Category Archives: Family Series

Review: The Half of Us by Cardeno C.

half usTitle: The Half of Us by Cardeno C.
Family Series Book Four
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, M/M, Romance
Length: 206 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author


A Book in the Family Series

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.

The Review:

The Half of Us by Cardeno C. is an extremely hot but achingly sweet romance between two very unlikely lovers. Old and new fans of the Family series are going to LOVE this fourth installment where a one night stand unexpectedly leads to love. It can be read as a standalone story, but I recommend the entire series.

Jason Garcia is a divorced doctor with a demanding practice who uses sex as a way to de-stress. After a difficult day in the operating room, Mr. One Night Stand picks up cute, friendly, sweet Abe in a local bar. Now one time hook ups are not the norm for Abe, but it is his birthday, so he decides to indulge his attraction for the smoking hot stranger. Somehow their one night turns into two nights, then three and before Abe and Jason know it, they are spending all of their free time together. Their relationship builds slowly over several months and challenges Jason’s long held beliefs about home and family.

Insta-lust is what initially draws Jason and Abe together, incredibly hot, satisfying sex is what keeps them coming back to one another, but in the end, love is what binds them together.  Now what makes The Half of Us so fascinating is how they make their relationship work since they are complete opposites.

Jason is in his mid thirties, arrogant, bossy and carrying a lot of emotional baggage.  Abe is in his mid twenties, open, talkative and comfortable in his skin. Jason does not understand why he is so drawn to Abe but he does not fight their attraction. He is not very self-aware, so he does not really recognize what he feels for Abe. Fortunately, Abe is in touch with his emotions and more importantly, he is good at reading people. He gets exactly what their relationship means and he quietly moves into Jason’s life and his heart.

Now, let’s talk sex because there is LOTS of it in The Half of Us. Jason has a high sex drive and he does not believe in denying himself. He is passionate, demanding and pushy and Abe is pretty much his for the taking. Jason is firmly in control and he brings all of Abe’s deepest darkest fantasies to life. Their sex scenes are scorching hot with lots and lots of dirty talk, but there is also a emotional connection as well.

The Half of Us by Cardeno C. is a wonderful, angst free love story that is sexy and sweet.  The characters are appealing, the storyline is engaging and the lack of conflict is refreshing. There is substance to the plot and the characters evolve throughout the story. It is an absolutely fabulous addition to the heartwarming Family series that I absolutely loved.


Filed under Cardeno C, Contemporary, Dreamspinner Press, Erotic, Family Series, M/M, Rated B+, Review, Romance, The Half of Us

Review: Something in the Way He Needs by Cardeno C.

Title: Something in the Way He Needs by Cadeno C.
Family Series Book One
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, Romance, M/M
Length: 220 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher


A Book in the Family Series

Police captain Asher Penaz’s staunch professionalism bleeds into his home life, down to his neatly pressed attire and spartan apartment. He enjoys being the man in charge, and leather bars satisfy his need for dominance—so his sudden and powerful attraction to the lighthearted, free-spirited Daniel Tover throws him for a loop. In his entire life, Daniel has never gotten what he needs, so he moves to the next place, the next job, the next attempt to find something worth staying for, always landing at the top of his game, but never feeling like he belongs.

The chemistry between Asher and Daniel sizzles, so Asher invites Daniel home. As both men struggle to learn themselves while getting to know each other, the lines of desire and control blur. With all that fire comes the risk of getting burned. But if Daniel and Asher can walk through the flames together, they might find what they desperately need.

The Review:

Something in the Way He Needs by Cadeno C. is a very sexy romance between two men who fit like the pieces of a puzzle. But as Asher Penaz and Daniel Tover discover, the pieces must be twisted and turned a few times before finding the perfect fit.

Asher Penaz is a total Dom who has complete control over every area of his life. He is comfortable in his skin and with his sexuality, and he does not do relationships. So imagine his surprise when he is instantly attracted to the gorgeous, bumbling and rather directionless Daniel Tover. The Dom in Asher recognizes the submissive in Daniel and although Asher is fully aware that Daniel is not into the heavy kink that Asher enjoys, Daniel does enjoy Asher’s possessiveness and eagerly responds to his verbal commands.

What I really liked about Asher is that even though he is clearly uncomfortable with his feelings for Daniel, he does not fight them. He eagerly jumps right into a relationship with Daniel even though he is very conflicted about the new emotions and jealousy that he is experiencing. He is surprisingly receptive to the unexpected changes that Daniel brings to his life. But jealousy soon rears its ugly head and some of Asher’s actions soon threaten to destroy their relationship.

I absolutely adored Daniel. Daniel has lead a very interesting life moving from place to place depending on his career at the time. Unlike Asher, Daniel has been involved in several relationships and he is so open and friendly that everyone naturally gravitates to him. Asher pushes Daniel’s boundaries and when he oversteps them, Daniel is quick to forgive but he is also quite adamant that he will not tolerate Asher’s behavior.

Asher and Daniel are such opposites that I had serious doubts about their ability to make a relationship work between them. But much to my complete and utter delight, their differences perfectly complement one another and Cardeno C. does a beautiful job realistically building their relationship over several months. The issues facing them are never glossed over and with a few exceptions, they deal with their problems head on with little angst or recrimination.

While Asher is a pretty hardcore Dom, BDSM and D/s are really not part of their relationship. What little play there is limited to a very light spanking scene and mostly verbal control of Daniel by Asher. Asher’s involvement in the lifestyle is hinted at and very few details are revealed.

Something in the Way He Needs is the first novel I have read by Cardeno C., and it certainly won’t be my last. The character development is superb and the plot is unique and extremely well-executed. The sex scenes are exquisitely erotic, varied and plentiful. The conflict between Asher and Daniel is believable and I like really like how this part of the storyline contributed to the growth of Asher’s character.

Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys contemporary male/male romances. I am eagerly awaiting the next installment of the Family series.

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Filed under Cardeno C, Contemporary, Dreamspinner Press, Erotic, Family Series, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Something in the Way He Needs