Book Reviews

Wake Me Up Inside (Mates 1) by Cardeno C. at The Romance Authors

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Shifters / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 13-August-2015

Book Blurb

A powerful Alpha wolf shifter and a strong-willed human overcome traditions ingrained over generations and uncover long-buried secrets to fulfill their destiny as true mates.

Regarded as the strongest wolf shifter in generations, Alpha Zev Hassick is surprised and confused by his attraction to his best friend. His very human, very male best friend. A male shifter has to mate with a female shifter to keep his humanity, so shifters can't be gay. Yet, everything inside Zev tells him Jonah is his true mate.

Maintaining a relationship with the man he has loved since childhood isn’t easy for Jonah Marvel, but he won’t let distance or Zev’s odd family get in their way. When unexplained ailments begin to plague Jonah, he needs to save his own life and sanity in order to have a future with Zev.

Zev and Jonah know they're destined for each other, but they must overcome traditions ingrained over generations and long-buried secrets to fulfill their destiny.



NOTE: This book was previously released by Dreamspinnr Press in August 2012.


Book Review

I'm running out of adjectives to describe how much I adore shifter stories. I'm really running out of them to describe stories that throw a unique twist into the stereotypical lore. How about "revere, venerate, flip for, worship"? That's how I felt reading this first book in the 'Mates' series by Cardeno C. In this world the shifters are raised to believe that male shifters have a hold of their wolf sides from a young age, but their human sides are not as stable, and the female shifters are the opposite. Thus when they reach adulthood, males and females tie to one another, true mates being exceedingly rare, and the female cements the male's human, while the male helps release the female's wolf. If the male shifter goes too long without mating or tying, he begins to lose his human side.

Zev is a very strong alpha wolf. He has been since he was a baby when he started shifting after he was a year old. He's known who his mate was since that first shift, because his wolf found him, Jonah, a boy and a half-soul, as the shifters call humans. For Zev announcing he was gay was a horror for their family as they believe it's impossible to be gay since the shifter needs a female to help secure his human side. Zev knew from early on he had to keep Jonah a secret as his family wouldn't understand a male true mate, but he did everything possible to sneak away and be able to spend time together. Now Zev is thirty and he's waiting for Jonah to come back, because Zev can't tell Jonah about himself being a wolf, or true mates or tying until Jonah finishes college and comes home.

Jonah's been in love with his best friend for as long as he can remember. When Jonah and Zev are finally able to admit how they feel, Jonah is in heaven until he has to leave for college. Not only does Jonah leave for college, his dad sells the house and takes a job closer to the college, leaving no way for Jonah to come home to visit. When Jonah tells Zev he's going to medical school which will cause more years of waiting, Zev isn't sure he can make it. All in all, Zev and Jonah are apart for more than twelve years, with limited visits in those years. And, unfortunately, by the time Jonah completes medical school, he is beginning to think he's going crazy. Not knowing he's suffering from being away from his mate, instead, Jonah actually believes he might be mentally ill.

When Jonah finally comes home after his residency is over, he's almost at the breaking point, physically and mentally. Zev doesn't know what to make of Jonah as he is behaving much like female shifters who've waited too long to tie. When they do finally mate (tie), Zev is shocked to see Jonah shift into a white wolf. What they discover from there is amazing and intense. And, no, I can't tell because it's a huge spoiler.

I absolutely loved this story and Zev and Jonah have joined my list of favorite couples. Their love story was, on the one hand, amazingly sweet having begun as babies essentially, and on the other hand, hotter than hot as they waited through all those years to be together. I can't recommend this book enough. If you love shifters, then this is the story for you.





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, 282 pages/74755 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 25-July-2015
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link