We’re so pleased to welcome author Cardeno C. back today, sharing a few teasers with you from the upcoming re-released titles in the Mates series–Wake Me Up Inside, Until Forever Comes, and In Your Eyes.
Cardeno is also offering the chance for one lucky reader to win an e-copy of one of the books in the series, winner’s choice. Just click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.
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.
Excerpt: Jonah rolled on top of him and straightened his arms, raising himself above Zev in a push-up position and looking down into Zev’s impossibly handsome face. “Think you might like feeling it too? ’Cause I wanna get my turn.” The hardness that suddenly poked into his hip answered Jonah’s question. “I’ll take that as a yes, Hassick.”
“Oh, it’s definitely a yes, Blondie. Show me what you got,” Zev responded with a smirk and raised his eyebrows up and down comically.
Jonah chuckled. “Quit making me laugh, Zev. You’re spoiling the romance. And I went through great efforts to seduce you here. I put away the dirty socks, threw out the pizza boxes, and I even changed the sheets on this bed.”
“Oh, wow. How could I possibly resist when you bring out the big guns of seduction like that? Nothing turns me on like basic housekeeping.”
A grumble was Jonah’s only response, and then he started kissing and licking his way down Zev’s neck, taking breaks to suck on sensitive spots. When he got to Zev’s nipple, Jonah traced it with his tongue before taking it into his mouth and sucking until it hardened. Zev shuddered and moaned beneath him.
“Not such a big talker now, are you, Hassick?” Jonah asked as he switched his attentions to the other nipple and ran his fingers over Zev’s hard cock and down to his heavy balls. “Turns out I know the Kryptonite to curb your super-sarcasm power.”
“Uh-huh. Less talking more licking, Blondie,” gasped Zev.
“Pushy asshole,” Jonah replied, but there was no animosity behind the words, just affectionate amusement.
By the time Jonah had made his way down to Zev’s cock, both men were done talking, done thinking, and operating on pure instinct. A few strokes of Zev’s erection had Jonah moaning, and the first swipe of his tongue across the glistening glans took Jonah’s breath away. Before he knew it, his lips were stretched around a hard cock. He felt a tender caress over his forehead and warm fingers pushing his hair back. He looked up to see Zev watching him.
Jonah didn’t move his mouth, just darted his tongue out and licked the salty skin. Zev’s fingers made their way through his hair to the back of his neck, where they massaged and nudged Jonah downward. He whimpered in agreement and sucked more of that hard cock into his mouth. He loved feeling Zev’s need, loved it when the other man gave into it and asked for what he wanted, loved that what Zev wanted was him.
He cupped Zev’s balls, squeezing and rolling them as he enjoyed their weight and texture. Without stopping that caress, Jonah popped his mouth off Zev’s dick, licked his lips, then gathered saliva in his mouth and plunged back down, letting the wetness seep out and over Zev, easing Jonah’s descent. His free hand went to the base of Zev’s dick and met his mouth on its downward approach.
Both of Zev’s hands touched Jonah, petting his cheeks and combing through his hair. “Feels so good, Jonah. Never thought anything could feel so good.”
Zev’s breathless voice praising him added another layer to the sensual maelstrom Jonah was experiencing. He rocked his hips against Zev’s leg, wanting to feel the friction against his own need.
“Mmm, hmm. Mmm, hmm.” Jonah moaned as he increased the speed of his up and down motions and tightened his mouth even further around Zev’s cock.
He pushed his hips harder against Zev’s leg, pumped faster, and it wasn’t long before Jonah was wailing around Zev’s dick as he released his seed onto Zev’s skin and the mattress. Zev’s answering howl came just as his large body shuddered, his thick fingers tightened in Jonah’s hair, and his hard cock exploded in Jonah’s mouth.
After he finished swallowing his friend’s offering, Jonah rested his cheek against Zev’s thigh and tried to catch his breath.
“So.” Zev’s husky voice broke the silence once their gasps died down. “What do you think? Did you enjoy your turn?”
