From the opening pages of “The Love Garden” I knew it would be different from the books I’ve been reading lately and I was right! The author David Blackburn sets the scene and characterizations in a skillful way that not only pulls us in, but creates great visualizations and elicits genuine emotional investments. I truly cared about the characters’ fates, (loved Carly!) and was shocked and saddened at certain things (no spoilers). Like that it wasn’t cliché or like other books I’ve read in this genre. It does have a very strong dark, sexual theme so if that isn’t your thing then this might not be the book for you. But if it is, you will absolutely love it. I felt like I had gone on this crazy, jaw-dropping journey with Carly as she tended to her “garden”. An interesting ride – Hope this author writes more. (5 stars) Sherrie Warner

Sherrie Warner

The Love Garden” was an unexpected delight for me! (love the cover too!… and the scene it represents in the book – haha) It tells the incredible story of a girl named Carly as she goes through her unusual life, the unbelievable experiences she has, and how she deals with her ‘problems’. It is powerful, moving, and really makes you think. There were many interesting subplots and interweaving storylines that all wrapped up nicely in the ending, if not a bit sad. Fans of sexy thrillers and dramas will appreciate this book and the riveting message it imparts. (4 stars) Marcella Gonzales

Marcella Gonzales

Just a fair warning… when starting this book make sure you don’t have anywhere you need to be or anything you need to do because you won’t want to stop reading until you’ve finished it all!! Trust me on this! It is such a wonderful novel, and I love how David Blackburn writes… it all felt so believable and authentic, intimate, like a close friend was telling me this really amazing, beautiful, horrible, emotional, tragic story that I didn’t want to stop listening to. Liked many of the secondary characters as well, and this is a great character-driven novel that I can see fans of thrillers, suspense, psychological drama eagerly gobbling down. (4-5 stars) Eliza Brown

Eliza Brown

This was the first novel I’ve read by David Blackburn, and to be honest I really wasn’t sure it would be my thing, but I really liked it. He has a gift for writing descriptive and life-like scenes that make us feel like we are really there inside the story, in the character’s heads (for better or worse…). I like that this book didn’t feel stale or derivative, but instead like a new niche of psychological suspense/obsession/relationships that serves well to help diversify a somewhat cookie-cutter genre (in my opinion). Overall the entire novel was one that I thought was well-executed and delivered an emotional, if not slightly disturbing win in the end. (4 stars) Gillian Hancock


Gillian Hancock

Wow, “The Love Garden” By David Blackburn was amazing! I haven’t read anything like it in a long time, if ever. For once it seemed like the characters were anything but the stock, ordinary typical hero/heroine but instead all had demons, motivations, secrets, and I don’t want to focus too much on it, but the psychological/mentally traumatized angle had me really intrigued, and the way it all seemed to fit into a larger plan of Carly’s plans and her Garden. The writing is good, felt natural and believable, and authentic characters, especially the supporting cast. This was a standalone novel (not a part of any series, it appears), but I hope the author David Blackburn writes more like this in the future. I’d be reading it! (5 stars) Laura Clarke

Laura Clarke

I really enjoyed this book, “The Love Garden” by David Blackburn. I thought it was excellently written. It is a quick read, one I finished in the course of an afternoon/evening. Some of the subject matter is dark and kind of depressing, but it is similar to real life in that way, and something that we can’t act like doesn’t exist (sexual abuse, trauma, mental illness). I was genuinely surprised at a few things that happened, and thought the tension and narrative was great. I liked Mr. Blackburn’s writing style, and will definitely be looking for more works from him in the future. Those who enjoy literary suspense, romance, and drama with a darker twist will enjoy this one. (4 stars) Layla Messing

Layla Messing

I thought this was an excellent novel that captured my attention from the beginning and never once let it go. Each scene was riveting, imaginative, and well thought out. The descriptions were good and not overdone, and I especially enjoyed the literary quality to the narrative prose, and the fact that it had more depth and meaning than it would seem. The whole Garden metaphor works into the plot nicely – you just have to read it to see what I mean. Those looking for a fast-paced, action-packed thriller may be disappointed, as this is more of a slow-burn of character studies, leading to a shocking climax. David Blackburn has a natural gift for weaving a well-thought out story and developing tragic, thought- provoking, memorable characters. Great for fans of literary drama and psychological suspense. (4 stars) Darla Ortiz

Darla Ortiz

The Love Garden” by David Blackburn is hands-down one of the most original and well-crafted novels I’ve read in a long time! I was completely drawn in from the get-go, and absolutely loved the author’s use of dialogue and the personalities and inner ‘narrative’ of the characters (especially Carly). There is a lot of action, but it is really the characterizations of the people that really carried the story, in my opinion. Carly is a very interesting/flawed/tragic lead and we see a lot through her eyes. There are some shocking (sad) twists, but the ending is satisfying. Would love to read more from this author in the future! (4-5 stars) Jhonni Parker

Jhonni Parker

Lately I’ve been in a rut of putting down books and not picking them up again because I lost interest at one point and just never continued. This was definitely not the case with this book, “The Love Garden” by David Blackburn. From the very beginning the story moved seamlessly from one page to the next, and was unpredictable enough to make me just *have* to see what would happen next. Not formulaic or cookie-cutter at all, even though there are plenty of “familiar elements” necessary for a psychological thriller, this one is very different from others. This is one “interesting” garden, to say the least! I was impressed with this author’s writing style and his attention to detail… I really felt transported to the characters’ lives and heads, for better or worse. I will look for more works from Mr. Blackburn in the future. (4 stars) Nicole Hastings

Nicole Hastings

This novel was quite a change of pace for me, as I normally gravitate towards more fantasy/paranormal romance, but this was one engaging tale that I couldn’t put down! I did have to have some patience in the beginning until I felt that I was more caught up in the thrust of the story, but the author does a great job of explaining all the backstory and sub plots. I don’t rehash plotlines (That is what the book description is for), but I enjoyed the easy flow and dark drama and complex plot of “The Love Garden”, and really liked the characters, especially Carly and Sadie. Happy that they were not cliché, cardboard cutouts but relatable and real… even when being a bit disturbing. I liked that I never quite knew where the story was going, and it was anything but predictable… my eyebrows shot up and my jaw dropped many times. It gets pretty intense, and I wasn’t prepared for where the book went, but I feel like it is an important story that needs to be told. The author has a great way of writing, even if it took me awhile to get into the flow. Would read more from Mr. Blackburn in the future. (5 stars) Steph Coleman

Steph Coleman