Friday, August 5, 2016

AudioBook Tour: HOME AGAIN, A SHOT AT FORGIVENESS & RED RIVER by Cardeno C.--Includes Reviews & Giveaway!

HA-ASF-RR audio
Home Again Audiobook

Home Again

    • Written by: Cardeno C.
    • Narrated by: Alexander Collins
    • Length: 5 hrs and 26 mins
    • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release Date:06-10-16
  • Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC+

Imposing, temperamental Noah Forman wakes up in a hospital and can't remember how he got there. He holds it together, taking comfort in the fact that the man he has loved since childhood is on the way. But when his one and only finally arrives, Noah is horrified to discover that he doesn't remember anything from the past three years.
Loyal, serious Clark Lehman built a life around the person who insisted from their first meeting that they were meant to be together. Now, years later, two men whose love has never faltered must relive their most treasured and most painful moments in order to recover lost memories and secure their future.

Amazon / Amazon UK / Audible / iTunes

Carra's Review

The Home series is a favorite of mine, primarily due to the strong underlying theme of destined couples.  Home Again is a perfect example of this, with a large dash of angst and uncertainty thrown in due to Noah's accident and resulting loss of memory.

I'm not normally a fan of stories that flip back and forth from present to past, but in the context of this story this works well as each flip to the past helps build memories of Noah and Clark as the meet and fall for each other.  Those memories are doled out slowly while we see the two men interacting present-day as Noah and Clark are together again...and it's that "again" aspect that provides the uncertainty as readers know there is more to the story, though we're not sure what happened until near the end.

Clark has always had a protective, caring streak for Noah right from the moment the two meet when Clark is 17 and Noah is 13.  This continues to build over time, and is still evident when Clark comes to Noah in the hospital-even though it is quite clear to the reader that their relationship is not at the place Noah thinks it is when he finally awakens after the accident.  The unsure feelings this provoked in me had me totally drawn in to the story as I was desperate to know what the REAL story between the two of them is present day.

While I wasn't too thrilled with what Noah had done 3 years prior (the part he doesn't remember until near the end), the final resolution made up for it...mostly.  It still made me want to slap him silly for the reasoning behind what he did (sorry, can't tell you more as it would spoil it for you).  Suffice it to say that this did cause me to remove a full star from my rating-which says a lot since this was a 4-star read for me.

For the narration, Alexander Collins does a terrific job at voicing the characters, and the warm tone of his voice made the story soothing to listen to for the majority of the story.

I'd recommend this story to M/M romance fans 18+ for adult language and M/M sexual content.

A Shot at Forgiveness Audiobook

A Shot at Forgiveness

    • Written by: Cardeno C.
    • Narrated by: Robert M. Clark
    • Length: 1 hr and 38 mins 
    • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release Date:07-06-16
  • Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC

Sometimes to find love, you must first learn forgiveness.
A dozen years, 2,000 miles, and a law degree after high school, Rafi Steiner continues to harbor resentment toward Isaac Jones, his childhood bully turned NBA star. When Isaac appears at Rafi's favorite restaurant acting like a long-lost friend, Rafi bluntly dismisses him.
But Isaac is tenacious and he has his heart set on the grown-up version of the boy he always wanted and never forgot. The way Isaac sees it, he and Rafi are perfect for each other, if only he could sink the most important shot of his life: his one shot at forgiveness.

Carra's Review

A Shot at Forgiveness is one of those stories where I'm not quite sure how to rate it after reading.  It is a pretty quick read, and would fall under the enemies-to-lovers category, though I don't know that Isaac would see it that way (he'd probably think it's a second chance story...although,

What this story does have in spades is sarcastic humor, plus one bound and determined NBA star-at least he is now that he's going after what-or who-he wants.  And while the way the story is written might have you wondering just how stalker-like Isaac would need to be for Rafi to run screaming in the other direction, Isaac's demeanor-especially as interpreted through the audiobook narration-and sweet attitude actually balanced things out for me.  But I still didn't quite feel a connection between the two characters, which made the story 3 stars for me.

