Gabbi Reviews: Smitty’s Sheriff by Cardeno C.


Title: Hope, Book 3: Smitty’s Sheriff
Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC
Pages: 79
Characters: Richard Davis, Todd Smitty
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

Todd is too flakey. Richard is too stubborn. Together, they’re perfect. A May-December couple get a second chance at love.

Retired soldier Richard Davis wants a stable life in a quiet town with a forever man. Becoming the sheriff of Hope, Arizona, accomplishes two of his three goals, but instead of finding a serious partner, he falls for too-young-to-be-committed and too-flakey-to-be-serious Todd Smitty. Richard won’t find the right man if he’s obsessed with the wrong one, so he walks away from Todd.

It’s lust at first sight when Todd meets his sister’s army friend. He sets his sights on the worldly, strong, stable older man, and the more time he spends with Richard, the harder he falls. But after three years together, Richard cuts off all contact with no explanation.

When a mutual obligation requires Todd to move into Richard’s house, he’s thrilled at the opportunity to earn a second chance. Ignoring Todd from across town was hard enough. Can Richard resist temptation under his own roof?

Review:

Smitty’s Sheriff is the third book in the Home series and it’s one of my favorites. I’m a sucker for May/December romances and Cardeno C is the master at telling a great story with compelling characters that you can’t help but fall in love with.

There is a wealth of miscommunication between these two men. In their past, they don’t discuss their wants and needs, instead they assume what the other man wants. It’s because of this that Richard breaks it off with Todd with the thought that he is doing the younger man a favor. I really liked how they were brought into each other’s lives again and I enjoyed watching both men truly learn how to communicate with one another as their story progresses.

Both heroes are not perfect *far from it*, BUT they seem to be perfect for each other. Richard likes order and to be in control. Todd is a little flighty and needs to be guided through day to day life. Together, Richard’s dominance is just what Todd needs. In some ways, they have D/s relationship without the BDSM aspect to it and I admit, I liked it.

The Hope stories is a feel-good series filled with plenty warm fuzzy feelings and romance. Each and every book in this series has been a keeper and I cannot wait to see what the author has in store for us next!

The Hope series in book order are:

McFarland’s Farm
Jessie’s Diner
Smitty’s Sheriff

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Gabbi Reviews: Not a Game by Cardeno C.


Title: Not a Game
Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC
Pages: 115
Characters: Oliver Barnaby, Jaime Snow
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 5


Blurb:

An accidental meeting and a misunderstanding lead to a life-altering connection.

A new job, a new city, and hopefully a new life. When chubby gamer Oliver Barnaby receives a job offer from the best boutique game developer in the country, he leaves his family and his less than spectacular existence in Oklahoma without a second’s hesitation. Determined to change more than his career and his geography, Oliver implements a plan to finally land a boyfriend. Step one is improving his skills in the bedroom.

A life that looks perfect on paper, but feels empty in reality. Attractive, successful, charismatic Jaime Snow has a life other people envy. His already booming business is growing. He isn’t lacking in friends. And he has no trouble finding a date. But there’s an emptiness in Jaime’s heart and a hole in his life that only the right man can fill.

An accidental meeting, a misunderstanding, and falling in love. When Oliver and Jaime end up at the same bar at the same time, they each see something they want in the other. Going to bed together that first night is easy. Building the lifetime relationship they both desperately crave will require trust, time, and a little misunderstanding.

Review:

Whenever I need a pick-me-up I’ll reach for a book written by Cardeno C.. As a reader, one of the things I appreciate about her stories is her gift at writing real-to-me characters that live with me long after I finish reading their story.

I loved this book because both of the heroes are likeable men. Not only are they truly ‘nice’ guys, I adored the way they learn to communicate, become friends and eventually fall in love. Their story was a memorable and lovely thing to read. I also enjoyed how different Oliver is compared to most romantic heroes. He doesn’t have a perfect body, is terribly shy at times and has low self-esteem about his body. To me, Oliver is a fresh take on your everyday hero. I LOVED the fact that Jamie was attracted to Oliver and he appreciated him for who he really is and honestly didn’t want to change him. I also liked how through Jamie’s eyes, Oliver is able to see himself for the attractive man he is, despite society’s narrow standards.

