Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Family Series by Cardeno C. Blog Tour

Something in the Way He Needs

Police captain Asher Penaz’s staunch professionalism bleeds into his home life, down to his neatly pressed attire and spartan apartment. He enjoys being the man in charge, and leather bars satisfy his need for dominance—so his sudden and powerful attraction to the lighthearted, free-spirited Daniel Tover throws him for a loop. In his entire life, Daniel has never gotten what he needs, so he moves to the next place, the next job, the next attempt to find something worth staying for, always landing at the top of his game, but never feeling like he belongs.

The chemistry between Asher and Daniel sizzles, so Asher invites Daniel home. As both men struggle to learn themselves while getting to know each other, the lines of desire and control blur. With all that fire comes the risk of getting burned. But if Daniel and Asher can walk through the flames together, they might find what they desperately need.

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team
This is the first book I have read from this author. I think I am now going to be a fan for life. I really enjoyed this story.

Asher, yes he is a very dominant, yes he's overbearing, yes he's a jerk, and yes, I loved it. Even though BDSM is mentioned, this isn't a BDSM book. Asher is in that lifestyle, he enjoyed it until he meets Daniel. He thought that was all he was, all his relationships could ever be.

Daniel is awkward, backwards, reserved. He's a quiet man. He doesn't care about clothes or cars or how much money someone has. He's simple and just happy to be around his brother and Asher.

Such a great story, so sweet. I loved the M/M aspect (because really it's one of my favorite genres) I loved the story behind it all. The give and take, Asher's changes and Daniel finding somewhere to call home.

Loved the writing so much I am jumping right into Strong Enough!

Mary Jo☆☆☆
I enjoyed this book, I had a few timeline issues but I loved the fact that as Asher and Daniel's relationship grew, so did their love for each other.

I enjoyed reading about Asher's growth as a Dom so that he could fulfill Daniel's needs.

Looking forward to the next book in the series.

This is the first book in the Family Series, it can however, be read as a stand-alone. Asher Penaz is a police captain, gay, dominant and is always neat and orderly. Asher’s friend Oliver is getting married for the 3rd time and of course he has to go to his weekend bachelor party in Vegas. After hanging out at the female strip clubs with the rest of the bachelor party, Asher takes a break and goes off by himself and stumbles upon a messy, clumsy, free spirited guy named Daniel. The chemistry is instant between the two. Daniel turns out to be Oliver’s half-brother who is late joining the bachelor party. With such chemistry Asher finds himself doing and saying things he has never done before. I don’t want to spoil the story but it is a great love story and a must read!

Characters: Well written and so easy to love
Sex: Yes
Religious: No
Would I recommend to others: Yes
More than one book in the series: Yes
Genre: M/M Romance
Would I read more by this author: Yes

I am now a fan of Cardeno C.'s writing voice. It is unique and different and I had no problem easily getting through this book. Daniel and Asher are both unique characters by themselves, but when put together they are definitely an interesting match. Strong, dominant, organized, neat, control freak Asher is blown away by sweet, clumsy, small, dainty, colorful, and extremely sexy Daniel. Daniel just wants to be happy and cherished and Asher wants to be in control. Can they, being so different, possibly work out?

I was intrigued by the cover of this book. It definitely caught my eye, but it wasn't my "image" of how the characters would look. The title definitely fits the story. I did find Asher borderline abusive. Anyone in the BDSM lifestyle would be aggravated by how he reacts to some parts of the story in completely inappropriate ways. There's control and dominance, and there is uncontrolled abuse. Having said that, I liked how Daniel stood up for himself even as the less dominant character. I really think Daniel and Asher's romance is sweet and I would have even liked to see a little more of it.

Overall, I liked this book. I found it very easy and quick to read. I will be looking into more books by Cardeno C. and I would recommend this story to anyone who liked M/M.

That was a hot, sexy read! Such a fabulous mix of humour, family, kink, fame, control and submission has been poured into this story. It was a read without pause book for me, and as it's the first in a series, I'm off to read the next one straightaway.

