Wake Up Inside Me (Mates #1) by Cardeno C. #LGBT #Review

Sam reviews ‘Wake Up Inside Me’ (Mates #1) by Cardeno C.. Published by Romance Authors on July 31st, 2015 and is 250 pages long.

This book was provided free of charge by the author for an honest review.




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.



Zeb is next in line to become the Alpa of the Etzgadol pack. He is 30 years old and never tied with another wolf. He knows this is an issue and fears that if he doesn’t soon he will lose his human side. But he has no desire to be with any female. He is gay and secretly in love with his best friend who is human. Both of these reasons are unacceptable to wolves. Deep down he knows that Jonah is his true mate, but getting the other wolves to accept this will not be easy.

The story takes us back to where their bond first began. Zeb and Jonah have been drawn to each other from the time Zeb was a year old and Jonah was just a little baby. No matter if in his wolf form or in human form Zeb would seek out Jonah. Only Jonah wasn’t aware that the pup he has known since he was a baby and his best friend since middle school are one of the same.

Soon after high school, Jonah leaves for college. He wants to have Zeb come with him but Zeb is unable to due to family responsibilities. They both are heartbroken but determined to keep in touch. As Jonah attends school, Zeb is becoming strong and stronger. Eventually their relationship changes from best friends to more. But no matter what Zeb will not act on his feelings knowing that once they became intimate and tied that they will be unable to be apart again. He wanted Jonah to follow his dreams even if it was killing them to be apart.

Zeb knew it would be a challenge to take a human as mate but he was determined to figure out how. Only there are secrets that need to be revealed some neither man had knows about and a couple that the other has been keeping quiet about for years.

Can these two men get through all the obstacles and come out stronger than ever or will the secrets and old beliefs destroy them?

This was my first book by C. Cardeno and I absolutely loved it. It is definitely one of the best shifter books I have had the opportunity to read. It flowed perfectly. It didn’t seem to be rushed. Even though I hated to see the end, the story left you feeling that their journey was whole. I loved both Zeb and Jonah’s characters. They are sweet, sexy, loving and determined. When they finally connected fireworks went off. I can’t wait to start the next book in this series.

If you love a great wolf shifter book then I highly recommend reading Wake me up Inside(book 1 in the Mates series) by Cardeno C.




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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