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Strong Enough

StrongEnough (1)Title:  Strong Enough

Author:  Cardeno C

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Rating:  A LIst

Up All Night Satisfaction

Up All Night Satisfaction

Blurb:  A Book in the Family Series

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.


Beans:  When reading a book two in a series I like to reread book one, remember the places, people, the feel of the series. I think one of my favorite things about this book was how it felt in relation to the first book in the Family series.

This book was beautiful. It was sweet and delicious. I loved both Spencer and Emilio from the first page to the last . If you are looking for angst and drama go back and read book one, Something In the Way He Needs, and you will be get all the hard angst you crave. If you want the story of two men who learn to love and accept each other, than Strong enough is the book for you.

The way Cardeno made these two books feel completely different is intriguing. I am excited, wondering how book three will tie in.

Emilio might be young but he is very clear on who he is and what he wants. He wants Spencer from day one. From the first opportunity he pushes and loves his way into Spencer’s life and heart. Emilio is a strong man from a strong family that doesn’t allow stereotypes and presumptions to cloud his desire for lifelong love.

Spencer could be thought of as the exact opposite of Emilio. He isn’t confident, assured, or daring in his life and in love. But when Emilio sweeps him off his feet, Spencer holds tight to the man of dreams..even if he has to occasionally pinch himself to make sure he won’t wake up from it all.

Strong Enough is a love story, plain and simple. A beautiful story of two men who jump into something as crazy as love and commitment from the first moment. And it’s a joy. I always enjoy Cardeno C’s writing and this book is just another example of Cardeno C’s ability to craft characters that feel complete.

Nina:  This was a fantastic book! I loved every moment and character in this story.

Spencer was such a delightful combination of intelligent, shy and strong. He had been hurt so deeply and so many times and yet he wasn’t bitter or cynical. He still believed in people and in love. He had so many reasons to have become unkind or to close out the world, instead he remained a sweet and gentle man who looked for the best in people and believed in second chances. I loved how he blossomed in the safety of Emilio’s love.

Emilio was so wonderful. He fell for Spencer from the first moment he saw him and he took the sweet, shy professor by storm. I loved that! How he found ways to stay close and become part of Spencer’s life. I loved how sensitive he was to Spencer and how he quickly responded and made him feel safe and loved. I adored how he didn’t play games and wore his heart on his sleeve for all to see, but most especially for Spencer to see and feel confidence in. He knew that he had someone special and that he needed to do whatever he had to in order to keep that gift in his life.

Emilio’s family needs prizes for their awesomeness. They were so wonderful and welcoming and just fantastic. I was very glad that Spencer was able to finally have the family that his huge heart deserved. The dynamic between the brothers had me cracking up. I am hopelessly in love with the Sanchez family.

As always there is an element of the family that we create and you find that here in the relationship that Spencer has with his best friend Maria. She has a line in this story that spoke to me of the choices we make, sometimes without even realizing it. Of the obligation we have to ourselves to refuse anyone else’s definition of who we are.

“Nobody can put me in a box except myself.”

This book is special. It made me feel so happy. There are sad moments and struggles and these men both have to grow and adapt and learn how to be more than they ever knew they could be, but sweet mercy, the journey was beautiful. Thank you Cardeno C for making them strong enough and sharing them with me.


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