In Another Life
At age 18 Shiloh Raben is tired. He no longer has the energy to deal with mean classmates, inner doubt, and fear of familial rejection, so he takes a razor to his wrist. When he wakes up in the hospital, Shiloh meets Travis Kahn, the EMT who saved him and didn't leave his side.
Travis is handsome, smart, and funny - the type of guy Shiloh would never be brave enough to approach. But his near-death experience has an unusual side effect: The life that flashed before his eyes wasn't the one he had already lived but rather the one he could live. With visions of a future by Travis' side, Shiloh will find the strength to confront his fears and build a life worth fighting for.
Childhood family friends Maccabe Fried and Josh Segal have always gotten along despite having nothing in common. Maccabe is an athlete with dreams of playing professional baseball. Josh is an aspiring architect with dreams of being with Maccabe. Despite all odds, both dreams come true.
Maccabe and Josh fall into a long-distance romance, which is everything Josh thought he wanted. But after years of hiding from the world, Josh wants to bring their relationship into the open. When Maccabe refuses, Josh is faced with a tough decision: stay with the man he loves or live the life he deserves. No matter the choice, somebody's bound to get hurt. Thankfully, in the season of miracles, there's always hope for a happy ending.
©2013 Cardeno C. (P)2016 Cardeno C.
Lily reads, writes, and reviews m/m romance.
Two well-written novellas, two superb narrators, a hot cover, and all at a very reasonable price.
In Another Life – 4.5*
This is a fabulous and cleverly-crafted story that ran me through a range of emotions. I laughed, I cried, and I swooned as I listened to Shiloh’s and Travis’ story. As often is the case with CC we are treated to insta-love, but keep with it if it’s not your thing. It all works out wonderfully in the end. It’s a story of second chances but sort of in reverse. The only thing I wondered about was the make-out scene in the hospital bed. Not very professional. Luckily they weren’t interrupted. Excellently narrated by John Solo and his character voice for Travis was just hot and lovely.
Eight Days – 3.5 (4* for the early part of the story)
I liked the premise of this story—eight snapshots of a relationship that just happened to coincide with Hanukkah celebrations over several years. I enjoyed the early chapters with Maccabe and Josh, but the reason behind their split and the lack of contact for seven years was a little flimsy. The separation hardly seemed to affect Maccabe, but then all of a sudden he feels he has to do something to put it right. I’m glad Josh had tried to move on with his life, but my heart hurt for him because he hadn’t really managed it. I can understand why he was reluctant to have Maccabe back at first. The final chapter was a let down. I was hoping to see Maccabe come out to their families and admit he was in a relationship with his best friend. Instead we get an extended family scene with banter/arguing and only a brief glimpse at how Josh and Maccabe are together. So for me although the idea of the story was good and it ends happily, I would have liked a slightly different ending or an extended story with more scenes. Nick narrated the story very well, although a little fast at times, with distinguishable voices and the right emotions.
Avid drinker of tea and reader of all things, romance is best.
In another life is a 'turned on it's head' life flashing before your eyes tale that gripped me from the outset. Shiloh & Travis are perfect for each other, and in the end, shape their own happily ever after. Wonderfully absorbing and relatable characters in a sweet story that is so fresh, I adored it.Eight Days tells the story of two men finally finding themselves and each other told via the Eight Days of Hanukkah over several years. The cute geeky band-boy Josh falls for his closeted jock best friend McCabe but McCabe insists he isn't gay and doesn't want their close families to find out the truth about them. Eventually, pro ballplayer McCabe comes to his senses and goes to get Josh and start their life together. Its a 'doesn't run smooth' love story, but very sweet and satisfying in the end. I loved it.
These two stories are so original, and approached by the author in such a fresh way, that there isn't anything else I've read that is like them. That the stories are romantic and satisfying in the end, doesn't mean they don't have their share of difficulties that real life possess.
John's narration was excellent, as was Nick's. They both portrayed the characters well, clearly and in a way that was perfectly in line with how I heard the characters when I first read the book. Of all the characters in both stories, Shiloh was probably my favourite, as he was the one who went on the biggest journey to find his place in happiness.