If you like your men hot, their conquests hotter, and their interactions flaming, then this MM novel is for you.

Asher Penaz, cop by day and Dom by night meets Daniel Tover while at a bucks party in Vegas. The initial scenes where Asher follows the poorly dressed, clumsy and seeming lost Daniel around Vegas are quite entertaining. Initially I struggled to see what Asher saw in Daniel but as the story progressed Daniel really grew on me. Asher and Daniel complimented each other well.

I enjoyed getting to know the characters and I loved the angst produced by their often self-inflicted troubles.

Something in the Way He Needs is a romance with the right balance of heat, angst and sweetness. A great read.

Strong Enough

When twenty-two-year-old Emilio Sanchez sees handsome Spencer Derdinger walking by his construction site, Emilio makes it his goal to seduce the shy professor. Getting Spencer into bed isn’t difficult, but Emilio soon learns that earning the trust of a man deeply hurt will take time and patience. With a prize like brilliant, sweet Spencer on the line, Emilio decides he is strong enough to face the challenge.

Spencer is surprised when he’s approached by the gorgeous construction worker he’s admired from the safety of his office window. Acting spontaneously for the first time in his thirty-eight years, Spencer takes Emilio home. When the casual hookup turns into the potential for love, Spencer realizes that if he wants to build a life with Emilio, he’ll need to be strong enough to slay his personal demons and learn to trust again.

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Book 2
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“Hey, hold up!”

Spencer heard the voice behind him and was torn between following the demand or running the remaining few steps to his Accord . Ignoring the person calling out to him would be socially awkward. Not that he was a top authority on social graces, but he was pretty sure running away would be considered rude. So Spencer stopped, took a deep breath, and slowly turned around, keeping his briefcase against his chest.

Of course, he had no idea what kind of protection some leather and paper could offer, or even why he needed protection. Other than the first day he’d seen the handsome man, he hadn’t been caught staring. Plus, they were in a public parking lot, in broad daylight. He was safe.

“Hey, uh, hi!” the guy shouted as he jogged over. “I’m Emilio Sanchez.”

Now that he was face-to-face with the big man, or actually face to neck, Spencer realized he had been wrong in thinking Emilio was as attractive in person as he had been through the window. No, as it turned out, up close and personal the man was even more stunning. The first time he had walked by the construction site and locked eyes with the stranger, Spencer had turned away within seconds. But this time, the broad chest was right in front of him, the sweat-damp T-shirt stretched over muscles Spencer wanted desperately to touch, and as close as they were standing to each other, the scent of sawdust and musk born of hard work permeated his nose. And that quickly, Spencer felt his cock filling.

Not since he’d been a teenager had he experienced spontaneous erections. And in recent years, he had often found them hard to achieve or maintain even when he was naked in bed with a man. Orgasms, whether alone or with someone, were so infrequent that Spencer couldn’t remember the last time he’d had one. He had chalked it up to age, to stress at work, to some bad relationships in his past, to the fact that he hadn’t ever had a particularly high sex drive. But none of those factors were stopping him now.

Just a few seconds next to this man and Spencer was already achingly hard. Then he gulped and looked up into chocolate-brown eyes and shuddered as his balls drew up and his dick pushed against his zipper. It was as close to cumming as he’d been since an unusually active night with his ex over a year prior. Spencer would have been terrified—should have been terrified—that the man in front of him would notice his erection, but it felt so good to want again, to experience that pull in his groin, he couldn’t bring himself to feel anything but relief as he lowered his arm so his briefcase covered his bulge.

“We’ve been doing work close to your office, so I’ve seen you around,” Emilio said, making Spencer realize he had been staring, but not talking. Then the stranger held his hand out and added, “I’ve wanted to meet you.”

“Oh!” Spencer looked down at the offered palm and then back up at the handsome face. He switched his case from his right hand to his left, making sure to keep it in place, shielding his groin. Then he took the man’s hand and shook it. “I’m Spencer,” he said, proud that his voice shook only a tad. “Spencer Derdinger.”