I could understand why both men were made for each other. I loved the way these two men really connected on a emotional level and share a friendship and a respect for each other that really resonated with me as a reader. As with all of this author’s stories, Not a Game, is written with a lot of heart and romance and I loved every minute I spent reading about these two incredible men. Now, I can’t wait until Jack’s story!!

If you are looking for a feel-good, sexy and thoughtful read, then Not a Game is definitely the book for you!

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to purchase Not a Game by Cardeno C.

Gabbi Reviews: Red River by Cardeno C.


Title: Red River
Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC
Pages: 120
Characters: Wesley Stone, Jobe Root
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Shifter, Paranormal, Romance, Series
Kisses: 5

Blurb:

Two Alpha shifters join together to lead their pack and build a family.

Commitment, loyalty, and strength aren’t enough to make Wesley Stone’s birth pack accept an Alpha with a physical imperfection, even if it’s a meaningless mark. Putting the safety of his pack above his own wellbeing, Wesley trades himself for another Alpha and agrees to mate with a stranger in a mysterious, insular pack.

Alphas from Jobe Root’s family have led the Red River pack from the first day shifters walked the earth. Now the time has come for Jobe to fulfill his destiny, but to do that, he needs his mate by his side. Spiritual, easygoing Jobe reveres Mother Nature and trusts in fate, yet he can’t help being nervous about how his mate will react to his new life in Red River, his new life with Jobe.

Two Alphas with contrasting personalities, different upbringings, and divergent beliefs come together for the good of their packs. But to stay together, Wesley and Jobe must see beyond the surface and embrace every facet of themselves and their union.

Review:

Red River is the second book in the Pack Collection series by Cardeno C. If you follow my reviews at all, you know this writer is a must read author for me. As a reader, I really appreciate the way she gets to the heart of and soul of her characters, and I never fail to fall in love with each and every one of them.

I immediately connected with Wesley. As the son of an Alpha, his pack expects perfection from their future Alpha, but since he is born with a rough patch of skin on his stomach, the pack considers this birthmark a tremendous flaw. Because of this, they look at Wesley as a bit of an unequal and really are uncomfortable of him one day running the pack. When Wesley’s father approaches him and says he’s been traded off for another Alpha, Wes is devastated. Although he will be an Alpha of this new pack, he feels betrayed and hurt and even vulnerable. To me, it was because of his imperfections that made Wesley a character that I found myself really rooting for. I wanted him to succeed and learn to like accept and trust himself, imperfections and all.

I also loved the way he connected on an emotional and physical level with Jobe. Jobe is one of those men who is instantly likeable. Not only is he intelligent and kind, he’s the type of man who will fight for what he believes in…and he believes in Wesley.

I loved how their relationship evolved from strangers into a beautiful, love story that lifted my heart and left me with a smile on my face. I also loved how their family grew and hopefully will continue to grow in the future.

Red River is a very easy book to recommend and I can’t wait to read the next installment in the Pack Collection series.

The Pack Series books are:

Blue Mountain
Red River

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to purchase Red River by Cardeno C.

Gabbi Reviews: Home Again by Cardeno C.


Title: The Home Series: Home Again
Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC
Pages: 206
Characters: Noah Forman, Clark Lehman
POV: Alternating 1st Person
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance, Series
Kisses: 5+


Blurb:

Two men whose love has never faltered must relive their most treasured moments in order to secure their future.

Imposing, temperamental Noah Forman wakes up in a hospital and can’t remember how he got there. He holds it together, taking comfort in the fact that the man he has loved since childhood is on the way. But when his one and only finally arrives, Noah is horrified to discover that he doesn’t remember anything from the past three years.

Loyal, serious Clark Lehman built a life around the person who insisted from their first meeting that they were meant to be together. Now, years later, two men whose love has never faltered must relive their most treasured and most painful moments in order to recover lost memories and secure their future.

Review:

When I’m in the mood for a well-written, thoughtful romance, I know I can reach for a book written by Cardeno C. I’ve read several books by this author and I’ve liked them all.

I loved every minute of this book! Home Again is one of those books I’ve read cover to cover in one setting. It’s very easy to get wrapped up into the lives of these two characters as they tell their story. One of the refreshing things about Home Again is realism if the characters’ voices and well as the deep and resounding love they have for each other. It’s definitely an emotionally driven story that will live long into my heart long after I finished the novel.

