Title: Until Forever Comes
Series: Mates, Book 2
Author: Cardeno C.
Genre: Paranormal Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy from author
Published: May 20, 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can't shift. Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, he hopes to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack. Instead, Ethan learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate - a vampire named Miguel.
Miguel Rodriguez is more than four centuries old. Strong, powerful, and vicious, he walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they're true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent, and Miguel can't resist for long. Once Miguel gives in, being together comes naturally. The challenge is keeping themselves alive so they can stay by each other's side until forever comes.
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: Enjoyable romance with two strong leads and good relationship building, though it happens a tad too quickly for my taste.
The Set Up: Ethan is a wolf shifter who can’t shift and has been sickly his entire life. He fully expects to end his miserable life by joining a pack attack against the vampires but he finds his true mate, Miguel, and is suddenly able to shift. Miguel is four hundred years old and never met a more attractive man than Ethan but he doesn’t believe in true mates and it’s up to Ethan to change his mind.
Why I Read this Book: I fell in love with these two characters in Wake Me Up Inside (my review), book one of the Mates series, and couldn’t wait to devour their story.
What I Liked: Ethan may be the younger man here but he knows his mind and is willing to fight for Miguel which I loved. Ethan has a pure love for Miguel that allows no doubts or fears and I enjoyed this earnest romance. Miguel tries valiantly to send Ethan away, both because they’re different species and because he doesn’t think he’s a good for Ethan but Ethan isn’t having it. Ethan sees right through Miguel pitiful attempts to push him away and stands firm in his love and acceptance for Miguel and this made for a delightful romance in my opinion. The sexual intimacy is much more frequent and graphic than I remember in book one but since I love erotic romance that was a good thing. I also enjoyed how biologically Miguel and Ethan were destined to be true mates. This fact strengthened the insta-mate trope that is used here and makes it a tad different than other romances in the genre.
What I Also Liked: I also liked the inclusion of Ethan’s wolf pack and Miguel’s vampire clan. Ethan is the runt of his pack and has been treated as such for years so to see Miguel stick up for him and truly value him was a just what I wanted. Miguel’s dark nature is brilliantly showcased in how he deals with his clan when they cause potential harm to Ethan. In romances readers are often told a hero is powerful and ruthless but this book shows Miguel as such. The differences between the shifters and vampires are well written and offer good tension so readers wonder how Miguel and Ethan will make a relationship work. I love how they did with honesty, personal integrity and a truly caring love for each other.
What I Didn’t Like: This book happens in a very short period of time and I wasn’t a fan of that. Ethan and Miguel have an intense relationship that develops in days and I just thought that was too short a period for a romance this intense. I would have liked a bit more time to develop the relationship, especially since Ethan was only twenty years old. However, to be fair, the epilogue was lovely and showed the relationship contentment and comfort with each other that I look for in romance endings, especially in relationships that begin so intensely like this one.
Finally, this is a totally personal criticism but hillbilly culture puzzles and irritates me a bit. Ethan and the wolf pack are definitely southern hillbillies who say things like, “ain’t fixin’,“ “right over yonder,” “what in tarnation,” and “boy howdy.” I normally won’t finish books with hillbilly leads but this romance was good enough to make me suffer even this—and that’s saying something.
IMO: This isn’t as good as book one in the series but still well above average storytelling and romance development that I recommend.