Saturday, September 16, 2017

AotM: Blue Mountain & Red River by Cardeno C. (Reviews + Giveaway)

Blue Mountain

Written by: Cardeno C.
Word Count: 35,375

Audiobook narrated by: Sean Crisden
Length: 3 hrs and 38 mins

An Omega who must learn to trust. An Alpha who must learn patience. Fate unites them. Love keeps them together.

Exiled by his pack as a teen, Omega wolf Simon Moorehead learns to bury his gentle nature in the interest of survival. When a hulking, rough-faced Alpha catches Simon on pack territory, he tries to escape what he’s sure will be imminent death. But instead of killing him, the Alpha takes Simon home. 

A man of action, Mitch Grant uproots his life to support his brother in leading the Blue Mountain pack. Mitch lives on the periphery, quietly protecting everyone, but always alone. A mate is a dream come true for Mitch, and he won’t let little things like Simon’s rejections, attacks, and insults get in their way. With patience, seduction, and genuine care, Mitch will ride out the storm while Simon slays his own ghosts and Mitch’s loneliness. ©2014 Cardeno C. (P)2014 Cardeno C.


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4.5 Stars!

Simon Moorehead has returned to Blue Mountain to bury his mother. She fled Blue Mountain to save Simon all those years ago so it's only fitting he bring her back. The last thing he wanted was to run into anyone from the local pack, the pack he knows would love to put him down, simply for being a male Omega. So when he comes face to face with an Alpha wolf bigger than any other he's ever seen he knows it may be a fight to the death just to get away.

Simon isn't like most Omega wolves, he's not weak and he's spent years honing his ability to ignore his need to submit. It may be killing his soul a little every day to ignore his nature but it by far beats what other wolves will do to him if they think he's weak.

Mitch knew as soon as they said "Male Omega", it was his mate. He didn't expect to find a terrified, defiant and unhealthy man hell-bent on getting as far from him as possible. It will take all the strength and patience he possesses to convince Simon that all he wants to do is take care of him and love him. Between Simon's past with other shifters, mainly Alphas and Mitch's inept ability to curb his Alpha tendencies and lack of communication, this is not good to be easy.

Okay, I have to say Mitch makes me laugh like a loon. This man is so endearing, he's so tough and gruff and has no idea how to temper it. He's really very sweet and sincere, loyal and protective and wants nothing more than to keep those he loves safe and happy. However, he has no clue how to talk to anyone other than his twin brother Frederick. He goes about explaining why he's "captured" Simon in the most hilariously wrong way. Simon has no idea that he's Mitch's mate because frankly, Mitch makes it seem as if he's some feral wolf who's claimed Simon as a prize or something. Like a deranged stalker capturing his obsession (however, instead of Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs it's more of Pepe' Le Pew chasing Penelope)

Mitch breaks my heart a little, too. He wants his mate so much and the fact that Simon fights him so much brought tears to my eyes. Cardeno C. does an amazing job at capturing the emotions of despair and longing, the desperation Mitch feels to be with Simon even if Simon will never allow him to come close. It only makes it that much more emotional to read (I may or may not be slightly hormonal so I cried probably more than was called for) as we see Frederick responding to what's happening to his twin Mitch.

Simon had the potential of being a PITA, I absolutely loathe when a mate insists on denying the mating instinct. However, in this case, I couldn't be mad or annoyed at him because honestly, who could blame him after all he'd been through. I love that Simon isn't some simpering weak character who's so desperate to submit and throw himself at the "Big Strong Alpha". I hate stories in which Omega's are portrayed as little more than sex obsessed weak little man (or woman) who are overly feminized to the point that I want to roll my eyes and move on to the next story. Simon is strong, intelligent and capable and while, yes, he has the desire to submit, he is by no means weak or easy to walk all over.

I loved this story, I liked the push and pull and I loved the idea of that Mitch and Simon were perfect for one another. I can't really attest to the awesome chemistry the two shared because we didn't get to see a lot of that side of their relationship. The main focus is really on the building of trust and all that comes with the mating apart from the sex. That's actually a plus in my book because the sexual/physical side of a mating bond has been done again and again.

Overall I definitely recommend Blue Mountain. Cardeno C. is a great writer and storyteller and she has a true knack for Shifter stories. This and her mates series are some of my favorites.


Red River

Written by: Cardeno C.
Word Count: 38,150

Audiobook narrated by: Nick Russo
Length: 3 hrs and 42 mins

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.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review. ***

Wesley thought his whole life that he would lead his pack once his uncle retired. However, due to a physical imperfection, the pack refuses to accept him, even when Wesley has devoted his life to them. So he trades himself with another Alpha from the Red River pack and agrees to mate with the son of the Alpha in that pack. There he will learn that many things he's always believed in are not exactly the way he expects them to be.

Jobe Root has been waiting for his mate for a long time. He's easygoing, patient and very connected to Mother Nature, but he's still nervous over how Wesley will adapt to their life in Red River and all the things he will learn there before becoming his mate. 

