Ally (17years older), who lives next door with her brilliant son Theo. I smiled hear to hear when we got to revisit Hanna and Kristine 😊 Northern Lights, Southern Roots, Eastern Nights, and Western Shores - a collection to keep but also to share with others. I know these beautiful love stories will continue...so Loved it! Lise Gold has done it again. Book 4 of the Compass Series is a beautiful story about ageism. Young Pink haired Madison rents a tiny pink house belonging to the beautiful bohemian Ally (17years older), who lives next door with her brilliant son Theo. I smiled hear to hear when we got to revisit Hanna and Kristine 😊 Northern Lights, Southern Roots, Eastern Nights, and Western Shores - a collection to keep but also to share with others. I know these beautiful love stories will continue...so I am really looking forward to reading the next one in line. (I just have a feeling we'll be there for a wedding) 😉

  23. 4 out of 5

    lauraღ

    She knew fighting her feelings was a battle she couldn't win. The sky was on fire, and so was she. This was enjoyable, but I think I'm running into that problem that I often do when I read a bunch of books by the same author; I start to notice little things particular to their style or their writing and I don't always like all of those things and I just... have a hard time getting into it? I started this because I wanted to read a light romance after finishing a super heavy book, and somehow She knew fighting her feelings was a battle she couldn't win. The sky was on fire, and so was she. This was enjoyable, but I think I'm running into that problem that I often do when I read a bunch of books by the same author; I start to notice little things particular to their style or their writing and I don't always like all of those things and I just... have a hard time getting into it? I started this because I wanted to read a light romance after finishing a super heavy book, and somehow ended up in a deep reading slump. I don't think this book had anything to do with it? But it did take me like two weeks to finish, which isn't the norm for me. But like I said, it was enjoyable. It's an age gap, toaster over, mediumish burn love story. Lise Gold always fills her stories with lots of descriptions about the locations that the characters are in and their jobs and lifestyles, and that worked well for this. Their age difference did play a kind of a big part of the story, and I did like how it was addressed in a serious way, and all the possible problems were brought up. I really liked both Madison and Ally; they were really sweet together. Kids in stories can be hit or miss; this was mostly a hit. I just didn't really enjoy this as much as anything else I've read by the author? One, because of the author burnout (she uses the exact same euphemism in every single book, every single time, as if no other word exists, and it started to get on my nerves a liiiiiitle bit) but also... idk. I guess I just wasn't as much in the mood for a light romance as I thought? It got a little binary in terms of Ally wondering if she's straight or gay, and seldom acknowledging that there's anything between that. (Though the book eventually did use the word bisexual.) Also there was a side plot where Ally's best friend Devon starts dating a trans woman and it gets a little ???? Don't get me wrong, it was cute and very much well meaning, just veeeery very clumsy in terms of some of the language used. I'm cis, so grain of salt etc. Just a few things that made me go 'uhhhh' a couple times. I still had a mostly good time with this? It's a nice romance about finding love in an unconventional way. I like Lise Gold's writing (...mostly) and especially the atmosphere she sets when she takes us to different places. And it was nice seeing Kristine and Hannah a bit again.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    Sexy Heartfelt Addition to the Compass Series Western Shores was a sexy heartfelt addition to The Compass Series. The three main characters include Western Shores bar/restaurant owner, Ally, her gifted son, Theo, and pink-haired skateboarding Marine Biologist, Madison, who just happens to be seventeen years younger than Ally. The storyline grabbed me immediately along with the chemistry between Madison and Ally. Their connection was enhanced over time and solidified when Madison's work took her o Sexy Heartfelt Addition to the Compass Series Western Shores was a sexy heartfelt addition to The Compass Series. The three main characters include Western Shores bar/restaurant owner, Ally, her gifted son, Theo, and pink-haired skateboarding Marine Biologist, Madison, who just happens to be seventeen years younger than Ally. The storyline grabbed me immediately along with the chemistry between Madison and Ally. Their connection was enhanced over time and solidified when Madison's work took her on a two month assignment to the Bahamas. A nice touch by the author was having characters from Book 2, Southern Roots, included in the storyline. The reader does not necessarily have to read Book 2 to follow along with Book 4, but why skip over a Lise Gold offering? Some favorite moments from Book 4 included the descriptions of Capitola, the drive along Pacific Coast Highway from Capitola to LA (I had to Goggle some of the sightseeing locations), and of course the infamous small shower scene. Hot, hot! I'll give the author a shout out for including Florida Tech as Madison's alma mater since this is also mine.

