Title: In Your Eyes
Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Blurb: A Book in the Mates Series
Raised to become Alpha of the Yafenack pack, Samuel Goodwin dedicates his life to studying shifter laws, strengthening his body, and learning from his father. Taking control comes easily to Samuel, but relating to people, including those he’s supposed to lead, is a constant challenge.
When Samuel meets Korban Keller, the son of a neighboring pack’s Alpha, he reacts with emotion instead of intellect for the first time in his life. Resenting the other shifter for putting him off-balance, Samuel first tries to intimidate Korban and then tries to avoid him. What he can’t do is forget Korban’s warm eyes, easy smile, and happy personality.
When a battle between their fathers results in tragedy, Samuel and Korban are thrown together. With his world crashing down around him, Samuel must save his pack and show them he can lead. But first, Korban needs to save Samuel by inspiring him to feel. Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past the rules they’ve been taught to realize they are destined to fit together.
Review: This is the third book in Cardeno C.’s Mates Series. There are a few characters that blend into this book from the previous ones, but their past stories or roles are explained well enough throughout the story to understand who they are. I did enjoy the first two books in the series, especially Wake Me Up Inside, so if you like shifter books, this is an overall good series. This author is one of my favorites and a definite auto-buy for my Kindle.
Samuel Goodwin, or as Korban prefers, Sam, is a socially awkward eight-year-old boy who meets Korban Keller, an energetic, playful eleven-year-old from a neighboring pack at an interpack council meeting. He immediately experiences unease in his gut, which he deciphers as possible danger. Korban proceeds in trying to befriend the skittish shifter. They meet one more time and Sam’s uneasiness turns into feelings he does not understand. This puts Samuel even more on guard, believing Korban is trying to make him weak. Over the next few years, Samuel avoids any meetings where he might run into Korban. But as Samuel grows older and becomes one of the strongest shifters, in knowledge and skills, he also begins to lose some of his humanity to his wolf. It becomes increasingly difficult to shift back or communicate in his human form. He has no friends except his father, and he refuses to discuss his problem because he is afraid he will be perceived as a failure.
After a tragic battle between Korban and Samuel’s fathers, Samuel is faced with his fears of shifting and leading his pack according to pack law. He now is being guided by a voice in his head to make the right decisions. This voice seems to be his only hold on reality, until Korban is thrown back into Samuel’s life and it has become clear that he cannot avoid the connection anymore.
This story is about a shifter learning to balance his head and his heart. Samuel, even guided by his parents, cannot grasp how to feel. It is a foreign concept that he cannot understand until he is guided by his true mate or true love. Korban helps Samuel through his journey to fulfil his father’s legacy. It is filled with tragic and painful lessons, but once he begins to feel with his heart, he quickly becomes the leader that his father would be proud of.
This is a sweet story of love and true mates, with some steamy scenes thrown in for good measure. My only real issue with this story was a lack of closure for the Miancarem Pack. With the deception that followed the fight between the fathers, I felt like the Miancerem Pack was left in limbo, and the story was incomplete. I was bummed when I got to the end and some questions were left unanswered. There was a lot of character development with Samuel, but not as much with Korban. You cannot help but fall in love with Korban and his patience, and I wanted to see this gentle loving man/shifter step up to the plate and lead his pack with the help and strength of his mate, Samuel. I wanted another 20 pages, but I always want more from this author. I am bummed when her books end because that just means I have to wait for the next one… (boy, a lot of wants in there, haha)
This was a quick, enjoyable read. If you like shifters and have enjoyed this series, you will agree that it is a good addition to the series.
You can buy In Your Eyes here: