Not even his mother's funeral can convince self-proclaimed party boy Zach Johnson to tone down his snark or think about settling down. He is who he is, and he refuses to change for anyone. When straight-laced, compassionate Aaron Paulson claims he's falling for him, Zach is certain Aaron sees him as another project, one more lost soul for the idealistic Aaron to save. But Zach doesn't need to be fixed, and he refuses to be with someone who sees him as broken.
Patience is one of Aaron's many virtues. He has waited years for a man who can share his heart and complete his life, and he insists Zach is the one. Pride, fear, and old hurts wither in the wake of Aaron's adoring loyalty, and as Zach reevaluates his perceptions of love and family, he finds himself tempted to believe in the impossible: a happily ever after.
©2013 Cardeno C. (P)2015 Cardeno C.
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian I Dig Good Books. I was gifted both the kindle edition and the audio edition.
I'm not writing a blurby bit here, I wanna jump straight in.
If you follow my reviewers you will know 2 things.
1. I LOVE Cardeno C's work, well, almost all of it, had one or two not so love ones but still, I love their work.
2. I dont much care for single person, POV in the first person.
OH! THREE things.
3. I will hold me hand up and say, that a good story, NO, an AWESOME story will negate any or all of my dislikes.
THIS BOOK is a prime example for the third point. Its written entirely from Zach's POV and is told in the first person. I started reading it and thought...pfft...I'm not going to love this, I will just like it. But as I got to know Zach, and his way of thinking, his attitude and his thought patterns, I began to love it, and toward the end I didn't want to finish! I LOVE Zach!
I also loved Aaron, but since we dont get any of him, I cant say anything about the way he thinks, except that he loves Zach, I mean totally and utterly LOVES him from that very first meeting when Zach didn't actually say a word. I loved his nature, that is , he needs someone to look after but equally, he needs to be looked after. While I thought Zach was a nasty person to do what he did at that party, I also know he hated himself after, and I loved that Aaron didn't leave him, he looked after Zach, knowing full well what he did.
A prime example of a beautifully told story, with no major break ups, not too much drama, and an enormous amount of love that jumps off every single page.
This is a book in The Home Series, revamped, and with extra scenes and bonus chapters. There is no need to read them in order, all the time lines overlap, and all the characters pop up at some point or other in the books, and its nice to catch up with them at later or even earlier points on their journeys. I love that. I really do.
I very rarely give 5 stars to single person POV books, but I cannot, in all fairness, give this one any less. I would really LOVE to go back and LISTEN to this one too, cos Zach has a wicked sense of the reader, he talks to you! Its ace!
So, 5 full stars.
Alexander Collins narrates this book. When I listened to him narrating Walk With Me, his voices were very similar for the two main characters. Not so here. Zach and Aaron have clearly defined voices and I was able to fully differentiate between the two. His reading voice DID make me think of Seth and Eli, but only to a point. I got over that, right quick!
I loved Zach when I READ this book, and I loved him here, too. His little digs at the reader come across beautifully! Collins nailed Zach, he really did. All of Zach's thought processes, the way his mind worked, came across so much more for LISTENING to it. I did say I wanted to listen and listen I did. I was not disappointed!
5 stars for the narration
5 stars for the book
**same review appears on Goodreads, Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk and Audible.co.uk**
Avid drinker of tea and reader of all things, romance is best.
This is such an engaging story with very likeable MCs. The tale of a dreamy hard-working hunk Aaron, who's holding out for true love, and sassy, slutty Zack who's hurtful family and tough childhood has made him doubt love and relationships. These guys are made for each other! In fact, they complete each other! The writing is witty and funny as always with CC, as well as moving and challenging. The bonus chapter at the end is a delight.
All Cardeno C books feature strong men who truly need each other, and this is no exception. The love grows fast, but takes time to be nurtured. It is character driven and has a brilliant array of supporting characters from Zack's cheer leader type sister in law, to Arron's terrifying mother. We also meet some of the other Family series men, notably David from Love at First Sight, and Nate & Jake from Where He End & I Begin.
The performance was beautiful. Sensitive, moving and at times funny. The range of voice was superb. I particularly liked the slight southern burr used for Aaron.
A must listen for all MM romance lovers.
"This story just makes me happy!"
4.75 stars out of 5
I’m not going to lie. I wanted to kill Zach before I finished reading four chapters.
But keep going….because you know what? CC does it again. She brings these human, flawed, wonderful characters to life and I became utterly invested in seeing the turnaround in Zach’s attitude and behavior (which he totally does – best redeemed character I’ve read in a long time). Also getting to see Aaron, who is honestly practically perfect in every way, actually being so well cared for (for a change) is wonderful. You need to see them get their HEA and I am so pleased with the way CC gets us to that point.
He Completes Me is tied with Walk With Me as my favorite in the Home collection series. Probably because, like Eli, Zach is snarky and wonderfully humorous. Seeing Zach grow from being a self-absorbed asshole to a loving, caring partner, while still retaining his snark, just makes me happy.
He Completes Me is told entirely from Zach’s perspective, and though I wish I could get Aaron’s perspective as well, Zach’s humor and sarcasm is enough to keep me thoroughly entertained. Collins captures Zach and Aaron’s personalities so well, he is just a pure pleasure to listen to. And my god, the sex scenes? We should have a SUPER-SCORCHER rating for them!
Each of the stories in the Home collection may be easily read as a standalone and you do not have to read them in any particular order. For me, one of the perks is getting to see characters I love from the other books in the series, like Jake and Nate (from Where He Ends and I Begin) and Eli and Seth (from Walk With Me) in particular, make appearances in the other stories – it’s just a real treat.
This story just makes me happy.
Note: This was originally published in audio book format November 20th 2012 with narrator Paul Morey.
"Flawed characters that find strength in each other"
The connection between Aaron and Zach, their passion and commitment.
Any of the other books in this series, they are all unlikely but deserved love storys.
When Aaron went off on step-daddy dearest.
I wish audible would remove this question from the template.
Zach Johnson finds himself back in Emil City for the first time in almost a decade for his mother’s funeral. It was his mother, her abusive, alcoholic husband and Zach’s intolerant family that drove him away in the first place. Years of mental and physical abuse that started before he came out, only intensifying after, made Zach the person he is today. He is strong, self-sufficient, successful, resilient and sadly, a little bitter. It is to be expected though.
Aaron Paulson is a tranquil river in Zach’s otherwise vibrant and sometimes chaotic life. The calm, coordinated, sexy Veterinarian is Zach’s brother’s best friend. From the second Aaron lays eyes on Zach, he knows that Zach belongs to him. But love is the last thing Zach wants in his life, so he pushes Aaron away and tries to distance himself from Aaron’s affection. The big guy just bides his time, waits for Zach to realize how they could complete each other.
Early on in this story I thought it was going to be another insta-love story. Aaron seriously gets attached to Zach overnight. But then as the story progresses and you learn more about Aaron’s past, what he’s been through, how old he is and come to realize, not only is he an old soul, but he has been waiting for his other half. The man has the patience of a saint and Zach tests those limits more than once. But then Zach hasn’t exactly had any type of positive in his life until he meets Aaron, and inadvertently reconnects with his brother Dean, his wife and their three children. While the story slowly unfolds and you learn more about Aaron, you are learning more about Zach as well, the hell had lived through before he turned eighteen and literally caught the first bus out of town.
Narrated by Alexander Collins, the same guy that voices all the books in this series. While I thought Collins performance in other books in this series was just okay, I loved it in this story. He managed to give Aaron and Zach completely different voices and held true to them from beginning to end.
He Completes Me is a love story about not only finding the other half of your soul, but figuring out who you are on the journey as well. Aaron and Zach share an intense, passionate connection. One that shows a different side of each man than the one the world sees. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would recommend it to anyone that likes flawed characters that find strength in each other.
"A great and true love story"
I loved the characters and their development.. The internal commentary made me laugh and cry for the truth of the words and how I saw them relate to my own life and experiences.
"Love this version as well!"
Zach is a chef in LA. He sleeps with anyone who strikes his fancy and he wouldn’t really say that he’s anything but happy. When he goes home for his mother’s funeral, someone who pretty much abandoned him as a young boy, he is surprised to find his brother wants to build a relationship with him. In addition, his brother’s best friend, Aaron, is not only gay, but somehow, in the blink of an eye, falls for Zach at first sight.
But that’s a bunch of BS in Zach’s world. At first he thinks both Aaron and his brother can go to hell and Zach will go back to LA and live the life he THINKS is better.
Aaron, however, KNOWS Zach is the ONE and won’t let anything, including Zach get in his way.
This is probably my favorite of the Home Series stories, and Zach is absolutely my favorite character! I love when Zach “breaks the fourth wall” and talks to us, the audience. It’s hysterical! He’s got a foul mouth and that’s such a great juxtaposition with Aaron’s goody-two-shoes demeanor.
Aaron is so loyal and sweet and his back story about his first “boyfriend” are heartbreaking. When Zach abuses his love over and over, I kinda wanted to punch Zach in the face! (Especially when he goes to that party…!) But, in a way, it’s easy to understand where Zach is coming from and he’s so honest that it doesn’t feel so bad. And then, when he finally admits his feelings for Aaron, they mean all that much more, because we were there for that transition.
I did want to shake Aaron a time or two, especially when it came to Kimmy. Gah!
Another thing – besides all the amazing feels – about this story that I loved is all the amazing times in bed! Aaron’s oral fixations are HOT and Zach is so outgoing that the chemistry between them is scorching!
In this version we also get the “Epilogue” that occurs after DOMA falls and man oh man! – I think it’s my favorite “addition” in the bunch. (Maybe tied with Just What The Truth Is) Zach is so damn sweet and it’s such a 180 degree turn for him that the feels are just that much stronger.
In any case, if you haven’t read this series and you love a good, sappy, full of feels romance – you NEED to. If you like sassy MCs, this is your book. If you just want to read about two opposites falling in love with very little angst, again, this is the book for you!
5 of 5 stars
This is an interesting situation. These books were originally recorded by different narrators (Paul Morey in this case) and then re-recorded later – all by the same person- Alexander Collins. There are a lot of benefits to this. First, all the characters who appear throughout the series are voiced by the same actor. Second, the new material which was added after the Defense For Marriage Act fell, was also added to the narration, giving this a nice, complete feeling.
You may know this narrator as he is also Mark Westfield, who narrates the THIRDS series so masterfully.
He does a really fantastic job with this as well. I love him for the “extras” he provides, the altered voices in phones, around corners, muffled in shirts, that kind of thing. He gives Aaron a softer, more Southern voice and Zach a more hard, quick voice that fit the characters really well.
I guess I can’t really say I love this more than the original, but definitely as much as. There are just different things to like with the two narrators. But… since this is the only narration available anymore, I can say this. If you’re a fan of the author and love audiobooks, you’ll love this, no doubt. If you’re new to the narrator, you might want to listen to a sample as he does have a distinct “style” and it’s always good to know what you’re in for.
"Another great read!"
I love the books from this author. The characters are so well created and their issues are so close to people's lives. This is a must read.
I like the way the narration was done also.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.