A premier lion shifter, Hugh Landry dedicates his life to leading the Berk pride with strength and confidence. Hundreds of people depend on Hugh for safety, success, and happiness. And at over a century old, with more power than can be contained in one body, Hugh relies on a Siphon lion shifter to carry his excess force.
When the Siphon endangers himself and therefore the pride, Hugh must pay attention to the man who has been his silent shadow for a decade. What he learns surprises him, but what he feels astounds him even more.
Two lions, each born to serve, rely on one another to survive. After years by each other's side, they'll finally realize the depth of their potential, the joy in their passion, and a connection their kind has never known.
©2015 Cardeno C. (P)2015 Cardeno C.
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian I Dig Good Books.
This book had several things going for it before I started.
1. Cardeno C writes (enough said!)
2. Lion shifters (I love different shifters!)
3. Its different (anything different is good in my book!)
4. Its on the longer side (224 pages)
5. The audio version is narrated by Greg Tremblay.
and it did not disappoint!
Hugh is a Premier Lion in a large pride. He needs a Siphon to, quite literally, siphon off his power so his head doesn't explode. Said Siphon is not happy and attempts to end his life. When Hugh realises something is terribly worng with the Siphon, lions are sent to the Siphon's room and cut him down, just in time.
What follows is a journey of intense self discovery for Hugh, of discovering who this person really is who has been his shadow for ten years. The Siphon didn't even have a name before Hugh gave him Johnnie.
Johnnie's upbringing had been secluded but he learned as he went along, as and when he could. His life up to that point where he really had had enough, consisted of following the Premier around, being close to him, wherever he went, whatever he did. And Johnnie really decided that enough was enough.
Hugh and Johnnie's journey is beautifully written, in a way only CC can. It has drama, action, love and passion. It has new way for thinking for Hugh and Johnnie, a new concept for their pride, for shifters in general. Falling in love. There is no mating, no mate bond as such, it really is as simple as Hugh and Johnnie falling in love with each other.
Its also on the longer side. Now, had I been feeling 100%, it wouldn't have taken me 3 hours to finish and I would have finished it in one sitting, but feeling under the weather meant I really had to sleep.
Greg Tremblay narrates. And he does a stunning job! I have listened to Mr Tremblay's work before, but its limited to a single series, Cole McGinnis, by Rhys Ford. THAT series is told in the first person, and I was worried I'd get Cole coming through. I need not have worried at all. This book is in the third person, and Johnnie and Hugh sound just like I thought they would. I've found, if I know I might get to LISTEN as well as READ a book, I focus much more on the voices, that characters have in my head. Greg pulled both Hugh and Johnnie off perfectly, and they sounded just as I thought they would. His story telling voice is clear and even, and every amount of emotion came over in all the right places. Johnnie, with his total and utter shutdown before his attempt to end his life. Hugh with his realisation of what his Pride had done to Johnnie. And from both of them as they grew into each other, into the love that is so alien to these shifters. But lets be honest, Greg Tremblay could read the bloody phone book, and I'd listen to the man! I also found, as I listened, I understood more of Hugh's total about face, his total turnaround to Johnnie and how he was treated before. I am a member of a book group that talks about Cardeno C's work, and let me tell ya, this book caused some ruckus! I understand why Johnnie was treated the way he was, I understand that its not right, BUT I also understand more, after listening, how that affected Hugh, as a person, not as Premier, but Hugh, the man. AND THAT can only be attributed to Greg Tremblay and his surperb skill at narrating a superb book.
Now, CC, I have questions!
1. Will there be more of Johnnie and Hugh in future books? Since this is billed as Siphon #1? or will there be a new siphon in a new pride??
2. Following the revelation of a pride member, will a happy Siphon mean more Siphons are born within his pack, since they are so very rare now?
3. When can we expect book 2?? :-P
5 stars for the story, 5 for the narration so..
5 full and shiny stars overall.
**same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Amazon.com, Audible.com and Amazon.co.uk**
I really enjoyed this sweet romance told from both MCs POVs. But, duh, it Cardeno C. of course it will be sweet. However, unlike some of her books, it is not overly sweet, IMHO. It has a bit of darkness in that Johnnie has been emotionally abused all his life and can't take it anymore. His suicide attempt finally gets the attention of Hugh, the Premier and a slow romance and a drama ensues. The world building is detailed enough I presume this is the start of a series about lion shifters. Also, it definitely ends with enough of a teaser, that I would love to continue their story. Greg T. really brings this story to a new level with his narration. He brings such an emotional vulnerability, as well as strength, to Johnnie; and somehow manages to make Hugh not seem like the asshole he is at the beginning of the book. I look forward to the sequel.
Avid reader, reviewer, blogger and budding author.
Greg Tremblay's lovely narration.
The way the relationship between Hugh and Johnnie played out.
He voiced the characters perfectly for starters. He adds this flare and reality to the sex scenes that is absolutely amazing. He's just a great story teller.
