Book Review: More Than Everything by Cardeno C.

More Than Everything by Cardeno C.Title: More Than Everything
Series: Family, Book 3
Author: Cardeno C.
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: Review copy provided by author
Published: November 4, 2013 by Dreamspinner Press

As a teenager, Charlie "Chase" Rhodes meets Scott Boone and falls head over heels in love with the popular, athletic boy next door. Charlie thinks he's living the dream when Scott says he feels the same way. But his dreams are dashed when Scott moves unexpectedly and doesn't return.

Years later, Chase meets brash and confident Adan Navarro, who claims all he wants is a round between the sheets. When they're still together after eight months, Chase is convinced Adan returns his love. But then the time comes to be open about their relationship, and Adan walks away instead.

Time heals all wounds, but when Charlie runs into Scott and Adan and realizes the only two men he's ever loved are now in love with each other, his heart breaks all over again. Scott and Adan tell Charlie they want him back, but Charlie doesn't know if he can trust two people who have hurt him so deeply. And even if he can, why would Scott and Adan want Charlie when they already have everything with each other?

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Though not normally a fan of romances with more than two characters, I enjoyed this read and was sucked into Charlie’s life and therefore relationships with Adan and Scott.

The Set Up: Charlie “Chase” had a powerful first love with Scott in Brooklyn before college and life caused them to drift apart. Charlie never forgot his first love and became the dancer and world traveler he always wanted. Charlie opens his heart again to Adan who promptly breaks it by denying what they have together. Charlie is shocked when years later he meets Scott and Adan again only to realize the men are now a couple. Charlie isn’t sure his heart can trust these two men again but Scott and Adan won’t stop trying to win his love and trust.

Why I Read this Book: Love this author but admit to being leery of the ménage romance here.

What I Liked: I adored Charlie as a narrator. He was humorous, witty, playful and honest. For instance, he says things like, “And having a conversation about feminine products with Scott’s mother that made me wish I could plug my ears with supersize…damn it. Still thinking about those products. Horror.” Charlie’s narration is his larger than life personality and I couldn’t resist his charm. Some books tell us characters are charming but this book not only showed me his charm but sucked me in with his charm.

What I Also Liked: This is a book about people maturing and making decisions on who to build a life with. Though this romance has three people, it’s not a ménage in the strictest sense as it isn’t about sex really. Yes, the men do have sex together at novel’s end (don’t think I’m spoiling anything to say that in a Cardeno C. novel which always has trademark hot sex!) However, the relationship development between the three men is what this romance is about. It’s fairly straightforward and certainly sweet as readers expect in a Cardeno C. novel.

The beauty of this relationship building is that it starts when Charlie is in high school and we follow Charlie and his life decisions for the next twenty-five years. We get his exuberant first love with Scott followed by his broken heart. Then we see Charlie start a tentative relationship with arrogant, selfish Adan, only to have it end with a broken heart. (Again no spoilers as it says all this in the synopsis.) Then we get Charlie living a life on his own only to be suddenly confronted with Adan and Scott as a couple. Then Charlie is faced with a choice of forgiveness and love or not. I love all this because it’s emotional and very personal as we get Charlie’s first hand feelings about these decisions.

What I Didn’t Like: I get why the author had Adan and Scott first person narrate some of this novel but I wasn’t a fan of that. To me this novel felt like it was Charlie’s story so I didn’t need Adan and Scott’s point of view. Plus, this served to disappoint me a tad that I didn’t get to see firsthand Adan’s character growth or how he and Scott got together. In my eyes Adan went from the man who broke Charlie’s heart in a brutal fashion to one who owned his mistakes and wanted to make amends. I wanted to see how Adan got from point A to point B.  I didn’t get to see Adan’s character growth so to have his first person narration about his time with Charlie only irritated me.

IMO: More Than Everything exceeds its category as a ménage romance because of its stellar narration, compelling characters, and emotional relationship developments. As a reader I wanted more of a firsthand account of Adan’s character growth and how he and Scott got together but given that the focus was on charming Charlie’s life, I’m not too upset.

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.


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