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Two well-written novellas, two superb narrators, a hot cover, and all at a very reasonable price.
In Another Life – 4.5*
This is a fabulous and cleverly-crafted story that ran me through a range of emotions. I laughed, I cried, and I swooned as I listened to Shiloh’s and Travis’ story. As often is the case with CC we are treated to insta-love, but keep with it if it’s not your thing. It all works out wonderfully in the end. It’s a story of second chances but sort of in reverse. The only thing I wondered about was the make-out scene in the hospital bed. Not very professional. Luckily they weren’t interrupted. Excellently narrated by John Solo and his character voice for Travis was just hot and lovely.
Eight Days – 3.5 (4* for the early part of the story)
I liked the premise of this story—eight snapshots of a relationship that just happened to coincide with Hanukkah celebrations over several years. I enjoyed the early chapters with Maccabe and Josh, but the reason behind their split and the lack of contact for seven years was a little flimsy. The separation hardly seemed to affect Maccabe, but then all of a sudden he feels he has to do something to put it right. I’m glad Josh had tried to move on with his life, but my heart hurt for him because he hadn’t really managed it. I can understand why he was reluctant to have Maccabe back at first. The final chapter was a let down. I was hoping to see Maccabe come out to their families and admit he was in a relationship with his best friend. Instead we get an extended family scene with banter/arguing and only a brief glimpse at how Josh and Maccabe are together. So for me although the idea of the story was good and it ends happily, I would have liked a slightly different ending or an extended story with more scenes. Nick narrated the story very well, although a little fast at times, with distinguishable voices and the right emotions.
What did you like most about In Another Life & Eight Days?
In another life is a 'turned on it's head' life flashing before your eyes tale that gripped me from the outset. Shiloh & Travis are perfect for each other, and in the end, shape their own happily ever after. Wonderfully absorbing and relatable characters in a sweet story that is so fresh, I adored it.Eight Days tells the story of two men finally finding themselves and each other told via the Eight Days of Hanukkah over several years. The cute geeky band-boy Josh falls for his closeted jock best friend McCabe but McCabe insists he isn't gay and doesn't want their close families to find out the truth about them. Eventually, pro ballplayer McCabe comes to his senses and goes to get Josh and start their life together. Its a 'doesn't run smooth' love story, but very sweet and satisfying in the end. I loved it.
What other book might you compare In Another Life & Eight Days to, and why?
These two stories are so original, and approached by the author in such a fresh way, that there isn't anything else I've read that is like them. That the stories are romantic and satisfying in the end, doesn't mean they don't have their share of difficulties that real life possess.
Which character – as performed by John Solo and Nick J. Russo – was your favourite?
John's narration was excellent, as was Nick's. They both portrayed the characters well, clearly and in a way that was perfectly in line with how I heard the characters when I first read the book. Of all the characters in both stories, Shiloh was probably my favourite, as he was the one who went on the biggest journey to find his place in happiness.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
So many! The brilliantly bossy jewish moms always trying to feed everybody were awesome, but when Shiloh woke in the hospital too his dad's almost barked 'I love you' i nearly cried.
Any additional comments?
Both stories are written with Cardeno C's usual humour and brilliant dialogue, if you like cleverly done gay romance stories, and appreciate the healthy representation of Judaism, this book is for you.
In Another Life
Without revealing what happens… Shiloh is shown at 18 and 36 … then again at 18 and 36. He gets “shown” a couple different variations of how his life “could” be and we are left when he finally figures it out right! Travis is his savior and whom he saves and finds true love with in the end.
It’s a bit like a morbid, gay, choose your own adventure and it has some funny lines, a bit of hot smexy times, and a very sweet HEA. This is an unusual story and though it’s short, tells a lot. There are a lot of plot inconsistencies without explanations, but overall it’s a very sweet holiday story that, like all of Cardeno’s works, is delightfully ooey, gooey, sweet and tender.
John Solo does the narration for this and he does a nice job – especially with all the coughing! He doesn’t use any accents or do anything OTT, just delivers a nice narrative.
For the story and the narration 3.5 of 5 stars
Maccabe is the nerd and Josh the jock. They hook up in college but when Maccabe wants to come out and Josh doesn’t, they split for years. It takes Hanukah to bring them back together.
On the one hand I loved Josh’s explanation about who he is and why he didn’t want to come out – it’s unique. But I didn’t really understand why he’d let things go as long as he did. Then when he comes back in to Josh’s life, Josh doesn’t really offer up much of a protest, despite all the time gone by.
It’s another lovely holiday story with a bit of hot smexy times and some very sweet Cardeno lovin’.
Nick J Russo did a great job with all the unique words and his voice for Josh felt very authentic. I love his narrations as he’s so easy to listen to and he has a way of really bringing the listener into the story.
I liked this story best of the two and give it and the narration a 4.25 of 5 stars
I think anyone in the mood for a short, sweet, sexy, holiday story will love these and I recommend them highly.
(I love the new cover!)
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
Brilliantly narrated by John Solo, In Another Life gives a glimpse of what could be and fateful encounters. This story is hands down one of my favorite novellas of Cardeno's. Filled with so much love and hope it definitely doesn't hurt that the sex is hot as hell too.
But more than that I absolutely love that Shiloh remembers the glimpse of the life that could have been and am completely enamored of Shiloh and Travis's whole love story. John had me crying while listening to this story...twice.
Speaking of brilliant, Nick J. Russo lends his own considerable voice talent to Eight Days. Nick perfectly captures Maccabe's cluelessness, Josh's affection and frustration, and, as always, brings the heat for the sexy times.
I want so much more with this story. I feel like begging for a sequel. I need more, Cardeno C., please!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful