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on May 25, 2016
I love this author and I love this series. Very detailed characters and wonderful story. Very hopeful but not without the characters having real struggles. But faith wins out and I so like that. It gives me hope.
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on August 27, 2016
Truly enjoyed this Christian Romance book! Love and faith was portrayed by both Ben and Tessa as well as Tessa's parents. Ben's son, Jayden, was scarred by his mom who had walked out of Ben and Jayden's lives for another man. Tessa and her parents were good influences on him.
I enjoy Juliette Duncan's writing. I have read one of her books prior to this and it also was a sweet love story.: Hank and Sarah is the title of it.
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on December 14, 2016
I enjoyed this story and thought the writing was good. I may be the only reader who has a problem with this, but I was disappointed that a Christian writer would bring up an issue and then ignore it when it didn't match the story. The reason I had such a problem with this is that it is an issue that I have struggled with and am always looking for opinions or explanations. The issue I am referring to is marriage after a divorce. In chapter 13, the father was quick to remind his daughter what the bible said about divorce - if a divorced person remarried, they are committing adultery. Since it was obvious that Tessa and Ben would end up together, I was anxious to see how they justified their marriage. Not only did the writer totally ignore an important issue between Tessa and Ben, she revealed a few chapters later that the same father who brought it up to start with had married a divorced woman (Tessa's mother). Why bring it up at all if it was not going to be addressed. At least say they wanted her to think long and hard about it, but no, not even that.
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on September 14, 2016
Very nice storyline; your heart becomes involved quickly in the lives of Tessa, Ben & Jayden. You, as well, appreciate the understanding of Christian love, a woman for a man & vice versa, also their love & respect for extended families.

Divorce is an ugly thing, it tears so many hearts apart in so many ways; it is especially hard on kids; Jayden is of concern in this story as adults try to rebuild their lives. You have to be pleased in the way Ms. Duncan lays out the concern in human form.

I enjoy the author's writing, her storyline, her Christian perspective, I hope you will as well. Enjoy.
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on July 15, 2016
When a puppy cheers Tessa up after a bad breakup, her roomie Stephanie suggests getting a dog to a depressed client of hers; when Tessa meets Ben at puppy training class, attraction follows.

(Though reviews are inherently subjective, I prefer to provide some organization to my opinions through the use of a personal rubric. The following notes may contain spoilers.)

Plot and Setting: 4 -- Plot has unique elements and no major holes, but a few shaky bits and/or a slight lack of focus. Stephanie's rather unethical involvement in the relationship between Ben and Tessa is a bit strange, as is the sudden revelation that Tessa's mom was divorced as a young woman. Some pieces of the plot, like these ones, felt a bit separate from the main focus. Setting is clear and believable, with only minor inconsistencies. Timeline may be a bit hard to follow. It seemed to be warm, summery weather the whole time, which spans about 5 months--what months are they? It makes me curious about weather in Australia.

Characters: 3.5 -- Main characters are mostly relatable, realistic, interesting, and/or dynamic. Both Ben and Tessa have pain over a broken relationship to some degree, and they work through it with prayer and by spending time together. I appreciated Tessa taking time to process her concerns about becoming a mother before carrying on in the relationship. Some minor characters have depth, while others may be slightly stereotyped or simplified. I have mixed feelings about many minor characters, from Stephanie to Kathryn to Tessa's parents. Good and bad and weird bits all together. Definite strong points in the relationships between characters.

Mechanics and Writing: 3 -- Scattered typos, punctuation issues, and word errors, including a few major mistakes. Generally solid use of alternating POV, with a few errors. It's mainly Tessa and Ben, with one chunk from Kathryn's POV, which didn't feel like it belonged. We get maybe 2 tiny bits of useful info from that section, but I don't think it was worth it. Average writing, with strong parts and parts that struggle. Some parts seem forced and stilted, especially near the beginning.

Redeeming Value: 4 -- Partially focused uplifting themes or lessons. Ben is working through the stages of grief for his divorce/the loss of a mother for his son. Working towards forgiveness with God's help brings him more peace. Tessa realizes her ex wasn't a Christian, and that contributed to the failure of the relationship, whereas Ben has strong faith. She also prays her way through discerning if Ben is the one for her. Sex, alcohol, violence, etc, are not glorified, but some shaky ground, eg: mentions that Kathryn was sleeping with Luke from the first day she met him, before she left Ben at all and a full year before she sent divorce papers, apparently secretly. Also the whole Stephanie-breaking-client-confidentiality thing.

Personal Enjoyment: 3 -- I liked it. It was enjoyable and entertaining. I wouldn’t mind re-reading it someday, but it’s not a priority.
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on March 20, 2016
Wow! The readers will be in for a journey with this couple in the coming books in the series. I like and love Ben and Tessa, I definitely want more of them. I could go on and on about so many things that happen in this story. The characters were believable, the issues real and the emotions they were going through were on point. The conversation that Tessa had with Pastor Stanek about relationships and marriage and the conversation that she had with her parents about divorce were very profound. I especially love when Pastor Stanek said "Regardless of what interests you may share, keep Christ at the centre of all you do, and ground yourself in His Word. Make sure that the one you run after is running after God. And pray, Tessa. Pray for God to prepare you for your husband. Pray for God to prepare you to handle all the joys, tears, heartache and commitment that go into making a godly marriage.”

I want to applaud Juliette for taking on the issue of marriage and divorce. Marriage can be hard and messy, but if we are willing to surrender our marriages to God it can be a beautiful thing. I know that every marriage won't last, but as I was reading Tender Love, I realized that most marriages end due to someone's selfishness. Either someone is a slave to their addiction, a slave to their abuse a slave to their affair or a slave to other things that they are not willing to give up. Do I think marriages can be restored from the above mentioned things, yes, I do. Just like Tessa's father said, God hates divorce. So, it is the person who develops a hard heart and refuses to surrender to God that makes marriage impossible to restore at times. It's not because God wants you to divorce, it's because people want to divorce. I say all of this because the marriage and divorce discussions in this book were amazing and it is something you don't see in most Christian fiction books. I highly recommend this book and while you are at it get her other books too, especially The Shadows Trilogy.
19 people found this helpful
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on October 9, 2016
Definitely enjoyed reading this book. It's about a man woman who meet thru a common friend, however, only one person is really aware of the set-up. I enjoyed the writing from the author, Juliette Duncan, who captures my focus on the first few pages. Her writing is rich with substance and relaxes me when I get overwhelmed in this thing called life.
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on September 12, 2016
A sweet, tender love story that captured my heart from the beginning! I'm grateful that I was able to read the book in one day because I am certain that if necessary, I would stayed up several - this novel is THAT engrossing!

Paula Rose Michelson writes Christian Inspirational Fiction, Nonfiction & Self-help. Her books are available on Amazon.
16 people found this helpful
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on August 31, 2016
Really enjoyed reading this book. Appreciated the mixed family, divorce healing, true to life in these days ,narrative. Appreciate clean dialog, but best of all just that it was interesting and made me want to keep reading. Always like books that inspire my faith and challenge me to be a better Christian.
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on August 17, 2016
I really enjoyed this book a lot. A lady vet has a roommate who is a Christian psychology counselor. Coincidentally, she met one of her roommate's clients at a puppy training class and romance sparked! The man was recovering from a terrible divorce (abandonment) along with his devastated, teenage son. This book addressed a lot of issues about divorce and the author dealt with topic very well from a lot of angles. Very good story with realistic characters!!
5 people found this helpful
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