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REVIEW: “Wake Me Up Inside” by Cardeno C.


Zev Hassick is surprised and confused when he finds himself attracted to his best friend. His very human, very male best friend. Zev is the son of the pack Alpha, regarded as the strongest wolf in generations, born to lead. And everyone knows a male shifter has to mate with a female of his own kind to keep his humanity. So shifters can’t be gay, right?

Jonah Marvel wants a relationship with Zev, his best friend, the man he has loved since childhood. It wasn’t easy to maintain that relationship over years spent living apart while Jonah studied to become a doctor. And then things grow more difficult when Jonah becomes his own patient. Before he can make a life with Zev, he has to understand his past and cure the unexplained ailments that plague him.

Zev and Jonah know they’re destined for each other, but they’re facing traditions ingrained over generations and long-buried secrets that may threaten any future together.


Sex, sex and more sex, holla.

I surprised myself with this one because I generally roll my eyes at shifter stories these days (seems like the last few I’ve read have been sorta silly…). I suppose it’s that insta-connection YOU ARE MINE thing? Followed by growling and violence and pissing matches galore? But somehow it worked with this story, by way of flashbacks beginning when the MCs were tiny little things to all the way through to their adulthood.

Zev is a wolf shifter, and alpha of his pack. He also happens to be gay, which is a no-no in the wolf community. (Can a gay guy catch a break nowhere??? Sheesh!) On top of that, Zev knows he has a true mate: another made exclusively for him, the strongest, most unbreakable bond of them all; he’s just not sure who that true mate is yet.

Jonah knows he’s gay, and he’s carried a torch for his best friend Zev for as long as he can remember. So just as they graduate high school, Jonah confronts Zev with his feelings. Boom, epiphany! Zev has been following his true mate, Jonah (duh!), his entire life. Welcome to the story, Zev. ;)

I’m such a sucker for books where there’s no question the MCs will be together and there’s no angst from an outside love interest. Of course that means the angst has to come from somewhere, right? Enter family pressure on Zev’s side for him to, um, “tie” with a lady wolf, make some puppies and become alpha. Oh, and Jonah’s got to get through college before he can come home and be with Zev, plus…major family issues on Jonah’s side. And the reveal to Jonah that Zev is actually a shifter. Gah! The agony of waiting for these two to…you know.

Wait. Who am I kidding? YUM. ;)

Buuuut. I can’t believe I’m writing this: there might have been a little too much sexy time in Wake Me Up Inside. Let’s not get crazy though. I’m thinking maybe just one scene too many. ;)

I did, for once, like the way things got all neatly packaged and tied up at the end (long live the HEA!).  Yup. My first Cardeno C. story didn’t disappoint, kids (I’m not counting a freebie short I read last year, because…free short with 3,500 words was free). I’m amped and ready for the next installment in the series, which apparently includes vamps. Woo-woo!





Title: Wake Me Up Inside
Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 250
Release Date: Aug. 15, 2012
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner, ARe, Amazon



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This entry was posted on August 7, 2014 by in Contemporary, Fantasy / Fairy Tale, Reviewer: Jenni and tagged , , , , .

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