“I was right,” Emilio said, sounding quieter, huskier. Spencer waited for clarification about that statement, but it didn’t come. Instead Emilio held his gaze and his hand.

“Right about what?” Spencer finally asked, his curiosity getting the better of him.

“That you sound as great as you look.”

Not knowing what to say or how to respond, Spencer started blinking rapidly and stammering. “I don’t… I… what?”

“What are you doing for dinner tonight?” Emilio asked before Spencer had finished processing the earlier comment.

Feeling completely flummoxed, he didn’t know what to say. He looked at his wristwatch instinctively, then back at the man standing in front of him and said, “It’s only three thirty.”

The contrast between Emilio’s shiny white teeth and his deep tan skin and five o’clock shadow made his smile all the more powerful.

“Good point. We shouldn’t wait for dinner. Let’s start the weekend now.”

“Start the weekend…. Wait, what are we talking about?” Spencer asked.

“Well, right now we’re talking about hanging out for a little while and then getting dinner together.” Emilio hadn’t moved his gaze from Spencer’s face for even a second. He didn’t remember ever having someone look at him so intently. It made his legs quake. “But I’m hoping I’ll be able to talk you into stretching things out longer. At least until after breakfast.”

“Breakfast?” Spencer repeated, hating that he couldn’t seem to put together a sentence. He was a numbers guy. Words weren’t his specialty and neither were people, so he didn’t expect to be charming or a brilliant orator, but a complete sentence would have been nice. Of course, before his mouth could work, his brain would need to catch up to the situation at hand.

“Yes.” Emilio raised his free hand and covered the back of Spencer’s with it, making him realize they were still holding on from that handshake. “I make a mean omelet,” he said as he moved his fingers over Spencer’s skin with barely there touches. “Do you have jalapenos?”

“No.” Spencer shook his head and then wondered why he had answered the question. The entire conversation made no sense. “But—”

“That’s okay. We can always pick some up later. I’ll come by now and check your fridge to see what else we’ll need.”

Truly, the entire conversation was confusing to the point where Spencer wondered if he was dreaming. He half expected a frog to ride by on a flying bicycle at any moment. He could think of only one possible explanation that would lend some logic to the situation, but it seemed very unlikely. No way was this man looking to hook up with him.

At the risk of getting punched, or worse, Spencer steeled his courage and said, “Uh, Emilio.” He swallowed hard and took a deep breath. “Are you, uh, coming on to me?”

As soon as he said the words, he realized how ridiculous they sounded. Emilio was all cut muscles, chiseled features, and perfect hair. Someone who looked like that wouldn’t have given Spencer a second glance ten years ago, when they would have been closer to the same age. To think it was happening now, when he was softer, grayer, and more lined, was positively preposterous.

But then, contrary to any expectation Spencer had for the response to his question or, for that matter, the entire conversation, Emilio lifted their joined hands to his mouth and gently kissed Spencer’s palm. Spencer was pretty sure nobody had done that to him, ever, and it made his heart flutter.

“Yeah, I am,” Emilio said. “But if you have to ask, I must not be doing a very good job of it.” Emilio grinned as he spoke and his eyes sparkled. “I’ll see what I can do to be more clear once we get to your place.”

The corners of Spencer’s lips tilted up in response. How could he not smile with this man looking at him like that?

“Oh, holy shit!” Emilio gasped as he let go of Spencer and pressed his own hand against his chest. “You have dimples.” He sighed loudly. “I think I’m in love.”

Spencer’s jaw dropped and all the color drained from his face. “What?”

Without bothering to answer his question, Emilio pointed at Spencer’s Honda and asked, “Is this your car?” Spencer nodded. “I’ll follow you to your place, okay?” Emilio didn’t wait for an answer, just dipped his face down, planted a kiss on Spencer’s cheek, and jogged back to his truck.

