Thursday, 2 June 2016

Review ~ Grafted Vines (Intertwined Hearts #4) by Kimi Flores

Book Description:

It’s often said, when one door closes another opens. But what if, in the end, you’re left standing alone in its threshold?

At fifteen, Dani Valdez lost the most important man in her life—her father. After years of therapy, she’s continued to make one bad choice after another, desperate to soothe the emptiness his death left behind. Even with a fulfilling career as an in-home nurse and caregiver, her personal life is less than stellar. Now in her early thirties, not only is Dani the oldest and curviest girl in her group of friends, but she’s also the last childless, single female. It’s time for her to take a new path, so she’s pushing past her self-doubts and taking control of her destiny. And with her close friend, Zachary, there to support her, she’s confident in her decision. That is, if she can get over the fact that Zachary is the love she’s not meant to have.

Zachary will never forget what it felt like to be hungry and abandoned by his mother in their rundown, dirty apartment. He still couldn’t believe he’d been given a second chance as a teen when Joel Evanwood not only adopted him, but also taught him how to run his vineyard. After an impulsive one night stand with Dani, his best friend, Zachary decides to shut everything out and throw himself into work. He can’t take a risk on a relationship with her, even if he wanted to. But when a devastating diagnosis alters his world, he will reach for the only steady thing in his life—her.

It doesn’t take long before their relationship heads down an uncomfortable road, reminding him of why he can’t give her everything she wants. In order for him to stand by her, he’ll have to deal with old memories he’d rather leave buried.

But is Zachary strong enough to let Dani in to see the painful burden he’s carried from his past? Or will his stubbornness kill any chance they will ever have?

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 3.5 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***

“Every storm offers a majestic rainbow, right?”

Grafted Vines is a cute read with a little angst and a friends to lovers plot line which I absolutely adore. This book also covers the effects of living with someone who suffers with dementia which is so apt for me as my father in law is currently living with us and suffers with the same dreadful disease. I found myself relating to a lot in this book and so this gave me an extra insight into the story too. Dani’s relationship with Zachary’s Dad was stunning and I loved that awareness was brought to the horrible effects that this disease has on not only the sufferer, but also the family.

Dani Valdez is a woman after my own heart, she is curvaceous and owns it, she is dedicated, she is a hard worker, she takes no crap, she is as stubborn as a mule and knows what she wants out of life. Dani is a nurse and her empathy shines whenever she is around a patient, she is such a caring character that she ingratiates herself into your heart at the very beginning, to be honest, there was nothing to dislike about her at all. Dani had lost her father when she was fifteen and the hole that she felt when he passed is still there, ever present. His loss affected her deeply and she cannot help but compare the men in her life to the man she still has on a pedestal. There is one man that she wants and he is the only man that seems to not want her in return. It is a cruel twist of fate when you love your best friend.

“I’d hoped he would fight for me. It was childish to think that way, though. I wasn’t a damsel in distress. But dammit, sometimes a girl just wanted the man she was in love with the bust down the door and rescue her, even if it was from herself.”

Zachary’s life started out really hard, he suffers with some abandonment issues but keeps them buried because once he was adopted his life changed for the better. Having just got divorced, his opinion of women in general is somewhat jaded and he likes to keep his emotions closely guarded. Zachary now runs the vineyard that his father owns. His father’s health is on a rapid decline and he continuously struggles with juggling the vineyard and his father. Zach on the outside is extremely handsome and fit but he shrugs it off as nothing, to him, he is just Zachary. On the inside is a guy with a heart of gold, whose loyalty to his Dad was magnificent and a man who only had his Dad’s best interests at heart. He was totally selfless, sleep deprived, over worked and the man can cook! Zachary was at culinary school before his father’s health deteriorated and was on track to become a well renowned chef, he gave it all up though to take over the vineyard, family always came first.

“She wasn’t the one who had to give up her hopes by picking me. It was up to me to choose our future over my fear.”

Dani and Zachary have been best friends for a long time, they are each other’s shoulder, their rock and their friendship was beautiful until one night it wasn’t. Zach continuously fights his attraction to Dani because he knows what she wants out of life…marriage, children the white picket fence and for him that is the furthest thing in his mind. He has his issues which are slowly revealed and for him, he just can’t see himself going there and so reluctantly he has to let her go...let her find what she wants.

“He appeared to be just as devastated as I felt, but I had no sympathy for him. This was his bed. He could lie in his own shit now.”

Dani feels her biological clock ticking away, all her friends are having kids, her sister is having kids and she is the one singleton. She needs to make decisions and make them quick. Dani is asked by Zach to take a more hands on role with his Dad to take off some of the pressure and this puts these two back in each other’s orbit. Will Zach still fight his feelings or will Dani make decisions that take the option away from him?

Kimi Flores delivers a beautiful read that had me captivated from start to finish. Friends to lovers, second chances and all the uncertainty that goes with blurring those lines. The character connection was on point, their friendship was tangible and the secondary characters all had their parts to play. This is my first Kimi Flores read and it will not be my last. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

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