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Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian I Dig Good Books.
This book had several things going for it before I started.
1. Cardeno C writes (enough said!)
2. Lion shifters (I love different shifters!)
3. Its different (anything different is good in my book!)
4. Its on the longer side (224 pages)
5. The audio version is narrated by Greg Tremblay.
and it did not disappoint!
Hugh is a Premier Lion in a large pride. He needs a Siphon to, quite literally, siphon off his power so his head doesn't explode. Said Siphon is not happy and attempts to end his life. When Hugh realises something is terribly worng with the Siphon, lions are sent to the Siphon's room and cut him down, just in time.
What follows is a journey of intense self discovery for Hugh, of discovering who this person really is who has been his shadow for ten years. The Siphon didn't even have a name before Hugh gave him Johnnie.
Johnnie's upbringing had been secluded but he learned as he went along, as and when he could. His life up to that point where he really had had enough, consisted of following the Premier around, being close to him, wherever he went, whatever he did. And Johnnie really decided that enough was enough.
Hugh and Johnnie's journey is beautifully written, in a way only CC can. It has drama, action, love and passion. It has new way for thinking for Hugh and Johnnie, a new concept for their pride, for shifters in general. Falling in love. There is no mating, no mate bond as such, it really is as simple as Hugh and Johnnie falling in love with each other.
Its also on the longer side. Now, had I been feeling 100%, it wouldn't have taken me 3 hours to finish and I would have finished it in one sitting, but feeling under the weather meant I really had to sleep.
Greg Tremblay narrates. And he does a stunning job! I have listened to Mr Tremblay's work before, but its limited to a single series, Cole McGinnis, by Rhys Ford. THAT series is told in the first person, and I was worried I'd get Cole coming through. I need not have worried at all. This book is in the third person, and Johnnie and Hugh sound just like I thought they would. I've found, if I know I might get to LISTEN as well as READ a book, I focus much more on the voices, that characters have in my head. Greg pulled both Hugh and Johnnie off perfectly, and they sounded just as I thought they would. His story telling voice is clear and even, and every amount of emotion came over in all the right places. Johnnie, with his total and utter shutdown before his attempt to end his life. Hugh with his realisation of what his Pride had done to Johnnie. And from both of them as they grew into each other, into the love that is so alien to these shifters. But lets be honest, Greg Tremblay could read the bloody phone book, and I'd listen to the man! I also found, as I listened, I understood more of Hugh's total about face, his total turnaround to Johnnie and how he was treated before. I am a member of a book group that talks about Cardeno C's work, and let me tell ya, this book caused some ruckus! I understand why Johnnie was treated the way he was, I understand that its not right, BUT I also understand more, after listening, how that affected Hugh, as a person, not as Premier, but Hugh, the man. AND THAT can only be attributed to Greg Tremblay and his surperb skill at narrating a superb book.
Now, CC, I have questions!
1. Will there be more of Johnnie and Hugh in future books? Since this is billed as Siphon #1? or will there be a new siphon in a new pride??
2. Following the revelation of a pride member, will a happy Siphon mean more Siphons are born within his pack, since they are so very rare now?
3. When can we expect book 2?? :-P
5 stars for the story, 5 for the narration so..
5 full and shiny stars overall.
**same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Amazon.com, Audible.com and Amazon.co.uk**
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I really enjoyed this sweet romance told from both MCs POVs. But, duh, it Cardeno C. of course it will be sweet. However, unlike some of her books, it is not overly sweet, IMHO. It has a bit of darkness in that Johnnie has been emotionally abused all his life and can't take it anymore. His suicide attempt finally gets the attention of Hugh, the Premier and a slow romance and a drama ensues. The world building is detailed enough I presume this is the start of a series about lion shifters. Also, it definitely ends with enough of a teaser, that I would love to continue their story. Greg T. really brings this story to a new level with his narration. He brings such an emotional vulnerability, as well as strength, to Johnnie; and somehow manages to make Hugh not seem like the asshole he is at the beginning of the book. I look forward to the sequel.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
this was a great book the only thing was that it was just too short but so good. more please :-)
I am a great supporter for any shifter related books but this has a compelling storyline and Cardeno has composed a lovely piece. Both characters are finding themselves and through differences and other factors find love. I also like the fact that this wasn't rushed but slowly kindled into something beautiful. (Amazing narration by Greg who never fails to submerge listeners into the story)
I really enjoyed this story although I must admit I wanted to hit a certain black lion and a few pride members.
Who wouldn't fall in love with Johnnie
A recommend from me loved the story and the telling of it!