Why do you even ask this question, why rename a book?
Hugh Landry is the Premier of his Pride, one of the largest and most successful Pride’s that exists among the Lion shifters. With great responsibility comes great power and Premier’s require a shifter known as a Siphon to harness their power so that they don’t literally implode. Hugh and his Siphon have been together for over a decade, but while Hugh and the pride have flourished during that time, the Siphon has gone unnoticed and unappreciated. At his breaking point and tired of being looked on as less than anyone else, the Siphon tries to end his life, not realizing the danger he will put not only the Pride, but Hugh in if he succeeds.
Siphons are a rare commodity among the Prides, basically untouchable. But with that notoriety comes a seclusion of sorts that has been slowly driving this one to the breaking point. He never really knew his mother, kept in a gilded cage for his own protection until he was old enough to be paired with a Premier. Since the day he came to the Berk Pride and saw the large, beautiful, black lion that would be his Premier, Johnnie knew that this man, this lion, was his lion. But watching the person you want more than anything sees everything except you, well it takes a toll on the spirit.
Now that Johnnie is on Hugh’s radar, everything changes. They become friends, allies and lovers, confidants. Hugh is amazed at how tender, smart and funny Johnnie is, and the more time they spend together, the stronger the feelings that Hugh can’t put a name to become for his Siphon. And Johnnie is more than willing to help Hugh explore the boundaries of the love they can share. But someone is lurking in the shadows, waiting for the right time to get their paws on a Siphon they can sell to the highest bidder, and Johnnie is the only one in arms reach.
Pardon me while I fan myself. This book was one of the sexiest, most erotically, emotionally charged stories I’ve listened to. Cardeno C is definitely the queen of shifter stories, but I bow to the awesome-ness that is Greg Tremblay for doing such a fantastic job bringing Hugh and Johnnie to life. Hugh is both written and spoken with this commanding, gruff voice. He has this iron clad exterior that no one has ever been able to penetrate, until now. And dear, sweet Johnnie. In the beginning he is so confused, innocent and naïve. And Tremblay captured the very essence of that with the way he voiced the character. As the story progressed and Johnnie went from Hugh’s shadow to Hugh’s mate, Johnnie grew more confident and he was fiercely loyal and somehow, Tremblay found a way to change his tone as well.
But oh my lord, the sex in this book was off the fucking charts sizzling, sexy, and passionate and white hot! You’d think that is the glass ceiling, right? Wrong! Tremblay comes in and added his flare to this aspect of the story as well. I closed my eyes at one point and I could literally see what I was hearing. There was a great storyline to balance out the sex as well though. A few twists and turns along the way and some intense drama here and there. This one will stay on my I-pod for a while, I’ll listen to it over, and over, and over……..
Do you like Shifter stories? Stories with a very large and in charge alpha male that makes it his life mission to cherish, love and protect his partner? Ferociously, erotic love stories? Well, you are in luck then because this book is all that, and so much more. I would urge you to grab the audio version for sure so that you can have the pleasure of Tremblay’s amazing performance.
I'm an unabashed fiction fan: mostly M/M, Romance, Erotica, Suspense, Thrillers, Action, NA/YA genres.
About the same.
Greg Tremblay sweet, smooth vocal styling's.
Greg Tremblay has the ability to bring out all nuances of the story to life.
This is yet another winner by Cardeno C! It's all angsty, fun, sexy goodness.
Possible trigger: Suicide attempt
Hugh is the Premier of a very large, very successful pride of lions, overseeing almost 2,000 lion shifters. Because he's a Premier he amasses an enormous amount of energy and needs an outlet to "siphon" it, a special lion shifter (always within sight or no more than a room away) that is able to draw away Hugh's excess power, so Hugh doesn't die.
The Siphon came to live with Hugh over a decade ago but he's unseen. No one communicates with him, no one acknowledges him, he's alive but does not live. So the Siphon decides to kill himself. The night he almost succeeds is the first night Hugh finally "sees" him. In order to prevent the Siphon from endangering Hugh and the pride again, Hugh keeps the Siphon close. This means Hugh (finally!) begins to get to know the person who has been keeping him alive for last ten years.
The first major realization? The Siphon was never named - when he was born he was seen to be a siphon and therefore kept away from everyone so he would not be harmed before he could come of age and be given to a Premier.
Hugh names him Johnnie.
The majority of the story focuses on the relationship between Hugh and Johnnie and their growing connection.
Once again Greg Tremblay narrates beautifully. He's able to take the different character voices and bring them to life. He's an auto-buy narrator for me - he's that consistently awesome.
I would recommend this to readers of M/M shifter romance or fans of the author or narrator.
I have read other books by this author, but this is my first time listening to the audio of one.
