More than Everything: Family Collection
- Narrated by:
- Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
Time might not heal all wounds, but with two motivated and strong-willed men on a campaign to win him back, Charlie will get more than he ever thought possible.
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 unexpectedly moves away.
Years later, Charlie meets brash and confident Adan Navarro, who claims all he wants is a round between the sheets. After eight months together, Charlie is convinced Adan returns his love. But when the opportunity comes to be open about their relationship, Adan walks away.
Time passes and life moves on, but when Charlie learns 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. Time might not heal all wounds, but with two motivated and strong-willed men on a campaign to win him back, Charlie will get more than he ever thought possible.
Review: More Than Everything
Kudos to Cardeno C for providing a unique twist on backfilling the story of a romance where we start in the present with a cheerful guy who’s going to tell us what happened to make him so happy. The prop? A scrapbook photo album with the pages being turned by Charlie “Chase” Rhodes as he describes each picture and tells us when it was taken and what happened just before or after the shot.
As the story opens, the very awkward teenaged Charlie “Chase” Rhodes meets Scott Boone the day Scott moves into his apartment complex. Scott is the love of Charlie’s life from that moment on, even if unrequited, and when he finds out later that the feelings are returned, the two spend every stolen moment together exploring their sexuality. (Note: There is no penetrative sex with characters under age eighteen.)
But Scott moves away when his dad and stepmom announce they are having a baby because Scott wants to be there to support them. The problem is that Charlie is in New York and Scott’s dad is in Reno. Though they make an effort to keep up their long distance relationship after Scott moves, the two are too young, and it’s too painful for Charlie to continue to hope that Scott will come back, so they break off communication.
A few years go by before Charlie meets a new man who makes his heart flutter. Adan Navarro, a very serious law student, who wants nothing more than to get into Charlie’s pants, is the guy who finally captures his heart. At the time, Charlie is working as a dancer and is using his nickname, Chase, so Adan pursues Chase relentlessly. Chase likes him and is amazed that he’s feeling something other than lust for another man for the first time since Scott left. He’s nothing like Scott, yet Chase enjoys being with him.
Adan enjoys not only being with the cute, lithe young man—he enjoys the way Chase finds joy in everything. But he’s a bit embarrassed by Chase’s flamboyant ways, and when push comes to shove, Adan can’t handle the pressure of being seen with a man who is so obviously gay. He believes it will be harmful to his chances to be placed with a prestigious law firm, and after an embarrassing encounter with an acquaintance one night, he walks out of Chase’s life, taking a bit of Charlie’s heart with him.
That’s it. Charlie has sworn off men forever, and now that he’s in his mid-thirties, he realizes he had two wonderful loves in his life and the odds are that he won’t have another chance at his dream of everlasting love. That’s where he’s wrong and what happens next is a surprise from the past. Without giving away spoilers, I can say that readers will be presented with some of the most heartwarming moments of the story, and since we readers have suffered through the moments of Charlie’s heartbreak, we deserve the happiness too. And, we get it. We really do.
I love Cardeno C’s writing style, and this one is right up there with some of the author’s most emotion-evoking stories. And hot? Oh yes, this one is hot. In fact, listening to the audiobook, brilliantly narrated by Ezekiel Robinson, should not be done while attempting to drive an automobile on an interstate highway. Just sayin’.
I highly recommend the audiobook version of this story. The narrator manages to give each of the three MCs a distinctive voice along with a host of other voices for secondary characters, including females. The narration was light and fun or sad and heartbreaking, whichever was necessary at the time. I will definitely seek more from this narrator in the future.
The One Who Saves Me: Home, Book 6
- Narrated by:
- Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
At 14, 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 The One Who Saves Me
Andrew and Caleb became best friends at 14, which is where the story begins and travels through the years of their friendship and all the ups and downs of life that entails. Since they are best friends, when they come out to each other, they also feel they have a safe space to learn and experiment with their sexuality and come back to when life throws them. It strengthens their friendship since there is no one that knows them better than they know each other, but it does put blinders on them as well.
The story is told from the alternating points of view of Andrew and Caleb.
Andrew’s family foundation is shaky, his father is a doctor who cheats on his Mom, and while he loves his Mom, he does not respect the fact she stays with a cheater. He is beyond his years in intelligence and graduates early, heading to college early and going into medicine, although he chooses a different specialty than his Dad nor does he go to the hospital his Dad works in. He wants a relationship, yet, somehow, always seems to find someone who will cheat on him and then it’s over.
Caleb is very close to his Mom and that connection likely led him to his career as a designer and a career in New York City. Caleb does not seem as determined to find a life partner, he has his bestfriend and while lovers may come and go, he believes friends are forever. The unspoken rule between Andrew and Caleb is that when one is in a relationship, they don’t fool around with each other.
There are so many things to say about this story and amongst them are that at some point, possibly several points, of the book, you will want to shake one or both of them for not seeing what is right in front of them! Especially when Caleb notices that each time Andrew is cheated on, he gets something tattooed or pierced – and he can name each person they can be “credited” to, until the last two. The two men are much more than friends with benefits and prove that over and over again with how much emotion is invested for each of them. At the same time, I would call this the sex book of the series since almost every time they get together, unless one is in a relationship, they seem to be having sex.
The book is so well written, it is heart warming and heartbreaking, particularly with Andrew when he decides maybe his mother is right and he should not expect faithfulness in a relationship.
I would recommend this for M/M romance fans who like a bit more sex in their romances, but also for those who enjoy stories with likeable but challenging characters!
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/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.”
Win an Audible book of your choice from author Cardeno C. !!
presented by WLKBookPromotions.com