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

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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

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Jesse’s Diner by Cardeno C

Title: Jesse’s Diner

Author: Cardeno C.

Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC

Pages: 123

Characters: Tanner Sellers, Steve Faus

POV: 1st

Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance, Series

Kisses: 5

 

 

Blurb:

Two men with a shared history and a mutual attraction must be honest with themselves and each other so both their dreams come true.

Quiet, unassuming Tanner Sellers spends his time running a diner in Hope, Arizona. Not particularly social, twenty-two-year-old Tanner keeps to himself and enjoys his simple life, but he longs for someone to call his own. In his most secret fantasy, that someone is sexy Steve Faus. But Steve is his friend’s father and mentor’s widower and therefore off-limits.

Despite some challenges, thirty-nine-year-old Steve Faus has had a good life. He’s extremely successful at work, has a great relationship with his college-age son, and lives in a wonderful town. Eighteen months after losing his partner, the one thing Steve lacks is someone to share his life. If Steve is honest with himself, that someone is the young man he has known and cared about for years. Steve and Tanner want one another, all they need is a little push in the right direction to make both of their dreams come true.

 

Review:

If you follow my reviews, you already know that May/December romances are one of my favorite sub-genres. So when I noticed that Jesse’s Diner is under one of my favorite themes, I had to read it. I’m very happy I did because not only was this book well-written, in the end, it left this reader with a very happy and satisfied smile on my face.

Jesse’s Diner is written through Tanner’s point of view. I found that Tanner is a very interesting character. There is a lot of depth to him and because of the things he’s been through in his life, he comes off as a very sympathetic and likeable man. Tanner is also very mature for his age, but because of his shyness, he is also naïve and innocent in many ways. Tanner has known Steve for many years and has always had a crush on the older man. Steve’s partner, Jesse, was his mentor and together the two men embraced Tanner into their lives once Tanner became best friends with their son. When Jesse died, it devastated all of them, but through the past year and a half, they’ve worked through their grief and Tanner in particular, really strives to keep Jesse’s memory alive by running his successful diner with a lot of tender loving care.

When he is asked to check on Steve, Tanner is both thrilled and nervous to do it. Steve is his dream man and he’s always had a hard time keeping his attraction to the man under wraps. When the two men truly begin to become friends again, Tanner quickly finds out that not only do they have a lot in common, but Steve is harboring his own feelings for Tanner as well.

I truly loved this book. Cardeno C. writes romances with a lot of heart that never fails to give readers that feel-good feeling we all love and crave in our romance novels. I can’t wait to read the next book in the Home series and look forward to reading anything else written by this amazing author as well.

 

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Places in Time by Cardeno C.


Title: Places in Time
Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC
Pages: 73
Characters: Ethan Baker, Jude Harrison
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Fantasy, Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 4.5




Blurb:

Actor Ethan Baker was voted the “Sexiest Man Alive” two times, but that doesn’t stop his girlfriend from breaking up with him. As he has for years, Ethan turns to Jude Harrison, his best friend and the one “forever” person in his life. What should have been a short trip to reach Jude turns into an unexpectedly long journey when a mysterious woman forces Ethan to visit places in time he’d long forgotten. Suddenly Ethan sees Jude’s actions over the years from a different perspective, but it’s his own reaction that’s the biggest surprise.

Review:

As one of Hollywood’s most popular actors, Ethan believes he just doesn’t have time for a successful relationship. Feeling lonely and alone, Ethan calls his best friend, Jude, and asks if he can meet him. Knowing that Jude is the one person that has never let Ethan down, he’s not surprised when Jude insists that Ethan come over so they can talk about it and Ethan won’t be alone.

As Ethan is driving to Jude’s house, a magical, mysterious woman appears and makes him revisit important moments of Ethan’s past. As they go through each scene, Ethan becomes aware that the love that he’s always secretly craved to have has been standing in front of him the whole time.

I’ve never read a Cardeno C. book I didn’t like. This author has a way of really getting to the heart of soul of her characters, and making them into flawed, wonderful people I truly love to read about. For a short story, I thought Places in Time was a very well-rounded read that I thoroughly enjoyed and truly hated to see come to an end.

Places in Time is a very fast-paced read with plenty of humor and even a bittersweet moment or two that kept this reader enthralled with Ethan and Jude’s story until the very end. If you’re looking for a quick, sexy read with well-written characters, Places in Time is the book for you.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Buy HERE

Strange Bedfellows by Cardeno C.


Title: Strange Bedfellows
Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC
Pages: 243
Characters: Ford Hollingsworth, Trevor Moya
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 5




Blurb:

Can the billionaire son of a Democratic president build a family with the congressman son of a Republican senator? Forget politics, love makes strange bedfellows.

As the sole offspring of the Democratic United States president and his political operative wife, Trevor Moga was raised in an environment driven by the election cycle. During childhood, he fantasized about living in a made-for-television family, and as an adult, he rejected all things politics and built a highly successful career as far from his parents as possible.

