Wednesday, May 3, 2017

ARC Review: To Touch You (Mates, #4) by Cardeno C.

“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.

Jewel's rating:

Stubborn vampire...persistent wolf...

Did I mention the stubborn vampire? To Touch You is the long awaited fourth book in Cardeno C.'s Mates series. I've been looking forward to this book for what seems like ages (long before I knew it would even exist)! And it didn't disappoint -- fated mates, pack dynamics, the mating knot -- sign me up! To Touch You was a worthy end to this series, and a bit bittersweet, because it's the last one.

"I’m not a people person, Yoram. Not for family, not for friendship, not for sex, not even for work anymore. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. When it comes to true mates, you got stuck with a dud.”

Salvatore Rossi was a loner as a human. He doesn't come from money, but he made plenty of it on his own. He's shrewd and a bit cold and definitely not a people person. Sal was 37 when he met a 7 year old boy named Yoram Smith who insisted that Sal was his. Salvatore really didn't know how to react to that. I mean, Yoram was seven. Plus, being human, he didn't even know there was a such thing as shifters, vampires or fated mates. When a terminal illness necessitated that Yorry's uncle Miguel turn Sal into a vampire, Sal spent the next twenty years avoiding the wolf, after having rejected him, and not understanding why he always felt out of sorts. Stubborn Vampire.

“Back then, I wanted you. I longed for you. I even ached for you. But now—” He shuddered. “I need you.”

Yoram Smith is lucky enough to know he has a true mate. Growing up in the Miancarem pack was less than easy, with a power hungry, xenophobic Alpha. Yoram is one of two young Alpha wolves in the pack that could challenge Dirk Keller. The other is Dirk's son, Korban, who - thankfully - is nothing like his father. Korban's path lay elsewhere, so the fate of the pack rests on Yoram, but being without his mate takes its toll. Sal isn't the only one who feels out of sorts.

And since Yoram was 18 years old, he has been taking care of his mate in the only way he knows how -- by providing blood. But feeling unwanted, he left the blood in bags in a cooler on Sal's porch. That's dedication, folks. Yoram's dedication to his mate, even when he was getting nothing in return was heartbreaking, for sure. (Queue -- stubborn vampire)

Yoram held out, giving Sal a chance to figure things out, but since no one thought to explain to Sal what being a true mate was, he was really at a loss. I don't really blame him for not figuring it out on his own. But it isn't until the blood deliveries stopped and the hunger became too much that Sal figured out it was time to actually talk to the young wolf who insisted Sal was his.

My only real frustration with To Touch You was that Sal and Yorry weren't even together for half the book. We see so much dedication and longing from Yorry, but Sal was being selfish and wasn't all that likable.

After they do get together, though, and Sal actually gets the whole true mate thing, he's so much more likable! And these two have some serious time to make up, considering that Yorry has been an adult for nearly a decade, so they get busy -- a lot.

“In the surprisingly sage words of your cousin Toby, Miancarem is where I belong."

And I loved the ending. Sal and Yorry's HEA was very satisfying. So, all in all, I'd give To Touch You 4 stars. Wake Me Up Inside is still my favorite, but this whole series will always be special to me. I love how how all four books intertwine, and I loved getting to visit with the MCs of the previous books (except Samuel wasn't in this one). I do love me some CC shifter novels. Gimme more!


ARC of To Touch You was generously provided by the author, in exchange for an honest review.

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