Friday, September 29, 2017

AotM: The Hope Collection by Cardeno C. (Reviews+Giveaway)

McFarland’s Farm


Quiet but lonely Jared has to decide how much of himself he's willing to risk to keep party-boy Lucas.

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.

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)
Add to GoodReads:

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Jesse’s Diner


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 their dreams come true.

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)
Add to GoodReads:

Tanner is hardworking, responsible and sweet and has had a crush on his best friend's father, Steve, since he knew what a crush was. He's tried to keep it a secret, seeing as Steve was also his boss's husband and as such, off-limits. However, Jesse died two years ago and left Tanner his diner and when Mike calls him to ask Tanner to keep tabs on his father, because he was laid off, Tanner can't say no. Tanner starts bringing Steve dinner every night, trying his best to keep his attraction under wraps, which is not easy because the older man is so attentive and nice and handsome.  

Steve has always cared and worried about Tanner, and now that he is ready to date again, he's looking for someone he can share his life with. He had hoped that someone could be Tanner, but it isn't until they start sharing dinners that Steve decides to take the first step and ask Tanner out. 

There is something that Tanner doesn't know that might put a damper on Steve's plans, though. Steve is HIV positive and he is not certain how that knowledge is going to affect his chance at HEA with Tanner.

I have to admit that this is only the second book that deals with an HIV positive character that I've read and I think it was dealt with perfectly. Tanner did his research and made an informed decision and the diagnosis didn't really impact much on their budding relationship. 

I really loved Steve and Tanner together. Yes, there was a big age difference, Steve's thirty nine years against Tanner's twenty-two could have more of an impact if Tanner hadn't been such an old soul, shy and responsible and mature beyond his years. It was nice to see them both try to flirt and tease somewhat awkwardly at first and how perfectly they fit once they got past their tentative start. 

This is a very fast read, well-written and with that characteristic sweet, romantic hotness that Cardeno C. imprints into her stories. Highly recommendable!

Rating: 5 Stars!!!

I really enjoyed this audiobook. Paul Morey has a pleasant tone and he did a wonderful job with the different voices. The only complaint I have is that sometimes the tone would be too even, and it would turn a bit monotonous, but other than that, this was a very enjoyable audiobook of a story I already loved and that I will more than likely listen to again. Very recommendable! 

Rating: 4.5 Stars!!!

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Smitty’s Sheriff


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?

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)
Add to GoodReads:

3.5 Stars

Todd has been moping around for the last six months, trying to figure where he went wrong after his lover, Sheriff Richard Davis, broke up with him. But now he'll have another chance to make things right since they'll be forced to live in close proximity for the next three months.

Rich was aware that Todd was too young, too immature and too flakey when they got together the first time around, putting a stop to their relationship when he realized Todd and him wanted different things. Having to live with the younger man and resisting him might be difficult, but he's determined to do what he thinks is right.

I adored Todd, he was definitely my favorite. He was fun and sweet and loyal and while he had a tendency to put himself down, I think he was so much better than he and others gave him credit for. He truly proved himself to Rich and showed that he was mature and smart enough to find a solution for his and Rich's problems.

I liked Rich, but I was very frustrated with him. He was supposed to be the more mature of the two, after all, he has 17 years on Todd, and yet, he messed things up from the start. He was controlling, but at the same time very insecure and that made things unnecessarily difficult for them. Really, if the man had spoken about his misgivings earlier, things would've been so different.

I wasn't too fond of how Todd would just concede to everything Rich asked of him, both in and out of the bedroom, but I could understand why Todd would prefer it, considering his upbringing and how his parents treated him. In any case, I think the chemistry between them was great and the sex scenes were both hot and sweet (although they did have a bit of a D/s vibe to them).

Overall, I liked the book, although it wasn't my favorite in the series. It was enjoyable and it was lovely catching up with Lucas and Jared. I really hope the next story will be Seamus and DJ!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I LOVE this series!! It's so sweet!!!

  2. I have only read Jesse's Diner in this series. It was good.

  3. I've only read Smitty's Sheriff, but I have the others, which are next on my list.

  4. Congrats, CC, on AotM, and thanks for the good reviews, Mari. Aah, I haven't series yet, but it sounds great. But I did like the Homes series and want to read more by CC- Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  5. i haven't read anything in this series from CC yet

  6. I haven't read the hope series yet.