Review: In Your Eyes by Cardeno C.

In Your Eyes

Title: In Your Eyes (Mates #3)

Author: Cardeno C.

Publication Date: July 14, 2014




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.


Jennifer’s 4 Star Review

I haven’t read a PNR book in quite awhile so this was a nice change of pace.  It combines my first love, PNR, with my newest passion, M/M, and it was definitely what I needed to get me out out of my book funk.  In Your Eyes is the 3rd book in the Mates series, but can absolutely be read as a standalone.  

Samuel, a member of the Yafenack pack,  is the son of the pack’s Alpha, and has been training and studying to become his fathers successor from a very young age.  His father is a good Alpha, both physically strong and well respected by the pack.  Samuel has a lot to live up to when he finally takes over. He spends all his time studying pack history and lore, and building his physical strength.  What he’s lacking though is communication and the respect of his pack.  He is a loner, who does not even like to be touched.  He is forced by his father to socialize when he is a young boy with other boys from the surrounding packs as he grows up.  During these social meet ups, Samuel runs into an older boy, Korban, throughout the years.  Samuel has these awkward feelings around Korban and tries avoiding him, but Korban never gives up.  He is always social and friendly and eventually convinces Samuel to transform into his wolf during these outings so they can play together.

As Samuel gets older, he is having trouble transforming back from wolf into human.  According to pack lore, the male must find a female mate and tie with them during sex. This allows them to connect with their human half and the transition from wolf to human and vice versa becomes easier.  Samuel is embarrassed to admit to his father that he’s never felt any attraction towards a female.  This becomes a major problem when his father is challenged by a neighboring Alpha from the Miancarem pack, who also happens to be Korban’s father.    

The two Alpha’s are required to fight to the death, which leads to devastating results.  When Samuel finds out that the other pack has cheated during the challenge he demands a tribute.  Expecting the Alpha to be delivered, he is shocked to find that Korban has been handed over by the Miancarem pack instead.  Samuel can’t keep his composure around Korban and finally loses control and ties with Korban in his wolf form.  He is humiliated that he’s done this knowing that it is wrong.  From his understanding his mate must be a female.  He has never heard of a male/male mating. What he discovers is that not only are he and Korban true mates, but there are others out there just like them.  Once Samuel accepts Korban as his true mate, passion ignites.

I love Samuel and Korban as a couple.  They both bring something different to the relationship, and I was happy to finally see Samuel comfortable in his own skin.  He was like a new person, and his pack notices the difference, in a good way.  It’s interesting how the author relates same sex mates to real life issues.  Members of Samuels pack and Korban’s father and uncle are disgusted by their match and don’t understand it.  They continually go back to pack history as a reason why it’s not okay.  Pack history clearly states a male and female mate.  With Korban by his side, Samuel can now re-write history.  I also like the scene where the female healer in the pack asks Samuel if their mating also means that two females can do the same.  He tells her that as Alpha he will support the members of the pack no matter who they decide to mate with.

This was a lovely story with a heart warming ending.  This was my first read by Cardeno C. and I look forward to reading many more from this talented author!

“You’re brilliant, Samuel. Completely brilliant. You know every detail of every rule and you can make sense of things that make no sense. I admire you so much” ~ Korban

“You’re sensitive and kind, optimistic and resiliant, funny and charismatic.” He was everything I wasn’t. “You’re the other half of me.” ~ Samuel



Mates Series

Wake Me Up Inside (Mates, #1)

Until Forever Comes (Mates, #2)

In Your Eyes (Mates #3)


About the Author

Cardeno C. – CC to friends – is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few “awwws” into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever-after sunset.

Cardeno’s Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, “You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day.”



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