Dana reviews Walk With Me (Home series book 7) by Cardeno C. (Published by The Romance Authors, February 7, 2015, 224 pages) An audiocopy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
To see Marc’s ebook review of Walk With Me click here.
- Narrated by:
- Length: 6 hrs and 40 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release Date:08-28-15
- Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC
When Eli Block steps into his parents’ living room and sees his childhood crush sitting on the couch, he starts a shameless campaign to seduce the young rabbi. Unfortunately, Seth Cohen barely remembers Eli and he resolutely shuts down all his advances. As a tenuous and then binding friendship forms between the two men, Eli must find a way to move past his unrequited love while still keeping his best friend in his life. Not an easy feat when the same person occupies both roles.
Professional, proper Seth is shocked by Eli’s brashness, overt sexuality, and easy defiance of societal norms. But he’s also drawn to the happy, funny, light-filled man. As their friendship deepens over the years, Seth watches Eli mature into a man he admires and respects. When Seth finds himself longing for what Eli had so easily offered, he has to decide whether he’s willing to veer from his safe life-plan to build a future with Eli.
*Walk With Me is set in the Home series where the books are linked by theme or world. They are independent and can be read in any order.
The narrator: I’ve heard this narrator before using a different name, and he is very easy to listen to. He provides unique voices for the characters and that is always a good thing, and even uses audio effects to create almost an echo-y sound in instances where a character is on the phone. It creates a unique listening experience compared to other narrators. I would definitely listen to him again.
The story: I have to start off by saying I love Cardeno C.’s Home series. Each story features a different couple, and most of the stories take place in a town called EC West. The different characters in each book often play a small role in at least one other book. I had read them all and listened to the prior audiobooks before the re-release except for Walk With Me which wasn’t released on audio until now. I’m glad for that because I don’t have to compare it to a previous experience.
The stories in this series were not released in a chronological order. Though Walk With Me is the 7th book, it features a lot of the other mc’s prior to their pairings. When I read the first 6 ebooks, Seth and Eli seemed like a sweet couple, but I wasn’t really drawn to them. But once I read the book I was amazed by their story and couldn’t believe it took me so long to read it.
Eli was the son of a rabbi and fell for Seth when he was a young teen. Seth was an older camp counselor at the time, and nothing happened. Fast forward a few years later and Seth is now a rabbi and is in town to be the associate to Eli’s father. And Eli’s feelings for Seth haven’t changed at all. I have to say that I really loved Eli’s parents reaction to his very obvious flirting with Seth. They were so accepting of who Eli was, a young gay man. I know many people of many different faiths are accepting of homosexuality and don’t see it as a sin, but there is always the chance that someone’s religious parents won’t be so open. Eli’s parents take his flirting in stride, not upset that he is gay, only worried that his attentions will make the straight Seth uncomfortable.
This story spans many years in which Seth and Eli form a friendship. Seth is aware of Eli’s feelings, but Seth is straight. Mostly. He can’t explain the attraction he feels for Eli but he doesn’t explore the feelings because he feels Eli is too young. So friendship is how it remains as Eli goes to college and Seth becomes more involved with his duties at the temple. Mainly officiating weddings. The weddings he presides over are mostly theme weddings and each becomes wackier as the story goes on. It is an extremely cringe-worthy, comical part of the book. If this is how most of the weddings are for the congregants of this temple, it is no wonder Eli’s father has handed them off to Seth.
When Eli is finished with college and comes home, he is given a job at the temple as the cantor, Seth is ready to see him as a possible partner/life-mate, but Eli is afraid to lose Seth’s friendship so he keeps things platonic. He dates other people without consideration that Seth’s feelings might have changed, but it’s easy to empathize for him. The friendship really does seem so strong that I wouldn’t want to lose it either. Things do come to a head though, and the two of them have to have an honest conversation about where they are heading.
I can’t tell you how much I loved this sweet love story between these characters. Even though it’s sort of a love at first sight book, their relationship is given a lot of time to grow before they act on it. There are many funny parts, one semi-angsty part, and a very happy ending. I definitely recommend this book and the rest of the series.
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.”