Jesse's Diner : Hope (Cardeno)

  • by Cardeno C.
  • Narrated by Paul Morey
  • Series: Hope (Cardeno)
  • 2 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Two men with a shared history and a mutual attraction must be honest with themselves and each other so both their dreams come true.
Quiet, unassuming Tanner Sellers spends his time running a diner in Hope, Arizona. Not particularly social, 22-year-old Tanner keeps to himself and enjoys his simple life, but he longs for someone to call his own. In his most secret fantasy, that someone is sexy Steve Faus. But Steve is his friend's father and mentor's widower and therefore off-limits.
Despite some challenges, 39-year-old Steve Faus has had a good life. He's extremely successful at work, has a great relationship with his college-age son, and lives in a wonderful town. Eighteen months after losing his partner, the one thing Steve lacks is someone to share his life with. If Steve is honest with himself, that someone is the young man he has known and cared about for years. Steve and Tanner want one another; all they need is a little push in the right direction to make both their dreams come true.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very sweet, sometimes funny

Tanner is 22 years old, he inherited the diner he owns from Jesse. Jesse is the father of Tanner’s friend from high school, Mike and was the partner of Steve, Mike’s other dad. Jesse died 18 months ago, leaving Tanner the diner because Tanner had been working there since moving to Hope 6 years ago.

Tanner has had a crush on Steve since they met, but thought it was hopeless. Steve was in a relationship, too old for Tanner, and out of his league. Now that Steve is alone, not much has changed, except that Mike has asked Tanner to “check-up” on Steve to make sure he’s doing okay on his own.

Steve was a workaholic sales rep who has changed his life after the death of Jesse. He’s a commitment type of guy and since his loss, he hasn’t met anyone worthy of a relationship. Tanner was always under his radar and now that he’s been hanging around so much all of the sudden, Steve is giving him the attention he deserves.

Though this isn’t a short story, it reads like one, so I want to be careful not to give away too many secrets, because there are a few surprises in this.

At first it seems like a simple story of May/December love, or about finding love after losing a partner, or jock meets nerd (Steve was a football player and Tanner is very reserved and slight physically). But… it’s not. There’s another, deeper layer to this story. There are things in Steve’s past that have shaped who he is and his relationship with Jesse is more complex than you’d guess.

Though Tanner is young, he’s a very mature 22, since he’s been raising himself for years.

Cardeno always does a great job of writing these “clueless” guys and then showing them the light. Tanner reminds me a bit of Samuel from In Your Eyes. The story is told from his perspective and in the first person and Tanner spends a lot of time in his own head and has a hard time voicing his emotions.

I didn’t get as good a read on Steve, but he’s definitely the more social and outgoing of the pair. I liked watching him “show” Tanner about love and relationships, he was sweet, sexy and funny, too.

However, there were parts of this story that didn’t work for me as well. I wanted more about Steve’s past and his relationship with Jesse. It felt incomplete somehow. I feel like I missed some of his evolution and though I understand a bit of how he and Jesse worked as a couple I didn’t quite have a handle on it and so it kind of blocked my way to giving him up to Tanner freely. I get that they had a totally different type of relationship, but somehow I wanted more closure there.

I also think that the “heavy” issue needed a bit more discussion. I think it’s a pretty big deal and it felt a little too casual for me in this instance.

I really wanted the “reveal” about Steve asking Tanner out on an official date to be more of an “a-ha!” moment. It lacked that POW! - where Tanner realizes he’s going to FINALLY get his dream man. The same goes for their first time being together. Tanner was new to this, so I was expecting it to be more of a “thing”. Seeing how excited Tanner would get just imagining Steve naked, I was expecting a really powerful first time and it sort of fizzled rather than exploded.

That being said, it’s still a Cardeno C book, so it was still wonderful. I loved the premise and the characters and felt happy at the end for both of them, but I just wanted a little bit… more, I guess.

I think fans of the author and the series will love it and it can absolutely be read as a stand-alone.

4 of 5 stars

Paul Morey is one of my favorite narrators. He gives Steve this lovely Southern accent and Tanner a nicely “clueless” tonality that really works for this story.
Mike is given this dumb-guy voice and he made me giggle. I think that listening to this was a wonderful way to experience this story and it added to my enjoyment immensely.

Audio 5 of 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars
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- Morgan A Skye

I love this series!

Where does Jesse's Diner rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Right at the top!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Steve. I really liked that he knew exactly what he wanted and patiently took it.

Have you listened to any of Paul Morey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Just about everything he has done, I buy books simply because he narrates them, he is amazing.

If you could take any character from Jesse's Diner out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Tanner, of course!

Any additional comments?

What would you do if you knew your time here was about to expire? Jessie knows he won't beat the cancer, so with his son Mike's help, he sets out to make sure the things he cares about most will be taken care of once he's gone. He wants to make sure the diner is taken care of so he leaves it to Tanner, Mike's best friend, and somewhat of an adopted son to Jessie. Making sure that his husband Steve doesn't fade away to depression once he's gone, well Tanner is key to that as well.

This is a super short story so the review will be as well. Let me just say if the fact that Cardeno C penned the story isn't enough to make this one an auto buy, then the fact that Paul Morey narrates should make it a no brainer. Need more convincing? Okay then. The story almost seems like insta-love in the beginning, but as the story unfolds you learn it is anything but. The feelings are mutual and a long time coming. Morey really translates each character from paper to audio well, I especially like the way he totally emerses himself into not just conveying the characters, but conveying the emotions.

Definitely a must listen, as I said it's super short, super sexy and well worth the couple hours to give it a listen.
Is it wrong of me to hope that the reason why Mike is such a ladies man, blowing through girls as fast as he does laundry, is because he hasn't met the right MAN yet????

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- Tams (TTC Books and more)

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-22-2015
  • Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC