05 November 2014

The Half of Us Tour Stop!

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Short-tempered, arrogant heart surgeon Jason Garcia grew up wanting a close-knit family, but believes he ruined those dreams when he broke up his marriage. The benefit of divorce is having as much random sex as he wants, and it’s a benefit Jason is exploiting when he meets a sweet, shy man at a bar and convinces him to go home for a no-strings-attached night of fun.
Eight years living in Las Vegas hasn’t dimmed Abe Green’s optimism, earnestness, or desire to find the one. When a sexy man with lonely eyes propositions him, Abe decides to give himself a birthday present—one night of spontaneous fun with no thoughts of the future. But one night turns into two and then three, and Abe realizes his heart is involved. For the first time, Abe feels safe enough with someone he respects and adores to let go of his inhibitions in the bedroom. If Jason can get past his own inhibitions and open his heart and his life to Abe, he might finally find the family he craves. 

Rarely do I find a story of two gay men as romantic but this one fits that bill perfectly.  The author took two damaged guys, one on each end of the spectrum and merged them into a loving and caring couple.  With the extra baggage of life and family, they also battled their fears and deep emotions to make this work.  I am so impressed with this series but I have to say this book is by far my favorite and actually made me feel like I was experiencing falling in love for the first time all over again.  
Everyone can read the synopsis and see Jason meets Abe, both are different; so forth and so on……..let me tell you how I felt while reading this story.  The author doesn’t take a lot of time to jump into this plot; we start out with a clear understanding of the stress Jason goes through on his job.  It was also clear he is lacking something in his life, something that he either doesn’t feel he deserves or he isn’t able to achieve it.  When he is looking for a one night stand and sees Abe, I swear I could feel the smile across my face appear because Abe is just so freaking loveable.  He is like those grown men who still have the innocence and mystery of a child.  I found myself smiling and feeling like I had come home every time I read about Abe and soon Jason started to find a place in my heart as well. 
I also loved how the author dealt with Jason’s ex-wife and kids.  I can’t explain it but there was just a proud yet peaceful calm come over me when Jason’s son referred to Abe as a step parent in the book.  I think if nothing else I would hope the reader would see from this story that a gay couple is equal to a straight couple.  Both have feelings, terms, and affection and yes both can be romantic.  So I really appreciated how the ex-wife supported Jason in his choices and how she was teaching the kids to accept people as equals.  His kids, well my heart went out to his son and it broke my heart a few times to watch him learn about his dad from others, but once again Abe to the rescue.  Have I mentioned how much I love Abe? 
The author did a fabulous job at tearing down the walls around Jason’s heart without making Abe have to throw a temper fit or give him ultimatums.  Abe with his patient and caring soul that I had grown to love allowed Jason to make the choice himself to become more vulnerable to not only Abe but to his kids as well.  Abe really was in my opinion the missing piece for this family.  Jason also was the leading cause as to why Abe was able to learn how to express himself more in the bedroom.  Trust me he was a bit awkward for a little while but soon he was just what Jason needed in a partner.
I could go on and on about this story but I won’t, you need to experience it for yourself.  I will say never have I read a book of this nature and walked away feeling so emotionally satisfied and happy and wanting a best friend like Abe.  
Although this is the fourth book in the Family series, it is the first one I have read and I am so glad that it could be read as a standalone because I LOVED it. Honestly I shouldn’t be surprised because I haven’t read a Cardeno C. book yet that I didn’t love, but there was something about Jason that I connected to that made his finding love that much more enjoyable for me. The fact that Abe was a sweetheart and had the patience of a saint was an added bonus.

The stress that Jason faces as a heart surgeon on a daily basis was introduced in an extremely effective way at the very beginning of the book. The scene does an excellent job of setting the stage for Jason’s character and goes a long way in explaining many of his behaviors – at least for me it did. It also made his out-of-character move to approach Abe rather fascinating as was Abe’s equally out-of-character agreement for a one-night stand. The chemistry between the two was obvious and it made for an intense scene – an intensity that was repeated when they ran into one another again several weeks later. And again when Jason realized that he couldn’t get Abe out of his head and staked out Abe’s favorite coffee shop until he ran into him again. What follows is a wonderfully entertaining read as Abe and Jason embark upon building a relationship together, even if Jason is too oblivious to notice. Jason’s obliviousness is trait which I share and is part of why I enjoyed Jason’s reactions so much when awareness set in throughout the book – the final one of the book being the funniest of all and sent me into hysterics.

As much as I loved Jason and his cluelessness, it was a moment of self-realization that Abe has where he realizes that Jason is his dream come true that really moved me. Abe is a sweet, kind, and loving man who seems to be the kind of guy everyone loves when they meet him. He’s an all-around good guy, except in the bedroom; as much as he wants to be loved and cherished, he doesn’t want to be treated with kid gloves in the bedroom – at least not all the time. Abe’s past experience had shown him that he could have one or the other, but not both … until Jason. While it took Jason a while to realize it (and Abe already knew before Jason did), he came to love Abe and did so the way Abe needed (being cherished), yet managed to unknowingly fulfill Abe’s need for an enthusiastic lover. As expected, the sex between the two was off-the-charts hot, but it was the way in which they were exactly what the other needed that made me love The Half of Us so much. Watching these two navigate the pitfalls and landmines of their budding relationship and coming out better for it was a journey I know I’ll take again as this is yet another CC book added to my reread list. I will definitely being going back to read the other books in the series.
I really enjoyed this book.  The characters were so wonderful and they captured my heart immediately.  I really wanted Jason to quit having one night stands and realize he was someone you could settle down with.  Jason has been a player ever since he divorced his wife and has pretty much decided that is all he will ever be.

Abe is a high school math teacher and decides that instead of always looking for a commitment before indulging in sex he would just have fun for once.  Jason teaches Abe that it is okay to go after what you want sometimes while Abe teaches Jason that just because he is gay doesn’t mean he has to give up on his dream of the perfect family. 

It was wonderful to watch these two completely different men meld together and support each other.  My only complaint was a relatively minor one, but I was surprised the characters never said I love you.  It was implied in their actions and behaviors to each other but the words were never said.  I am not sure if this was simply an oversight by the author but it was surprising to me since I was looking for that moment.  Overall this is another wonderful book about family and how it doesn’t always resemble a storybook but still be perfect anyways.
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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/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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