In Your Eyes (Mates #3)
by Cardeno C.
A M/M Shifter Romance
From Dreamspinner Press
Released on July 14th 2014
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. Taking control comes easily to Samuel, but relating to people, including those he’s supposed to lead, is a constant challenge.
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 putting him off-balance, Samuel first tries to intimidate Korban and then tries to avoid him. What he can’t do is forget Korban’s warm eyes, easy smile, and happy personality.
When a battle between their fathers results in tragedy, Samuel and Korban are thrown together. With his world crashing down around him, Samuel must save his pack and show them he can lead. But first, Korban needs to save Samuel by inspiring him to feel. Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past the rules they’ve been taught to realize they are destined to fit together.
It is no surprise to those who know me that I get excited whenever Cardeno releases a new book. This time was no different. However, this time around I had the pleasure of reading the ARC weeks before it was bound to be delivered even to other blogs for review. My task–to gather a few quotes for teaser images and create a video trailer. *insert happy dance here*
As you can imagine, the pressure was on. I had to keep my wits about me and deliver on all fronts. And of course, I had to write a review–it’s what I do!
What I enjoyed most about this story were the characters. From the very start I was drawn to Samuel. An introvert who was strong, smart yet vulnerable in a way that affected him deeply, Samuel’s story was one that kept me intrigued throughout. His growth as the story progressed was beautiful. He stumbled, analyzed, stood his ground and relented in every way that counted and I had to admire him for that.
I loved that Cardeno didn’t pull any punches in bringing to the page Sam’s faults as well as his other attributes. As the next alpha line, he knew his duties and what was expected of him, so it was a treat to see how he carefully navigated through the obstacles that were thrown at him from all sides. As character development goes, Cardeno didn’t miss a beat with Sam.
Of course, Korban was just as great a character too. I admired his strength of character and his loyalty. Even from a young age he knew what he must do and how he needed to approach Samuel.
The secondary characters added to the story too, which I appreciated. Some added to the world Cardeno had built in book one, others were downright creepy and the other while Samuel’s parents helped him find his way in any way the could. I believe that this story was mainly about Sam’s journey and how his path led him to Korban, but the conflict that was paired with it was just as intriguing.
As with any book by Cardeno, the emotions were in the forefront and led the story throughout. From Sam’s frustrations (and there were many!) to his father’s worry all the way through the tenderness in which Korban drew Sam in, every single emotion was there jumping off the page. I loved it!
Needless to say that Cardeno brought the sexy once again. Those two were as sensual together as they were adorable. Ha! That Samuel surprised me for sure!
Keep in mind that although this is the third book in the Mates series it can be read as a stand alone. But I do recommend reading the other books in the series just so that you don’t miss out on this little shifter world Cardeno created or on any of the other intriguing characters that have taken part in the series.
All in all, a fantastic story of self-discovery, acceptance and fated love.
*I received a copy of this title from the author.
About the Author
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. Cardeno feels that characters write their own stories and just hopes to find enough time to get those stories on the page.
Cardeno’s Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, “You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day.”
You can learn more about Cardeno’s writing at www.cardenoc.com.
Other Books by Cardeno
~ Mates Series