It was the single most perplexing exchange of Spencer’s life. He wasn’t sure what had just happened, what he was supposed to do now, or what was going to happen. With his entire body trembling, he decided to perform simple, familiar tasks: walk, open his car door, put the key in the ignition, and pull out of the parking lot.

He drove home on autopilot, his brain still in that parking lot processing his interaction with the handsome younger man who had looked at him in a completely unfamiliar way. Then he glanced at his rearview mirror and saw the big white truck following him. It was terrifying, like having a freight train barreling straight at him.

No, that was a bad analogy. With a freight train he’d know what to do—jump out of the way as fast and as far as possible. But this was a gorgeous man with an unexpectedly gentle touch. So, contrary to any logic he should have been smart enough to have or self-preservation instincts he was old enough to have developed, Spencer didn’t drive to the nearest police station or a friend’s house or a public place. Instead, with his heart slamming against his ribcage, his breath coming out at an unusually fast clip, and his dick still hard as steel, he continued to drive straight home.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is such a sweet love story. The pace is fast and the falling in love is fast but sometimes even in real life that is just how it is.

Spencer Derdinger is a college math professor that has eyes for the sexy construction worker Emilio Sanchez. These two are at the ends of the spectrum when it comes to how opposite they are, but somehow it works.

Spencer has a tortured past and a string of nasty ex-boyfriends. Emilio is protective, sweet but he's in his early twenties.

I loved the buildup, the healing, the understanding. Such a good story. So worth the read! Can't wait to read More Than Everything.

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
I have to admit, I put this book aside when I first started it. Everything was happening so fast in terms of the story and I didn't think it was realistic. Fast forward two weeks and I decided to give it another try.

What I've come away with is that nothing is too fast if it feels right. Emilio and Spencer have found each other at the right time, and rather than over thinking all of the horrible possible endings, focus on each other.

Spencer, the older man, has a lot of issues with his sexuality and thankfully Emilio is strong enough to tackle those with maturity and sensitivity that you don't usually see in a 22 yo.

This is the second book in the Family Series, it can however, be read as a stand-alone. Hot young construction worker + shy older professor = a great story! Spencer has been watching the hot construction worker from his office window; Emilio has been watching Spencer from outside. Emilio finally spots Spencer outside and jumps at the chance to introduce himself. Never has a story or relationship moved so fast. One minute they are meeting and then BAM! It goes from 0 to 60 in less than a night! I don’t want to ruin this beautiful love story so I will just tell you to read it and hope that you love it as much as I did. Besides the love story there are some great secondary characters in this book and I hope to see a few if not all of them in maybe their own books at some point.

Characters: Well written and so easy to love. I love all of the brothers in this book and wish we could find out more about them.
Sex: Yes
Religious: No
Would I recommend to others: Yes
More than one book in the series: Yes
Genre: M/M Romance
Would I read more by this author: Yes

I am now a fan of Cardeno C.'s writing voice. It is unique and different and I had no problem easily getting through this book. I loved both main characters. Emilio and Spencer are definitely not who you would expect to be together. Emilio is in his twenties, sexy, strong, confident, outgoing, and hands-on where Spencer is in his thirties, quiet, shy, and reserved. So when Emilio pushes his way right into Spencer's life, you can imagine his shock. Spencer doesn't know if he should relax and trust that Emilio isn't just playing him or run in the opposite direction. He just knows that Emilio is one of a kind and he hopes to keep him. Emilio finds everything he wants in Spencer and just hopes he can prove it to him. He knows Spencer is the one, but can he convince him?

I really enjoyed this story. It wasn't exactly the most believable storyline, but it was sweet and endearing. I love how much emotion went into it. I have a family much like Emilio's and I love how they treated Spencer in the story. I love the cover of this book. It definitely fits as does the title. This was a fast, easy, and enjoyable read for me. I would recommend this book to M/M romance lovers and I look forward to more by this author.

This is the second in a loosely connected series by the talented author Ms. Cardeno. She has a fabulous knack of writing about the most engaging of characters. That they are also as hot as hot can be is a distinct bonus. The care and love that is shown by these men is something to be envied too.

