Wake Me Up Inside by Cardeno C.

Mates, #1


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.

Simple but sweet. From the two books I've read by her, Cardeno C. has a knack for writing convincingly "sweet" stories, no matter the situation or character.

I rated it 2.5 stars, but my enjoyment level was closer to three - the same bump down was due to "technical difficulties." For one thing there was the annoyance having their relationship drawn out way too long - 12 year foreplay? Seriously? Anticlimactic.

It became frustrating he can't tell his mate the truth about what he is, why they have to wait, and what's going on, leading to tons and tons of angst for both sides. This only stays interesting so far before it crosses into annoying territories.

The tying thing is just weird - I've heard of it before sort of, seen it mentioned and on listopia, but it was strange reading about it. Doesn't take away from the story, just thought I'd put it out there. I'm surprised the main character was so clueless on how things worked, despite being in a secluded small town - I mean come on, this is supposed to be set in contemporary times.

Overall the story wasn't very in-depth - it was just about a drawn out relationship and nothing else to break that tension - and the ending was obvious and easily guessable. Still, I enjoyed the genuine sweetness about the relationship and the bond was awesome. Loved the playful banter and friendship humor. It's genuinely endearing.

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