Rough Edges by Cardeno C. #LGBT #Review

Dana reviews Rough Edges by Cardeno C. (Published by The Romance Authors, January 31, 2017, 17k+ words ) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.


Blurb: Kyle has an unwelcome crush on his nemesis Brent. Brent has a welcome crush on his friend Kyle. As it turns out, the line between a friend and an enemy doesn’t have to be a line at all.

Born on the wrong side of the tracks to the wrong family, Kyle Potter has spent his life clawing his way toward a better future. When he gets the perfect job at the perfect firm in perfect Los Angeles, Kyle is sure there are only blue skies ahead. And then he meets perfect Brent Haralson.

Born with a silver spoon to a well-established family, Brent Haralson has never been interested in leveraging his connections. Friends, success, and dates come easily to Brent and rejection isn’t something he has to deal with in life. And then he meets perfect Kyle Potter.

Kyle despises his unwelcome crush on his lazy, arrogant nemesis. Brent welcomes his feelings for his stubborn, brilliant friend. As it turns out, the line between a friend and an enemy doesn’t have to be a line at all.

Word count: 17,127
This is a 2nd edition without substantive changes from the 1st edition, which was part of the It Was Always You anthology.

Buy links: Amazon | B&N    Add to Goodreads


I am a big fan of this author’s work. Cardeno C creates characters that stay with you and the romances are sweet and sometimes hard fought for. Rough Edges is a perfect example of the fight for the happy ever after. This romance is a story of real perseverance, especially on Brent’s part.

When Kyle and Brent first met each other, prior to beginning of the book, there was mutual attraction between them. Kyle felt like they clicked personally and physically. They were on a path to romance until Kyle found out Brent didn’t have a job. For Kyle, who had to climb out of life of poverty, the idea of someone not working hard to better themselves is unthinkable. He immediately writes Brent off as a slacker and goes out of his way to show his contempt. It makes it hard to like Kyle in this story, especially because he didn’t take the time to learn what Brent did do with his time. I try to see both sides of the story though, and while I can understand Kyle’s frustration after fighting so hard to better himself, it was still frustrating to me as the reader.

Brent is the complete opposite of Kyle. For the most part, he leads a charmed life. He was born into wealth, and his trust fund allows him to not spend his life working like a dog. He does have to deal with some shaming from his family for his decision, but I don’t blame him for his choices. If he has enough to actually spend time enjoying his life, more power to him. He’s not lazy, despite Kyle’s suspicions, and besides enjoying his time, Brent is able to help others in ways he couldn’t by joining the rat race. Luckily, Brent is an optimist, though. Even though Kyle has disregarded him and treated him pretty badly, he still sees the positive attributes that he noticed the first time they met. He still sees a man that he wants to spend time with. I definitely found myself liking Brent more; he was probably a lot more patient than I could have been.

When trouble goes down at Kyle’s company, he learns a valuable lesson about what he really wants in his life. He discovers that coming from a background like his doesn’t make you any less of a person than someone with money, and that theft can happen no matter what color your collar is. He also learns to actually get to know someone before thinking he knows who they are. Even with the frustration I felt, I really enjoyed this story. I could have read more of these two characters, for sure, and would love to read a story involving the mutual friends that appear in this novella.

8/10 Pots of Gold (80% Recommended) – Compares to 4/5 Stars



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.


Blog: (Shared Blog)

Twitter: @CardenoC

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