Though THE TENDER VINE (3) starts out well, the story is too drawn out for this reviewer's tastes. However, Kristen Heitzmann's storytelling abilities are never in question. The conflict was believable and poetry enhanced the opening of each chapter. Carina, still recovering from the beating she endured in Sweet Boundless (May '01), believes that returning to her family will help Quillan recognize his feelings for her and they will finally live happily ever after. He has yet to act as her husband, and she longs to hear him tell her he loves her. Quillan sells the mine and together they travel to Sonoma. Their journey is not without problems, as both struggle with their relationship. Will Carina receive her father's blessing of her marriage and will she and Quillan finally live as husband and wife? (Feb., 384 pp., $11.99)

Reviewed by: 
Bev Huston