“Our fate cannot be taken from us; it is a gift.” ― Dante Alighieri
Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 84 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: Bonded by their parents before they were conceived, Abel Nasa and Zakai “Kai” Berura adored each other since they were children. As teens, the two future Alphas took the next step in their bonding process and vowed to remain true to one another until Kai came of age. But when tragedy struck, Abel felt betrayed and ran from Kai instead of completing the mating bond.
Years pass with no contact between the two, but Abel never stops yearning for the man who was supposed to lead by his side. When Kai returns, broken and on death’s door, Abel must look past what he saw and trust his heart so they can fulfill their destiny and merge their packs.
Review: I am not normally a huge fan of the short story, but I think Cardeno C. has absolutely nailed it with All of Me, part of Dreamspinner’s Daily Dose Mended anthology.
The story starts by introducing both of the MCs and gives us a detailed, but not overly so, history of their lives since they were small boys. These two boys were predestined to be mates and luckily, they were not only an arranged mating but a love match.
According to pack laws they had to wait until they were both eighteen to finalize the bond that was started when they were infants. Abel reached legal age before Kai, and they both vowed to be true until Kai was old enough to complete the bond. On Kai’s birthday, Abel was beside himself to complete their bond but upon his arrival at Kai’s pack lands, Abel was forced to face the reality of Kai’s betrayal and he left the man behind.
Over the years, Abel went on to take leadership of his pack without the love of his life at this side. He hoped that one day he would be able to get over his love for Kai but years later, he was no closer to that reality than he was the day his heart was broken. When circumstances bring Kai and Abel face to face for the first time in years, Abel is shocked by what he sees.
Kai has been living in his own personal hell since the day he lost Abel. Though he believes Abel was correct in his choice to set himself free, he has never stopped loving his mate-to-be. He has given up on life and had it not been for his sister, he would have been successful in ending his life. When he sees Abel again all of his old feelings return, but he knows that Abel deserves better than what he has become. Now he just has to convince Abel of this fact.
Abel can’t help the fact that he still loves the man who, in his mind, betrayed him so many years ago. After he finds out what really happened so long ago, Abel is devastated. He is going to find the people responsible for their years of separation and get back what has been his since before he was born.
I simply love good second chance love stories, and this was a fabulous example of one. Not only is the love these two share palpable, but it was enduring and beautiful. I can’t recommend this one enough.