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4.33  ·  Rating details ·  175 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Jen Elliott’s world is falling apart.

Her boyfriend is married (not to her), the restaurant she works for sells out to a chain (she’s unemployed), and her apartment building catches fire (thankfully, she didn’t start it). Faced with a job search and living with her parents, a phone call from her brother changes everything.

“Come out here, Little J. Escape for a while.”

Kindle Edition, 348 pages
Published October 6th 2015 (first published September 17th 2015)
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Average rating 4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  175 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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2.5 Stars

Overall Opinion: This was a story that I felt was unique in many ways. We always get the rockstar H that leaves on tour, but in this it was our h. Our H was a rockstar, but he hung that hat when he became a single dad for his nephew. I loved Oliver! Though it was unique, I still don't feel like it will go down as one of my favorites or be all that memorable unfortunately. I liked the idea of the couple, but I didn't truly feel their connection. I realized this when the climax hit and I
I received Cardinal in return for an honest review as part of the release event. Jen’s life has taken a dramatic spin downwards from the fact that her boyfriend is married to another girl, her apartment catches on fire but it’s just water damage, and she’s lost her job. When the chance to leave town presents itself Jen takes the chance to visit the brother she’s been putting off visiting. What should be a chance to relax, re-evaluate and figure out what she wants to do with her future may not be ...more
Jessica's Book Review
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unlimited
Cardinal is a spin off of Sara Mack's novel Sparrow. I suggest reading Sparrow first even though they are different main characters the ending of Sparrow will be given away in Cardinal.

Cardinal tells the story of Jen. She just broke up with her boyfriend of three years and found out the new guy she was dating was married. She is completely down on her luck and now out of a job. She decides to move in with her brother in Chicago for some "me" time. Here is where she meets Latson. I am not really
I absolutely loved this book. It is was on those books that pulls on your heart strings and sticks with you forever. It would make a perfect movie (if cast correctly).

When life completely kicks you down, what do you do? Go visit your brother of course. Then you meet sexy bar owners/rockers like Gunner. Jen's apartment is flooded, she lost her job and her boyfriend is actually married to another woman. Her life couldn't get much worse. She packs up and heads to her brother. In walks Gunner, her b
S.M. Koz
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite Sara Mack book so far!

I've read and loved everything by Sara Mack, but this one blew me away. It has everything I desire in books--hot rock stars, a strong female protagonist, a sweet romance, and an engaging plot beyond the romance.

Although I really enjoyed Sparrow by Sara Mack, the ending left me wanting more, especially for Jen. She got dealt a bad hand more times than once. Well, this book changes everything. I don't want to include spoilers, but let's just say Jen's life is tur
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
3.5 stars

This was a sweet read. At the end of Sparrow, I did wonder what happened to Jen and it was nice to get her story. When Jen escapes to Chicago to visit with her brother, she wasn’t expecting for her life to change. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Jen and Latson. The friendship that was built into their relationship showed how deep their bond really went. Those two together was so fantastic to read. And just like Kyle from Sparrow, I just loved Latson. What he was able to do to ov
Ashley Jeffers
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was simply wonderful. I loved the connection between Jen and Latson, loved that he pushed her to follow her dreams. It was so easy to relate to the characters (even the rock stars), and I loved the use of music throughout.
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can't wait for this one. It is based on me after all. Just kidding..but it's sure to be amazing!!
Brooke Page
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story line is so original. Every page drew me in, literally pulling me into the characters lives. If you love Rock Stars... you MUST read Cardinal!
Christina Rodriguez
Review coming soon! In the meantime go grab this book!! :)
❤️Melanie G.
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great fun read and loved Gunner.
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Tara for gifting me these two beautiful books. Sara is an amazing writer.

I LOVED this story. The way it played out, the characters, the witty banter and even the tears I cried. And the last 14% that kept me on my toes.

Check out this book... but I think you should read Sparrow first
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, 2015
I’ve often heard people ask, “where have all the NA stories gone?”