Jonah rubbed his hand up and down Zev’s leg, kissed the man’s softening dick, and then crawled back up his muscular body.
“I think that’s definitely a keeper. Let’s add it to the rotation.”
Zev laughed, wrapped his arms around Jonah, and held him tightly.
“Whatever you say, Blondie. After all, you are the brains of this operation. Or at least that’s what you keep telling me.”
A sensitive wolf shifter and a vicious vampire challenge history, greed, and the very fabric of their beings in order to stay together until forever comes.
Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can’t shift. Hoping to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack, Ethan instead learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate—a vampire named Miguel.
Over four centuries old, strong, powerful, and vicious, Miguel Rodriguez walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they’re true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent and being with him comes so naturally that Miguel can’t resist for long. Their challenge is staying alive so they can be together until forever comes.
I jerked, snapping my head up. Miguel was moving toward me at a fast clip, his lips pressed into tight lines, a pinched expression on his face.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, expediting my pace, wanting to reach him as fast as possible.
Just as soon as we were within arm’s distance, he pulled me to him, engulfing me in a hug. “Are you okay?” he asked, pressing his face against my hair.
“I’m fine,” I assured him. “What happened?”
He inhaled deeply. If he were a shifter, I would have thought he was trying to take in my scent. When the tension drained from his body and he sighed contentedly, I reckoned that was precisely what he’d been doing.
“You weren’t there,” he said. “When I came back to the room, you were gone.”
I immediately felt remorseful for having worried my mate. “I’m sorry,” I said, hoping he could hear the sincerity in my voice. “I reckoned you’d be busy with your…coven?” I paused and pulled back to look at him. He shrugged and then gave me a short nod. Taking that as confirmation that I’d used the correct terminology, I continued. “And I was hungry, so—”
“There’s food waiting for you,” he said. “I went just as soon as the sun set. I wanted to have it there when you woke up, but I was delayed dealing with Ted and those other guys.” He looked me over, his gaze flicking all around my face and body. “And then, by the time I got back, you were gone.”
He sounded just as dismayed the second time he reminded me of my absence as he had the first.
“I wasn’t leaving you,” I assured him.
“I know that,” he answered too quickly.
His tone was curt and his gaze dropped to the ground. Everything about the way he responded told me that I was, in fact, correct in my suspicion. I grinned to myself. Though he’d tried to push me away, it was clear that Miguel didn’t want me to leave. He wanted me by his side, hopefully as much as I wanted to be there.
Miguel took the bag from my hand and wrapped his arm around my shoulder, keeping me close. “Let’s go,” he said and started leading us down the street. “Next time you need something, let me know and I’ll take care of it. It isn’t safe for you to be out here at night. There are all sorts of dangers lurking around.”
“But you said you went out to get me food and you’re here now,” I pointed out.
The grin I got from the man was devilish. “That’s because I’m the biggest danger of all.”
My pecker thickened and lengthened in response to my mate’s words and tone. Was that weird? I mean, should a reminder of his violent nature be arousing? Before I could give it more thought, we turned the corner and I was lifted off my feet and pressed up against the side of a building.
“Miguel?” I asked, my voice cracking. He wedged his leg between mine and released his hold on my upper body just enough to make my groin drop onto his thigh, pressing my testicles down against the hard muscle. “Ugh,” I moaned, a pang of desire shooting through me.
He moved one hand to my neck, wrapping around it until his thumb rested on the front of my throat. I gulped and met his searing gaze.
“I didn’t like finding you missing,” he said, his voice rough. He moved his thumb in tiny increments back and forth across the throbbing vein in my neck. “Why is that?” he asked quietly, almost as if he was talking to himself. He moved his leg up and around, rubbing my groin with a magnificent friction. “I’ve been alone for a long time, even before I was turned. Why, all of a sudden, did I feel like something was missing just because you weren’t in my bed?”
“Mate,” I answered as I panted for air, that one word explaining everything.
He paused, no longer surprised by my response, I supposed.
