Something in the Way He Needs (Family #1)
by Cardeno C.
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.
Stong Enough (Family #2)
by Cardeno C.
When twenty-two-year-old Emilio Sanchez sees handsome Spencer Derdinger walking by his construction site, Emilio makes it his goal to seduce the shy professor. Getting Spencer into bed isn’t difficult, but Emilio soon learns that earning the trust of a man deeply hurt will take time and patience. With a prize like brilliant, sweet Spencer on the line, Emilio decides he is strong enough to face the challenge.
Spencer is surprised when he’s approached by the gorgeous construction worker he’s admired from the safety of his office window. Acting spontaneously for the first time in his thirty-eight years, Spencer takes Emilio home. When the casual hookup turns into the potential for love, Spencer realizes that if he wants to build a life with Emilio, he’ll need to be strong enough to slay his personal demons and learn to trust again
As a teenager, Charlie “Chase” Rhodes meets Scott Boone and falls head over heels in love with the popular, athletic boy next door. Charlie thinks he’s living the dream when Scott says he feels the same way. But his dreams are dashed when Scott moves unexpectedly and doesn’t return.
Years later, Chase meets brash and confident Adan Navarro, who claims all he wants is a round between the sheets. When they’re still together after eight months, Chase is convinced Adan returns his love. But then the time comes to be open about their relationship, and Adan walks away instead.
Time heals all wounds, but when Charlie runs into Scott and Adan and realizes the only two men he’s ever loved are now in love with each other, his heart breaks all over again. Scott and Adan tell Charlie they want him back, but Charlie doesn’t know if he can trust two people who have hurt him so deeply. And even if he can, why would Scott and Adan want Charlie when they already have everything with each other?
Something In The Way He Needs
The beginning of this story started off really strong for me. The way Asher and Daniel met had me smiling and anticipating fireworks for sure. The saying opposites attract holds very true for these men. I was very interested to see how these men could co-exist together being that they are so very different.
I mean we have Asher who is a Dom, loves having absolute control over everything in life, from his job to his love life. I use the term love life loosely. He doesn’t do relationships. He plays out sex scenes with men he just meets. Never seeing the same man twice. Until Daniel walks into his life everything starts to change. Feeling like he has no control over Daniel it really strikes a chord in him. Asher is a complex man and we quickly learn that he’s an extremely jealous person. An emotion he’s not familiar with. There were times where his anger got the best of him so much so that he really came off as abusive in ways.
Then we have Daniel, he marches to the beat of his own drum. He’s a drifter of sorts, never really staying in one place for too long. However, Daniel doesn’t have sex unless he’s in a relationship. He’s clumsy, directionally challenged, hides behind clothes that are 4 sizes too big. There were times where Daniel came across to being younger than his 33 years, but I figured that he was because of his carefree nature. He loves feeling needed but at the same time you can feel his insecurities. He’s lived in a lot of places, done a lot of things but he’s never really felt like he just fits.
I really loved watching these men change and meld together. Their relationship definitely isn’t an easy one. They have to overcome their differences and their insecurities to make it work. And that road definitely came with some bumps. I have to admit I wasn’t as understanding as Daniel. I honestly wanted to throat punch Asher for his little episode and I don’t think I could have been so forgiving.
“What you want is to be worshiped. You want someone who’ll follow you around and bow at your feet.”
“Do you know what that’s like?”
“To be with someone who shines so brightly he’s all you can see?”
Over all I really enjoyed this story. I would have like to know what happened with Daniel’s brother since he plays a big enough role in the story. If we had gotten an epi or something that showed more of their future I would have given this a higher rating. The ending was nice but I was left with wanting to know how things were for them down the road.
I’m not usually a fan of insta love or when characters hook up pretty much from the get go and this one definitely has that going on in many ways. However, I have to say it really worked for me. This story is a very sweet, romantic, feel good kind of book with some steam mixed in.
Normally the books I’ve read in the past that have characters where there is a big age difference, the older male is usually the one who is more dominate, the care taker, the protector. I found it so refreshing that the roles were reversed in this one.
Spencer is a 38 year old man who’s been through a lot in his life. He’s damaged in many ways and because of what he lived through, it has left him insecure with a lot of hang ups. He’s very successful but he’s lonely and doesn’t have a lot of confidence in himself. Outside of a few friends he really just keeps to himself, not really having the courage to put himself out there even when he finds himself lusting after one very hot construction worker. He doesn’t trust easily and assumes he’s not good enough for anyone because of his past.
