The Half of Us (Family #4)
by Cardeno C.
An M/M Contemporary Romance
From Dreamspinner Press
Released October 10th 2014
Short-tempered, arrogant heart surgeon Jason Garcia grew up wanting a close-knit family, but believes he ruined those dreams when he broke up his marriage. The benefit of divorce is having as much random sex as he wants, and it’s a benefit Jason is exploiting when he meets a sweet, shy man at a bar and convinces him to go home for a no-strings-attached night of fun.
Eight years living in Las Vegas hasn’t dimmed Abe Green’s optimism, earnestness, or desire to find the one. When a sexy man with lonely eyes propositions him, Abe decides to give himself a birthday present—one night of spontaneous fun with no thoughts of the future. But one night turns into two and then three, and Abe realizes his heart is involved.
For the first time, Abe feels safe enough with someone he respects and adores to let go of his inhibitions in the bedroom. If Jason can get past his own inhibitions and open his heart and his life to Abe, he might finally find the family he craves.
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Jason Garcia is a divorced, father of two who spent his life hiding his sexuality and now works hard to make it up for it. He also works hard as a surgeon, so one-time hookups are his way of unwinding. That is until he meets Abe.
Abe has been disappointed in the relationship department every time he’s tried to pursue a relationship with another man. He’s not one for one-night stands, but when the stranger with lonely eyes approaches him at a bar on his birthday he decides to give himself a present. The handsome stranger exudes sexiness and confidence and Abe can’t help himself from going home with him.
But soon Abe’s finds himself caring for the aloof surgeon and getting more involved in Jason’s life than either of them had initially anticipated. Now it’s up to Jason to either catch up or retreat.
I loved this story, but then again I love most of CC’s stories.
However, this one soon became a favorite simply because Jason was such an extraordinary character to get to know. I wanted to throttle him, shake some sense into him and comfort him all at the same time. He was adorable in his cluelessness regarding his feelings for Abe and a force to be reckoned with in the bedroom. Confident and honest to a fault, he was clear as to who he was and what was to be expected of him. However, he was not counting on Abe to break through all his walls as effortlessly as he did.
Mind you, Abe was a great character too. I admired his tenacity, his caring heart and the patience he found in himself when it came to dealing with Jason. Their relationship wasn’t filled with drama but it wasn’t always a walk in the park for the easy-going Abe. Jason had a talent to ignore what was in front of him and that coupled with his stubbornness, made it hard on Abe to be sure of where they stood.
Thankfully, Cardeno didn’t pull any punches in bringing forth the connection between these two. Through every stilted conversation, honest interaction and heated encounters Abe and Jason’s connection never failed to be present–always growing deeper, bringing them closer each time. It was funny to see how oblivious Jason was in regards to his relationship with Abe. I enjoyed the moments he realized there was something more going on as well as those few times his insecurities got the best of him.
Another element that made this such an enjoyable read was the participation of Jason’s ex-wife and kids. Through his interactions with them we come to understand how very complex Jason truly is. While I had thought he was a against making a commitment, I soon discovered that that was not the case. Jason wanted a family and all his struggles stemmed from his thinking that he was a failure as a family man.
I expect it’s not an easy feat to bring all these elements to the page, but Cardeno brought it all together seamlessly without taking away from any one of the elements involved. The emotions were present, intense yet subtle and correctly portrayed. The romance was slow-building but firmly established and developed. And of course, the chemistry was explored in many different ways. Cardeno managed to not only bring the heat to these scenes but also brought into it the complexity of the characters–what made them tick, what they yearned for and how emotionally invested they were in what they were sharing. Be it their first heated embrace, their flirty banter or just a simple look, Jason and Abe’s chemistry jumped off the page and their emotions made themselves known.
Keep in mind that although this is the fourth book in the Family series, it can certainly be read as a stand alone. But then again, why would you miss all the goodness? I’ve enjoyed all previous books and but I especially enjoyed the hell out of Jason and Abe and the family they became.
All in all, a fantastic read with sweet moments, a few infuriating ones and an abundance of sexy ones to make it all worthwhile.
*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.
Abe pursed his lips in thought. “Three things you enjoy. Go!”
“No thinking!” he exclaimed.
“I don’t know. I, uh—”
“Fucking, college basketball, and cold pizza,” Jason replied hurriedly. He froze after the words popped out of his mouth, surprised by what he’d said. It was true, but not exactly the kind of information he threw out there. Except he had.
Abe was silent for few moments, then he blinked, cleared his throat, and said, “What’s your favorite team?”
Abe nodded. “And you like your pizza cold?”
Apparently they were moving forward with the conversation. Okay. “I like it hot too, but, yeah, I like it cold better. I always order extra so I can put it in the fridge for the next day.”
“I see.” Abe nodded again. “So, uh, do you have plans tonight?”
“No.” Jason shook his head.
“Neither do I.” Abe glanced down, bit his lip, and then looked up again. “Want to come over and do that first thing you enjoy?”
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’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.”