Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: In Your Eyes
Author: Cardeno C.
Series: Mates #3
Heroes: Samuel Goodwin/Korban Keller
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 200 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 14, 2014
Available at: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and All Romance eBooks
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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.
Samuel Goodwin was raised to take over his pack one day and from an early age, he makes it his life’s work to absorb as much information as possible to be a good Alpha. He relies heavily on his wits and believes in using his head instead of his heart. From the moment he meets Korban, he’s thrown off-balance by acting impulsively and can’t seem to think clearly around the other future Alpha, which makes Samuel instantly hate Korban and avoid him as much as possible. But when tragedy strikes Samuel’s pack, it forces him to make some primal decisions that may bring Korban and him together… for better or for worse.
This story just about broke my heart! It starts off with Samuel and Korban as little kids and then progresses to every few years until they’re both adults and finally settles on them being around the age to take over their pack. As characters, they are exact opposites. Samuel leads with his head while Korban leads with his heart. Samuel is so smart that he knows every shifter law, archaic and modern, and the loopholes around them but while that makes it great for him to understand shifters, he lacks the compassion and social etiquette to really win over or get to know his other pack mates. Korban is the charmer. He gets people to like him because he’s so compassionate and approachable. As a pair, they even each other out because where one is lacking, the other makes up for that.
I loved that about them. They start off really rocky because while Korban understands that Samuel is his true mate, Samuel doesn’t understand why he feels so different and inadequate around Korban. I loved that this one showed them as they matured through the years and their sporadic visits together. I felt so bad for Korban because he waited so patiently for Samuel to realize what was between them and almost ended up killed because of it. At the same time, I loved that Korban had so much faith in Samuel when Samuel didn’t even have any faith in himself, let alone what was going on with his emotions! Samuel was a righteous asshole at times but Korban always offered him a sweet smile and an understanding aura. I really did love these two together and just wished there had been more of them interacting as a couple with the pack. I also really liked the little twist surrounding Samuel and his issues with shifting, it made for an intriguing conflict.
I really enjoyed this one but I did have a few issues with it. Mainly, there was too much sex for my tastes. Beyond that, I felt like a lot of important scenes were skipped over that I would have liked to see played out such as Samuel’s pack’s reaction to Konrad and the fact that he’s not a tribute, Samuel talking with his father’s friend about Konrad being his true mate, and also Samuel meeting Konrad’s friends.
In the end, I adored this story. It’s sweet but also has some emotional moments that really grabbed my heart. I loved the contrasting characters and how well-balanced they were. While the story could have been more detailed and expanded in some areas, I still enjoyed the flow of the plot and how everything played out. While this is book three in the Mates series, it can still be read as a standalone. In fact, this was the first book in the series I read but I plan to go back and read the other two to catch up.
If you’re looking for a shifter story that has sweetness, a touch of angst and an intriguing plot, definitely give this one a try!
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*