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Wake Me Up Inside

(Mates #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  4,804 ratings  ·  556 reviews
A Mates Series Story

A powerful Alpha wolf shifter and a strong-willed human overcome traditions ingrained over generations and uncover long-buried secrets to fulfill their destiny as true mates.

Regarded as the strongest wolf shifter in generations, Alpha Zev Hassick is surprised and confused by his attraction to his best friend. His very human, very male best friend. A mal
ebook, 2nd edition, 326 pages
Published July 31st 2015 by The Romance Authors (first published January 1st 2012)
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3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,804 ratings  ·  556 reviews

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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*Price drop to $0.99 today at Amazon US, 3/23/17!*

The entire plot of the book is basically described in the image below:


Okay! That's a wrap...

Wait, you want more of a review? Fine, fine...

I can tell a Cardeno C. book from a mile away. They are sap overload, true-love-fests, and sometimes that works for me and sometimes it doesn't. More often than not, the insta-love that I so often see in this author's books irritates me and I end up with mixed feelings about the story.

However, this is a shifte
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
4.5 stars

Did. Not. Want. This. Book. To. End.

No one does shifters like CC!

Loved Zev and Jonah, even if I found Zev's reluctance to communicate with Jonah sooner (rather than almost too late) a little frustrating.

But there was so much yummy angst, tenderness, smexy times and soul-baring FEELS, I was swept away.


Sophia Triad
“It’s just you. It’s always been you.”

I loved the way Zev and Jonah first met:

The human didn't cry, he just reached his small hand out and petted Zev's fur. The wolf cub whined with joy and pressed himself against the human baby, licking his neck and rubbing against his body. Zev's wanted to mark himself with that lemony scent. It smelled so good and right...

So when they first met, they were just babies.
A one year old human baby and a same age wolf cub.

After that they are always together, as
May 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: shapeshifters
DNF @ 52%

It was so slow and I got bored. I read the first half and practically nothing happened so I couldn’t keep reading…
Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**

***4.5 Stars***

Friends to lovers, true mates, shifters, some long distance angst....

Zev and Jonah were adorably fantastic together!!

The connection...
The friendship...
The humor...
The sex...

Check. Check. Check. Check. Loved it all.

I love the way the story was told. The prologue starts in the present, and then we're taken to the very beginning of Zev and Jonah's friendship until the story catches up to the prologue. I loved that anticipation of finding out why things are the way they are in the p
**3.5 Blondie and Pup Stars**

Zev and Jonah discovered each other when they were just babies. Zev always knew there was something special about Jonah. He felt this draw to him, like he was his mate. But his family and the pack said it wasn't possible for him to be gay, much less be mated to a human of all things. Jonah felt his own kind of draw to Zev. They are best friends in all ways. When Jonah final gets the courage to tell Zev how he feels, Zev discovers it is possible for him to be gay and
~Mindy Lynn~

A sweet shifter book!

Zev and Jonah were quite the adorable couple. They meet very young and they are sweet from age 1 and on. I liked we got to see how they grew with each other and how their relationship became something more serious than friends. I thought Zev being so naïve about gay sex was kind of adorable. I loved how Jonah made him feel comfortable about it all and how Zev was so accepting on how things were and who he was.

I didn't like how long it took for these two to actually join
❧Gwendolyn❧A Bookish Berkeley Girl❧
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone in the mood for sweets!
OMG~This Book Has a Smexy Alpha who is a Force to be Reckoned with!
" Blondie his mate is a Force to be Reckoned with as well~"

4 Stars~

Cuz, really really , like it! and if they would have not been (view spoiler) would have been a solid 5 Star book.

The Book~

"This Book Has Cardeno's Signature Sweetness, with an addtional bonus of a feeling of a Sweet Tribal Air in this that is Awesome ~

The flow of the time-frame jumps
I loved revisiting this universe and this story. It made me just as melty as it did the first time.

--------Original Review 29 Nov 2014----------
4.5 Stars

I don't read much paranormal. Of the 900+ books I've marked as 'read' on GoodReads, only 25 of them are paranormal books. No particular reason, I don't think, I just tend to overlook them. Well, after reading The Half of Us, by this same author, Dani recommended this series. And thank FSM she did. I hate the fact that I would have overlooked thi
Nov 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How have I not discovered the world of shifters until now?? Holy crap, shifters are H-O-T!! I think this was a good one for me to start with because it covered all the basics of shifters, most of which I was unfamiliar with. I'm really looking forward to the rest of this series. Also wanted to add, I listened to this one on audiobook. Charlie David is the narrator and he did a really good job.
I really have a weak for hot shifters and this book was right up my alley. I have to be honest though.... I have read this series kind of out of order. This happens to me a lot though, and since these books can be read as stand wasn't an issue. What can I say....I am a bit weird.

This story skips between present and past time and even though I find this annoying in most books...I didn't in this one.