As for the audiobook narration, I really liked Robert C. Clark's interpretation, it actually made Isaac's pursuit of Rafi more palatable than reading it in the e-book.  The sarcasm and Rafi's frustration are quite clear in the audio, and the character voices are well done and consistent, making the narration 4 stars for me.

Red River Audiobook

Red River: Pack Collection, Book 2

    • Written by: Cardeno C.
    • Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
    • Length: 3 hrs and 42 mins 
    • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release Date:06-21-16
  • Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC
Two Alpha shifters join together to lead their pack and build a family.
Commitment, loyalty, and strength aren't enough to make Wesley Stone's birth pack accept an Alpha with a physical imperfection, even if it's a meaningless mark. Putting the safety of his pack above his own wellbeing, Wesley trades himself for another Alpha and agrees to mate with a stranger in a mysterious, insular pack.
Alphas from Jobe Root's family have led the Red River pack from the first day shifters walked the earth. Now the time has come for Jobe to fulfill his destiny, but to do that, he needs his mate by his side. Spiritual, easygoing Jobe reveres Mother Nature and trusts in fate, yet he can't help being nervous about how his mate will react to his new life in Red River, his new life with Jobe.
Two Alphas with contrasting personalities, different upbringings, and divergent beliefs come together for the good of their packs. But to stay together, Wesley and Jobe must see beyond the surface and embrace every facet of themselves and their union.

Amazon / Amazon UK / Audible / iTunes

Carra's Review

Red River is a shifter romance, but it does deviate from the previous shifter books by this author. Some of the deviations I found intriguing, one of them not so much. I was a bit unsure of my thoughts on this one, mostly due to that one deviation.

The characters of Wesley and Jobe I really liked. Wesley, while loyal and determined really is not accepted in his own pack even though he should be the next in line to become the pack's alpha. As his backstory is told, it is easy to sympathize with his character when all he wants is what is best for his pack--even though they don't want him to lead them simply due to a physical difference. Jobe is a fun character-so in tune with nature, trusting in it and though he comes off as a sort of new age hippie type guy, his personality actually speaks to a connection between the alpha shifters and the world around them. I found this to be a refreshing look at shifter characters as I haven't really seen the nature aspect emphasized in other books in this genre, at least not to this extent.

As the story progresses, we find there is much about shifter lore that Wesley is unaware of-not due to his own ignorance but rather to his upbringing and the ways of his own pack and others that are no longer aware of the lore and what it all means. And while that does contribute to his own pack not wanting him as their leader, it does facilitate he and Jobe coming together.

The two of them together comes off as awkward for quite a bit once Wesley moves over to the Red River pack...until they finally become physical. After that, things move quickly-a bit too quickly in my thinking, but since I'm all for the fated mates scenario, this was still okay for me. That one deviation that I did not care for? To tell you would be a spoiler, so just know that the final twist in the story involves Wesley and Jobe continuing on Jobe's lineage-and while I've read stories with this type of twist before, it's really something I can do without when I'm reading M/M shifter romance.

While Red River wasn't as smooth a read for me as this author's other books as an e-book, I still enjoyed Jobe and Wesley together. BUT, as an audiobook, I found myself a lot more intrigued with the story-this is one of those cases for me where the audiobook went above and beyond enhancing my enjoyment of the written story, and I credit that to the fantastic narration by Nick J. Russo.  He did an amazing job of making the story richer through his interpretation of the characters, and makes that deviation I referred to pretty much a non-issue for me.  

If you're a fan of M/M shifter romance, keep this on your radar. It can be read/listened to as a standalone even though it's part of a series-I haven't read the first book yet and had no issues reading/listening to this one first. Be advised, this is strictly for those 18+ due to adult language and M/M sexual content.


Cardeno C - Logo
Cardeno C. - CC to friends - is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few "awwws" into a reader's day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno's stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever- after sunset.
Cardeno's Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/M Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, "You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day."


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