One of my favorite things about this novel was watching the relationship between Noah and Clark really grow and flourish as their story progressed. The obvious friendship, respect, affection, love and desire they have for on another is truly a wonderful thing to experience as their story continues, from the time they are teenaged boys until their late twenties.

Home Again is a very well-written love story between two amazing heroes that live and breathe off of the written page. It’s earned a spot on my keeper shelf where I know I’ll re-read it many, many times again. It’s one of the stories in the ‘Home’ series and can definitely be read as a stand-alone book! According to the author’s website, you can read any of the novels as a stand-alone book and in any order. If you are looking for an emotionally driven novel that will leave you with a smile on your face, then Home Again is definitely the book for you.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Buy HERE

Gabbi Reviews: He Completes Me by Cardeno C.


Title: Home Series: He Completes Me
Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC
Pages: 294
Characters: Zach Johnson, Aaron Paulson
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance, Series
Kisses: 5+


Blurb:

A Book in the Home Series

Aaron has waited years for a man who can share his heart and he insists it’s party boy Zach.

Not even his mother’s funeral can convince self-proclaimed party boy Zach Johnson to tone down his snark or think about settling down. He is who he is, and he refuses to change for anyone. When straight-laced, compassionate Aaron Paulson claims he’s falling for him, Zach is certain Aaron sees him as another project, one more lost soul for the idealistic Aaron to save. But Zach doesn’t need to be fixed and he refuses to be with someone who sees him as broken.

Patience is one of Aaron’s many virtues. He has waited years for a man who can share his heart and complete his life and he insists Zach is the one. Pride, fear, and old hurts wither in the wake of Aaron’s adoring loyalty, and as Zach reevaluates his perceptions of love and family, he finds himself tempted to believe in the impossible: a happily-ever-after.

Review:

When I’m in the mood for a romantic, highly entertaining story, time and time again I’ll reach for a book written by Cardeno C. Between the author’s addictive storytelling ability along with characters that always touch me as a reader, I can’t get enough! The blurb does an excellent job at describing the story, so I won’t rehash it. Instead, I thought I’d write why I love this book so much and why it’s one of my favorites in the Home series.

The book is told in first person through Zach’s eyes. In my opinion, reading first person in romance is not my favorite point of view because I want to know what the other hero is thinking and I often feel as if I’m missing out on something if I only have one hero’s viewpoint. But thankfully, Zach is an outstanding narrator and I found myself not missing Aaron’s point of view. Zach has a quick mind, a wicked sense of humor and is such a humanly flawed, likeable character that I quickly came to love him. His snarky, sarcastic humor kept me laughing but he also has a very sweet and tender side to him that made me want to crawl through the written pages and give him a big hug. Zach has experienced a lot of disappointment from family and friends so he has a prickly side to him that protects him from being hurt. Once he meets the quiet, determined and very sexy Aaron, Zach feels all of the defensive walls he’s put around his heart start to fall down. I enjoyed watching Zach’s character change from a careless playboy to a sweet, loving and very committed man.

I also loved Aaron’s determination to have Zach in his life. It isn’t an easy task for him though. Zach has mastered the art of pushing others away and keeping them at arm’s length, but Aaron’s thoughtfulness as well as his conviction to worm his way into Zach’s life made me love the certainty of his feelings toward Zach. With his love, he shows Zach that they have a chance of having a happy life together…as a strong couple, forever.

If you love romance, you’ll love this book. If you are looking for a book that has a strong and fast-paced storyline that revolves around two amazing characters that have a love that will live long in your heart, then you’ll love this book! I liked how even though each man does make mistakes, they learn from them as well as learning to forgive both themselves and others all in the name of love.

He Completes Me is one of my all-time favorite books. I’ve read and re-read this gem of a book many times, and each time I love it as much as I did the first time I read it. It’s strong romantic overtone along with characters that I’d love to call a friend in my own personal life has made this book a very memorable read for me. If you are looking for a book that will leave you will a warm fuzzy feeling along with a huge smile on your face, then this book is definitely something to consider. Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Buy HERE

Gabbi Reviews: McFarland’s Farm by Cardeno C.


