Until Forever Comes
Title: Until Forever Comes
Author: Cardeno C
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press May 2013
Blurb: A Book in the Mates Series
Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can’t shift. Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, he hopes to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack. Instead, Ethan learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate—a vampire named Miguel.
Miguel Rodriguez is more than four centuries old. Strong, powerful, and vicious, he walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they’re true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent, and Miguel can’t resist for long. Once Miguel gives in, being together comes naturally. The challenge is keeping themselves alive so they can stay by each other’s side until forever comes.
Review: As you guys have probably caught on to by now we are really big readers. This is an author that both of us enjoy and a book that we have been looking forward to reading. So much so that we’d pre-ordered it before getting the opportunity from the publisher to review it. Rather than get into a big nasty fight (there might have been: hold my earrings/hair/shoes/me back, hair pulling, slap-fighting, biting, scratching and/or icy silences, all made ineffectual by our frequent use of non-visual text-based communication mediums) that would have screwed up our posting schedule. We decided to both review it and post them together. One more thing. Okay maybe two more things. First we read this book in the hope, not just to enjoy it, but to review it, fairly. Second we wrote our reviews separately and then after we were done, looked at each others. We had no idea what the other one said until we had finished our own, honest. Hope it works for you guys.
Beans: This book captured the essence of why I am a Cardeno C fan. So let me see if I can pull out some of the things I liked best.
Ethan. From the first paragraph in this book we are brought into Ethan’s world, his pain and struggles. He doesn’t fit in with his family, he doesn’t fit in with his pack, and his pack doesn’t fit into the world. Ethan knows isolation and rejection, but this doesn’t stop him from being able to think clearly, stand firm on his ideals, and accept change. He isn’t a victim and his strength and loyalty set him apart and give him a depth that is beautiful.
Miguel. He is a badass. A smart badass. I love that there wasn’t too much angst and floundering with Miguel over Ethan being his mate. And I also love that just because he now had a mate didn’t mean he wasn’t one mean SOB. There is one scene that is wild, viscous and I smirked and thought “That’s right punk, didn’t expect him to kick your ass. Mated doesn’t mean pushover.” I might have cheered him on.
The 1st person writing. Sometimes reading stories in 1st person can be shallow. They tend to lack a depth of description that 3rd person gives. Not in this story. Cardeno C does a brilliant job of world building through the eyes of Ethan. I felt his emotions, felt a part of the world that was built, fell in love, got angry, and was drawn into the story completely.
The sexy times. Okay. Cardeno C writes erotic romance. And Cardeno does it well. But this book…whoa. The sexy times in this book were dirty, edgy, and pretty damn hot. I thought this was Cardeno’s sexiest book so far. It had a bit of a hard core edge without the kink. And don’t worry, stereotypes are smashed and the aggression is drool worthy. Make sure you have a fan and an ice cold beverage when reading this book, because it’s smokin’ hot.
As you can tell I really enjoyed this book. Now for some truth in advertising. I was nervous about this book. I adore shifter/were books, but I seriously detest vampire books. When the excerpt came out I wrung my hands and prayed. But there were no sparkling vampires here. And I liked that the vamps in the book felt tied to the human community. It made them feel…realistic, as much as vampires can be. And I fell for Ted. We need more Ted. *super supporting character*
Now I don’t normally try and do math when reading, but I think we need to here. This book takes place approximately 50-60 years earlier than Wake Me Up Inside. I want you to keep that in consideration when reading this and the heavy rural southern accent pops up. It’s completely accurate to the time and place in which this book takes place.
If you love paranormal romance, read this book. If you like Cardeno C’s other work, read this book. If you are new the m/m scene and are shopping for new authors, read this book. When you are done, bet your bottom dollar, you will go out and pick up Cardeno C’s backlist.
Nina: I loved this book. It is classic Cardeno C and that is always a good thing. I was very excited when I heard that we were going to get Ethan and Miguel’s story. I have been wanting to read it since we first met them in Wake Me Up Inside. I can honestly say that this story didn’t disappoint.
While this is the second book in the Mates series it takes place before the events of the first book. I would say read this one first except that you realize how special these two men are when you meet them in Wake Me Up Inside and I don’t want to take that away from you.
Ethan has a great voice. An addictive blend of humor, self deprecation, loyalty, honor and a way of expressing his emotions that’s very real. He had me laughing out loud a few times, I loved his sarcastic wit and intelligence. He has spent his life in extreme pain and has had to struggle just to breathe some days. He was looked down on and pitied, always an outsider in a community that prides itself on being one big family. The fact that he wasn’t bitter or snarky was refreshing. The loyalty that he shows to a pack that has always treated him as less than, is commendable. The bravery that he shows when he realizes that Miguel is his true mate is truly amazing for a sheltered young man with no experience of the world outside of his pack lands and the tiny town they go to to for supplies. I appreciated that although he grew up as a weak member in a society that places a high value in strength, he wasn’t a pushover or a wimp. He stood up for himself and Miguel in a way that was respectfully firm and confident. How could an old and jaded vampire not fall in love with him?
Miguel is beautiful. Who doesn’t love a sexy vampire that is powerful enough to lead and kick ass when needed, even with other vampires? He too has had a hard life and I found myself hurting along with him as he begins to open up to Ethan and share his past. The honor code that he lives by is one that I can respect. I appreciated that the author allowed him to be a complex character that had elements of bad, scary and lethal as well as sexy, sweet and devoted. I adore big strong men that everyone is afraid of, but who are big mushy sweethearts around their lover.
I felt that the element of the true mates was well done. Since they don’t have the same thing in vampire culture there was an adjustment period that allowed the story to move beyond insta-love and into the realm of not just destined, but desired. While they are drawn to each other the author doesn’t have them immediately declaring love and jumping into bed. They were a perfect compliment to each other, and as they began to discover that while spending time together, I found that they became a credible couple to me. What man who has lived for hundreds of years, as those around him died, wouldn’t want to hang on to someone who made him feel alive and special and connected to his emotions? What man who had lived in pain and as a second class citizen wouldn’t welcome the man who proved that he wasn’t a mistake or flawed, but simply not whole until he found the man who would set his wolf free?
There is some seriously yummy, dirty sex in this book. These guys have incendiary chemistry between them and I enjoyed every moment they spent expressing it. I’ve always appreciated that Cardeno C writes his characters as real people who are fluid in expressing their sexuality. I don’t have to be bogged down with stereotypes or the author’s personal baggage. As a result these guys are so hot as to be considered not safe for work, family gatherings, public places and/or transportation, or anywhere that you don’t have access to cold running water.
I’m warning you now not to start this book at night when you have to wake up early. You will be very tired in the morning. Because you won’t be able to stop until you’ve read the last page. Then you will lie there thinking about them for a while with a big grin on your face.
This is a love story that also has flash, violence, a dark and virile vampire getting seduced by a sexy little virgin, power struggles, people too stupid to live and lots of hot sex. The heart of this book has what all of us want: the desire to belong, to be known, understood and accepted for who we are, and to be special to the person who is special to us. At the end of the day all of us want to be safe and loved, and that is something that Cardeno C delivers masterfully.
Posted on May 24, 2013, in Beans, Nina and tagged A List, Beans, Coming Out, DSP, fantasy, First Love, historical, love triumphs over all, M/M, Mates, Nina, Older Man, paranormal, Realty, romance, Shifter, Southern Accents, Supernatural, The South, Vampires, Virgin. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.