Friday, July 21, 2017

Blog Tour ~ Smitty's Sheriff by Cardeno C. (Review + Excerpt)

Blog Tour ~ Smitty's Sheriff by Cardeno C. (Reviews + Excerpt)


Smitty’s Sheriff, a sexy, heart-warming MM romance by Cardeno C. is available NOW!


Todd is too flakey. Richard is too stubborn. Together, they're perfect. A May-December couple get a second chance at love.
Retired soldier Richard Davis wants a stable life in a quiet town with a forever man. Becoming the sheriff of Hope, Arizona, accomplishes two of his three goals, but instead of finding a serious partner, he falls for too-young-to-be-committed and too-flakey-to-be-serious Todd Smitty. Richard won’t find the right man if he’s obsessed with the wrong one, so he walks away from Todd.
It’s lust at first sight when Todd meets his sister’s army friend. He sets his sights on the worldly, strong, stable older man, and the more time he spends with Richard, the harder he falls. But after three years together, Richard cuts off all contact with no explanation.

When a mutual obligation requires Todd to move into Richard’s house, he’s thrilled at the opportunity to earn a second chance. Ignoring Todd from across town was hard enough. Can Richard resist temptation under his own roof?

“Todd.” Leanne snapped her gaze toward him. “You’re not too young to know the nickname people used to call guys named Richard, are you?
“Uh.” Todd blinked and darted his gaze between Rich and Leanne. They were finally paying attention to him and all he wanted was to go back to being invisible.
Dick,” she said. “Big D got his nickname before we met, but some of us in my squad figured it wasn’t just about his last name being Davis. So we had a bet going.”
She flicked her gaze to Rich again, as if expecting him to interrupt.
He didn’t.
“Problem is, we couldn’t agree on which side won because we couldn’t get solid evidence.” She focused on Todd. “But now I have an eyewitness.”
“I, uh, I don’t—” Todd stammered, hating being in the middle of what felt like an argument.
“Don’t let Sparky get to you,” Rich said, still completely unbothered.
“Some of the guys saw Big D in the latrines, and they said he’s big all over, but when they tried to collect on the bet, the other side made a good point.” She narrowed her eyes menacingly at Rich. “If the man’s a show-er, that means he isn’t grow-er, so he doesn’t actually have a big D, now does he? That means the other side should win.”
Todd drew his eyebrows together and tried to follow Leanne’s question. “Are you saying you guys have a bet going on the size of Rich’s dick?”
“Yep.” Leanne leaned against the chairback, looking smug. “And you, little brother, are going to settle that bet.”
Normally, Todd had no problem talking about a guy’s package. Hell, in the right situation, dicks were damn near his favorite topic. But he had never spoken to anyone about Rich’s body or, really, anything else related to Rich because he knew that was off limits. Of course, Leanne was asking him the question because she already knew he had the answer.
Flicking his gaze toward Rich, Todd said, “Am I allowed to…”
“It’s a simple question,” Leanne snapped. “Is he a grow-er or a show-er?”
Rich didn’t tell him to stay quiet so Todd figured he had permission to answer. “Both.”
She blinked.
“Seriously.” He bobbed his head. “Length, girth.” He held his hands far apart. “It’s awesome.” As long as he had permission to share, he figured he should be thorough in his explanation. “His balls too.”
Leanne coughed.
“I mean it. They’re huge. Each one’s a mouthful by itself.”
“Ehm.” Leanne cleared her throat. “Thanks.” Looking decidedly uncomfortable, she held her palm up in a stop motion. “I’m good on the details. You don’t need to keep going.”
“Are you sure?” After a lifetime of being the butt of the joke with his siblings, Todd enjoyed turning the table. “I can sketch you a picture, but I’ll need one of those extra-long pieces of paper if you want it to scale.”
“That won’t be necessary.” Leanne actually blushed. “I’m all set.”
Rich threw his head back and laughed. “Thanks, Todd. Eighteen years these jackasses have had the silly bet going and I do believe you just put it to rest.”
Thrilled with the praise and relieved to be playing and flirting with Rich again, Todd smiled broadly. “No problem. When it comes to your big D, I’m always willing to lend a hand.”
He settled into the chair, comfortable for the first time that night, and when the conversation turned back to stories about people he didn’t know, he truly didn’t mind. Eighteen years was a long time. If Rich had cared about putting an end to the bet, he’d probably had a dozen different chances. That he did it now, meant his goal had been less about the bet and more about a point. Todd knew something about Rich that nobody else did, or at least nobody who mattered enough to meet his friends. That meant Todd mattered. Leanne knew that now. And so did he.