There is a beautiful section early in the book which really made me think. Emilio, although comfortable with being open about being gay, reflected that he has to repeat the process of coming out every time he meets someone new.

I am delighted to have been introduced to Ms. Cardeno's work and will be checking out her back catalogue with great delight.

At the beginning of the story 38 year old university professor Spencer is ogling the workers on the construction site next to his office. My kind of guy, I liked him right away.

22 year old Emilio is an electrician working on the construction site who has noticed Spencer and once they meet, their relationship moves at light speed.

One of the things I loved about this story is that Emilio and Spencer are just regular guys with regular jobs, not famous, not commandos or billionaires – just good people living their lives and falling in love.

This books has many things to enjoy, great romance, great steamy scenes but I particularly liked the time spent with Emilio's family. I loved the scenes with the brothers together and the one discussing BJs is very funny.

I would highly recommend Strong Enough.

More Than Everything

As a teenager, Charlie "Chase" Rhodes meets Scott Boone and falls head over heels in love with the popular, athletic boy next door. Charlie thinks he's living the dream when Scott says he feels the same way. But his dreams are dashed when Scott moves unexpectedly and doesn't return.

Years later, Chase meets brash and confident Adan Navarro, who claims all he wants is a round between the sheets. When they're still together after eight months, Chase is convinced Adan returns his love. But then the time comes to be open about their relationship, and Adan walks away instead.

Time heals all wounds, but when Charlie runs into Scott and Adan and realizes the only two men he's ever loved are now in love with each other, his heart breaks all over again. Scott and Adan tell Charlie they want him back, but Charlie doesn't know if he can trust two people who have hurt him so deeply. And even if he can, why would Scott and Adan want Charlie when they already have everything with each other?

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Book 3
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I love how this one was written. There are the current POV's, but there are also retrospective POV's from Charlie. He's telling you why he added a specific picture to his scrapbook which would set up the next scene.

The story starts when Charlie is a teenager. He sees Scott from his bedroom window and has an insta-lust thing going on. Scott and Charlie fall into an easy friendship. Scott defends Charlie, who is bullied for his clothing. Charlie always wonders if Scott knows how he feels about him. When they share a kiss Charlie has no doubts. When they have to separate Charlie's devastated.

When Charlie meets Adan, he feels there maybe something there. Adan is harsh, confusing, blunt with his words but Charlie can't stop how he feels towards him. When Adan is embarrassed by Charlie's more flamboyant ways, Charlie realizes even though he loves him he can't be with Adan.

Years later when Adan and Scott show up at Charlie's door together. Charlie doesn't understand. How can the only two men he's ever loved be standing in front of him and be together?

This is such a great series. There aren't big overlaps in one book to the other but the little tie-ins between stories are great. But they all have the same theme, fighting the odds, healing, and the sweet love stories.

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
This is the third book in this series and, like with book 2, I put it down almost as soon as I picked it up. I didn't understand the way the chapters were written and why there was an "introduction." I put it aside for a few weeks and read other stories.

I picked up Strong Enough again last week and when I finished it, I picked More Than Everything again, determined to give it another go.

This book follows Charlie "Chase" Rhodes from high school through his mid-thirties. Charlie's first love is Scott Boone, his next door neighbor. Life is hard being a gay teen and Scott "rescues" him from bullies in school and that cements their friendship. Scott doesn't come out until later and doesn't have to deal with the HS bullies.

Scott eventually moves to away to finish college and Charlie stays in NYC, nurses his broken heart and eventually begins a new relationship with Adan Navarro.

Adan is a twenty-something law school student who has come out to his family, but is concerned with looks over substance. He LOVES Chase (Charlie) but doesn't want to mix his soon to be professional life with his personal one. Unable to accept Chase for the person he is, Adan loses him.

Fast forward, and life happens, which causes Adan, Scott AND Charlie to reconnect. I love the way that Cardeno C. wrote that part of the story and how much he made us care for all of the characters.