Zev and Jonah meet when they are both very very young, around 1. Jonah is playing (or m
3,5 Stars for a cute and sweet little romantic love tale

As I expressed it to a friend - "two birds with one stone." Two genres I love to read: M/M and PNR, in a wonderful mix. All at once, with some new interesting variants from the shifter world.

A simple but very cute story about a wolf shifter who already as a boy meets his predetermined true mate, a blond human boy. I enjoyed a lot and loved this boys and later men.
‘The wolf cub whined with joy and pressed himself against the human baby, lic
Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
Beautiful, warm, heartfelt, sexy and endearing read!

Zev Hassick, a shifter and an Alpha in the making, is drawn to Jonah Marvel, a human, from a young age. They meet before their child minds can understand the importance of the other person. Before they can understand their need to be together. A fierce need that stays with them from childhood best friends, to lovers and mates.


Wake Me Up Inside is a story about soul mates...meeting your other half, your true mate. A story about sacrificing you
Really liked this one. My first m/m shifter tale. The characters were likeable and the plot was interesting. 4 stars and a big

I loved Zev and Jonah, and the fact they 'found' each other when Zev was a pup, and Jonah was crawling around at the age of 1. Lots of things conspire to stand in their way, not least of which is that Zev is in line to be the next Alpha of the pack and should obviously be getting mated to a female not a male!!

Jonah goes away to college to become a doctor while Zev stays
I love Cardeno C. books but I think his style did not work for a shifter book, for me. I like sweet, loving, no angst in my human books. But shifter books, I want them faster paced, early claiming and a whole lot of 'mine' language. I don't want it to take forever to get to that. 

The flashbacks were killing me too. If most of the books is in flash back, then start the book from there. I don't like a lot of flashbacks and then the last 20 % is present but that is pretty much what happened.

I want
I really, really wanted to love this shifter story of a man who found his mate at the age of one, and that mate was his same gender, which was absolutely unheard of in his pack. But the author just drew out getting these two mates together, and I just kept getting more and more frustrated... It made the pay off a little too anti-climatic for my tastes. *sigh* So, my issue really. The writing was great, the characters fleshed out, hot and fabulous. The sex was fantastic! :)

4 stars from me because
Victoria  love books
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-mm, shifters
Overall book rating 3.8 howling stars
Audio book - Narrator Charlie David - 4.5 Stars
Book cover rating - 4.8 amazing stars

This was my first wolf shifter book and I think it was a nice calm intro to the wolf shifters.

This was quite

It was different but nice. I needed the no drama shit and this book was perfect. I got a little irritated with the time laps but other than that I liked it.

May 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4/ 4.5 Stars.
What a great story. I really loved Cardeno's take on the shifter world. A nice spin on the normal lore surrounding Shifters and their mates. There's not much this man writes that doesn't make me smile contentedly. The chemistry is there as always, the love scenes sizzle, the sexual tension shimmers and I'm just glad I've got the next one on my kindle ready to follow up in the near future.

Zev and Jonah's story held me captive now I'm looking forward to seeing how Ethan and Miguel t
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm
I read this in one sitting I am still not sure how I feel about this book. I did like it that’s for sure, but it this entire book was nerve wracking for me. And I don’t really like that in a book.

This book covers the entire life of Zev and Jonah (well, until they're 30). Zev is a wolf shifter and has always known that Jonah, who is human, is his true mate. But since Jonah knows nothing about shifters Zev can’t really jump up and say: tadaaaaa, I’m a shifter.


The boys get involved when they’re 18.
Mandy*reads obsessively*
Zev and Jonah have been fascinated and drawn to each other since earliest childhood, not knowing or even caring why.
Their friendship and closeness shouldn't be a problem, but it is, Zev is the future alpha of his pack and Jonah is a human child. Zev's family and pack discourage interaction with humans, but Zev can't and won't give Jonah up, until he has to let him go to get his education.
I had a bit of an issue getting used to the way the story is told, at least in the beginning, it switches for
Changing this from 'I'll return, mayhaps' to 'no done with, never' DNF no rating.
Bought this as the second book sounded good and series-order-etc, but I didn't like it, since tried the second book and found I really didn't like that one. Declaring this series a wash-out for me. Not going to continue trying them.
Jul 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a sweet and hot read. Just what I expect from a Cardeno C. book.

True mates are rare in the shifter world, but Zev found his at the age of one. Ever since he first laid eyes nose on Jonah, he knew there was a connection. He didn't know what it meant at the time but eventually he figured it out. The problem is that his mate is not only human but male. That's just not supposed to be possible. I really liked seeing the relationship between Jonah and Zev develop throughout their lives. I alw
May 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Really loved this book. There is no doubt that Zev and Jonah are meant to be together. They have known and been drawn to each other since they were one year old. What Jonah doesn't know is that his best friend and lover is also Pup, the wolf he has known all his life.

The relationship between the two men is strong and solid, but 12 years of physical separation, while Jonah attends college and medical school, with only sporadic visits are taking their toll. When Jonah's health begins to
4.5 Stars

An argument could be made that this story was fairly predictable, with an overabundance of sap thrown in, but I'll be damned if I didn't love every second of it.

