Book Review: Just What the Truth Is by Cardeno C.

Just What the Truth Is by Cardeno C.Title: Just What the Truth Is
Series: Home, Book 5
Author: Cardeno C.
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy provided by author
Published: October 11, 2011 by Dreamspinner Press

Ben Forman has been in the closet so long he’s convinced himself he’s actually straight. But his denial train gets derailed when hotshot lawyer Micah Trains walks into his life. Micah is brilliant, funny, and determined... and he just assumes Ben’s gay and starts dating him. Finding himself truly happy for the first time he can remember, Ben doesn’t have the willpower to resist.

Still, life isn’t all rainbows and happily-ever-afters. Ben loves his family, but his parents have been estranged from his brother, Noah, since he came out of the closet. Ben doesn’t want to lose them, but Micah won’t be his dirty little secret forever. Suddenly Ben’s hold on his happiness and his sense of self seems to be slipping. If he’s going to survive with his heart intact, he’ll have to own up to the truth of what he wants and who he is. The trouble is figuring out just what that truth is.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Humorous, heartfelt, sexy romance full of great characters.

The Set Up: Ben has tried to convince himself and others that he’s straight his entire life. His plan is derailed when he meets the new lawyer in his firm, Micah. Ben may want to explore with Micah but Micah wants a real life partner and Ben isn’t sure he can figure out how to do that.

Why I Read this Book: I’m a Cardeno C. fan and have been meaning to read this series. The author said the series doesn’t have to be read in order so I asked Cardeno C. to pick me his/her favorite to read which this one is.

What I Liked: I’m not normally a huge fan of first-person romance but it totally worked here for me. Ben is such a humorous and zany narrator that I fell a bit in love with him. Ben admits his mistakes and even warns readers when he’s going to do stupid things by saying things like, “bet you wish you could smack me about now, huh?” This was a unique narration style that stole my heart. I think in a third person narration readers would think Ben was a jerk but in this first person readers are privy to his fears, insecurities and struggles to live a more truthful life and that made all the difference in how I felt about his quirky character.

Ben was such a strong narrator that I worried Micah would be shortchanged but that didn’t happen. Micah talks openly about his feelings for Ben and what he wants out of life so in this way readers get to know him almost as well as Ben. For instance, Micah is nearly forty and tells Ben that he looking for a life partner and if Ben can’t be that for him then they need to call it quits.

This is a sexy and emotional romance between Ben and Micah. Ben’s inexperience with gay sex is simultaneously humorous, emotive and hot. These two men make sex fun but have a relationship based on friendship that I could see as a reader.

What I Also Liked: I love the secondary characters here as well as the unhurried plot. Ben’s caustic brother, Noah and his partner, Clark are lovely characters and I think leads of another book in the series. Their cabal of friends supports each other and brings Ben and Micah into the fold and I greatly enjoyed them all. But Micah’s family very nearly steals the show here so it’s good they’re only in the final section of the book. Micah’s Jewish mother is meddlesome but in a loving and humorous way. I don’t want to spoil the laughs but what she asks Micah about Ben had me giggling and cringing at the same time. I love romances set in communities and that’s what this book had.

I also love the unhurried plot of this book. It’s clearly a character-driven plot as Ben comes out to himself and the world but also how two men build a life together. The characters were given time to develop along with the romance. The best part of this plot is the resolution that went further than most books would have in this situation as the couple becomes a family. None of this felt rushed or forced but instead just unfolded in a story of love in all its forms.

What I Didn’t Like: Only one bitty thing, and I can’t say too much about it, but Ben does stuff that I don’t like when he and Micah break up. Didn’t ruin the book but made me want to slap him and made me want Micah to torment him a bit about it but he doesn’t.

IMO: Wonderful read that will make me read the others in Cardeno C.’s Home series.

J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. I'm convinced....heading to Amazon to buy! Great review, J9! smiles....


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