Wednesday, February 25, 2015

ARC Review: Love at First Sight & The One Who Saves Me (Home Series) by Cardeno C

Blurb:

The moment naïve, optimistic Jonathan Doyle glimpses a gorgeous blue-eyed stranger from afar, he believes in love at first sight. Unfortunately, he loses sight of the man before they meet and then spends years desperately trying to find him. Just as he is about to give up, Jonathan gets a break and finally encounters David Miller face to face.

Successful, confident David turns Jonathan’s previously lonely life into a fairy tale, giving him more than he ever imagined. But the years spent searching were hard on Jonathan, and he’s terrified his young son and scandalous past will destroy his blossoming relationship. For David and Jonathan to build a future together, they’ll both have to dig deep: David for the courage to share himself in a way he’s never considered and Jonathan for the strength to tell the truth.


Blurb:

At fourteen, 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.

These books are part of Cardeno C's seven-book Home series. They can be read as standalone novels in no particular order, even though the MCs are connected by friendship, family, and/or location and are mentioned in each other's books to lend a feeling of community and continuity.

My reviews apply to the second edition of these books published in 2015, which include a bonus chapter originally published in Marriage: A Home Series Celebration.


Love at First Sight


Dani's rating:




This is yet another romantic cuppa served warm with extra cream and sugar from Cardeno C.

Jonathan and David are a very sweet couple. David adores and dotes on Jonathan, and Jonathan worships David. David, the go-to sexy realtor for the town's LGBT community, realizes that Jonathan and his young son, Sam, are a package deal, and he wants them both.

I really liked the way Sam was portrayed in this book. He was a cute 2-year-old who was present without being the focal point of the story. The scenes with Jonathan's family were good for a few laughs, although his sister's three boys were over-the-top annoying brats.

The way Jonathan came to be a father was rather horrifying, actually. There was nothing remotely okay about what happened. The baby's mama was a sick, selfish person, and Jonathan needed to work the word "NO" into his vocabulary.

I'm not entirely sure how Jonathan supported himself and his son in New York after he quit his, uh, lucrative position.

Yes, Jonathan has a "scandalous," albeit brief, past, and, yes, David finds out about it before Jonathan can confess, but this is a CC special, people. You know nothing bad's going to happen.

Of course, there was smex and love galore, and the romantic, awwwww-inducing bonus chapter brought the story full circle.

I wouldn't expect anything else from Cardeno C!




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The One Who Saves Me


Dani's rating:





This book frustrated me. There was too much angsty back and forth between Caleb and Andrew. I didn't like the huge leaps in time, and both MCs were so clueless, I wanted to shake them.

I usually love the best-friends-to-lovers-trope, but it took WAY too long for these guys to have a come-to-Jesus-moment.

Plus, even in book 4, Andrew's "bedside" manner made me cringe. He may have been a genius, but he wasn't professional.

And Caleb. OMG, stop with the snark, already, you defensive diva, you.

Even the bonus chapter left me cold, the only one in the series to do so. I thought Andrew had put his relationship fears to rest, but apparently not.

There were some sweet and sexy moments in this book, of course. If you want hot and heavy action, look no further.

This just wasn't my favorite book in the series.




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ARCs of these books were provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Download links are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with the book, author, publisher, or website listed.

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