Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Smitty’s Sheriff by Cardeno C. Blog Tour

Todd is too flakey. Richard is too stubborn. Together, they're perfect. A May-December couple get a second chance at love.

Retired soldier Richard Davis wants a stable life in a quiet town with a forever man. Becoming the sheriff of Hope, Arizona, accomplishes two of his three goals, but instead of finding a serious partner, he falls for too-young-to-be-committed and too-flakey-to-be-serious Todd Smitty. Richard won’t find the right man if he’s obsessed with the wrong one, so he walks away from Todd.

It’s lust at first sight when Todd meets his sister’s army friend. He sets his sights on the worldly, strong, stable older man, and the more time he spends with Richard, the harder he falls. But after three years together, Richard cuts off all contact with no explanation.

When a mutual obligation requires Todd to move into Richard’s house, he’s thrilled at the opportunity to earn a second chance. Ignoring Todd from across town was hard enough. Can Richard resist temptation under his own roof?

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Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

“Todd.” Leanne snapped her gaze toward him. “You’re not too young to know the nickname people used to call guys named Richard, are you?

“Uh.” Todd blinked and darted his gaze between Rich and Leanne. They were finally paying attention to him and all he wanted was to go back to being invisible.

Dick,” she said. “Big D got his nickname before we met, but some of us in my squad figured it wasn’t just about his last name being Davis. So we had a bet going.”

She flicked her gaze to Rich again, as if expecting him to interrupt.

He didn’t.

“Problem is, we couldn’t agree on which side won because we couldn’t get solid evidence.” She focused on Todd. “But now I have an eyewitness.”

“I, uh, I don’t—” Todd stammered, hating being in the middle of what felt like an argument.

“Don’t let Sparky get to you,” Rich said, still completely unbothered.

“Some of the guys saw Big D in the latrines, and they said he’s big all over, but when they tried to collect on the bet, the other side made a good point.” She narrowed her eyes menacingly at Rich. “If the man’s a show-er, that means he isn’t grow-er, so he doesn’t actually have a big D, now does he? That means the other side should win.”

Todd drew his eyebrows together and tried to follow Leanne’s question. “Are you saying you guys have a bet going on the size of Rich’s dick?”

“Yep.” Leanne leaned against the chairback, looking smug. “And you, little brother, are going to settle that bet.”

Normally, Todd had no problem talking about a guy’s package. Hell, in the right situation, dicks were damn near his favorite topic. But he had never spoken to anyone about Rich’s body or, really, anything else related to Rich because he knew that was off limits. Of course, Leanne was asking him the question because she already knew he had the answer.

Flicking his gaze toward Rich, Todd said, “Am I allowed to…”

“It’s a simple question,” Leanne snapped. “Is he a grow-er or a show-er?”

Rich didn’t tell him to stay quiet so Todd figured he had permission to answer. “Both.”

She blinked.

“Seriously.” He bobbed his head. “Length, girth.” He held his hands far apart. “It’s awesome.” As long as he had permission to share, he figured he should be thorough in his explanation. “His balls too.”

Leanne coughed.

“I mean it. They’re huge. Each one’s a mouthful by itself.”

“Ehm.” Leanne cleared her throat. “Thanks.” Looking decidedly uncomfortable, she held her palm up in a stop motion. “I’m good on the details. You don’t need to keep going.”

“Are you sure?” After a lifetime of being the butt of the joke with his siblings, Todd enjoyed turning the table. “I can sketch you a picture, but I’ll need one of those extra-long pieces of paper if you want it to scale.”

“That won’t be necessary.” Leanne actually blushed. “I’m all set.”

Rich threw his head back and laughed. “Thanks, Todd. Eighteen years these jackasses have had the silly bet going and I do believe you just put it to rest.”

Thrilled with the praise and relieved to be playing and flirting with Rich again, Todd smiled broadly. “No problem. When it comes to your big D, I’m always willing to lend a hand.”

He settled into the chair, comfortable for the first time that night, and when the conversation turned back to stories about people he didn’t know, he truly didn’t mind. Eighteen years was a long time. If Rich had cared about putting an end to the bet, he’d probably had a dozen different chances. That he did it now, meant his goal had been less about the bet and more about a point. Todd knew something about Rich that nobody else did, or at least nobody who mattered enough to meet his friends. That meant Todd mattered. Leanne knew that now. And so did he.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

As a rule, I avoid reading the reviews written by my co-reviewers on the blog as much as possible so as not to let them affect my impression of a book or the review I write. With that said, merely logging onto Goodreads to mark a book as being read can result in my seeing parts of their reviews. In the case of Smitty’s Sheriff, this happened, but it turns out that it wasn’t a bad thing; it’s more that it made me realize why I enjoy the Hope series so much and why this book was yet another 5-star read for me.

