Marc reviews ‘Where He Ends and I Begin’ (Home Series book 3) by Cardeno C. (Published by The Romance Authors, 2nd edition, February 7,2015, 363 pages)
A free copy of this second edition with new edits and the bonus chapter was provided for an honest review, though I already bought and listened to the audio version and fell in love with this book long before that.
Read Dana’s review of ‘Home Again’ (Home Series book 1) HERE and Dana’s review of ‘He Completes Me’ (Home Series book 2) HERE. Reviews for books 4 (Dana), 5 (Bethany), 6 (Bethany) and 7(Marc) of the Home series will follow.
Read my interview with Cardeno C. about here shifter book ‘Control’ HERE.
Why I read this book: Bethany, Dana and I really love this series and when we were informed by the author that each book in this series would be re-released, we jumped on the chance to share with our readers why we love these books.
For the Home Series Giveaway click here.
Aggressive, physical, and brave, Jake Owens is a small town football hero turned big city cop who passes his time with meaningless encounters believing he can’t have who he really wants: Nate Richardson, his best friend since before forever. Thoughtful, quiet, and kind, Nate is a brilliant doctor who has always known who he is and has never been able to shake his crush on loyal, courageous, straight Jake.
After a passionate night together, Nate realizes Jake isn’t as straight as he assumed, but he worries that what they shared was a fluke, a result of too much closeness for too long. For Jake, the question isn’t how they ended up in bed together because he has always known that Nate holds his heart, it’s how he’ll convince Nate that he wants and needs to stay there.
‘Where He Ends and I Begin’ is a wonderful title that fits perfectly for the soul-mate relationship shown in this book. Jake and Nate were inseparable since a very young age and for me the title was not just intriguing, but the story delivers what the title promises and so much more.
I already mentioned in our cover post HERE that I prefer the old covers, even while really liking the new ones. The old cover for this book shows Jake and Nate as children and as adults with an intense connection. It is beautifully drawn and the artist was able to make these guys come alive from the descriptions in the book.
The new cover has a real couple with a real connection that can be felt and integrates the ‘home’ in the ‘home series’ cover. It looks really nice and works well, though I will miss the old one, which was very special to me.
I listened to books 1-6 in the home series as audiobooks and the narration of the series really worked for me. So much so, that I had to keep on listening until I had listened to all 6 books back-to-back.
Given that the audiobooks where created by Dreamspinner Press and their version of the edits was used, I am not certain when and if the books will be back on audible. In my understanding, the author got back the rights to her original submission and has newly edited this book and the entire series. Given that the rights to the Dreamspinner Press edits still lie with DSP, even as Cardeno C. has regained rights to her original submission, either the author and DSP have to make a deal about the audiobooks or Cardeno has to order a new audiobook that uses her new self-published version of the book as basis. Given how much I liked the old audiobook and how much work went into it, I hope it will become available again.
This is my favorite story in Cardeno C.’s home series, her backlist and one of my all-time favorite M/M books by any author. The other stories are 7 to 9.5 pots of gold to me, but this one was a full 10 out of ten pots of gold and a much-needed fix for a romantic.
Soul-mates or true mates are a well-liked trope that is very often used in shifter books. Cardeno C. herself has a wonderful shifter series based on this premise, but for me no other book in this genre does soul-mates as well as ‘Where He Ends and I Begin’.
It is impossible not to feel the connection and chemistry between Jake and Nate. They just are not complete without each other. That is not, because there is some kind of magical fate that has determined they have to bond or were made for each other like in a shifter book. They just are two very different people who went through a lot of difficult challenges and very the only constant for each other, always there for each other, would do anything for each other. They are EVERYTHING to each other.
There is no magical shifter component to explain insta-love. In my opinion, there is no insta-love at all. These guys were best friends, but grew so much closer even without realizing or caring what that means. They just had to be there for each other all-the-time. They needed each other and it was visbile to everyone that these friends could never be separated.
They LOVE each other with an intensity that was incredible to read about, but they haven’t shared this knowledge with each other.
Social norms tell us we can be either straight or gay (though we might go to hell just for being in love with someone of the same sex). Maybe you can love both exactly the same and love both, but that means to most people that either we are not brave enough to come out of the closet completely, do not know what we want or are sex-crazed and sleep with anything that moves.
Not everyone can be easily placed in a certain box and thus our social norms make it hard for Jake and Nate to understand what is between them and claim their HEA, but their journey from friends closer than identical twins to partners for life, who are so in love event the most cynical person won’t be able to deny they belong together, is SO worth the journey.
It’s a Friends-to-Lovers and Gay-for-You book with true soul-mates. The book is extremely well-written and will warm your heart, make you smile and care for the characters, make you feel heartbroken and smitten. It will make you fall in love. And make you fall in love all over again, everytime you re-read this book. For me it is one of my favorite comfort reads and it was nice that the bonus chapter (previously published in the free ‘marriage’ collection of ‘home’ shorts) was added directly to the 2nd edition of this book.
In the end, a story like this won’t appeal to everyone, but if like me you eat stories like that up you will be in heaven. ❤
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/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.”
You can learn more about Cardeno’s writing at www.cardenoc.com.