Pre-Release Review: Strong Enough by Cardeno C

Posted: August 28, 2013 by sidlove in 4 Star Reviews, Book Reviews, Susan's Reviews
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Reviewed by Susan Lee

TITLE: Strong Enough
AUTHOR: Cardeno C
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner
When twenty-two-year-old Emilio Sanchez sees handsome Spencer Derdinger walking by his construction site, Emilio makes it his goal to seduce the shy professor. Getting Spencer into bed isn’t difficult, but Emilio soon learns that earning the trust of a man deeply hurt will take time and patience. With a prize like brilliant, sweet Spencer on the line, Emilio decides he is strong enough to face the challenge.

Spencer is surprised when he’s approached by the gorgeous construction worker he’s admired from the safety of his office window. Acting spontaneously for the first time in his thirty-eight years, Spencer takes Emilio home. When the casual hookup turns into the potential for love, Spencer realizes that if he wants to build a life with Emilio, he’ll need to be strong enough to slay his personal demons and learn to trust again.

This book was sappy, sticky, cheesy, almost-too-perfect…and I ADORED IT.

As a single person “of a certain age” (ha!), this book is the fairy tale.  Feeling “ordinary” – but suddenly pursued by a HOT model-looking man, who not only is beautiful, but gentle, supportive, totally into you, AND the “settling down” kind.  Duh…sign me up! And maybe it’s this personal connection to the story that had me smiling ear-to-ear as I read each page, but, in the end, my heart felt full.

I love that Cardeno C writes characters who’ve lived life…who are older, successful, yet still lost when it comes to love. I relate to these characters.  Spencer Derdinger is a 38 year-old math professor, successful professionally, but unlucky in love, suffering from erectile dysfunction, insecure, lonely, and just going through the motions of life. Yes, he’s slightly pathetic.  But, I found him lovely and sympathetic…and adorable.

Emilio, a 22 year-old construction worker is a larger-than-life character.  He is perfect in every way and though this would typically make my eyes roll, I think he needed to be THIS amazing to build up someone like Spencer.  Emilio is the prince, the dream man, and this WORKED for me.

I loved them together. SWEET, KIND, TENDER, BEAUTIFUL, HOT…I loved their conversations, their interactions, and their sexual connections.

All the side stories: ridiculous ex-boyfriend, caricature family members and best friends, etc. did, actually, annoy me a bit.  And truthfully, the main story line itself was truly too much. But, as I mentioned…it so matched/suited the fairy tale in my head of that perfect romance, it worked for me.  Make Spencer & Emilio break out into song and this could easily be a Disney movie.

Cardeno C is a self-professed romantic so you know what you’re going to get when you read these books…ROMANCE…in the sappiest way possible.  But, you know, for me, I need this every now and again.  And I’ve never once, even in the books I didn’t like as much, walked away feeling down after reading a Cardeno C book!  “Strong Enough” made me feel like I was on a fluffy cloud…and I’m still smiling…

Susan’s Rating:four-stars_0



Susan Lee is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: SUSAN’S REVIEWS

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