Title: A Hope Story: McFarland’s Farm
Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC
Pages: 56
Characters: Jared McFarland, Lucas Reika
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance, Series
Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

Wealthy, attractive Lucas Reika treats life like a party, moving from bar to bar and man to man. Thumbing his nose at his restaurateur father’s demand that he earn his keep, Lucas instead seduces a valued employee in the kitchen of their flagship restaurant, earning himself an ultimatum: lose access to his father’s money or stay in the middle of nowhere with a man he has secretly lusted over from afar.

Quiet, hard-working Jared McFarland loves his farm on the outskirts of Hope, Arizona, but he aches to have someone to come home to at the end of the day. Jared agrees to take in his longtime crush as a favor. But when Lucas invades his heart in addition to his space, Jared has to decide how much of himself he’s willing to risk and figure out if he can offer Lucas enough to keep him after his father’s punishment is over.

Review:

McFarland’s Farm is a feel-good, sexy story by Cardeno C. One thing I’ve learned after reading many of this author’s books is to make sure I give myself plenty of time to read before I start it. Why? Because I know anytime I read anything written by Cardeno C., I won’t be able to put it down until I finish reading the entire book from beginning to end without stopping.

One of the things I really liked about this book was the sweet way the romance developed between Lucas and Jared. Lucas is a little bit of a spoiled brat and Jared is a hard-working man who lives a simple life. I honestly didn’t know how these two seemingly different men would be able to find a common ground and build something special together. But, as the story continued and as things are about both Lucas and Jared are revealed, it was easy to see how much they truly did belong together and how much they really came to care, love and respect each other.

As with all of Ms. C’s books, McFarland’s Farm is a very fast paced book. It is so easy to get caught up into Jared and Lucas’ lives and really enjoyed watching them fall in love. The selfish person in me wishes the book had been longer. I would love to see how these two men really work at keeping their relationship a strong one. McFarland’s Farm is a great start to the Hope series and I know fans of Cardeno C. and fans of the book Jesse’s Diner will totally fall in love with these two men just like I did.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Buy HERE

Gabbi Reviews: Strong Enough by Cardeno C.


Title: Strong Enough
Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC
Pages: 247
Characters: Emilio Sanchez, Spencer Derdinger
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, May/December Romance
Kisses: 5+

Blurb:

When a casual hookup turns into the potential for love, staid Spencer realizes he wants to build a life with vibrant Emilio.

When twenty-two-year-old Emilio Sanchez sees handsome Spencer Derdinger walking by his construction site, Emilio makes it his goal to seduce the shy professor. Getting Spencer into bed isn’t difficult, but Emilio soon learns that earning the trust of a man deeply hurt will take time and patience. With a prize like brilliant, sweet Spencer on the line, Emilio decides he is strong enough to face the challenge.

Spencer is surprised when he’s approached by the gorgeous construction worker he’s admired from the safety of his office window. Acting spontaneously for the first time in his thirty-eight years, Spencer takes Emilio home. When the casual hookup turns into the potential for love, Spencer realizes that if he wants to build a life with Emilio, he’ll need to be strong enough to slay his personal demons and learn to trust again.

Review:

When I am in the mood for a feel-good, romantic story I will reach for just about anything written by Cardeno C. There is something very special about her well-written, sexy characters that really resonate with me as a reader. Each and every character Ms. C creates will live in your heart and mind long after you’ve finished the book.

It’s no secret that the May/December sub-genre is one of my favorite themes to read, and I’m thrilled to say Strong Enough is one of my all time favorites within this genre. I truly loved the way Emilio and Spencer connected on both an emotional and physical level and I also believed they honestly liked one another too.

At first glance, they may seem like polar opposites. Spencer is a gorgeous, uptight professor and Emilio is a sexy younger man who works in his family’s construction business. I LOVED that even though Spencer is older, it was often Emilio who was the patient one. Emilio knew when he met Spencer he wanted him in his life, and let me tell you when Emilio sets his mind to something he wants…he gets it.

Between the sexy banter and the honest conversations these two men shared together, I found myself really rallying behind this couple. I loved how they communicated, both in and out of the bedroom, and I believed Emilio and Spencer really belonged together.

Strong Enough is a sweet and sexy read that will leave you with a smile on your face. Strong Enough is a very easy book to recommend and I know once you read this gem of a story you’ll want to read more books written by this amazing author.

Strong Enough is the first book in the Family collection series and I can’t wait to see what Ms. C has in store for us next!

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Buy HERE