More Than Everything
Title: More Than Everything
Author: Cardeno C
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: A List
Length: 234 pages
Blurb: A Book in the Family Series
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, Charlie 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, Charlie 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?
Beans: More Than Everything is now my second favorite Cardeno C book. After being a crazy Cardeno C fan for most of CC’s writing career, I didn’t think CC could top what is already written.
Except then CC did it.
I have read hundreds of m/m romances, and quite a few m/m/m both of the menage variety and triad emphasis. This book doesn’t fall into either of those categories neat and tidy. It’s something different, something new, really something incredibly beautiful.
We meet Charlie as he breaks out the scrapbook and starts from the beginning when he meets Scott. I loved that Charlie was speaking to me. He was telling me the story of his life. Of his loves and then his heartbreaks. He was more than the narrator, he was the entire story. We fall in love with Charlie. He is incredibly beautiful. He is also funny, artistic, and full of life and vibrancy.
Scott is the perfect first love. We meet this young man moving into the flat next door. He never judges Charlie, but becomes an instant friend. Scott is strength. This young man’s self confidence, his kindness, his ability to be loving was remarkable. I was overjoyed at the beautiful love developed between Charlie and Scott.
Which made them breaking up incredibly difficult. I knew, from the blurb they would get back together. And I trust this author to give me a satisfying HEA. But it didn’t stop me from tearing up and gathering my box of tissues close to my side as I read on.
Enter Adan. Years have gone by and Charlie is a man. He might be a little more jaded, a little more tired. But he is also a little more confident, a little more self-assured, and a lot stronger.
Adan is my favorite character in this story. He is unhealthy, he is uncomfortable in his skin, and he has no idea how to have a relationship. But Charlie’s light is bright and he can’t resist. Adan enters into a relationship with Charlie. And it’s rough. I wanted to laugh, and did sometimes, at their antics. Adan’s emotional immaturity and selfishness is interesting. Charlie isn’t blind. He sees this man for who he is, but loves him anyway.
Then they break up. And I admit I was in Charlie’s corner 100% but it didn’t make it easy and it tore at me that Adan hurt Charlie so badly.
Part three is where this story gets brilliant. Most romances are all about the HEA but they never show what that looks like. How a family is built. Everyone says their I love yous and then the book ends and we guess at the rest.
Here we see how a family is built. In this part of the book, three men have to come to a place where they understand, and can build a healthy life as a non-traditional family. There are ups and downs, and major complications, but no one gives up. There is commitment and it felt like I was taken out of a romance novel and plopped right down into a real neighborhood, watching a real family take shape. A family with three men, and so much more.
If you love Cardeno C, if you have never read any of CC’s books I highly recommend this book. This book is a must read. It will break your stereotypes down, it will make you laugh until you cry and weep because you mourn. And then when you get to the end you get the joy of starting all over at the beginning again.
Nina: I am a big fan of Cardeno C’s writing. I have yet to read anything that I didn’t enjoy. One of the best things about having read everything that someone has written, multiple times, is that you know how they write. As I read through this book I kept thinking CC is getting even better. In many ways this book shows a development of an already great talent. This story is smooth, the writing is clear, concise and beautiful. The shifts between times and voices was flawless and creatively done. The plot pulled me in and carried me along on a journey of first loves, loss, second chances, forgiveness, personal growth and what it means to truly love someone and want to create a life with them. I loved everything about this book. There was not one false note.
Charlie “Chase” is an absolute delight. He is the dominant voice, and in many ways person, in this story. Which is awesome because he’s the sweetest, bravest, cutest, powerest bottom. He’s a dancer and a bit of a dreamer who has had to make his own way in the world and even though Scott and Adan each took a turn at breaking his heart, they could never break him nor forget him.
Scott is great. In many ways he’s a lot like Charlie, open, sweet, vulnerable, charming and kind. He’s just bigger and his steel is more visually apparent. He is the perfect first love and I fell in love with him right along with Charlie. The way they were together had me tearing up and wishing for their forever together.
Adan was complicated. He was so damaged by his macho culture upbringing with a huge chip on his shoulder and a drive to succeed professionally that left little room for much else in his life. I loved how he was with his men. He saw and remembered everything about them, he understood them. He, of all of them, grew the most in this story. In the most delightful and beautiful ways. He is harder to love, but that love is all the richer for the struggle to get there, and when he finally allows himself to just be he is gorgeous. Some might say he’ll even make you fly.
I am always impressed by people who can manage to make a two person relationship work, to successfully include more than that leaves me in awe. Honestly, I was a little nervous going into this triad story. But I trust Cardeno C to get me to a happy ending. I knew CC would make me cry with this one. I cried happy because it was so beautiful and sweet, I cried sad because they were breaking each other’s hearts, I laughed long and hard at some of the stories, I rejoiced and hoped and believed. I loved every moment. I want more. These men will be ones that I revisit again and again.
Posted on November 5, 2013, in Beans, Nina and tagged A List, Beans, Best Friends, Blast From The Past, Breaking Down Stereotypes, Coming Out, coming-of-age, Contemporary, Dancer, DSP, Family, First Love, Forever Love, Friends to Lovers, Homophobia, love triumphs over all, M/M/M, Making Your Own Family, Meant to Be, Nina, One Night Stand to Love, romance, Scrapbook, Second Chances, Series, Stories, The One Who Got Away, Third Chances, Triad, Unforgettable, Young Love. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.