by Kimi Flores
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?
We'd been doing a back and forth flirting tango all night that had almost felt like an invitation to hope for so much more.
My mind was racing with images of us doing a real tango, this time naked between his sheets.
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
to bust down the door and rescue her, even if
it was from herself.
She closed her eyes and leaned her head back to let the sun kiss her face. I'd never been so jealous of the sun before.
He held me once more and whispered in my ear, " Dance with me."
Grafted Vines is a spin off the Intertwined Hearts series, which I recommend you read. I have fallen in love with every character, Dani and Zachary pull on the heartstrings in this story. When I write reviews for this author, I end up feeling like I could turn into a babbling crazy woman. I just love where she takes me emotionally when I read her books.
I first met Zachary and Dani, in Tangled Paths and I could see their story building up in my head, Kimi intensified the characters and beautifully put into words their story of finding and resisting love that has been so long in the making and if allowed very much deserved.
Dani Valdez is a strong, feisty and stubborn woman, she is also determined and hard working. She may have more than a hour glass figure but she carries it well. Dani is tired of being the single friend and with her sister and friends having babies, it seems her baby clock is ticking and she doesn't want to wait for a man to make her dreams of becoming a mom come true. The one man Dani wants seems to be the one that can push her away, being in love with her best friend is hard on her heart. Walking away from their friendship is impossible since she is also the caregiver to Zachary's father. Dealing with heartache from her past, making decisions for her future and realizing that she may never have that future that she dreams of with Zachary, how is Dani going to handle life knowing they will always be put into situations where they are going to be in each others lives?
Zachary, may not have had the easiest life but he was lucky that his friends uncle Joel adopted him after his mother abandoned him when he was a teenager. Joel loves Zachary as if he was his own and taught him how to run the family vineyard, which he puts hard work and his heart into. Zachary blames his past decisions for his dads health and is not willing to allow himself to fall in love with the woman he wants more than anything in the world to come between the vineyard and his dad again. He is also not willing to let go of his best friend Dani even though he knows how she feels about him. His stubbornness could be the reason he will lose Dani and the dreams they both have of a future together.
The relationship/ frienship Dani and Zachary have is so strong you can feel the intensity of how much they long for each other. These characters can so easily be pulled into my life and that's what makes the story hit so close to the heart. There will be moments of tears, frustration and awe.
Grafted Vines is so beautifully written by Kimi Flores, who I like to refer to as my go to author when my mind needs clarity. This is definitely a 5 star must read.
About The Author:
Kimi Flores writes heartwarming romance stories and will soon publish her 4th contemporary romance novel, Grafted Vines, a spin-off of her Intertwined Hearts series (It all Started with a Lima Bean, An Exceptional Twist, and Tangled Paths).
Kimi also writes gritty romantic suspense stories under the name K.A. Hunter. Her first novel in this genre, Relinquished is currently available and she plans to publish her 2nd book, Confliction, later this year. She also contributed a short story, Indemnity in the Pink Shades of Words anthology. All proceeds of the anthology will benefit the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer through the Fifty Shades of Pink team.
To keep up with the latest information on both K.A. Hunter and Kimi Flores, please sign up for her newsletter at novel-dreams.com