Cardeno is generously donating a copy of this book to one lucky commenter! Be sure to see details at the end of the review for your chance to win.
“I like capturing things that seem contradictory but actually complement each other.” – Caleb Lakes
Annual family vacations, coming out of the closet, graduating high school, graduating college, med school, first sexual experiences, numerous failed relationships, family drama, love and loss. Andrew Thompson and Caleb Lakes have been through a lot together in their twenty years of friendship, twenty years of seeing each other through the milestones of life.
Caleb and Andrew bonded at a family vacation when they were fourteen. On the outside, the two boys could not be more different even at a young age – one more reserved, the other far more relaxed – but an immediate friendship was formed that only grew stronger throughout their lifetime. After they both come out, Caleb and Andrew become more than friends. First kisses and first sexual experiences lead to years of experimentation and a long standing friends-with-benefits arrangement. As long as neither man is in a relationship, they are free to sleep together.
Andrew is in search of Mister Right. Witnessing first-hand the disaster of a relationship his parents called a marriage, Andrew is determined not to follow their examples. Longing for someone to love and accept him for who he is, for someone to hold a permanent place in his life, Andrew journeys through a series of boyfriends that all end up be the wrong guy for him. But he always knows that his best friend, Caleb, will be there to help pick up the pieces.
Caleb is picky when dating – no man is ever good enough. He’s not certain that he is cut out for a permanent relationship. The only permanent relationship in is life is Andrew, and as long as Caleb has his best friend he is okay.
When Andrew loses a longtime boyfriend to a battle with HIV, Caleb packs up and moves to Emile City to take care of Andrew. Living together brings out jealousies and insecurities neither man seems to understand. Boundaries begin to blur, and Caleb and Andrew are forced to examine their relationship in order to discover what the truly mean to one another.
The One Who Saves Me by Cardeno C is the sixth novel in the Home series. I’ve mentioned this before, but I will remind you all again that each book in this series is written as a standalone story within a series, meaning you can pick up any of the books and not miss out on something that has happened within another story. As a matter of fact, after reading this book, I believe the ending lies somewhere between Love at First Sight and Home Again. But again, this series can be read in any order. Also, if you’ve read any of the books in the series before you’ll notice cameos from characters from other books. And if you haven’t read any of the series, the cameos don’t make you feel like you’ve missed out anything. The characters are simply secondary/supporting characters in this story.
Anyone who has read a review or two of mine has to know that I am a huge fan of this author’s work. So it should be no surprise that I was anticipating this novel’s release with bated breath. In fact, I was so happy to read it that I dove right in and barely came up for air. This is a story of the beautiful unbreakable bond between two friends that grows, strengthens, and becomes more than what either could have hoped or imagined.
Andrew and Caleb have been introduced in previous stories within this series, so I was extremely excited to finally read their story and get to know them better. And I completely adore both of them now that I had I’ve had a peek into their lives. Their individual struggles shape them into the men that they become – strong yet imperfect with separate, distinct personalities. Andrew is a bit rebellious in that he made it a point to stand out. When people told him that he shouldn’t be gay, he took to wearing themed t-shirts – “Closets are for Clothes,” “One of Them,” “Shh, nobody knows I’m gay.” You get the point. He is tattooed and pierced and beautiful and intelligent. His heart yearns to find the perfect man for him and he’s broken a little each time a relationship ends. Caleb is far more reserved with a little bit of a kinky side, á la a sexy underwear fetish. Andrew brought him out of his shell as kids. Caleb is the rock, the emotional stability in their friendship. He’s always around to help Andrew through the failed relationships or through family problems. He and Andrew have a truly perfect friendship. In each other they have found their soul mates, even if it takes them decades to realize it.
One of the things that I like most about Cardeno C’s writing is that no one writing style or story structure is the same as another story within this series. The One Who Saves Me is written in the third person POV of both of the main characters over the span of twenty years. We meet both characters as fourteen-year-old boys and watch them year-by-year as they grow up, mature, and become their own men while sticking together and solidifying a beautiful friendship. Each chapter is a glimpse into their lives beginning in 1988 and ending in 2008 – each chapter a different year. Each year sees Andrew and Caleb walking through an event or events together while growing and learning from them.
The One Who Saves Me is a beautiful story that is wonderfully created and written. A story of unlikely friends that love, adore, and protect one another. It’s a journey of two men on a search for the perfect mate, not realizing he was standing by the other’s side the entire time. It’s a fantastic story of ups and downs, joys and tears. I highly recommend The One Who Saves Me. I adore this series and look forward to reading more in the near future.
On a side note, the title The One Who Saves Me comes from the song Wonderwall and the story is beautifully created to relate to the lyrics of that song.
Cover: I am completely obsessed with this cover by Paul Richmond. Simple and gorgeous, he gives face to the relationship between Caleb and Andrew, the joy and love that they share. They are both perfectly and beautifully created for this cover. And, really, who doesn’t love that look on Andrew’s face? Beautiful cover by Paul Richmond…simply beautiful.
Cardeno is offering a copy of The One Who Saves Me to one lucky reader. Leave a comment below for a chance to enter. The contest closes on Thursday, November 15th at 11:59 pm EST.
- By entering the contest, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number.
- If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay and leave your email address if it is not in your profile.