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About Cardeno C.
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.


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3.5 Stars

Todd has been moping around for the last six months, trying to figure where he went wrong after his lover, Sheriff Richard Davis, broke up with him. But now he'll have another chance to make things right since they'll be forced to live in close proximity for the next three months.

Rich was aware that Todd was too young, too immature and too flakey when they got together the first time around, putting a stop to their relationship when he realized Todd and him wanted different things. Having to live with the younger man and resisting him might be difficult, but he's determined to do what he thinks is right.

I adored Todd, he was definitely my favorite. He was fun and sweet and loyal and while he had a tendency to put himself down, I think he was so much better than he and others gave him credit for. He truly proved himself to Rich and showed that he was mature and smart enough to find a solution for his and Rich's problems.

I liked Rich, but I was very frustrated with him. He was supposed to be the more mature of the two, after all, he has 17 years on Todd, and yet, he messed things up from the start. He was controlling, but at the same time very insecure and that made things unnecessarily difficult for them. Really, if the man had spoken about his misgivings earlier, things would've been so different.

I wasn't too fond of how Todd would just concede to everything Rich asked of him, both in and out of the bedroom, but I could understand why Todd would prefer it, considering his upbringing and how his parents treated him. In any case, I think the chemistry between them was great and the sex scenes were both hot and sweet (although they did have a bit of a D/s vibe to them).

Overall, I liked the book, although it wasn't my favorite in the series. It was enjoyable and it was lovely catching up with Lucas and Jared. I really hope the next story will be Seamus and DJ!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

3.5 Stars

So, it pains me to say this but I am going to be honest and admit I did not like this story. I am a huge fan of Cardeno C., however, this story was outside of my comfort zone. Unfortunately, I did not read the two books previous to this one so I'm not sure if this series focuses on this particular theme or not and had I known this book did, I probably would've passed on it. What theme am I referring to? This particular story was the kind in which one MC (older) seemed to thrive on controlling the other (younger) in the beginning, having almost a D/s feel to it.

I don't mind age-gap, I've read and enjoyed books with MC's having as many as 20+ years between them. However, I prefer my characters to be on equal footing in the relationship. I like it when the age gap doesn't have a very obvious distinction in the story. I do not care for stories in which the older MC takes on a pseudo father or boss role in which he dictates the other characters actions and behaviors. A bit of control or Alpha personality is one thing but overly domineering is another. Now obviously these things occur within BDSM books and that's fine (we know how I feel about BDSM) but as far as just a romance, I'm not a fan.

Todd spends too much time walking on eggshells in hopes of not "stepping out of line" when it comes to Rich. Just hoping that Rich will give him praise and tell him he was good *rolls eyes*. Todd is flighty, a little immature and sometimes childlike. He needs to be told to wash his hands, not to forget to lock doors and turn off lights. Geez, he needed to be told not to mess around with other guys!

Rich likes to control everything. He tells Todd what to do, how to behave, even when to go to the bathroom (although he explains that Todd needs reminders), etc. Rich is constantly inner monologuing all the ways Todd is not ideal as a partner or an adult. I found Rich to be very unlikable and by 30% in, I actually wanted to shove Richard of a cliff. Personally, I never warmed to him. Even when he himself started realizing his controlling personality and over the top jealousy may have been bordering on abuse (although Todd doesn't consider it abuse because he likes that Rich cares).

I will say I was glad that over time, as the story progressed, we got a better look at Todd and the ways he displayed his maturity and intelligence. He was definitely more in touch with his emotions and what he wanted from his relationship with Richard than Richard was. Richard began to show a more caring side but I always felt it was wrapped in animosity or something. He may have thought he was the mature one in the relationship but he really wasn't that much better than Todd. He definitely wasn't able to make sense of his emotions or to express them.

Overall, while we, of course, get a happy ending, I never fully felt as if I loved this story (or liked it all that much). I didn't care for the characters or their love story. The writing itself was good and I think Cardeno C. is a great author who I'll be reading more from in the future. I'm just sorry to say I can't recommend Smitty's Sheriff, but I definitely can recommend Cardeno C.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

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