The opening line of Sarah’s review is: “Here’s one for everyone with Daddy kinks.” Now I didn’t read past that, but I didn’t need to because when it comes to M/M romance, I do indeed have a Daddy kink. I can’t stand it in M/F romances, it creeps me out (that’s a story for another time). However, I find something comforting and, yes, hot when an age-gap between two men of a decade or two can lead to a successful and believable relationship. I’m a reader who doesn’t have an issue with May-December romances and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that my maternal grandparents were almost a decade apart in age. In the case of Cardeno C.’s May-December romances, the older partner always expresses concern – if not vocally, at least internally – that he may be taking advantage of the younger partner’s inexperience, youth, and/or naïveté. This is what makes this series work for me – there is no attempt by the older, more experienced “Daddy” to use his position of authority to initiate an unfair or unequal relationship. On the contrary, the older partner is more likely to hurt the younger partner by rejecting him due to their age difference, and that’s exactly what Rich does to Todd – I’m just glad we didn’t have to see it first-hand because it made it easier for me to forgive Rich when he finally extracted his head from his derriere when it came to Todd.

As for Smitty’s Sheriff, I adored this story. I fell in love with Todd from nearly the beginning, and having recently listened to the audiobook edition of Jesse’s Diner, I had to know who had Hope’s sheriff all riled up. Todd is a wonderful combination of sweet and oblivious – something I can personally relate to being at that time in my life. My heart hurt for him when he finally realized why Rich had broken off contact with him and based on their recollections of the events leading up to the breakup, I gotta blame Rich for it. As the older and supposedly more mature member of the relationship, not to mention a former military man and a sheriff who supervised other employees, his complete refusal to tell Todd why they couldn’t see each other anymore, especially when Todd repeatedly asked what was wrong, was definitely a Big “D” move (hehe… that’s an inside joke that’ll be funnier when you read the book). Fortunately for Todd and this reader, his sister’s situation provided him the opportunity to get to the bottom of Rich’s issues and demonstrate that he was willing to do what it took to win his man. I particularly enjoyed the scene when Todd realized nothing he said was getting through to Rich and refused to talk anymore, opting to let his actions do the talking for him. I also found the bar scene in the final chapter hilarious and cannot wait to see where the hinted at relationship goes in the next installment in the Hope series – at least I hope that’s who’s up next. Until then, I’ll be looking out for the audiobook edition of Smitty’s Sheriff to add my collection as well.

Man, normally I love Cardeno C's books but this one really missed the mark for me. I didn't like Richard at all, he was a total jerk to Todd. Todd was so sweet and all he wanted was love and didn't know what he did to upset Richard in the past and for Richard to just cut him off like he did. Total jerk move. I didn't feel any of the normal chemistry or love between the characters either. I honestly just wasn't into it at all, which isn't like me with this author.

Here’s one for everyone with Daddy kinks. Fate throws the stern town sheriff together with the playful young twink he’s never managed to forget. There’s a twenty-year age gap between Rich and Todd, but Todd is desperate to show Rich just how mature he can be.

Those who love a little Daddy play will probably enjoy this more than I did. Rich has rules and expectations and Todd works hard to please him. It’s an incredibly angsty and slightly kinky power exchange relationship.

I think Rich and Todd’s story would have worked better as a formal Dom/sub pairing. Without any clear BDSM boundaries around the relationship, Rich came across as a controlling, condescending asshole at times. Alternately, there were moments where Todd seemed very needy, very young, and far too passive. While we’re treated to both points of view, these two don’t talk to each other and the result is epic miscommunication.

For most of the story, Rich and Todd are forced to live together to care for Todd’s niece. This storyline really didn’t work for me. The combination of the baby, graphic sex, and domestic bliss was a little bit weird.

This is the third in the series, and whilst it follows a similar issue with an age difference, it takes quite a different slant on what constitutes romance.

It is not often that I find one of the main characters to have too few redeeming features for me to forgive them some huge errors in the past – but Richard may just have managed to achieve it. He is just so unbearable, and seriously lacking in actual maturity, whatever his age. Grrrrrr... That Todd felt he needed to deserve a second chance also made me frustrated.

The writing is good, we get to see the story from both points of view, and thanks to an unexpected responsibility they get a second chance. I'm still not convinced that Richard deserved it, but I guess that is Todd's choice!

Also Available in the Hope Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the McFarland’s Farm Blog Tour.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Jessie’s Diner Blog Tour.

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 a free copy of Smitty’s Sheriff (Hope #3) by Cardeno C. to read and review for this tour.

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