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Strong Enough TITLE: Strong Enough

AUTHOR: Cardeno C PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
YEAR: August 2013
LENGTH: 200 pages
GENRE: M/M contemporary romance
HEAT LEVEL: Adult only, erotic
RATING: 4.5 out of 5

REVIEW: The second book in The Family series. This one sold itself to me on the strength of the excerpt I read on one of the sites where I buy books. I loved the ideas of the professor and the construction worker pining for each other from afar, stealing glances when they thought no one was looking. On the surface of it, Spencer and Emilio have nothing in common. There’s the age difference and the fact that they exist in entirely different worlds, Emilio’s almost brash self-confidence versus Spencer’s shy reticence, and the fact that they’ve experienced “family” in completely opposite ways. But both characters are quite likeable, and I found myself rooting for them from page one. He may have thought he was only going to get a hot hookup, but Emilio handles Spencer with care and considerable sensitivity. He’s not just a horny guy looking to get laid; when it becomes clear that Spencer isn’t the quick hookup type, Emilio moves into relationship mode with scarcely a hitch in his stride. As expected, Cardeno C handles the emotional highs and lows beautifully. I love the way Emilio draws Spencer out of his shell, and I love the fact that, though he was shy and slow to recognize Emilio’s attraction to him, Spencer quickly decides that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and that he’d be a fool to let Emilio get away without giving their relationship a chance. Both of these men are realistic and believable, as are their circumstances and reactions to events unfolding before them. Because this is a series, we also get lovely secondary characters who enrich the story and make us long to read about their own escapades. I enjoyed this book very much, and would recommend it to anyone who loves warmth, humor, and sexy man-loving in their books.