  25. 4 out of 5

    monica.b.czuba

    Western Shores (The Compass Series Book 4) Fantastic story and read. This story tells us about Ally and her son Theo who live on the Western Shores Ally an widow own three houses on the beach plus bar. All the houses are pained different colours. She and her tson love in one and the other's are rented out in the season. She tents one to a young woman whose a Marine Biologist and has pink hair. Ally,s son Theo is an extremely gifted young eleven year's old. Ally ,and Madison hit it off straight aw Western Shores (The Compass Series Book 4) Fantastic story and read. This story tells us about Ally and her son Theo who live on the Western Shores Ally an widow own three houses on the beach plus bar. All the houses are pained different colours. She and her tson love in one and the other's are rented out in the season. She tents one to a young woman whose a Marine Biologist and has pink hair. Ally,s son Theo is an extremely gifted young eleven year's old. Ally ,and Madison hit it off straight away. This is a story of age difference, love ,gifted child and much more. All the characters are interesting which makes this story a brilliant one. Author Lisa Gold did a superb job writing this (with a little help from different people) it is great when authors do there research when writing.😇. If you. Have read any of this author books in this series then definitely read this Highly recommend this plus 5 ***STARS

  26. 4 out of 5

    MJ

    This book is fantastic. One of Lise Gold’s best, and definitely the best in the Compass series (IMHO). It’s almost...wholesome? I guess? It just leaves you feeling so good. And ugh, I want to put Madison and Ally in my pocket and carry them both around with me all day, they’re so precious. As for the story, it’s a simple romance; not a lot of conflict, and not as much traveling to exotic places as Lise Gold tends to write into her other books; but that’s a part of the draw. Getting to know Ally, This book is fantastic. One of Lise Gold’s best, and definitely the best in the Compass series (IMHO). It’s almost...wholesome? I guess? It just leaves you feeling so good. And ugh, I want to put Madison and Ally in my pocket and carry them both around with me all day, they’re so precious. As for the story, it’s a simple romance; not a lot of conflict, and not as much traveling to exotic places as Lise Gold tends to write into her other books; but that’s a part of the draw. Getting to know Ally, Theo and Madison and the love story (both romantic and familial) that develops between them is a sweet and touching experience. And the sex scenes are HOT lol. Also, if you’re into audiobooks, “Western Shores” does have an audio version. Like most of the rest of the Compass series, it’s narrated by Addison Barnes. Her performance is great. I find her to be a fantastic and under-appreciated talent. She makes a mellow, sweet story that much more enjoyable with that unassuming and even-paced way she has of narrating. She’s a perfect fit for this book. Either way you take your poison, I definitely recommend this read!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Salazar

    Sublime! I don’t know why I waited so long to finish the series! I devoured the first 3 books but for some reason this one didn’t caught my attention when I read what was about but once I started it I couldn’t stop! I got soo excited when Madison invited Ally to meet her family and I pictured them al together it was like a book reunion hahahaha and when Hannah said they were going to get married en Norway oooh no! 🥰 Romantic, sexy, funny just a perfect combination, I wish I had a better picture of Sublime! I don’t know why I waited so long to finish the series! I devoured the first 3 books but for some reason this one didn’t caught my attention when I read what was about but once I started it I couldn’t stop! I got soo excited when Madison invited Ally to meet her family and I pictured them al together it was like a book reunion hahahaha and when Hannah said they were going to get married en Norway oooh no! 🥰 Romantic, sexy, funny just a perfect combination, I wish I had a better picture of Ally it was hard for me to imagine her. Ms. Gold as always sublime! This series was one the best recommendation someone gave me and now I recommend with my eyes closed if you enjoy romance and age gap this is your book but honestly I recommend read then in order.

  28. 5 out of 5

    DR

    Older women need to know they are hot and have a lot to give--still. I've enjoyed reading several of Miss Gold's books and this was a good 'will she or won't she' read. It was good to read Madison in an extended story since meeting her through Hannah and Kristine from 'Northern Lights'. Meeting Ally was a bonus. The little pink house with gorgeous ocean views got me with the shower over the toilet. Theo's genius is a joy to read as is Ally's angst in wanting to provide the best learning experien Older women need to know they are hot and have a lot to give--still. I've enjoyed reading several of Miss Gold's books and this was a good 'will she or won't she' read. It was good to read Madison in an extended story since meeting her through Hannah and Kristine from 'Northern Lights'. Meeting Ally was a bonus. The little pink house with gorgeous ocean views got me with the shower over the toilet. Theo's genius is a joy to read as is Ally's angst in wanting to provide the best learning experience for him and dealing with the fact that her 11 year old son's book smarter than she is. Ally and Madison falling in love is paced appropriately. A wonderful read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Louise Ball

    Another great addition to the Compass Series This is an age gap story that follows Madison, Hannah’s half sister, going on in the world after finishing college. There’s some angst, a bit of pining and quite a bit of chemistry between the main characters. A few times the scenes were quite passionate that I would not recommend reading it at work. It’s well worth the read though. Just bring a fan. If you enjoyed the previous Compass series installments, you’re sure to enjoy this one as well.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gina L

    Outstanding and Hot! I loved this story. I thought Madison was going to be a great character from Southern Roots Compass Series Book 2. Then add Ally and Theo to the mix making this story awesome. This is what an age gap slow burn book should be. Add in the adventures of where they are and who they are as people and you can’t help falling in love with this story. I still see more stories coming. Lise Gold has a very good insight on falling in love and it shows in her writing.

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