Wednesday, September 27, 2017

AotM: In Your Eyes & To Touch You by Cardeno C. (Reviews + Giveaway)

In Your Eyes

Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past their society’s rules to realize they are destined for one another.

Raised to become Alpha of the Yafenack pack, Samuel Goodwin dedicates his life to studying shifter laws, strengthening his body, and learning from his father. But despite his best efforts, Samuel can’t relate to people, including those he's supposed to lead.

When Samuel meets Korban Keller, the son of a neighboring pack's Alpha, he reacts with emotion instead of intellect for the first time in his life. Resenting the other shifter for throwing him off-balance, Samuel first tries to intimidate Korban and then desperately avoids him. What he can't do is forget Korban's warm eyes, easy smile, and happy personality.

When a battle between their fathers ends tragically, Samuel struggles to lead his pack while Korban works to break through Samuel’s emotional barriers. Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past their society’s rules to realize they are destined for one another.

Word Count: 60,875

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

Samuel and Korban are members of different shifters' packs, each of them destined to become Alpha on their packs.

Samuel is more in touch with his wolf than Korban, and he's a bit of a scholar, preferring to submerge himself in his studies than to play, intent on being the best Alpha he can be, despite his father always reminding him that he needs to feel more empathy for their pack members. He's confused by his reactions to being near Korban and stays as far away from him as he can. Until something happens to bring them together and having to change his views in just about everything he'd held as truth all his life.

Korban is sweet, and more in touch with his feelings than Samuel, so he had realized the truth beforehand. It takes a tragedy for them to be able to work through some of their issues, but there's more than that getting in their way.

I loved this story! Both Korban and Samuel are lovable in their own right and together they are dynamite, so damn hot! I really liked the feuding packs' arc, it was different, and I enjoyed how Cardeno C. wove such an interesting storyline with the romance and the conflict Samuel felt regarding his attraction for Korban.

Rating: 5 Stars!!!

5 Stars!

So I can say with all certainty that In Your Eyes is my favorite Cardeno C. book. Not only is it a Shifter story with "True Mates" but it's also funny, action packed and a little sad. I love the emotional ride I set off on even having read Samuel and Korban's story multiple times. It just gets better and better.

I absolutely adore Korban Keller (even his name), he's so sweet and from the age of 11, it was obvious this poor kid was going to have to possess a huge amount of patience. He had it in spades as well as being strong, calming and fiercely loyal he also was extremely selfless when it came to Samuel. He was pretty much perfect as far as mates go.

I loved Samuel, too. However, with him it was different, I loved that he was flawed in such a realistic and endearing way. Yes, he was brilliant and of course, strong but his social ineptitude was a huge obstacle he desperately needed to overcome. As a child it was cute, humorous and endearing. As an adult, while it led to many hilarious reactions and predicaments it was pretty obvious that it was his potential downfall.

Together Korban and Samuel were perfect for one another and they had a fantastic connection. Their chemistry was undeniable and I loved how their characters felt so much more natural when they were together. As mates they were perfect. They are hands down one of my favorite Shifter couples.

The writing is well done and the story flows smoothly from beginning to end. In Your Eyes is a fast easy read with just the right amount of angst and drama and is a unique look at shifters and mates. I didn't want it to end and I wouldn't mind seeing more of these men. I definitely recommend In Your Eyes!

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

To Touch You


“His name is Salvatore Rossi. He’s a vampire. And he’s my true mate.”

By not relying on anyone except himself, Salvatore Rossi escaped a dead-end existence and reached the height of corporate success. But just when he has everything he always wanted, fate throws Salvatore a challenge he can’t solve alone and a young wolf shifter comes to his rescue.

Since childhood, Yoram Smith’s family was certain he would grow to become Alpha and save their beloved pack from its slow demise. When the time comes for a new leader, Yoram is forced to juggle his duty to care for a splintering pack with his duty to care for an absent mate, and his own strength suffers.

Being turned into a vampire didn’t alter Salvatore’s life philosophy: if you don’t rely on anyone, nobody can let you down. But when the boy who saved his life becomes a man who needs his help, the icy vampire must find his humanity.

4 Stars!

I love Cardeno C. Her mates series is one of my favorite shifter series and I absolutely adored In Your Eyes. Having said that, I must admit that To Touch You wasn't completely what I'd hoped. Don't get me wrong, it was well written and I loved the premise but I just felt like I wasn't as invested in Sal and Yoran's relationship as I was in the previous couples.

I loved Yoran, he was so adorable as the 7-year-old we meet at the beginning of the book and the most loyal and sincerely caring man later in the story. His dedication to his mate was wonderful but it broke my heart since Sal was not at all receptive to their mating for most of the book. When it comes down to it, this is what bothered me about the story and left me annoyed.

I didn't dislike Sal and in the end, I liked him very much but he was extremely stubborn and oblivious to things dealing with Vampires and Shifters. He would have saved himself and Yoran a significant amount of trouble and angst had he taken the time to learn about his new life and world. Of course, not all of this was his fault since no one seemed remotely capable of explaining things to him. There were much easier ways of explaining true Mates but it was all a big vague hint for Sal and he obviously wasn't grasping it. Just spell it out for him.

With all of that, it's obvious this was a slow burn and it's a long time before Sal gets his head out of his bum. When he does though, the men are perfect together. They're a great combination of sweet and sexy and their chemistry is off the charts. After finally getting together it moves fast, very fast and almost everything is quickly resolved, leaving me with the feeling that it was a little anticlimactic. However, I was glad that the men got their Happily Ever After.

Overall, I enjoyed the story, it's hard not to like Cardeno C. It's definitely one I can recommend and if you're a fan of the series you get to enjoy spending a little time with past characters.

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not 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.

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  1. In Your Eyes or Until Forever Comes are my favorite Mates books. I like the other 2, but taking so long to be together in these books irritated me a little.

  2. Congrats, CC, on AotM, and thanks for the good reviews. tbh, I haven't read this series yet, but y'all make it sound great. So my fall back will be that my fav mate is my current one, been together for 15, married a year ago. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  3. I enjoy them all but I think Wake Me Up Inside is the one that stuck with me the best.

  4. Until Forever Comes just pips out the others :)