Queen of Tarts Review of
by Karen Stivali
Holding On is a beautifully told story of two people who love each other and all the rich and varied details that make a life. I feel like I would recognize Marienne and Daniel if we could meet because they feel so very real. The author immerses you into their lives and weaves a colorful tapestry of their daily joys and challenges they experience and their choice to hold onto the life they are building together. I loved this book.
Holding On is the sequel to Meant To Be and picks up close where the first left off. I feel that Holding On could be read alone but you would enjoy it more if you knew what the characters have gone through to get to this chapter of their lives.
This book follows Marienne and Daniel’s journey as they build their married life together. I adore Marienne. She is lovely and warm and very genuine. You can feel her happiness at being with the man she loves. She has a lot of baggage from previous relationships with men who let her down. I enjoyed watching her learn to depend on Daniel to be there for her and love her for who she is and what she does. He is her best friend.
I have a huge crush on Daniel. He’s a professor. He has a British accent. He adores children and he is madly, passionately in love with his wife. Their love is a solid gold band woven throughout this story and their emotions for each other sing on the pages.
I appreciate that Karen Stivali told a story about a marriage. The joy in finding your partner. The bliss and panic of pregnancy. The challenges of parenting. The ups and downs of work and chores. The struggles in keeping the lines of communication open. The hurt old baggage can bring to a relationship. And through it all the love that endures for better or worse, in sick spouses, dirty diapers, moving, power outages and storms. They choose to weather it together.
Here are some of my favorite lines
♦ “Have I mentioned how happy you make me?”
“Nope.” She shook her head.
“I’m…” He paused. ” You know, I don’t think words can do this justice.”
♦ “Morning, Daddy.” She practically flew onto the bed.
“Morning, sweet girl.” He pulled her into a hug.
She kissed him on the cheek. “Don’t fall back asleep.”
“I won’t. It smells like muffins. I can’t sleep if there are muffins that need to be eaten.”
♦ Daniel let the sights and sounds of the house surround him. Dinner simmered on the stove. The familiar scents of garlic roasting and backing bread filled the air. He relaxed into all of it, taking it all in, thankful for every nuance. From Drew giggling to Ella dancing to each gentle smile from Marienne, it all felt like precious gifts.
Oh! The intimate scenes in this novel are hot and full of heart. 😉 The entire story is full of heart and so well told that the book zipped along and I couldn’t put it down till I had turned the last page. I feel like I know Daniel and Marienne now and I am so glad I met them.
The Queen of Tarts
*eARC provided by author for my honest review*