I found this book to be an excellent read, but it definitely needs to be read as part of the series. The continuing development of the characters, the revealing of more and more secrets, and our growing entanglement in the lives of the men and woman in the story shows the authors skill in engaging her readers.
I like Kristen Heitzmann's writings. I read almost all her books. But the ending of this book annoyed and surprised me a bit. She was talking about submission to God. Quillan was a hardworking man, who stood for what was right and submitted everything to God's will. Carina's family were arrogant, didn't accept him at the beginning based on his appearance. He needed to prove himself which he was trying too hard to do. Then add Carina's ex-lover, Flavio, who was wicked enough but all the family wanted her to marry him because he was one of them. Flavio tries to kill Quillan. Now what I don't understand is why Kristen Heitzmann had to break Quillan's arm, collarbone, leg and crush part of his intestine and burn all his money. He starts healing, but he might limp for the rest of his life and he is still penniless. Is that what she calls total submission to God, which he was already doing. Or is it submission to Carina's family, which he now needs with no money and not his very good health. God is kind, loving and merciful, he doesn't need to break a human being to have him submit when he is already with Him.
I don't usually post reviews, but I feel that this series is worth it. I just finished reading it through for the second time and I was hammered by this story which depicted real broken people who find the ultimate love of the universe.
Its poignancy, authenticity, and honesty did not detract from its loveliness or its picture of true romance. I often feel empty after all the romantic novels I read. This time, I felt
I really enjoyed "The Tender Vine." Quillan's faith, Carina's strength and their love for each other kept me on the edge of my seat. Throw in Carina's ex love and her familly and it all makes a really good read!!!