It was romantic as hell - featuring one of the most beautifully touching mating bonds I've ever read - and it definitely provided my inner romance junky with a plethora of "awww" inducing moments, which left me all gooey inside. I'm officially book-boyfriend crushing on Zev and Jonah, that's for damn sure.

I also appreciated Car
3.5 stars Hmm, well I'm really torn between 3 and 4 stars on this one, although the abrupt ending had me leaning towards 3. Did it seem abrupt to anyone else? Since I was on an eReader I didn't realize it was almost over, and I was actually skimming yet another blowjob scene (don't get me wrong, they're hot, but anything can get repetitive after a while) when it just, ended. I guess everything had been wrapped up, but I just wanted a little more or more thorough closure. (view spoiler) ...more
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

Simple but sweet. From the two books I've read by her, Cardeno C. has a knack for writing convincingly "sweet" stories, no matter the situation or character.

I rated it 2.5 stars, but my enjoyment level was closer to three - the same bump down was due to "technical difficulties." For one thing there was the annoyance having their relationship drawn out way too long - 12 year foreplay? Seriously? Anticlimactic.

It became frustrating he can't tell his mate the truth about what he is, why they hav
I've read this a long time ago. But I gotta say, I admire that the author made a world that could be relevant and parallel to ours. I mean, in this world, being with your true mate trumps everything. It's like being with your one true love trumps everything: Sex, orientation, race, etc. Isn't that how it's supposed be?

Minor nitpicks: (view spoiler)
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was challenged to read this book by Cardeno C. I avoid shifter/paranormal books, they just aren't something I enjoy so knowing this, Cardeno challenged me to give this book a try. Now let me say that I love Cardeno's books but really me? read a book about something I avoid like the plague, umm no. However, it's written by Cardeno and hey, he challenged me! so I put aside my own discomfort and decided to read it. I can now admit...I was wrong. Yeah, Yeah I know, you are smirking Cardeno, go ahe ...more
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
So, so, so very good :) This book made me very happy. It was off the charts hot and I can't wait to read more. My girls told me this book would be perfect for me and they were not wrong. I floated on a fluffy cloud page after page. Read.
Wow, this went from good to bad in record time.

(view spoiler)
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Dreamspinner Press: Wake Me Up Inside by Cardeno C. 3 29 Sep 13, 2012 03:29PM  

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Cardeno C. - CC to friends - is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few "awwws" into a reader's day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno's stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ev ...more

Other books in the series

Mates (4 books)
  • Until Forever Comes (Mates, #2)
  • In Your Eyes (Mates, #3)
  • To Touch You (Mates, #4)
“Just my fingers, Blondie. I gotta get in here. Figure if it’s just my

fingers, it’ll be okay. I think I can get in deeper than with my tongue this way.”

“Love your tongue.”

Zev chuckled. “Yeah, I know. I think the people in the rooms next to ours know too.”

Jonah laughed, enjoying the fact that they could talk and tease while they loved on each other.”
“Jonah lowered himself onto his backside and scooted against the

wall. He kept his hand on the thick fur and petted the wolf that he’d

seen on an almost daily basis for as long as he could remember. For the

first time since that afternoon’s debacle with Zev, Jonah felt calm. He’d

had trouble falling asleep, still anxious about Zev’s reaction to their

encounter and Jonah’s assertion that Zev was attracted to him. Even

when he’d finally drifted into slumber, Jonah had tossed around

restlessly, terrified that he’d driven away his best friend for good. But

in that moment, sitting on the floor with his arms around the brown

wolf, he felt better. There was something about the animal that

tempered Jonah’s worry and relaxed him from the inside out.

Jonah sighed. His eyelids felt heavy and his body was worn out

from the stressful day. So much so, that with the wolf’s warm body

pressed against his, Jonah succumbed to sleep without giving any

thought as to why his cock had lengthened and hardened as soon as

he’d embraced the creature.

HE’D never rested so soundly, felt so complete and at peace. Jonah

snuggled up against the soft, warm pillow and sighed happily. An

answering rumble caused him to reassess the pillow theory. As sleep

started clearing from his mind, Jonah became aware of the strong

heartbeat close to his ear and the sound of someone else breathing. Zev.

He sensed Zev.

But the last time he’d seen his best friend they’d fought, so that

didn’t make sense. Jonah opened one eye and was greeted with an

amber gaze. Except these amber eyes weren’t attached to the body of

the young man who’d played front and center in Jonah’s every fantasy.

They were attached to the brown wolf Jonah had known even longer.

His arm was already wrapped around the large canine, so Jonah just

moved his hand back and forth over the soft coat, petting his animal


“Morning, Pup. Anyone ever tell you that you make a great teddy


Jonah laughed when the wolf growled. He actually looked

affronted. Who knew that expression was possible for a dog?

“Oh, Pup, did I offend you? Sorry, boy.” Jonah squeezed the large

animal into a tight hug. It felt so comforting, he didn’t want to let go.”
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