Thursday, September 21, 2017

AotM: Places in Time & In Another Life & Eight Days by Cardeno C. (Reviews+Giveaway)

Places in Time

A relationship-challenged actor unexpectedly finds love in the arms of his childhood best friend.

"Sexiest Man Alive" and Golden Globe winning actor Ethan Baker lights up the screen but fizzles in his personal life. When his latest girlfriend breaks up with him, Ethan turns to his one "forever" person - Jude Harrison. But as Ethan makes the familiar drive to his best friend's house, an unexpected detour and a bewildering passenger take him through 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.

Audible US 

5 Stars!

Ethan's day is definitely not going as he'd planned. After a long day on set he just wants to come "home" and relax. Instead, his girlfriend decides to make a surprise appearance at his house and ends things between them. However, Ethan really can't be bothered to put up much of a fight since he doesn't see himself settling down with anyone. Instead, he calls on his best friend Jude, a man that's been by his side for the past twenty years.

On his way to Jude's home, Ethan's night gets a little peculiar. It seems Ethan is being visited by a "crazy abductor hallucination lady" dubbed Ginger. Ginger takes him on a trip down memory lane in hopes of Ethan finally realizing what's been in front of him this whole time. For once in his life, Ethan starts seeing things clearly and it all starts making sense.

This is a cute story. I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times and I really fell in love with Ethan. Yes, he's a bit of a self-absorbed actor stereotype but it's more endearing that irritating and he's definitely witty and lovable, so it all works for him. I like that he's got a pretty good head on his shoulders throughout the story, so it kept everything upbeat and light hearted.

This may be a Gay For You type best-friends romance but it was done in a way that really made it feel realistic and frankly, easy. There's not the angst that generally goes with this trope and that kept it fun, too. It was quick and easy to read and had just the right amount of steamy scenes.

Jude and Ethan have great chemistry and they aren't just hot together. You can tell these two are the best of friends and that they respect and love each other. They were sweet together. I loved them.

Overall, this is a fantastic read for those who want a little treat. I definitely recommend!

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

In Another Life & Eight Days

In Another Life
At age 18 Shiloh Raben is tired. He no longer has the energy to deal with mean classmates, inner doubt, and fear of familial rejection, so he takes a razor to his wrist. When he wakes up in the hospital, Shiloh meets Travis Kahn, the EMT who saved him and didn't leave his side.
Travis is handsome, smart, and funny - the type of guy Shiloh would never be brave enough to approach. But his near-death experience has an unusual side effect: The life that flashed before his eyes wasn't the one he had already lived but rather the one he could live. With visions of a future by Travis' side, Shiloh will find the strength to confront his fears and build a life worth fighting for.
Second edition.
Eight Days
Childhood family friends Maccabe Fried and Josh Segal have always gotten along despite having nothing in common. Maccabe is an athlete with dreams of playing professional baseball. Josh is an aspiring architect with dreams of being with Maccabe. Despite all odds, both dreams come true.
Maccabe and Josh fall into a long-distance romance, which is everything Josh thought he wanted. But after years of hiding from the world, Josh wants to bring their relationship into the open. When Maccabe refuses, Josh is faced with a tough decision: stay with the man he loves or live the life he deserves. No matter the choice, somebody's bound to get hurt. Thankfully, in the season of miracles, there's always hope for a happy ending.
Second edition.

Listen to a sample!

In Another Life 4.5 Stars! I loved In Another Life. The entire premise of an 18-year-old Shiloh attempting suicide and as he lays there dying, having the life he could have led at age 36 flashing before his eyes was very appealing. It touched me on the thought that teens attempting and succeeding at committing suicide can't see the great possibilities that are in front of them down the road into adulthood. If Shiloh would've chosen to live he'd eventually meet Travis, the love of his life. He'd see that he was happy and had a great supportive family. That his fears of what his family would do when they learned he was gay, were unfounded. This a great what if story. Funny, sweet, and in some spots sad. Eight Days 4 Stars! The eight days of Hanukkah spread out over the years in the saga of Josh and Maccabe. From friends to secret lovers, the break-up and years of silence and the eventual reunion. I enjoyed Eight Days, the premise was unique and had me engrossed. I just didn't love it. I had a difficult time liking Josh. I'm not sure if it was the narration or not but he just came off bratty to me. I liked Maccabe though and I thought it was a sweet ending.
Well, I love Cardeno C., so I can almost guarantee I am going to love any book of hers I pick up. I'm not sure what it is, whether it's her wonderful writing style or the characters that I seem to fall in love with, or the stories that seem to suck me in. Whatever the case, Cardeno C. is pretty much an auto-buy author for me. Unfortunately, though, while I love In Another Life & Eight Days, I was not a big fan of the audiobook. Most of the time it was fine but during sexy times, not so much. So would I recommend In Another Life & Eight Days? Absolutely! However, I suggest the book over the audiobook. If you're an audiobook fan, no worries I still enjoyed the story very much.

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. I'm more likely to buy a novel b/c novellas seem to be a harder form for many authors to tell a complete story with well developed/engaging characters, so I usually feel safer with a longer book.

  2. Definitely novels, but novellas can be good if the author really knows how to write.

  3. I prefer novels but I've read some wonderful novellas.

  4. Thanks for the reviews, Jaymie, and congrats on AotM, CC. Looks like anothertrio of good books. I prefer novels on the principle that they allow an author more time to build depth in the world and characters, but I admit there have been some novellas that do that better than many novels. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  5. I like both actually. I wouldn't mind either.

  6. I'm happy to read either....sometimes short and sweet does it for me, other times I want something to sink my teeth into so long is good

  7. I prefer novels. But I don't mind reading both.

  8. I don't have a favorite trope; I just like a good story.

  9. I prefer novels. The more time that I can spend immersed in a good story, the better.

  10. "Until You" is my favorite in the Mates series.

  11. My favorite Hope book is "McFarland's Farm"; I really loved Jared

  12. I liked the mention of OneNTen. I'll have to check it out.