It’s not that they aren’t being written. It’s that in this market we all know sex sells and the NA stories we once enjoyed have been replaced with twenty somethings and their constant sexcapades. Sometimes it seems like the words in between are just that, filler to get to the next sex scene.

Well my previous answer to “where are they?” was, it’s over here…read Sparrow by Sara Mack. Now, my answer is READ CARDNIAL, it’s even better
Honestly Honest Bookworm
Favorite Quotes:
- "So obviously, I'm in the 'thought about taking them home' category?"

"No." He squeezes my knee again. "You're in a category all your own."
- "But since our places are occupied," he leans forward, "I'm going to go home. So I can think of ways to chase you."

"Make 'em good," I tease. "I can run fast or I can run slow. It all depends on you."

He searches my face for a moment before flashing his sexy smile. "Little Bird, I don't care how fast you run. Just as long as it's toward
Angela Cruz
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a contemporary romance. It can be read as a stand alone, but it has characters from Sara's book Sparrow, so I recommend that you read that also, but it is not necessary. This story draws you in from the start and never lets go. I found myself laughing throughout the book and occasionally wanting to strangle someone. I recommend this for adults, this is a one more chapter kind of read. I really love how Jen had to trust in herself and try again. She has a loving tender heart. And how Lats ...more
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What happens when life as you know it falls apart? Jen starts off having a job, her own place and a boyfriend. She goes to a wedding where finds out that her boyfriend is married, dumps him. She goes to her bartending job to find out the place is closing down the next day. Then the final straw she goes home to find her place had burned down and she is left with very little. Where do you go from here? She figures she'll have to move back home with her parents and begin job searching immediately. ...more
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Her life has just imploded...boyfriend - gone. Job - gone. Apartment - gone. What to do? Jen has always bounced back but this time what can she do? Thankfully her older brother invites her to stay with him for a while and just - find herself.

But she gets way more than she bargains for! Her chance meeting with Latson will be a pivotal moment in her life that she would never have never known would be the moment..that moment in life that changes your path.

Latson - the private neighbor upstairs, Jen
Joelle ★My Book Angel Blog★
***I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review***

Heartbreak, loss, new beginnings, rock stars, and Latson. Yes, Latson. A sexy, tattooed rocker. *swoon* Throw in romance, a love story and you have yourself a 5+ star read in Cardinal.
Jen was a secondary character in Ms. Mack's book, Sparrow. Having a book devoted specifically to her character; giving us an inside peek at her life, her back story is pretty cool. Jen is a talented singer and guitar player but is unlucky when it comes to rel
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is Sara's best book yet. I thought I loved Sparrow, but Jen's story was so much more. It has everything I desire in great story, swoon worthy male, a strong willed female lead, and an adorable child.

We meet Jen in Sparrow, and she didn't receive her happy ending, I was so happy when Sara announced that she was writing Jen's story.

Jen is having a tough time, we learned in Sparrow that her boyfriend was a lying cheater. To make matters worse she loses her beloved job, and her apartment build
Jaime Fiction Fangirls
When I found out that Jen was going to get her own book I just knew I was gonna love it. She deserves her HEA too! I really like Jen and would totally be friends with her in real-life. She's strong, smart and independent. I loved that even when things seem to go all wrong for her, she handles it like a champ.

I'll be honest and say that at first I thought that Latson was going to be your typical rich, spoiled rockstar who jumps from woman to woman. I was very pleasantly surprised by who he really
Barbara Gartman
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cardinal is one of those books that you want to prolong for as long as possible. What I mean by that is that it's so well written that it consumes you and you just don't want the story to end. Cardinal is definitely a keeper! You'll want to read it over and over again and never grow tired of it.
The story captures your heart and allows you to get lost in the world that Sara has created with Cardinal. It's filled with so much detail and emotion that it's easy to find yourself attached to the chara
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is Jen's story we briefly met Jen in Sparrow. You do not have to read Sparrow to understand Cardinal but a few of the characters do carry over. I loved finding out more about Jen, she is so much cooler than I thought she was.
Latson.. holy book boyfriend.. he is HOT!!
Jen is having the worst week imaginable and just when she thought it couldn't get worse, it did! When her brother, Pete, calls in the middle of it she plans and impromptu visit to his place. While there she meets Latson, the h
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, owned
I enjoy Sara Mack and her writing. I have read and reviewed every book that she has read. When she asked me to review this one for her, I was completely on board and I am so happy that I did. I loved, loved, loved this book!! Absolutely everything about it! The story is great and so easy to read. The characters are lovable and easy to relate to. The love story is amazing. I'm not going to spoil this for anyone with my review. If you like to read and you enjoy a good love story, pick this book up ...more
Melissa Crump
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An Amazing Story! Couldn't put it down!

