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. Taking control comes easily to Samuel, but relating to people, including those he's supposed to lead, is a constant challenge.
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 putting him off-balance, Samuel first tries to intimidate Korban and then tries to avoid him. What he can’t do is forget Korban’s warm eyes, easy smile, and happy personality.
When a battle between their fathers results in tragedy, Samuel and Korban are thrown together. With his world crashing down around him, Samuel must save his pack and show them he can lead. But first, Korban needs to save Samuel by inspiring him to feel. Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past the rules they’ve been taught to realize they are destined to fit together.
5 out of 5 (exceptional)
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
As eldest sons of Alphas of neighbouring packs, Samuel and Korban cross paths at the ages of 8 and 11 respectively. Samuel takes a dislike to Korban. But Korban is friendly enough, and Samuel puts up with him. When something awful happens to Samuel's father at the hands of Korban's, the two men are thrown together in such an tense situation, the only thing that can happen is one of them will snap. And a secret that one of these men has kept hidden is finally revealed.
This is Book Three In the Mates series, but its not really necessary to read the other two first, although it might give you an insight into the prejudice the shifters of Cardeno C's world face. I have LISTENED to the first book, Wake Me Up Inside, and have the second one waiting to be read.
Samuel is straight laced, a geek by all accounts and does not like to be touched. He is in training to become Alpha after his father steps down and believes that all he needs to know is written in the books of his people. Korban is a little more laid back, but while Samuel WANTS to be Alpha, Korban isn't really bothered. They balance each other! I loved that one knew they were mates and the other didn't. I loved one of their reaction to what he did, thinking it was a bad thing. I'm not gonna name names, I'll let you find that out! I loved how these two reacted to each other once they had tied, thinking it amusing they were spending so much time in bed! There is a real connection to the characters, and really, really recommend this book, or any by this author!
I gave it 4.5 stars for the following reasons. When I listened to the first in this series, it was written in the third person, and this is written in the first, from Samuel's point of view. That's different. So we don't get to hear from Korban, at all and i would have loved to hear what he was thinking, especially at their first few meetings with Samuel being cold towards him. And we don't get much of Zev, from book one, just a phone conversation. Nothing at all from Jonah. I would have liked more from them both. BUT still a darn good read!
Charlie David continues to narrate this series. He does an outstanding job. His voices are clear, and distinct, and I have no trouble following multi person conversations. I am finding, as I LISTEN to more books, that while READING first person books doesn't always work for me, LISTENING to them is a different matter. I enjoyed this much more when I listened to it. Much of that is the excellent narration by David.
Upgrading to 5 full stars
**same worded review will appear elsewhere**
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
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."