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More Than Everything

TITLE: More Than Everything

AUTHOR: Cardeno C
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
YEAR: November 2013
LENGTH: 234 pages
GENRE: M/M contemporary romance
HEAT LEVEL: Adult only, erotic
RATING: 5 out of 5


Book three in The Family series.  I have to confess, this is the one that made me want to read the series in the first place. I’m a sucker for a well-written menage story. And, as of this weekend, I’m happy to say that More Than Everything has won second place for Best Polyamorous  book in the 2014 Goodreads M/M Romance Group Member’s Choice Awards.

The story is narrated by Chase, in the form of flashbacks. It’s received a lot of flak about those flashbacks, but I think they work wonderfully. They give us  unfettered access to Chase’s memories and personality. And though the book is the story of Chase, Scott, and Adan (whom we met in Strong Enough, book two), these chapter introductions allow us to see how Chase evolves from an awkward teenager to the extraordinary man he becomes by the time the three men find their path to happiness.

I mentioned I’m a sucker for a good menage story. I’ll add here that I love them all the more when the group finds a way to make a permanent, committed relationship work. Part of what’s gotten me off my butt and resolved to work toward publishing my own fiction was the loss of my best friend last May. Aside from being such a special person in my life – she was my eldest daughter’s Goddess-mother – she was a strong proponent for polyamory. MG was one of the first people to use the term, and a frequent guest speaker on the subject.

I know how difficult it is to get such a relationship right. It takes more commitment and determination than a conventional relationship, and is met with resistance from all sides because people tend to think of it as a kink, something one does because one is avoiding commitment, or an excuse to play the field rather than devote oneself to one’s partner. Of course, some people do use menages that way, but I’m very happy with the way this author treated the subject. She clearly understands the challenges and the rewards of a polyamorous relationship, and she writes of them with warmth and grace.

This is, without any doubt, my favorite book in the series so far. Though Cardeno C. is renowned for her true-to-life characters and heart-warming stories, the heroes of More Than Everything stand out as some of the most engaging characters I’ve encountered in quite some time. I adore Chase, especially. He’s the type of guy I can imagine being my best buddy, hanging out with him on a Saturday afternoon or sharing movie nights during the week (I’ll bet he’d even watch musicals with me). He’s just one of those characters who leap off the page and make a place for themselves in your heart. Watching him grow up in this book was a true pleasure.

Needless to day, this one is a keeper. I’ve downloaded it to every device that can run the Kindle app, so I have it with me anywhere I go. I’m glad I read the series in order, rather than starting with More Than Everything, as I was tempted to do. It really is a great series. Cardeno C. is a wonderful writer, and this one put a huge smile on my face. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.