I hope that there are more stories in this saga.

3.5 stars

I am torn on this story. I didn’t care for the jumping back and forth with Charlie in the present and then going back into the past, which got old really fast for me. I loved the relationship Charlie had with Scott. I even liked his relationship with Adan even though he was a total douche. Then we jump years ahead and we find out Scott and Adan are together, we don’t really know how that all happened, I think that should have been addressed more with greater detail, I think it would have really added more to the story as a whole. Then for Scott and Adan to instantly want Charlie/Chase in their lives/relationship seemed a little far-fetched. I know it is a story, I can deal with that but I think if the author would have added more to Scott and Adan and then to Charlie/Scott/Adan it would have made for a fabulous book because it was a good story, it was just missing some pieces.

Characters: Well written and so easy to feel like you know each of them personally.
Sex: Yes and so d*mn hot
Religious: No
Would I recommend to others: Yes
More than one book in the series: Yes, but they can all be read as standalones
Genre: M/M/M/Romance
Would I read more by this author: Yes

I am now a fan of Cardeno C.'s writing voice. It is unique and different and I had no problem easily getting through this book. I can honestly say I have not read anything quite like this one before. It was unique and surprisingly sweet. Charlie "Chase" Rhodes is a sweet, confident, and definitely unique guy. He knows who he is. He's comfortable in his own skin. He knows he likes guys, and he isn't afraid to show it. He has two major loves in his lifetime and when neither of them work out and he finds himself in his thirties and alone, he can't help but feel that he lost out.

Scott Boone is a smart, boy next door type who found his first love in Charlie Rhodes. Life drifted the two apart, but he never could quite get over Charlie. He grows up successfully and finds someone he can share his life with, but he still feels something missing.

Strong, masculine, whispering out of the closet, Adan Navarro met "Chase" Rhodes when one of his school friends asks Chase to take their picture. He can't really understand it, but he is instantly drawn to Chase and decides to give in to the attraction and chase after what he wants. Chase isn't having it and really makes Adan work for it. Adan and Chase really get to know each other, but when Adan pushes Chase away, he knows he will never quite get him out of his system.

When all three are brought together later in life, Charlie's world is turned upside down. He still has love and attraction for both of them as they do for him. What can possibly become of the situation?

I think this story was my favorite of the series. It was a bit "out there," but I love Chase's character and how well Adan and Scott each complement him. I just want my own Chase to keep. Hehe.

I was definitely caught by the cover and intrigued by the title. After reading the story, I love how well they fit. I found this to be and enjoyable, quick read and I definitely would recommend it to M/M lovers who are open minded.

This, the third in the Family series by Ms. Cardeno, gives us a different view of some of the ancillary characters that we have met in the previous two books. It revolves around Chase (aka Charlie) Daniel's friend in the first book and comes full circle explaining some of Daniel's story too.

I loved the way that this story is told, through the scrap booking of Chase, and his memories created by photographs. It is carefully done, and again is so thoughtful at explaining some of the burdens of being gay. It is all wrapped up in the hottest of tales, with a big dose of romance unexpectedly thrown in. What's not to love?

This story starts off being told by Charlie as he puts together a scrap book about his life so far. With every new picture we get more story from Charlie's point of view, starting out when he is 15 and meets his first love, the popular easy going neighbour Scott.

Charlie's life progresses and we meet Aden. I loved the difference between the two men Charlie loved. Aden is the complete opposite to Scott and the relationship with Charlie and Aden was not completely honest.

This story was unexpectedly funny and I was laughing out loud a lot during the early stages of this book. It is also heart breaking and heartwarming and there were times my tears flowed freely.

More Than Everything had lots of ups and downs and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. I'm looking forward to reading book 4 in this series which will be out later this year.

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."

Connect with CC

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided free copies of Something in the Way He Needs (Family #1), Strong Enough (Family #2), and More Than Everything (Family #3) by Cardeno C. to read and review for this tour.

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