“And you want this, right?” he said eventually. “You want to be with me?”
I nodded, the motion barely perceptible because of the hold he had on my neck. I was so unbelievably turned on by his strength, his power. By him.
“I want that too,” he said. “Heaven help me, but I want you to stay with me. But, Ethan, I will let you go if you say the word. I will never harm you.” He paused, looking deeply into my eyes. “You don’t need to run away from me. Just say the word and I’ll return you safely to your pack.”
“I wasn’t running away,” I croaked, not because of the pressure from his hand around my throat—that was welcome— but instead from the emotion and need that almost overwhelmed me. “I promise.”
Miguel dipped his face and pressed his lips against mine. “Okay,” he mumbled against my mouth and then nibbled on my lower lip. “I’m glad,” he whispered as he mouthed his way across my jaw to my ear. “But if you change your mind, wolf, it’s an open-ended offer. I’ll get you where you want to be safely, even—” His voice cracked, and I could feel his heart racing. “Even if it isn’t with me.”
Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past their society’s rules to realize they are destined for one another.
Raised to become Alpha of the Yafenack pack, Samuel Goodwin dedicates his life to studying shifter laws, strengthening his body, and learning from his father. But despite his best efforts, Samuel can’t relate to people, including those he’s supposed to lead.
When Samuel meets Korban Keller, the son of a neighboring pack’s Alpha, he reacts with emotion instead of intellect for the first time in his life. Resenting the other shifter for throwing him off-balance, Samuel first tries to intimidate Korban and then desperately avoids him. What he can’t do is forget Korban’s warm eyes, easy smile, and happy personality.
When a battle between their fathers ends tragically, Samuel struggles to lead his pack while Korban works to break through Samuel’s emotional barriers. Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past their society’s rules to realize they are destined for one another.
Excerpt: “This is getting ridiculous,” I said as I flopped onto my back and sucked air into my burning lungs.
“What?” Korban sounded just as breathless.
“I don’t think it’s normal for people to, uh”—I tried to think of the right words—“spend this much time in bed.”
“I know.” He flung both arms out to his sides, landing one hand on my sweaty thigh. Then he skated it up to my groin and cupped my balls. “I feel sorry for them.”
I coughed out a laugh.
“Nothing.” I shook my head. “What do you want to do now?”
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“I don’t know.” I shrugged. “I just thought we could do something new.”
“Yes.” Not that what we’d been doing wasn’t good. It had been really good. But I was starting to get dehydrated.
“Umm, I saw this movie where one guy was leaning against the wall and the other guy was doing a handstand, so they were, like, face to dick and they sucked each other off. Like a standing-up sixty-nine.” He rolled onto his side, propped his elbow on the bed, and rested his head on his hand. “We could do that.”
That was not at all what I meant. I had been thinking cards or a movie. “I don’t think that’s—”
“No? Okay. I have another one,” he said excitedly, making me wonder how he had any energy left after the long day we’d had—we’d seen his uncle and other pack members, gone grocery shopping, and then spent the previous hour mauling each other. “In another movie, one guy was bent in half with his shoulders on the floor and his ankles practically pinned to his ears. Then the other guy was squatting over him and pushing his dick inside his hole.” He looked at me expectantly. “That’s an option too.”
“Please tell me you’re joking around,” I said, trying to remove the images he was painting from my mind.
“That one’s not good either? No worries, I’m sure I can think of more.” He pressed his lips together and wrinkled his brow. “I know. Do you have a weight bench, duct tape, and an ice bucket?”
I absolutely did not want to let him finish that description.
“I think the ways we’ve been doing it are perfect. Plus, they involve a bed, which is more comfortable than the floor, and they require considerably less acrobatics and no props.”
“Then why did you ask for ideas of what to do?” “I wasn’t asking for ideas of how to have sex!”
“Oh, thank God.” He sighed in relief. “I was worried one of us would sprain something. Plus, I’m all out of suggestions.”
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.
Heartwarming Stories. Strong Relationships. Forever Love.
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