Author: Cardeno C.

Guest Review: Wake Me Up Inside by Cardeno C.

Posted September 2, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Wake Me Up Inside by Cardeno C.Reviewer: Tracy
Wake me Up Inside by Cardeno C.
Series: Mates Series #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 31, 2015
Format: eARC
Genres: M/M, Paranormal Romance
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Zev Hassick is surprised and confused when he finds himself attracted to his best friend. His very human, very male best friend. Zev is the son of the pack Alpha, regarded as the strongest wolf in generations, born to lead. And everyone knows a male shifter has to mate with a female of his own kind to keep his humanity. So shifters can’t be gay, right?

Jonah Marvel wants a relationship with Zev, his best friend, the man he has loved since childhood. It wasn’t easy to maintain that relationship over years spent living apart while Jonah studied to become a doctor. And then things grow more difficult when Jonah becomes his own patient. Before he can make a life with Zev, he has to understand his past and cure the unexplained ailments that plague him.

Zev and Jonah know they’re destined for each other, but they’re facing traditions ingrained over generations and long-buried secrets that may threaten any future together.

Tracy’s review of Wake Me Up Inside (Mates #1) by Cardeno C.


Zev is an incredibly strong werewolf and Alpha of his pack. He’s about to lose his humanity however and needs his true mate to bond with him in order to save his life. Zev knows exactly who his true mate is but he’s not sure how much longer he can hold on until his mate gets back into town.

Zev, from the time he was just a year or so old, was a strong wolf. One day in his wolf form he followed a delicious scent through the woods and found a small child named Jonah at a park. From that time on Zev, in wolf form, would go and play with Jonah and became his friend. As Zev got older he met Jonah in his human form and eventually they became lovers. Zev, however, wouldn’t go “all the way” with Jonah but would never explain why. Zev is waiting until Jonah gets out of college to claim him so that his pack will understand that Jonah is his true mate and not just some guy he’s hooked up with.

Jonah had wanted Zev as his boyfriend for years but Zev seemed pretty oblivious. That was until just before Jonah left for college and the two got together. Jonah was sick – literally and figuratively – without Zev constantly by his side but when Zev was with him on visits it was magic. Unfortunately when Zev wasn’t he thought he was going crazy. His mother died when he was a baby and Jonah finally goes to his father to ask about his family heritage to see if anyone else had gone crazy and finds out some frightening information about his mother.

Jonah’s not sure if he can be with Zev if he’s losing his mind and Zev can’t tell him about being a shifter until they’re mated which will solve all of Jonah’s issues. Eventually something’s got to give but it may kill both of them in the meantime.

The first book in the Mates series was a good one. It started out with Zev at age 30 and his parents trying to get him to bond with a female, any female, so that his life will be saved and he won’t lose his humanity. This would be fine but he’d already come out to his family and told them he was gay years before. They are old fashioned and in the world that Cardeno C. built it’s pretty much a given that you have to bond with a female in order to live. This creates a problem for Zev as he knows who his true mate is and he’s not going to bond with anyone but his mate – especially a woman. The story then goes in to how Zev and Jonah met and takes us through the years little by little showing us bits and pieces of their relationship. I really enjoyed this part of it. I didn’t really consider it a flashback as it was just telling the story of the two men and their lives together. Seeing the ins and outs and issues they had throughout the years put their whole story together in my mind. The men were very sweet as a couple and I loved that.

Besides the relationship there was the issue of Jonah’s mother and the true story about what happened to her. Unfortunately once Jonah and Zev were together toward the end of the book that part of it was wrapped up pretty quickly and unfortunately I didn’t feel it got all the time it needed – it felt too rushed.

The book was a good one for the most part. It had its quirks and of course that rushed ending but overall a good start to the series.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

This title is available from The Romance Authors. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


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Guest Review: In Your Eyes by Cardeno C.

Posted August 27, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: In Your Eyes by Cardeno C.Reviewer: Tracy
In Your Eyes by Cardeno C.
Series: Mates Series #3
Also in this series: Wake me Up Inside

Publication Date: July 15, 2015
Genres: M/M
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Raised to become Alpha of the Yafenack pack, Samuel Goodwin dedicates his life to studying shifter laws, strengthening his body, and learning from his father. But despite his best efforts, Samuel can’t relate to people, including those he's supposed to lead.

When Samuel meets Korban Keller, the son of a neighboring pack's Alpha, he reacts with emotion instead of intellect for the first time in his life. Resenting the other shifter for throwing him off-balance, Samuel first tries to intimidate Korban and then desperately avoids him. What he can't do is forget Korban's warm eyes, easy smile, and happy personality.

When a battle between their fathers ends tragically, Samuel struggles to lead his pack while Korban works to break through Samuel’s emotional barriers. Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past their society’s rules to realize they are destined for one another.

Tracy’s review of In Your Eyes (Mates #3) by Cardeno C.

Samuel is going to be the best Alpha he could possibly be. From the time he’s small he was following his father around and learning from him – his current alpha. Everyone loved his father and he tried to teach Samuel to lead with strength, power, and decisiveness along with empathy, compassion, and flexibility. Samuel had the first three but he certainly didn’t have the last three. He was more a book smarts kind of guy and didn’t get along well with people. He meets Korban at a meeting of Alpha’s and there’s something about Korban that makes Samuel’s skin itch. He’s not sure what it is but Korban is nice and kind and they end up playing together (Samuel is just 8 years old). They don’t see each other again until Samuel is 15 and he still has the same itch under his skin. It’s not until Samuel is twenty-three that he meets Korban again and it’s not under good circumstances.

Korban’s father, Dirk, the alpha of the Miancarem pack, challenges Samuel’s father and things get into a weird area with Samuel seeking retribution from the Miancarem pack, etc. When that retribution comes in the form of Korban’s life, and Samuel is expected to kill him, he can’t do it as he finally figures out that Korban is his true mate.

This was another good book in the Mates series. This story showed us more about Samuel, his growing up and his emotional issues, or lack of them I should say, during the first part of the book. Samuel just wasn’t an emotional person and as much as his father tried to get him to understand the emotional part of being an alpha and having empathy toward his people, Samuel just couldn’t understand.

The first half of the book barely had Korban involved in it at all which was a little disappointing. That being said I thought the story brought Korban and Samuel together in an interesting fashion as Korban was brought to Samuel to kill. The true mate bond was set up in the first book and makes the mates two halves of a whole. In Samuel and Korban’s case that was well written and they played off each other really well. With Samuel being able to practically get into Korban’s head he could see and finally feel the emotion that he could never figure out and learned how to be more empathetic, flexible, and compassionate.

I do wish that we had gotten more of Korban in the book as the parts he was in I really liked. He seemed like a nice guy and I wanted more. I also couldn’t agree with exactly why he never came out and told Samuel that they were true mates. Yes, a reason was given in the book but it just didn’t seem plausible that Korban could stay away from Samuel all those years and be ok with it. IDK, it just didn’t fit everything I’d read about in books 1 & 2.

Despite a few issues with the story I found it quite good. If you like m/m paranormal/shifter books then this series would be a good one to check out.

Rating: 4 out of 5

This title is available from The Romance Authors. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


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