First off, this is the first book I've read of Sara Mack's. I own them all but they were always on my TBR list just waiting for me. I'm so glad I read this. This book is not only filled with romance but with great humor. The chemistry between Jen & Latson sizzles, smokes and crackles with fiery passion.

I seriously couldn't get enough of this book. I had to keep reading it's that good! Words truly fail me when trying to describe this book because I feel as
Catherine  Wright (Cat's Guilty Pleasure)
I was given a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review.

This was a wonderful book, it is very well written. I was pulled in right from the beginning. I lvoed the flirting scences, they were so funny. You will also want to root for them, cry with them and just love them. The relationship between Jen and Gunner was so sweet and you can't help but feel their emotions with them. I loved this author's work and I look forward to reading more from her.

Review done in conjunction with Nerd Girl
Ginelle Blanch
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this story. Loved the friendships. I love how no one really made Jen feel like an outsider. I love how everyone in her life is so supportive of Jen after all the mess that happened for her.

And, let's not talk about how much I really loved Latson!!! So happy he was persistent with Jen. He has a lot of baggage in his past and a little something extra in his life. Neither of them were looking for a relationship but, sometimes what we aren't looking for can be right in front of us.

Chasing dr
Barbie Simpson
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow this is my favorite book by Sara,

Jen always got the short side of life,she never got a break from a broken heart.Is it time for a change? After a fire where her apartment gets drenched its time to get away to find the piece of mind she needs, try to mend heartache. Jen leaves town only a few hours away to visit her brother,what she dont know is her life gets turned upside down is this in a good way or could it be worse then ever?

Do fairytales ever come true? Maybe so but only time will tell
Jennifer Fisch-ferguson
I got this book as an ARC for an honest review.
This was a great book - how do I really know this with my picky self? Because I caught myself grinning and laughing as I read through. Cardinal swept me up with the fun from the Stripper Therapy on. It was an easy book to emotionally invest in and the characters (for good and for irritated at stubborn people!) and the story was a new twist.
This is well written with a great flow and the pace kept me up reading, even though I should have gone to bed.
Cynthia Tatum reichel
Not my typical type of book that I read, but I still liked it. The story is seen through Kyle's eyes and not Addisons. There was hints that they slept together but not in depth scenes. It is a die hard romance with a happy ever after. I am getting ready to read book two and will be interesting to see if these characters are in that book as well.

I think the main thing I didn't like was I wanted more during certain scenes and there was not so I felt like I could not get into the book like I do my
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! This story is about a woman losing everything all at once and making a 'Cardinal' rule to only do what makes her happy. You cannot help but to feel for and fall in love with Jen and her story. This book could be read as a standalone, but know it will ruin a major twist in Sparrow. It picks up towards the end of Sparrow but the author does a good job of reminding you of Jen and what happened, without overlapping a lot of storyline.

* Reviewed for Kylie's Fiction Addiction.

* I r
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Sara Mack grew up with her nose in books and most notably got caught reading Flowers in the Attic behind her Trapper Keeper in the 8th grade during social studies. Twenty years ago, she married the guy she met at the gas station and now has two kids, two pups, and two fish. Sara has an unnatural affinity for iced tea, dark chocolate, bacon, and true crime docs. Writes paranormal, contemporary, and ...more

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“If someone had told me I would have to lose everything I had to find everything I need, I wouldn’t have believed them.” 1 likes
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