Emilio is not your average 22 year old. He’s really mature for his age. He knows what he wants and he’s not afraid to go after it. While reading I really started to understand why this man was the way he was and honestly it really made his maturity level that much more believable. Honestly I have never met someone that young to be that focused and determined. He’s so patient and so loving I absolutely fell in love in him.
“there’s something about him that makes me feel like he needs me, like maybe even though he’s older and shit, I can take care of him and he’d let me.”
“He wanted Spencer in a way he never wanted another, and there was no way he could give that up.”
“It might not stay… you know…and you’re so…”
“I promise to make sure you always feel good when you’re with me”
I really loved this couple, the age difference didn’t bother me at all. Once I got to know these men I couldn’t help but really route for them. They may have gotten together really fast but you could honestly feel the respect, trust and love they had for each other. It really left me feeling really good. I definitely would recommend this book.
More Than Everything
“I’m putting together an album of the life I never saw coming. The life I never knew I always wanted.
Confused? Well, hopefully I can help clear it up for you. Oh, and don’t freak about the flashbacks, okay? Think of it more like you’re hearing a story from beginning to end, with a little bit of narration in the middle. It’ll be okay; I promise.”
I thoroughly enjoyed the way this book was told. It’s not your typical multi pov kind of book. When you start reading it you’ll see what I’m talking about but the way Cardeno C. has told this story is actually quite brilliant. I love the fact that as it’s being told the main character is speaking to you as if you were sitting right there with him having a conversation. It really was engaging as well as refreshing. From the start of the story I was completely invested in Charlie’s journey.
Charlie is the narrator of this story which spans over a 15 year period, however, we do get instances where we see Scott and Adan’s pov’s mixed in as well. I really commend this author on how she wrote these men. All 3 men each had their own distinct voice, different personalities and issues. There wasn’t a time where I was confused on who was talking or who did what. They aren’t perfect but you’ll fall in love with each of them along the way.
This story brought out a lot of emotions in me. Charlie goes through a lot and I couldn’t help but feel for him every step of the way during his journey. Love, heartbreak, anger, sadness are just some of the things I felt while I sat here listening to Charlie talk about his life. You really do feel like you are listening to his story vs reading it because you start to look at Charlie as your friend. I know sounds crazy right but really it was just so well written the pages come to life.
I’m definitely a fan of this author after reading this series. They all have that sweet feel good feel to them, a coming together of family with some hot men and steamy sex. Each book can be read as a standalone, but I’d highly recommend you reading them in order because it’s nice to see how all 3 books tie in together. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.
MORE THAN EVERYTHING BY CARDENO C.
I was so lost in thought, I had the door open before I looked up. I raised my head when I saw two sets of feet walk in.
And there, standing in my apartment, were Scott Boone and Adan Navarro. I gasped and leaped back from the physical embodiments of the ghosts who had never stopped haunting me.
“Charlie!” Scott shouted happily, and at the same moment Adan excitedly cried out, “Chase!”
It was like a fucking nightmare.
“Fuck,” I muttered and turned my head quickly from my first love to the only other man I’d trusted with my heart. They’d each eviscerated me once upon a time, and though I’d healed, mostly, being faced with both of them at the same moment was still too much…way too much. I suddenly felt as nauseous as Stacia.
Adan slowly turned his head to Scott, whose mouth was gaping open.
“Charlie?”Adan asked weakly.
Scott closed his mouth and gulped. “Chase?”he said.
“Fuck,” I groaned, as my brain started catching up to the comedy of horrors unfolding in front of me. It wasn’t just that they were both there at the same time. They had been standing close together when I’d opened the door. Really close. And was Scott’s arm around Adan’s back?
They both looked over at me and stared.
“Charlie?” Scott asked, his voice hesitant, the question clear from his tone.
“Chase?” Adan asked, sounding equal parts incredulous and horrified. Their tones and body language had already clued me in to what I was seeing, but when I shifted my gaze from Scott’s eyes to Adan’s and then back again, my suspicion was confirmed. I knew them well enough to recognize what I was seeing.
I’d loved two men during my thirty-five years on this planet. Only two. And I’d lost them both. Wouldn’t it just figure that they’d found in each other what they had both deemed missing in me?
I dropped my face into my hands and whispered, “Fuck.”
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.”
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