Monday, March 2, 2015

Walk with me by Cardeno C - Shining Star Award



Title:     Walk With Me

Series title:  Home, Book 7

Author:    Cardeno C

Publisher:    The Romance Authors, LLC

Genre:    GLBT, Contemporary

 (M/M, oral sex, anal play/sex, masturbation, toys)


Page Count: 288

Reviewer: Cassiopeia

Publisher’s Buy link:


Cover Art:



Publisher Blurb:




When Eli Block steps into his parents’ living room and sees his childhood crush sitting on the couch, he starts a shameless campaign to seduce the young rabbi. Unfortunately, Seth Cohen barely remembers Eli and he resolutely shuts down all his advances. As a tenuous and then binding friendship forms between the two men, Eli must find a way to move past his unrequited love while still keeping his best friend in his life. Not an easy feat when the same person occupies both roles.



Professional, proper Seth is shocked by Eli’s brashness, overt sexuality, and easy defiance of societal norms. But he’s also drawn to the happy, funny, light-filled man. As their friendship deepens over the years, Seth watches Eli mature into a man he admires and respects. When Seth finds himself longing for what Eli had so easily offered, he has to decide whether he’s willing to veer from his safe life-plan to build a future with Eli.






Review of book:

I was sad to reach the final book in the Home series by Cardeno C.  These seven books had my emotions running the gamut – angry, happy, sad, and yes, even hot and bothered.  I couldn't have asked for a better ending though, and was thrilled to see that the author had saved Seth and Eli’s journey for last. These men were opposites in so many ways; Seth seemed to be more for quiet pursuits than a night out dancing, but I feel that he found in Eli, a true friend that over time he fell deeply in love with.  I’ll admit, I fell a little in love with Eli too.  He was vibrant and funny, but so unbelievably mature under the seemingly recklessly youthful exterior. It was so touching to watch him make the tough decision to lay off his overtly ardent pursuit of Seth in favor of a lasting friendship, knowing full well it wasn't at all what he wanted. That took a lot of guts to do – even more to stick to his guns.  I'm not sure if I were in his position that I could have stayed the course. 

Seth surprised me though. I thought he'd have a more difficult time coming to terms with his sexuality, but as with everything he undertook, he was methodical in his analysis.  You'd think that would make him come off as dry and distanced, but the author did a fantastic job with infusing him with warmth, making him really come alive for me. His wry sense of humor at the number of mishaps occurring at the weddings he was called to officiate was hilarious.  It made me look forward to the mock invitations at the beginning of each chapter.

Even though there was a healthy dose of dirty sex between Eli and Seth, it took them quite awhile to get there (together at least). I think the slow build up to their physical relationship was exactly what this story needed to put it over the top.  Walk With Me was my absolute favorite in the series, and a perfect way for Cardeno C to bring it all to a close. 
                                       Shining Star Award and Five shooting Stars




The One Who Saves Me by Cardeno C



Title:     The One Who Saves Me

Series title:  Home, Book 6

Author:    Cardeno C

Publisher:    The Romance Authors, LLC

Genre:    GLBT, Contemporary

 (M/M, oral sex, anal play/sex, adult language)


Page Count:259

Reviewer: Cassiopeia

Publisher’s Buy link:





Publisher Blurb:


At fourteen, Andrew Thompson and Caleb Lakes become best friends. As the years pass, they stand by each other through family trauma, school, and the start of their careers. They share their first sexual experiences, learning and experimenting, and they talk each other through countless dates and breakups.

Decades of trust and loyalty build a deep and abiding friendship, one that surpasses any relationship in their lives. But when the parameters of their unique friendship change, neither man knows how to break out of their established roles to build something new. After all, boyfriends come and go, but best friends are forever.






Review of book:

This book really put me through the wringer. At times I was gritting my teeth in frustration, in tears at others, and it was a testament to just how good this story was.  I was intrigued with their history ever since I since I'd been introduced to Caleb and Andrew during earlier installments of the Home series, and was richly rewarded for my patience.  The author states that the other books in the series can be read in any order, or not at all, however I disagree.  I feel that no matter what, you should read all seven installments to get the full effect of the relationships between each couple, and their ever expanding group of friends.  You'll thank me for it, I promise.

The One Who Saves Meis written in flash back format, and I think that style is what made it so enjoyable for me.  I could see the bond at its tenuous beginning, and enjoy the way the two of them built such an unshakable foundation throughout the years.  They were the other’s best friend, confidante, and most trusted sexual partner, yet completely blind to the depth of their feelings for one another. Ignoring the very obvious elephant in the room is precisely what made me want to pull my darn hair out. Both of them had to overcome such destructive habits before they could finally have their “ah-ha” moment, and I swore at points they'd never get there.

As with the other books in the Home series, the supporting characters add a vital emotional depth all of their own to the already solid plot.  Noah’s sarcastic and often brutally blunt personality was my personal favorite.  His nickname for Andrew and Caleb, Bert and Ernie, made me choke on my coffee the first time I'd read it, and I chuckled every time it popped up.  Cardeno C has another hit on her hands with The One Who Saves Me

                                                          Five Shooting Stars


Shining Star award: Shadowboxing by Diana De Ricci



 Title: Shadowboxing
Series Arbor Heights
Author: Diana De Ricci
Publisher: MLR Press
Genre: MM, Contemporary
Pages: 181
Reviewer: Redz







Publisher’s Blurb
Shadowboxing by Diana DeRicci - Romance>Contemporary
Wayne Hightower has lived with a secret since he was a teenager. Debilitating to relationships, his condition stands in the way of his father's ultimate expectation: Finding a woman to marry. Of course, if he could do that, he'd have the grandchildren his mother was craving. And everyone would be happy happy happy. Or so he'd been raised to believe. If he could find her. If he could get over his problem.

Ditched by his brother for their planned night of sibling bonding, Erich Villalobos invites Wayne out instead as a simple act of friendship. One night that throws Wayne into an environment he'd never been exposed to and revealing a playfully animated side of Wayne Erich had never imagined. One that he quickly learns he's actually attracted to.

Secrets. Everyone has them. Wayne. Erich. Even Wayne's parents. If Wayne's brother Curtis were still alive, he could tell Wayne the cause of his condition and how to cure it. But dead men don't talk.





Review

Shadowboxing by Diana De Ricci is a story I adored for many reasons. I love stories about accepting yourself and being able to say you like yourself. I think the world needs more stories like that.
Wayne has always dated girls, but he cannot have sex with them. He literally cannot get it up. So the girls break up with him. This made him feel like he was just not good enough, that there was something extremely wrong with him. But one night out with Erich a friend from work changes everything. But can he accept the changes?
Erich is a laid back person. He is very secure in being gay. He doesn’t mind that Wayne is not, he still will take him to a gay bar. But when he finds out the man underneath the suit he finds himself falling for him.
Both of these men go through some significant changes in this book.  Erich has to come to terms with his past and the man he wants to be today.  Wayne too must come to grips it a violent past and accept the change that is good for him.
When you want a story that you will remember, and men you can fall in love with this is the story to pick up. It is very well written and thought out.  Ms. De Ricci is an amazing author and this is another unforgettable story I will have on my keeper shelf. 

                        Five Shooting stars and Reviewer's Choice