Book Reviews

More Than Everything (Family 3) by Cardeno C. at The Romance Authors

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Menage MMM / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 19-October-2015

Book Blurb

Time might not heal all wounds, but with two motivated and strong-willed men on a campaign to win him back, Charlie will get more than he ever thought possible.

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 unexpectedly moves away.

Years later, Charlie meets brash and confident Adan Navarro, who claims all he wants is a round between the sheets. After eight months together, Charlie is convinced Adan returns his love. But when the opportunity comes to be open about their relationship, Adan walks away.

Time passes and life moves on, but when Charlie learns 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. Time might not heal all wounds, but with two motivated and strong-willed men on a campaign to win him back, Charlie will get more than he ever thought possible.  

NOTE: This book was previously published by Dreamspinner Press in November 2013.


Book Review

I love Cardeno C. and I love this series. But, from the very first paragraph, I KNEW I was in for a hell of a treat in the form of a fantastic story with my very favorite type of character: smart, funny, sarcastic, power bottom, and vulnerable inside. That is Charlie, to a T. More than that, though, I adore ménage because I have trouble in just a two person relationship, so I'm in awe of people who can truly make three partners work. I loved the way the author wrote the story, from beginning to end (with some leaps back and forth), starting when Charlie was fifteen and ending, well, at the end of the story. It begins with Charlie's point of view, but his isn't the only one we get to hear.


Charlie is fifteen, pretty sure he's gay, but the first time he sees Scott, he knows. "I was gay. It wasn't a total shocker or anything. I'd asked my parents for an Easy-Bake Oven when I was eight." Having to walk down Charlie's memories of high school served to remind me why they were the most hated four years of my own life. Thanks, Cardeno! Charlie is pretty sure that as soon as Scott starts school and makes friends he'll forget about his next door neighbor. Doesn't happen, even though Scott makes the varsity football team. "I didn't miss a single game all season, but to this day, I have no idea how that game is played or what a down is - in a football context, anyway." It comes as a complete and utter shock to Charlie when Scott admits he wants him the same way. And, wow, what a sweet, sexy, and hot first kiss!


Scott amazed me. He's a good, honest, loyal guy who doesn't seem to know how hot he is, and he loved Charlie, no matter what. Scott didn't care what his friends thought, he never wanted Charlie to be anything other than who he was. I don't know of any other college freshmen who would take a guy to a Halloween party when the guy is dressed as Cher in her famous Bob Mackie dress from the Oscars circa 1986. Remember that one? Yeah. When Scott's dad and stepmom have a very late in life baby girl, Scott transfers to UNLV to be close, promising Charlie that when he graduates he'll be back. As is normal, though, life moves on and the frequency of phone calls begins to slow down. The letters stop and at some point they both come to the realization that all the promises they'd made weren't going to come true. I don't think either of them realized how much a broken heart could hurt.


Charlie keeps working and dancing, auditioning for lots of community theater, starts going by Chase, and begins to have a life. Of course, he is depressed and emotionally fractured, but that makes for great dancing and art. And one night he walks into a bar and meets Adan who just finished his second year of law school. Adan takes one look at the flamer and knows he's gay. These are the guys that make it hard for him, that make it difficult for his parents to understand how Adan, tall, strong, muscular, could possibly be gay. "I hated being lumped in with those types of guys because I was nothing like them - I looked like a normal guy. The way I saw it, wanting to be with a man, meant wanting to be with a man, and I couldn't relate to somebody like that - someone frilly who flounced and sashayed and who might as well have had rainbows and glitter coming out of his ass. But, for some inexplicable reason, I couldn't take my eyes off of him."


I've got to be honest and admit I wasn't so sure that I liked Adan in the beginning. He came across as self-involved and narcissistic with a whole lot of ego and arrogance thrown in there. When Adan first meets Chase he is two years into his five year plan, and everything he does is intended to advance his goals. Something about Chase, though, causes Adan to feel things that aren't in his plan, he doesn't know how to respond to tenderness or someone taking care of him, as his mother stopped when she realized he wouldn't be bringing a woman home. I started to feel something for Adan when I realized out of the three men, he was truly the most vulnerable of them all. Adan had only been out to his family for two years, he was trying to be as macho as his dad and prove he could out-earn his straight cousins. Adan keeps everyone at arms length so he never risks being hurt, although some of that was truly because he just didn't like other people. No matter what he told himself, deep down inside, Adan is a good, kind, and compassionate man who has the capability to really love someone. Granted, it takes him a while to figure all of this out. Because when Adan can't admit to someone he knows that he's with Chase in a relationship, that's the end for Chase. "I was twenty-eight going on eight and I blew it. Totally and completely blew it." And, trust me when I say he really, really, really blew it. He came to realize that and all the other things he'd been too stupid to understand at the time, but by then, Chase was gone.


Fast forward a number of years and Charlie is in Vegas, legal guardian to his niece and nephew after his sister was killed by a drunk driver, a friend sets him up with a babysitter and assures Charlie the kids know him. See where I'm going with this? Sure enough. Charlie opens the door to find Scott and Adan, who are obviously in a relationship, and neither knows the other's history with Charlie. "I'd loved two men in my thirty-five years on this planet. Only two. And I'd lost them both. Wouldn't it just figure that they'd found in each other what they had both deemed missing in me?" Scott and Adan have been together for five years. They share a home, a law practice, and now it appears they both share the same guy they wish had never gotten away. Even though they are in love, there have been some challenges. They are both tops and compromises have had to be made. Working together and living together can also cause too much together sometimes. Luckily for Charlie, Scott and Adan are on the same page about wanting him in their life and not losing him again. Unluckily for Scott and Adan, Charlie doesn't believe much that comes out of their mouths. At least not in the beginning.


Wow. I'm in shock over how much I loved this story. I fell in love with Charlie, Scott, and Adan. There's nothing I can say except it's one of the best books I've ever read. Thank you, Cardeno, for putting these guys on paper and sharing them.

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 70625 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 13-October-2015
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link