Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: The Romance Authors
“His name is Salvatore Rossi. He’s a vampire. And he’s my true mate.”
By not relying on anyone except himself, Salvatore Rossi escaped a dead-end existence and reached the height of corporate success. But just when he has everything he always wanted, fate throws Salvatore a challenge he can’t solve alone and a young wolf shifter comes to his rescue.
Since childhood, Yoram Smith’s family was certain he would grow to become Alpha and save their beloved pack from its slow demise. When the time comes for a new leader, Yoram is forced to juggle his duty to care for a splintering pack with his duty to care for an absent mate, and his own strength suffers.
Being turned into a vampire didn’t alter Salvatore’s life philosophy: if you don’t rely on anyone, nobody can let you down. But when the boy who saved his life becomes a man who needs his help, the icy vampire must find his humanity.
Oh my gosh, this was a great story. I liked it best of all the Mates collection. Yoram was a doll from the time we first meet him at seven years old when he, in turn, sees Salvatore Rossi for the first time, to the time he’s a mature Alpha leader of the Miancarn Pack and he finally gets to claim his true mate.
Salvatore Rossi is terminally ill when they first meet, but he’s unaware of that until Miguel Rodriguez, the vampire lover of Ethan Abbatt (Until Forever Comes) tells him he needs to see a doctor. When he does, he returns and follows the solution Miguel offers—become a vampire and continue to live. The problem is he then has to rely on blood from humans and none are to his taste. He finds the task difficult and only feeds when he absolutely has to do so.
One day a Styrofoam container containing bags of blood is left on his doorstep. Once he tries the delicious smelling and tasting blood, he eagerly looks forward to new shipments, which continue to be placed there over the course of the next nine years. What he doesn’t realize at first is that the blood is from Yoram.
Yoram has the same issue his Uncle Ethan has. His body is making extra blood for his true mate, but since his true mate has rejected him—the most recent time being when Yoram was fourteen and visited Salvatore in Las Vegas—he has to draw the blood by himself or with the help of Ethan and Miguel or he becomes lethargic and weak and he can’t afford to be that way now that he’s an adult. And he really can’t afford to be that way once he assumes leadership of the pack that lost their Alpha in the previous story (In Your Eyes).
The best part of the story, IMHO, is what happens when Yoram’s cousin visits Salvatore and tells him of Yoram’s struggles as the new Alpha and how much he needs his true mate. It’s the fact that Yorri needs him that finally sends Salvatore to his mate, and once Salvatore gets his first taste of Yoram’s blood direct from the source (and what a source it is!), there’s no way he’s leaving Yorri alone to face whatever the future holds.
I love the author’s ability to write first-time sex scenes and to infuse innocence in an otherwise worldly character, and Cardeno C does it extremely well in this story. I had to grab my personal fan for both myself and my kindle. The poor thing was ready to burn up! But seriously, the dynamic between the two men was sweet and I found Yoram to be one of the nicest characters I’ve met. Probably because we became acquainted when he was just a child, or possibly because of his inherent goodness and skills in leading his fractured pack back to a more promising future. Plus, he was tall, muscular, sexy, and a werewolf. Really, what more could I want?
If you’ve read any of the previous stories, you’ll have a chance to get an update on those characters as well, but if you haven’t, you can still read this one. Just know that when you finish, you’re going to want to go back and get the others in the series. Overall, though, if you are a lover of shifter stories and don’t mind a little vampire mixed in, this one is a great story to pick up.