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REVIEW: Johnnie by Cardeno C.

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Blurb

A Premier lion shifter, Hugh Landry dedicates his life to leading the Berk pride with strength and confidence. Hundreds of people depend on Hugh for safety, success, and happiness. And at over a century old, with more power than can be contained in one body, Hugh relies on a Siphon lion shifter to carry his excess force.

When the Siphon endangers himself and therefore the pride, Hugh must pay attention to the man who has been his silent shadow for a decade. What he learns surprises him, but what he feels astounds him even more.

Two lions, each born to serve, rely on one another to survive. After years by each other’s side, they’ll finally realize the depth of their potential, the joy in their passion, and a connection their kind has never known.

What did I think?

If you are looking for a different shifter story, C. Cardeno wrote one for you. This is a lion shifter story about a black alpha lion and his Siphon. The alpha premier is named Hugh, who is well above average human size and weight… doesn’t that sound so sexy to you? It does to me!

“The Siphon” is a new concept so it took a while for me to get into it, but who cares because this “Siphon” is nothing less than adorable and lovable. He was more than a living, breathing receptor of the Premiere’s overflowing power, but not in the eyes of the pack including their alpha. He was seen but not noticed so the story starts dramatically, which instantly drew me into it. It is rare that a writer bases a story of a character with issues such as the Siphon. The way Cardeno wrote about the Siphon’s feelings and his actions was harrowing and compelling. You need to read these parts to understand what I mean so I shall say nothing more to make sure you get the most out of the story because Siphon and his behavior play a crucial part in the story.

His despair broke my heart, but it also pushed his Premier to notice him for the first time… wow! This part was also written beautifully and with total empathy. I can visualize Hugh the Premier struggling to understand why Siphon was the way he was but I respected Hugh for trying to understand what was hurting the younger man.

Reading how they start re-establishing their relationship was nothing less than endearing because they were both learning something new about each other and about themselves. I found this part in the story also very engaging and captivating.

Hugh is the ultimate alpha male who cares, protects and is totally into his pack. I liked how Cardeno wrote parts from Hugh’s perspective because I had a glimpse into how his mind worked and his own personal struggles. For me, he was like any other alpha male in a great story, so what made this story different and captivating was the Siphon. I felt tearful when I read the part where Siphon was given his first proper name and he was named Johnnie.  Johnnie makes this story memorable for me. He is probably one of the most unforgettable fictional heroes for me so I just loved him.

The story has a great plot because it is very different and flows all the way through. I adored reading how the tender love grew between Hugh and Johnnie. I thought the sensuality between these two was sizzling, smoking hot. I mean, how wouldn’t anyone not like the thought of a very sensuous but innocent virgin male with an alpha male who has a high sex drive and massive pleasure giving spikes on his man-bits. I think part of the dialogue in the story was a little repetitive and not as unique as the plot was but it did not diminish the pleasure of reading this story which started with sadness and despair and ended beautifully.

4 stars

About the Author

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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