A Book in the Mates Series Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can’t shift. Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, he hopes to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack. Instead, Ethan learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate—a vampire named Miguel. Miguel Rodriguez is more than four centuries old. Strong, powerful, and vicious, he walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they’re true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent, and Miguel can’t resist for long. Once Miguel gives in, being together comes naturally. The challenge is keeping themselves alive so they can stay by each other’s side until forever comes.
I’M GOING to confess that this here was not how I had seen the night going. Trapped in a dark—and, might I add, stinky—alley. Surrounded by bloodsuckers. Two pack mates in wolf form passed out against the wheel of a truck, not clear whether they’re living or dead. The rest of our ragtag crew had already skedaddled, frantic to make it home so they could lick their wounds before they passed out. And the tall, fierce vampire responsible for fully half of the pummeling we’d taken still looked fit as a fiddle as he stalked toward me. His long black hair blew behind him while he swiped his hands on his shirt to remove shifter entrails, spit on the ground to ensure that the blood in his mouth wouldn’t get absorbed into his system, and glared at me furiously.
“Ralph, don’t,” Scariest-of-Them-All growled at the bloodsucker that had me pinned against the rough brick. Blood oozed out the sides of my neck and both wrists in a steady flow, a puddle already forming around my feet, my heart finally, blessedly slowing.
Pinning-Me-To-The-Wall vampire, the one he called Ralph, was holding both of my wrists above my head with one hand and had just moved his free hand to my belly, claws at the ready, when the order to stop registered. He looked back over his shoulder, but didn’t release me. Not that I could have gotten away even if he had loosened his grip. There were seven of them and one of me. Plus, they were bigger, stronger, older. I chuckled at the last thought. They were immortal; of course they were older.
Ralph jerked his head back and scowled as he shook me. “You think this is funny? Are you laughing, dog?” He spat the last word.
My head flopped from side to side, my neck feeling limp as a cooked noodle. Huh, I felt almost… almost good. I mean, I was bleeding like a stuck pig and dying and all, but dang. Everything inside was looser, easier, like I’d been suffocating all my life and I finally had room to breathe.
“You are,” he said incredulously. “He is,” he repeated for the benefit of the other vampires. He was using the same volume level, so I wasn’t sure why it was necessary, but whatever. I shrugged, or at least I tried to shrug. I definitely shrugged in my mind. Can shrugs be mental? “Glad you think it’s funny, because it’s the last thing you’re ever going to feel.” He pressed his claws against my belly, cutting through my shirt and just piercing my skin. “Say good-bye, doggy.”
“Ralph!” the vampire with the long black hair shouted. I wondered if his eyes were the same color as his hair. Mine were. The same color as his hair, I mean. Not the same color as mine. My hair was brown but my eyes were black. Black as night. Black as coal. Black as—“One more inch and I’ll rip your head off myself!” Fiercer-Than-Them-All bloodsucker yelled at Ralph. “Step away from him.”
Ralph shook me one last time and then let go. I slumped against the wall, barely able to stay on my feet. I wondered whether that was what being drunk felt like. I’d never been drunk. Maybe I should have tried it. Oh, well. Pretty soon, it wouldn’t matter none anyhow. Nothing would matter ever again.
“Fine. You want the kill, Miguel, he’s yours,” Ralph said, and then he spit at me. It landed on my leg, I think, but there was so much blood it was nigh on to impossible to tell. “I don’t need any more of their poison on me anyway.”
From the corner of my eye, I could see my previously prone pack mates moving. They were alive. With the bloodsuckers staring at their comrade approaching his next victim (uh, that was me, in case it wasn’t clear), Harold and George were able to drag themselves away. Good.
I turned my attention back to the threat slash salvation at hand. Coming at me in slow, steady footsteps was Miguel, the scary vampire who had maimed most of my pack mates and was apparently gunning to add me to his accomplishment tally, the one with the gorgeous long black hair and the… wait, gorgeous? How much blood had I lost? Enough that death was imminent. Not that I minded.
That was, after all, the whole reason I had agreed to go on the vampire-eradication mission with the other males my age. Hell, it was the reason they had, for the first time since we were toddlers, let me join them for anything.
An unarmed shifter who couldn’t shift wouldn’t survive a confrontation with a coven of bloodsuckers. We all knew that going in. The others were there to defend the pack from our most detested enemy and gain notoriety for years to come. Me? I was there to die in the only honorable way my twenty-year-old brain could think of.
But like I said, things didn’t turn out like I’d expected. Because the closer that bloodsucker named Miguel got to me, the more I felt blood pooling somewhere other than around my shoes. My pants weren’t tight, but, unlike the rest of my body, my prick wasn’t small, and in its erect state, it didn’t have enough room to hide. I wondered if their kind could see well at night. Probably. They were nocturnal, like our wolves, so if they couldn’t see well in the dark, they wouldn’t be able to hunt, wouldn’t be able to feed. Oh, Lord, feed.
What would that feel like? I stared at Tall, Dark, and Deadly and wondered how it would feel to have those sharp fangs pierce my vein and suck the blood from my body. My knees buckled at the thought. The vampire’s gaze met mine. He licked his lips and that was it. Endgame. I was done, twitching and gasping as I coated the inside of my drawers with my release.