So many! The brilliantly bossy jewish moms always trying to feed everybody were awesome, but when Shiloh woke in the hospital too his dad's almost barked 'I love you' i nearly cried.
Both stories are written with Cardeno C's usual humour and brilliant dialogue, if you like cleverly done gay romance stories, and appreciate the healthy representation of Judaism, this book is for you.
"Nick definitely rocks this!"
In Another Life
Without revealing what happens… Shiloh is shown at 18 and 36 … then again at 18 and 36. He gets “shown” a couple different variations of how his life “could” be and we are left when he finally figures it out right! Travis is his savior and whom he saves and finds true love with in the end.
It’s a bit like a morbid, gay, choose your own adventure and it has some funny lines, a bit of hot smexy times, and a very sweet HEA. This is an unusual story and though it’s short, tells a lot. There are a lot of plot inconsistencies without explanations, but overall it’s a very sweet holiday story that, like all of Cardeno’s works, is delightfully ooey, gooey, sweet and tender.
John Solo does the narration for this and he does a nice job – especially with all the coughing! He doesn’t use any accents or do anything OTT, just delivers a nice narrative.
For the story and the narration 3.5 of 5 stars
Maccabe is the nerd and Josh the jock. They hook up in college but when Maccabe wants to come out and Josh doesn’t, they split for years. It takes Hanukah to bring them back together.
On the one hand I loved Josh’s explanation about who he is and why he didn’t want to come out – it’s unique. But I didn’t really understand why he’d let things go as long as he did. Then when he comes back in to Josh’s life, Josh doesn’t really offer up much of a protest, despite all the time gone by.
It’s another lovely holiday story with a bit of hot smexy times and some very sweet Cardeno lovin’.
Nick J Russo did a great job with all the unique words and his voice for Josh felt very authentic. I love his narrations as he’s so easy to listen to and he has a way of really bringing the listener into the story.
I liked this story best of the two and give it and the narration a 4.25 of 5 stars
I think anyone in the mood for a short, sweet, sexy, holiday story will love these and I recommend them highly.
(I love the new cover!)
Brilliantly narrated by John Solo, In Another Life gives a glimpse of what could be and fateful encounters. This story is hands down one of my favorite novellas of Cardeno's. Filled with so much love and hope it definitely doesn't hurt that the sex is hot as hell too.
But more than that I absolutely love that Shiloh remembers the glimpse of the life that could have been and am completely enamored of Shiloh and Travis's whole love story. John had me crying while listening to this story...twice.
Speaking of brilliant, Nick J. Russo lends his own considerable voice talent to Eight Days. Nick perfectly captures Maccabe's cluelessness, Josh's affection and frustration, and, as always, brings the heat for the sexy times.
I want so much more with this story. I feel like begging for a sequel. I need more, Cardeno C., please!
"Two sweet Hanukkah-themed stories! Cute!"
Jewish comfort food for Jews and Goys alike.
I'm a big Cardeno C. fan, especially when CC delivers, and I think that happened with these two stories. Cardeno C. is my go-to for Jewish MC romance, and these two Hanukkah stories really hit the mark.
In Another Life
I'm not always a fan of John Solo. The way he narrates sometimes irritates me, and I've made some comments in previous reviews about not liking the sound of his voice, especially for certain characters. Here, it irritated me less than usual, and I was surprised that I actually enjoyed his narration. By far the best that I've heard from him.
This story was over the top and TOTAL insta-love, which is usually a big pet peeve of mine, but I actually... sort of liked it here! The story is told in an interesting way, and I dug that. Plus, hot Jewish doctors are sort of my weakness...
It was sweet, moving, and pretty romantic. 3.5 stars
Eight Days reminded me a bit of Walk With Me, in a good way. It is a second chance romance between two life-long friends, whose relationship has evolved over time.
Maccabe was a bit harder to like than Josh, with his back and forth and the inconsistent portrayal of his relationship with baseball. I found myself getting frustrated with him, but I still enjoyed the dynamic between him and Josh, overall.
