Guest Reviewed by Morgan
Title: Wake Me Up Inside
Author: Cardeno C.
Narrator: Charlie David
Series: Mates #1
Heroes: Zev Hassick/Jonah Marvel
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: Book – 250 Pages / Audio – 7 hours, 20 minutes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Book – August 15, 2012 / Audio – August 19, 2013
Available at: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Audible and iTunes
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Zev Hassick is surprised and confused when he finds himself attracted to his best friend. His very human, very male best friend. Zev is the son of the pack Alpha, regarded as the strongest wolf in generations, born to lead. And everyone knows a male shifter has to mate with a female of his own kind to keep his humanity. So shifters can’t be gay, right?
Jonah Marvel wants a relationship with Zev, his best friend, the man he has loved since childhood. It wasn’t easy to maintain that relationship over years spent living apart while Jonah studied to become a doctor. And then things grow more difficult when Jonah becomes his own patient. Before he can make a life with Zev, he has to understand his past and cure the unexplained ailments that plague him.
Zev and Jonah know they’re destined for each other, but they’re facing traditions ingrained over generations and long-buried secrets that may threaten any future together.
Review – Book:
Zev and Jonah meet when they are both children. Zev lives on shifter lands and doesn’t have much to do with Jonah as a child – at first – but his other form, a wolf called “Pup”, does, and Jonah and Pup become fast friends.
Later, Jonah and Zev become friends at school – best friends – and later, on the cusp of Jonah’s leaving town forever, Zev realizes that (though it should be impossible for two men to be) he and Jonah are mates.
Zev knows that if he were to claim Jonah as his mate, Jonah could never go to college or achieve his life goals. A) Once mated, the two would have to have almost constant contact or go mad; B) Zev can’t leave pack lands since he is the new Alpha; and C) Zev hasn’t quite figured out exactly how two males are meant to “tie” in the ways of mates.
Though it is excruciating for both of them, Zev and Jonah stay separated not only for the four years of college, but four more years of medical school and another four of residency. Near the end both men are sickly and nearly crazed, but they survive.
Their reunion, and Jonah’s subsequent lesson into the world of paranormals, comes none too quickly as there is danger on pack lands and it looks like it might relate to the death of Jonah’s mother nearly 30 years ago.
With the help of some good friends and family, they solve the crisis and live HEA setting a new precedent for shifters everywhere!
This is an amazing book. The love between Zev and Jonah is so touching, and the sexual tension is almost exhausting. By the time they finally do get together, all you can do is release a huge sigh of relief! Though it was hard to see them separate, together they are scorching hot, and they never lose faith with one another.
I loved that Zev shifts a lot in this book – so many shifter books never even shift! I also enjoyed the link with Book 2 (review to come) and the shifter universe Cardeno created here.
The way Zev has to navigate the new definitions of “mate” and how it relates to shifter politics is great, and I loved how he and Jonah do not have the traditional Alpha/weaker-mate relationship but one that is truly equal.
Jonah is so funny and Zev can be too, I really enjoyed their dialog with one another.
I loved this story and the entire series – I recommend reading them in order. 5 of 5 stars.
Review – Audio:
Charlie David does a great job with his narration. He does an even better job in Book 2 (more on that to come), but I loved his inflections, and his voice is so easy to listen to. I give it 4 of 5 stars.
Overall Impression: I loved it!
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*