Wesley and Jobe couldn't have been more different from each other if they tried. Wesley was very set in his ways, in his beliefs and not all that open minded at first. Jobe was sweet and patient, trying to help his mate accept his new life by Jobe's side, which was not an easy task sometimes. They worked great together, though, they had nice rapport, I loved the way their relationship progressed and the chemistry between them was both sweet and hot, very hot. 

I really enjoyed this book, although I have to admit the MPREG took me by surprise since there was nothing regarding that in the blurb. It was dealt in a fairly original way, and my only complaint will be that I think the last part felt a bit rushed and incomplete. I would've liked a couple more chapters to tie things up, but I was happy with what I got. 

Rating: 4 Stars!!!  

Alpha wolf Wesley Stone has trained his whole life to be the next Alpha of the Purple Sky Pack. Born with a scar on his abdomen that no one can identify, he is alienated from the rest of the pack. When the time comes for him to step up and his Uncle, the current Alpha, to step down, Wes is shocked when his uncle says he’s found another Alpha to lead them instead. His pack will never accept him, so his uncle has agreed on a trade with the Red River pack. An Alpha wolf from their pack will be sent to Purple Sky and in exchange Wes will go to Red River and mate with their Alpha’s son and become Alpha there. Realizing he has no choice, that he has to put the good of the pack first, Wesley agrees. 

The Red River pack is different than most packs out there. Isolated, self sufficient, and in tune with nature, they are extremely prosperous but a bit of a mystery to other packs and especially Wesley. If there was ever a place where Wesley is destined to fit in, it is in Red River. Wesley will discover many things in his new home, love, acceptance but most importantly he’ll discover his true self.

Jobe Root has waited his whole life for his True Mate since the Red River pack has always been led by two mated Alphas. Having Wesley by his side to help lead the pack is a dream come true, it’s not only what he wants but what Mother Nature intended as well. He’ll have to be patient and understanding, as Wesley is new to their customs and beliefs. If Jobe can prove to Wesley that he belongs in Red River with him, their pack will greatly benefit from it.

I'm a huge Cardeno C. fan and I love Shifter books, so I couldn't wait to read the second book in the Pack series. While I can't say I absolutely loved it, I definitely enjoyed the story of Wesley and Jobe. I liked how unique the Red River pack was from a lot of other shifter books out there. Not to mention that this is a very different take on M-preg.

What I Loved: I truly loved both Wesley and Jobe. While Wesley could be very stubborn at times, he was so devoted to taking care of his pack. He was very focused on what it truly meant to be an Alpha and the fact that his pack would actually turn their backs on him because of an abnormality was irritating. They would rather have an unknown Alpha come in and take over their pack as opposed to allowing someone who had grown up in the pack, someone who loved his pack, take over.

I loved Jobe, talk about a man with a good heart. He loved his pack, he loved his mate and it shows in everything he does. He and Wesley are great together.

What I liked: I thought the story itself was good. The idea of an Alpha that is shunned by his pack because of a scar on his abdomen and then forced to trade himself to another pack for a Alpha that his pack will accept sight unseen is definitely intriguing. I also enjoyed the slow burn aspect. Wesley and Jobe don’t just jump into bed together, there is plenty of buildup. Cardeno C. is an excellent author and I haven't yet found a book that I didn’t like.

What I Didn’t Like: While I do not mind M-preg and I didn’t necessarily mind it in this story, I was not a fan of the actual way the pregnancy occurs or the method of delivery. It was a little out there for my tastes. I also found the misunderstandings between Jobe and Wesley extremely exasperating. I continually rolled my eyes at the lack of communication as well as the lack of education for Wesley. It was obvious Wesley was in the dark about many things, especially the important issues and Jobe should have picked up on it earlier on.

I also would have loved for the book to be a bit longer. The ending was rushed and I really wanted more. I definitely didn’t get enough of Wesley and Jobe and would love to see more of them.

When it comes down to it, though, I truly enjoyed Red River Pack and would definitely recommend it!

4.5 Stars!

Narrator: Nick J. Russo - Definitely one of the better narrators I’ve come across. He has a very smooth voice that works well with the story and kept me interested. I was not a fan of his voice in the beginning of the book because I felt his portrayal of one of the characters was a bit over the top, however, other than that I had no complaints.

Meet CC

Cardeno C.—CC to friends—is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few awwws into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever-after sunset.

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  1. Fated mates is my favorite part of shifter books.

  2. Love the fated mates concept.

  3. love fated mates and the animal side of the shifter's nature

  4. Fated mates or mpreg are my favorite

  5. My fave part of shifter books is the getting to know aspect apart from the whole "mine" haze and how they navigate it.

  6. I like the world building & the explanations behind the mythology of shifters

  7. Congrats, CC, on AotM. Like Lisa, I like seeing what world is created behind whatever shifter creature it is, especially if it's not a typical one like werewolves, and then seeing the "skills" the creature has when in that form. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  8. Hi CC! Will there be any more Siphon stories? Johnnie was one of a kind and just awesome, but there was a possibility of a new siphon cub being born into the pack mentioned so I was curious if that would be revisited.