His eyes widened in surprise and his graceful steps faltered. Sure enough, they could see in the dark. Or maybe they had a heightened sense of smell.
Miguel got even closer, and I was finally able to track his scent over the millions of other foreign odors in the filthy half-soul street. I trembled with renewed desire.
No. Couldn’t be. Not possible.
He took another step. And then another one. His gaze never broke its lock on mine.
My eyes rolled back in my head, the tightness in my skin completely loosened. The pressure in my chest slowed to nonexistent. And then I was on all fours, peace finally overtaking me, before everything went black.
The chemistry between Ethan and Miguel was off the chart reactions!
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Ever since I read 'Wake Me Up Inside', book one in the 'Mates' series by Cardeno C., I've been eagerly anticipating this next installment. Ethan and Miguel had intrigued me with the small glimpse I had of them in the first book so I was incredibly excited to read the story of their romance. I also had a pretty strong feeling the author was going to shake the story line up, and since I adore her writing, I was thrilled. 'Until Forever Comes' takes place several decades before the events of book one and they are set in two fictional Southern towns. Places where being gay was just not done. Ever.
Ethan is a wolf who has never shifted. At twenty most of the pack figure he's an abomination that would be better off dead as male wolves usually shift for the first time around ten years of age. Ethan is also the smallest male in the pack and the weakest, growing weaker every year. Fully understanding that he would die young, Ethan joins some of the other young males of the pack to hunt some vampires in town. The vampires hand the boys their heads and leave Ethan bleeding out. Not before he glimpses Miguel, the head vampire, so to speak. When Ethan wakes up the following morning, he has inexplicably shifted for the very first time.
After getting home, he can't stop thinking about Miguel and how good he smelled. Ethan heads back to town to find Miguel, and along the way he realizes his skin is feeling too stretched, the pain in his limbs is back, and he can't call his wolf again. Not until he bleeds out a little, at least. He finds Miguel and Ethan is intent on staying with him and convincing Miguel that they are true mates. This is not going to be an easy road. Shifters and vampires are mortal enemies, and shifter blood is poison to vampires. Ethan's pack and his family are not going to understand or accept that his true mate is male and a vampire. And Miguel's fellow vampires certainly aren't going to accept a shifter.
Miguel is an over four hundred year old vampire and from the day he was turned he's been hungry. Always hungry. The last few days it's just gotten way worse, to the point where he's feeding almost continuously and still he isn't sated. The other vampires capture him and are deciding whether they should kill him because his bloodlust is going to get them discovered, when Ethan shows up. The others leave them alone, assuming Miguel will drink from the shifter, get poisoned and die, taking care of their problem. While Miguel and Ethan are talking, Miguel can literally see Ethan's veins swelling with more and more blood, and in an effort to help him, Miguel drinks from him. I could easily imagine both of their surprise when not only doesn't Ethan's blood poison Miguel, but, in fact, he is no longer hungry. Ethan, of course, feels a million times better.
I loved Ethan. He's such a good person that his wholesomeness just overwhelmed me and made me want to wrap him up and take him home. Ethan is innocent but very stubborn, which I adored. Ethan knows how to trust and how to be loyal. What surprised me was that I loved Miguel, too. Miguel is not innocent and he doesn't trust well. He is fiercely protective and tender with Ethan. Miguel is the spice to Ethan's sugar. They were such a great representation of two halves of a whole.
I loved, loved, LOVED this book. Everything about it from the incredible writing to the strong and fascinating characters just pulled me in and kept me turning pages. Now I'm sad because I've finished and I don't know when the next book in the series will come out. Much thanks to Cardeno for giving me another set of wonderful men to add to my list of favorite couples.
NOTE: This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews
Such a sweet book! I was hooked from the beginning and it was hard to put down. Solid 4.5
Another beautiful story from Cardeno C. Having met Miguel and Ethan in Wake Me Up Inside, I was excited to read their story and learn how they became mates, especially considering the animosity that shifters have for vampires in this series. Until Forever Comes did not disappoint as the author weaves a romance that is distinctly different than any I've ever read before.
The book opens with Ethan facing death via suicide by vampire as he can no longer bear his painful existence, both physically and emotionally. Much to his disappointment, he wakes the next morning still alive, but having finally shifted – about a decade later than he should have. His relief at the situation is short-lived and he soon seeks out Miguel, the vampire who spared his life, and who seems to be the star of some rather erotic dreams. It turns out that Ethan isn't the only one feeling the pull and when Miguel finally responds to the draw between them it is hot.
But as with other books I have read by Cardeno C., it is the romance and building of the relationship between Ethan and Miguel that makes this such an enjoyable read. As someone who grew up in a small rural town, I have to say that the author writes redneck well. There were so many phrases used that I grew up hearing. Even more impressive is that Miguel's voice was distinctly different than Ethan's and his pack members and I never noticed a slip in the characters' language. I find that with each of the author's books I read, I become more and more of a fan and Until Forever Comes is no exception. I'm looking forward to starting the next book in the series momentarily.
I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!
Enjoyied this book from the first page until the last. Hard to stop reading once you start.
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