Author: Cardeno C
Raised to become Alpha of the Yafenack pack, Samuel Goodwin dedicates his life to studying shifter laws, strengthening his body, and learning from his father. But despite his best efforts, Samuel can’t relate to people, including those he’s supposed to lead.
When Samuel meets Korban Keller, the son of a neighboring pack’s Alpha, he reacts with emotion instead of intellect for the first time in his life. Resenting the other shifter for throwing him off-balance, Samuel first tries to intimidate Korban and then desperately avoids him. What he can’t do is forget Korban’s warm eyes, easy smile, and happy personality.
When a battle between their fathers ends tragically, Samuel struggles to lead his pack while Korban works to break through Samuel’s emotional barriers. Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past their society’s rules to realize they are destined for one another.
A little birdie told me a new shifter book from Cardeno C is coming soon, so I just had to indulge in book 3 in the Mates series since I missed it when it first came out. It turned out to be like a hard candy with a soft gooey center—it was tough getting through the beginning, but once I got to the “heart” of the story, it was soft and mushy and deliciously sexy…oh, my!
Very serious, even as a child, Samuel Goodwin was raised to be Alpha of his pack. He’s extremely bright and devours information like others devour food. A little OCD, apparently, he knows all the rules, the history of his pack and shifters in general, and pack law, inside and out. But he doesn’t know what it means to feel—emotions and emotional entanglements escape him. He doesn’t even like being touched. When he first meets Korban Keller, the son of a neighboring pack’s Alpha, he likes to be around him, but at the same time, the young man makes him uncomfortable.
It isn’t until years later, when he’s having difficulty shifting from his wolf back to human form, that his dad tells him about the nature of tying to a mate and the positive effect that will have on his ability to shift. Nevertheless, it never occurs to him that the reason he still struggles is because he’s not open-minded enough to believe he might have a male mate.
When he’s about 23-years-old, circumstances lead to his father being challenged by Korban’s father, and the whole thing ending in disaster. Samuel uses pack law to demand retribution and when Korban is brought to him, instead of the pack Alpha, his wolf recognizes what his human did not—Korban is his true mate. And that’s when we reach the center of that (now very) hard candy and the fur literally flies.
This was such an enjoyable story, I couldn’t put it down once Samuel’s true conscience began to emerge and his self-discovery, combined with his need to be with Korban was a delight to read. The latter half of the story was worth the wait as the author first built the world of these shifters and added to the foundation set in the previous books in the series. Being with Korban as he taught Samuel what he’d been missing for years made for a great reading experience and I’m delighted to recommend this one to all shifter lovers.