What made this story was the stellar narration from one of my faves, Nick J. Russo, who always kills it. He is my go-to in M/M romance these days. His voice was sexy, compelling, and not over-acted. I really liked his performance. 3.5 stars
*Audiobook ARC provided in exchange for an honest review*
"Outstanding narration made for enjoyable listening"
In Another Life:
Holiday romances are easy for me to tire of pretty quickly. But what In Another Life is? It is so much more than just another holiday romance. It’s also a very unique take on second chance romance, with just a touch of…I don’t know-maybe supernatural would be the best way to describe it? A near-death experience that has resounding effects always has me thinking of otherworldly things. Plus, the holiday this is set around is Hanukkah, not Christmas as you might expect-and a genuinely pleasant surprise.
The matchup of Shiloh and Travis is sweet and immediately intense, smacking of insta-love but in the overall context of the story it really works well. When it’s right, you just know. The two of them just fit together like two puzzle pieces-physically, emotionally, and personality-wise they are the perfect complement to each other.
While this story gives us twice the tragedy, it also give us twice the love and hope. A tear or two might have escaped me…and a lot more smiles than that as well. This was a 4.5-star read for me, and I’d definitely recommend this story to any M/M romance fan-regardless if you are a holiday romance person or not (18+ for adult language and M/M sexual content).
I really enjoyed the audio narration of this story. The voices were done well-each character very distinct, and the pacing spot on where I was able to enjoy the story with only listening to it and not reading the ebook first (I usually prefer reading first before listening). This is definitely a story I will be listening to again and again-and not just during the holiday season.
First off, I love that this holiday romance is centered on Hanukkah-there are nowhere near enough romances out there with this holiday focus. It provides an uncommon yet excellent way to pace the story, particularly since the first several days are not consecutive, but over the course of years instead. Second, I have to tell you that I adored Josh’s character-but Maccabe aggravated the heck out of me for a large chunk of the story. BUT, thank goodness this isn’t just a holiday romance-it’s a second chance one as well…one of my favorite tropes, particularly in the M/M romance genre.
Josh is so sweet and innocent as the story starts out, and I couldn’t help but feel so much for his character throughout the entire book. Maccabe came across as a typical jock to me, just one who’s not quite so sure about his sexuality. Once the two of them finally get together, it seems like everything is primarily physical-and that chemistry is phenomenal-but Maccabe’s insistence on keeping their relationship quiet drags things between them down and ultimately results in them breaking apart. The older they got, the more Maccabe’s attitude ticked me off-I don’t care if he was in professional sports or not.
But Maccabe mostly redeemed himself in my eyes seven years after they split at the family Hanukkah dinner…although the way he acted after his and Josh’s initial reunion when Jim…er…James…er…no…John shows up I thought was a bit much. Maccabe has an ego-a big one-and he knows it too, it’s the one thing that I wasn’t fond of about his character. I’m just glad that in the end, it’s not himself that he puts first.
4 stars for Eight Days, it’s a good M/M holiday romance-even with Maccabe’s annoying attitude. Recommended for readers 18+ for adult language and M/M sexual content (oh yes, that part-hot…very hot).
The audio narration for Eight Days was a perfect 5 stars-unique character voices, packed full of emotion when needed and it really drew me into the story even more so than reading the ebook. The narration actually made Maccabe’s character a bit more palatable for me, particularly in that dinner scene seven years later where it is plainly obvious from his tone and the emotions in his voice that he realizes what he should have known before everything went wrong. Excellent narration, it really made this story so much more for me than the printed version gave me.
"an ok listen"
Yes I have recommended it to some friends that like the genre
I have recommended it to a couple of friends because they read other books like this.
Both John and Nick did a great job bringing the characters to life for me, John didn't go overboard with the narration, he did a great job. Nick made the character really come to life for me, he did a great job bringing me as a listener into the story. Nick is one of my favorite narrators so far.
"Two completely different stories"
I enjoyed listening to both of the stories, In Another Life kind of confused me as it backtracks, but it puts a whole different spin on the the characters and their relationship.Eight Days to your friends was just as interesting and also a fun read.
When I have friends who are looking for this type of books I will add these titles I recommend.
I liked Maccabe and Josh, there were so many twists to the story that it was memorable.
Two wonderful stories that are well written and performed.
Both stories have a great balance of heat, romance, and drama, making the stories really enjoyable.
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