I like romance and boys loving boys in my books.
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There isn't a Cardeno C. book I don't like. There's not one I don't devour the moment I get my grabby hands on it. CC just writes exactly what I love to read - a sweet but intense romance.
This was no different.
This novella, included in the 2014 Dreamspinner "Daily Dose - Mended" anthology, is the story of Abel and Kai, two wolf shifters from two different packs who were promised to each other as children and were looking forward to Kai's 18th birthday to cement the mating bond.
Life had other plans. When Abel goes to claim Kai, he finds him in a compromising position, and leaves immediately without waiting for an explanation.
In the 12 years since, Abel has taken over as Alpha for his own pack, but still has not found anyone to share his life with. CC creates a character full of pain and longing, someone who's hardened himself, and shows us that Abel still hasn't gotten over losing Kai. You can feel the pain as Abel recounts the story of his suffering, of not being able to connect with anyone else because the boy he loved, the one he expected to be mated to, isn't there with him.
I like that part of the shifter mythology - how they have one true mate - and it was exacerbated here because Abel and Kai were destined to be together from a very young age.
About halfway through, when Kai's true story comes to light, I shed a tear or ten (as I always do in a CC book, because that's what he does to me every damn time), but then rejoiced when he and Abel finally get it together, when all the truth comes out and the two complete their bond.
Holy hot boysecks, Batman!!
There was a part in this book that bothered me, something about what happens to Kai, which I can't explain here because that would be too spoilerish, but I'd be glad to discuss that in a PM or DM after you've read the book yourself.
I actually cheered in the final chapter when Kai does that thing he does, even if it was rather violent, because I felt he deserved to get that kind of closure.
Sweet, despite the violence inside, with an intense emotional connection between the two main characters - this is a typical CC book that will make you smile and laugh and tear up.
** I received a free copy of this book from the author. A positive review was not promised in return. **