Wake me Up Inside by Cardeno C.
Series: Mates Series #1
Publication Date: July 31, 2015
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.
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