Review: Wake Me Up Inside (Mates #1) by Cardeno C.

A powerful Alpha wolf shifter and a strong-willed human overcome traditions ingrained over generations and uncover long-buried secrets to fulfill their destiny as true mates.

Regarded as the strongest wolf shifter in generations, Alpha Zev Hassick is surprised and confused by his attraction to his best friend. His very human, very male best friend. A male shifter has to mate with a female shifter to keep his humanity, so shifters can't be gay. Yet, everything inside Zev tells him Jonah is his true mate.

Maintaining a relationship with the man he has loved since childhood isn’t easy for Jonah Marvel, but he won’t let distance or Zev’s odd family get in their way. When unexplained ailments begin to plague Jonah, he needs to save his own life and sanity in order to have a future with Zev.

Zev and Jonah know they're destined for each other, but they must overcome traditions ingrained over generations and long-buried secrets to fulfill their destiny.

 D'aw! What a sweet little tale. 

The story starts out with Zev dealing with his family and their frustrations with his mating. Or rather, the lack thereof. They wanted him to find a female to be with, to help keep him human. But he refused to even look, because he knew his true mate was out there and Zev was biding his time, waiting for the perfect moment. 

Zev and Jonah grew up together. They were drawn to each other at a very young age, despite Zev being a shifter and Jonah being a human. Human/shifter relationships are unheard of within the shifter community, even friendships like Zev's and Jonah's. Their story is told through a series of flashbacks and from their childhood friendship, to their budding more-than-friends status.

But their road to being true mates was not an easy one. Zev made a lot of sacrifices for Jonah. While I think Zev had good intentions and his heart was in the right place, he was inadvertently hurting Jonah as well as himself. Some more communication between the guys would have helped things move along a little smoother.

Regardless of the lack of communication, you can be sure their story is not lacking in the sexy, love department. This is Cardeno C., after all. Zev and Jonah were hot and loving together. They're fated mates, but I didn't get the ista-vibe too much. Through the flashbacks their relationship was really developed from childhood and I felt that what they had was solid. Maybe there was insta-friendship, but I felt their chemistry and love for each other, even before it was anything more than friends. 

Wake Me Up Inside was a very enjoyable shifter story. I'm for sure looking forward to Ethan and Miguel's story!

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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