Newly elected congressman Ford Hollingsworth is Republican royalty. The grandson of a revered governor and son of a respected senator, he was bred to value faith, family, and the goal of seeing a Hollingsworth in the White House.

When Trevor and Ford meet, sparks fly and a strong friendship is formed. But can the billionaire son of a Democratic president build a family with the congressman son of a Republican senator? Forget politics, love makes strange bedfellows.

Review:

Cardeno C. writes sexy and romantic stories with characters that live and breathe off of the written page. When I started Strange Bedfellows I knew to give myself plenty of time to read it. I’ve learned that once I begin reading her stories they quickly become an addictive read that I won’t be able to put down until I’ve read the very last word.

One of the great things about this book was the relationship between Ford and Trevor. Whew! The chemistry between them sizzled off of the written page. They truly have an intensely hot sexual relationship that I shamelessly admit I enjoyed reading…But having said this I LOVED the way these two men learned to truly connect on an emotional level. I easily believed that these two men not only loved each other, they also LIKED and respected one another too. I enjoyed watching Trevor fully support Ford when he finally came out to his friends, family and fellow republican peers. With Trevor’s love, Ford is able to really come into his own person and be true the person he was always meant to be.

As with all of this author’s work, Strange Bedfellows is very well-written and has a strong storyline with plenty of angst, sweetness and romance to keep even the pickiest reader highly satisfied. I can’t wait to read more by Cardeno C. and HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book for anyone who craves a fantastic romantic read!

Highly Recommended!

Buy HERE

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Johnnie by Cardeno C.


Title: Johnnie
Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: The Romance Authors
Pages: 164
Characters: Hugh Langley, Johnnie
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Paranormal Romance, Series
Kisses: 5+


Blurb:

A Premier lion shifter, Hugh Landry dedicates his life to leading the Berk pride with strength and confidence. Hundreds of people depend on Hugh for safety, success, and happiness. And at over a century old, with more power than can be contained in one body, Hugh relies on a Siphon lion shifter to carry his excess force.

When the Siphon endangers himself and therefore the pride, Hugh must pay attention to the man who has been his silent shadow for a decade. What he learns surprises him, but what he feels astounds him even more.
Two lions, each born to serve, rely on one another to survive. After years by each other’s side, they’ll finally realize the depth of their potential, the joy in their passion, and a connection their kind has never known.

Review:

Sometimes I’m lucky to read a book so beautiful and well-written it literally lives inside of my head for days after I’ve finished reading it. When I picked up Johnnie by Cardeno C., I was immediately swept up into these two characters’ lives and ended up reading their story from start to finish without any sort of a break.

To say I loved this story is an understatement. I’ve read just about everything this author has published and I’ve loved almost all of them, but this book, is not only one of my all-time favorite books it is my favorite by Cardeno C., as well.

Both characters lived and breathed off of the written page. Both are very flawed, but likeable men. There were times I honestly wanted to punch one of the main heroes, Hugh, in the face for allowing and participating in the way Johnnie was treated, *at first…read it and you’ll see how much this changes* but Hugh quickly redeems himself and really begins to see Johnnie not only as a member of the pack, but as a friend and then as a lover. Hugh is basically an all-around good guy. He has to sacrifice for his pack and because he is a lion shifter, they have a different mentality when it comes to relationships, loyalty, traditions and so on, but I loved how he was able to evolve and change for the better as the story continued.

Johnnie…oh my…I loved him so much. Since he is a Siphon, he’s been neglected for so long. He was lonely and lived such a sad existence until Hugh finally opened his eyes. Johnnie is one of those characters that I totally fell in love with. I wanted to comfort him when he was sad, cheer for him when he started to see himself as someone special and rally for his well-deserved happy ending.

Now, I must warn you…this story will most likely cause you to do the ugly cry. I know I did…twice. I think I went through several hankies, but oh my, it was worth my face being blotchy and red for several hours AFTER I finished the book.

Don’t let this deter you from buy this book in any way. Johnnie is a very uplifting story. It gave me many happy, feel-good moments too. Plus, the ending was one that left me with a big smile on my face and the need for Cardeno C. to hurry up and write MORE of this series…OMG…is the next one out yet? It’s not? Ugh!

Last but certainly not least, I really, really appreciated how this shifter romance did NOT read like anything else I’ve read. The politics were interesting, the shifters themselves were different and it was just an all-around fresh take on a well-loved genre.

If you are in the mood for a shifter romance, read this book. If you are in the mood for a story with just the right amount of angst, happy moments and romance, read this book. If you are in the mood for an all-around fantastic read that will live with you long after you finished it, read this book! I loved every second I spent reading Johnnie and I’m not ashamed to admit I read it again the next day. Johnnie is definitely going to be a book this reader will read again and again. I loved it and I can’t recommend it high enough…are you sure our highest rating can be only 5+ Kisses?

Highly Recommended!!!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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