Friday, April 25, 2014

Book Review: Wake Me Up Inside by Cardeno C.

Wake Me Up Inside - Cardeno C

Zev Hassick is surprised and confused when he finds himself attracted to his best friend. His very human, very male best friend. Zev is the son of the pack Alpha, regarded as the strongest wolf in generations, born to lead. And everyone knows a male shifter has to mate with a female of his own kind to keep his humanity. So shifters can't be gay, right?

Jonah Marvel wants a relationship with Zev, his best friend, the man he has loved since childhood. It wasn't easy to maintain that relationship over years spent living apart while Jonah studied to become a doctor. And then things grow more difficult when Jonah becomes his own patient. Before he can make a life with Zev, he has to understand his past and cure the unexplained ailments that plague him.

Zev and Jonah know they're destined for each other, but they're facing traditions ingrained over generations and long-buried secrets that may threaten any future together.

Sandra's rating:

Okay, fine. Fine! I don't read a lot of shifter books. Because reasons. But now, now that I've read this first book in the Mates series, I'm about halfway to being convinced that I've been missing out. Holy hot boysecks, Batman, and even the part about shifting during mating didn't squick me out. The part how they were drawn together, so perfect for each other, from the very beginning recognizing their true mate bond - there was nothing about it that make me go ick. I loved the easy banter, the deeply formed relationship - gah, it was gorgeous.

And as I said in one of the two status updates I managed over on GR (where I can do that from the app while reading), only CC can make me giggle as much as I did, even during a moment that was highly emotional and sacred. He rocks.

Let it be known - this book has changed my mind about shifters. Okay? Okay!

I adored this. From the start, CC wrapped me in his words and took me along as we followed Zev's and Jonah's journey from childhood to adulthood, to friendship and necessary separations, to yearning and rejoicing, to old crimes and lasting love. With each paragraph, the emotions jump off the page, whether we spend time in Zev's head or Jonah's.

Fully developed characters give this book the extra oomph. Witty dialogue, snarky snark and humorous banter had me laughing out loud on many occasions, and only CC can manage to make me giggle and go ''awwwww'' at the same time.

Let's not forget, this is a shifter book. A book about shifter mating, and holy cow, that first time for these two - it nearly melted my Nook. I felt like I was intruding on something sacred when Zev and Jonah make love for the first time.

The superstitions and old wives tales about shifters and how they can only mate with females to calm the inner wolf was nicely explored, and I liked the explanation given for why Jonah smelled human. I also liked the discussion how a true mating bond surpasses all else - that's truly what shifter books are all about - and how Zev knew without a doubt what he had found early on. I suffered with them both during their separations and rejoiced when they finally came together.

Told in two separate POVs, both with distinct voices, and flashbacks to the past, this was a wonderful story to convince me of the merits of shifter stories.

Thank you, CC, for offering your book to me. I very much look forward to the 2nd one.

** I received a free copy of this book from the author. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned for my review of Until Forever Comes, book 2 in the Mates series.

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