Title: The Half of Us (Family #4)
Author Name: Cardeno C.
Publication Date & Length: October 10, 2014 – 206pgs
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.
This was a well planned, thoughtful, steamy story about finding your family. It may not be what you were expecting, but if you fight for it, anyone can have the family they want.
Jason and Abe are two men who have wonderful chemistry, once you get past the serial sleeping around that Jason does and the strange innocent vibe that Abe gives off. To say that these two are opposites is putting it mildly – until they get in to bed. These two can burn up the sheets. I was slightly put off by their “insta-love” relationship, but did enjoy that once they got over that, they started to actually see each other in a way that allowed their relationship to become something rather than just drive by sex.
Abe is a wonderful character who not only understands what he wants in life, but helps Jason figure out that he can have what he’s been searching for too. I love his passion for life, the kids he works with and his understanding of Jason. And, while I thought that Jason was slightly immature, I also understand that when you go from college to medical school, you miss some formidable years where you learn social skills.
The supporting characters were so helpful in this story. It kept the story more focused on family than only about Jason and Abe’s relationship. I could hug and kiss Angela – she is a great person, someone who honestly loves Jason, Donny and Kristen. The way that she was able to finish her own goals, while staring a family – to keep Jason honest and be OK with who he was showed great depth.
I really enjoyed this story and found that while some of the lines were somewhat juvenile, the overall feel of the story was one of family. And, I can say that my favorite lines of the story were on the very last page. It left me with a feeling of joy and happiness.
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1uIoBJy
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/ZSMqTz
1) What motivated you to start writing?
CC: One of the reasons I began writing was to do something creative and different from my day job. I also wanted to share happy, uplifting stories. I’d never considered being a fiction writer until about the time I sat down and wrote my first story, which was Where He Ends and I Begin. I hadn’t read romance novels at that point and I had no idea there were gay romance novels out there. What drove me to write was a sense that so many movies and shows I saw had gay characters who were killed or hurt or deeply miserable and after seeing this over and over again, I started feeling like it was a punishment, like these people weren’t allowed to be happy and healthy and strong AND gay. And I’m talking about movies where the gay characters are the main characters, movies targeted toward a gay/welcoming audience. That vision of life doesn’t match what I see in the world around me.
Yes, there are tragedies and sadness and family trouble. I know. Those things are real and true. But my life experience is that people as a whole are resilient and strong. I see people move past the hard times and make their own happy futures. I see people learn and grow and build lives and communities and families around them. I see people who use their experience and wisdom to make choices that allow them to live the kinds of lives they want on their terms and to be satisfied and happy with those lives. That’s my reality and I wanted to share it.
2) Who or what is your biggest inspiration for writing?
CC: It’s so hard to pinpoint inspiration. When I’m ready to write a book, I think about the characters until they’re real in my head. Although my characters are fictional, there are often anecdotes or characteristics or incidents that are based on my life, friends’ lives, or news articles.
3) What is your writing environment? (Where do you write, what do you do to prepare right before you start writing)
CC: I write at home, either in my living room on my sofa or in my bed with pillows propping me and my laptop up. I always have a 44 ounce cup of iced tea at my side and often I have a Diet Coke or iced coffee too. I write whenever I can squeeze in any time.
4) What is the hardest part of a book for you? Any particular scene(s)?
CC: For me the hardest thing has always been time. Writing requires concentration, energy, and a clear headspace. Life is busy so finding the time to sit down and get my head filled with my characters for long enough to write their stories is an ongoing challenge for me. As far as certain scenes, I prefer to write happy, loving scenes so those come most easily.
5) If you only could write in one genre, what would it be? And if you couldn’t write in that genre what genre would you pick next?
CC: I write exclusively gay romance. This genre inspired me to write because of my desire to share happy, uplifting stories to give hope in an area where I felt it was needed. I’ve never had an urge to write in another genre.
6) If you could spend a day with one author, who would it be and why?
CC: I think it’d be interesting to spend the day with David Sedaris although I have to admit, I’d be a little nervous about what could happen. Hopefully the nerves would counteract the anxiety from being in the presence of such a talented writer.
7) What do you like to see in book reviews? What makes a review better than other ones to you?
CC: I think different people appreciate different types of reviews. For me as a reader, I like knowing general things about a book so I know whether it’ll appeal to me but not having spoilers that ruin the reading experience. For example, if I’m looking for a light, sweet read, I like a review to tell me it’s that kind of book.
8) If you could give one tip to new writers, what would it be?
CC: I suppose the first and most important tip of writing is to keep writing. There are lots of things that can distract us or bring us down, but if we want to write, we have to push them aside and keep going. No matter what.
9) How do you make hard decisions with your books? Like the title of the book or some of the characters actions?
CC: I want my characters to be true to who they are. That means I need to know who they are before I write the first word of a book. After that, it’s a matter of making sure that everything they do and say works with them and for them. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t the best way or my way; if it’s consistent with the character, it’s the right way. My book titles are often inspired by song lyrics that, in my head at least, correlate to the book.
10) If you could only use 4 words to describe yourself, what would they be?
CC: Four words…. Hmm. In no particular order, I’d say: happy, lucky, hard-working, and busy. J
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.
Heartwarming Stories. Strong Relationships. Forever Love.
Author’s Website: www.cardenoc.com
Author’s GoodRead Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4620386.Cardeno_C_