This was my first time with lion shifters and the whole idea of a premier and siphon. Hugh is a huge alpha, 7 feet tall, 300 pounds. His whole presence is very large also. Johnny is sweet, sensitive and ignored. I really felt bad for him. For many shifter stories everyone seems like family. To me, this book felt more like a king and his kingdom.
Those who love shifters and the author's other works will probably love this one too. It has a beast of an alpha and a virgin in the shadows who has always loved him. There's lots of sex and figuring out ones place in life. It has the whole animal world way of doing things, survival of the fittest and all, but it also has the human side of things including emotions.
The understanding that Hugh finds once he starts to listen to The Siphon, and the naming of said Siphon
Greg did a tremendous job on this, easily identifying which character was talking and lovely smooth tone of his voice brings you into the story
WOW AMAZING, a well written story by Cardeno C and can't wait to see what happens next, I must say Greg is fantastic. Will definitely check out what else he has narrated. I loved how Johnnie grew in this story. Thanks for a great book
Goodreads reviewer and blogger... also dentist and wife/mom when I get the time!
Woah, this was just... woah!
Cardeno C. crack in the hizzous!
I usually start my audiobook reviews by talking about the story and then, at the end, I talk about the narrator. However, I just can't even talk about ANYTHING before I say what a freakin' AMAZING job Greg Tremblay did with this book. He narrated his butt off! I can't even picture this book with any other narrator. Greg made this story come to life, and he proved again why he is one of my favorite narrators. I heart you, Greg Tremblay!
Story-wise, this book was pretty awesome, too. Usually Cardeno's stories are a little on the insta-lovey side for me, but this was a niiiice slow burn. It packed a lot of relationship development in for a novella. To boot, I really liked the world-building, which I wasn't expecting. The concept of a premier and siphon was really well thought out, and I enjoyed the dynamic between Johnnie and Hugh.
The plot itself, the action, was a bit "meh" for me, but the super hot virgin sex made up for it. I LOVE me a virgin, as you all know!
This book, though not anything groundbreaking, is a fun, sexy, easy listen with an awesome narrator and an interesting story. You won't be disappointed.
**Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**
Another great book from one of my favourite m/m romance authors. I have to admit that at the end of the first chapter of this story I was very angry at both main characters for their selfishness. Hugh is a premier lion whose main, or rather, only purpose seemed to be the pride and Johnnie is a siphon whose purpose is to siphon out the premier's overwhelming energy. The premier needs the siphon but for the past ten years has never paid much attention to him. The siphon attempts to commit suicide and in effect, killing the premier and destroying the pride. Without a siphon a premier will die. His action causes Hugh to take a closer look at Johnnie and to try to understand why he would do such a thing. There starts their journey to love.
I have to say despite my strong emotion at the start of this story, I did eventually come to love this story as Hugh and Johnnie's story developed. It's a mark of a great author to be able to take a reader through various emotions. I came to understand both Johnnie and Hugh and really cheered for them. I loved the level of steam in this romance, although I would've loved the suspense a little tighter.
Huge kudos to the audio performance. The narration is totally flawless and made this audiobook even more enjoyable. Once I plugged in my headset, I didn't unplug it until the end. Overall, this audiobook is a great listen and I'm so glad I picked it up. If you enjoy mm/shifter/paranormal stories then you'll love this one.
The book starts off with Hugh’s near death! Hugh, a lion shifter and Premier (head honcho) has so much energy in his body that he requires a Siphon (an extra being who can carry around the excess energy) to be near him at all times. When not near the Siphon or if the Siphon dies, the excess energy reverts back to the Premier and the overload is fatal. As a result the Siphon’s life is guarded zealously. But he’s not necessarily treated well, beyond that.
In this case the Siphon has been protected and yet ignored since birth, so much so that he doesn’t even have a name! His feelings of desperation and loneliness cause him to take measures into his own hands, and as a result he almost ends up killing both himself and his Premier.
Hugh finally takes notice of his Siphon’s depression and starts to fix things by first giving him a name (everyone has only ever called him the Siphon), Johnnie.
What happens next is the bonding of Hugh and Johnnie and the revelation that they can mean even more to each other as mates than simply Siphon and Premier.
There are hurdles: jealous shifters want to take the Siphon both for their own and to hurt Hugh. Neither Hugh nor Johnnie know how to handle their newfound relationship and neither does the pack. But in the end we get a wonderful Cardeno happy ending that will bring tears to your eyes.
I just absolutely adore Cardeno C books! This is another wonderful new shifter series and I can’t wait for more! I loved the “energy” sharing twist and the very dark, dark beginning. It was quite a contrast to the very happy and light tenor the rest of the story carries.
Johnnie is wonderfully sweet and Hugh adorably clueless. Their love is tender and sincere, the sex is hot and the story moves so quickly you wonder where the time went.
I loved this book and highly recommend it to Cardeno fans, shifter fans, and fans of sweet love stories.
6 of 5 stars
Greg. Tremblay. Sigh.
I just love him!
He did another absolutely amazing job with this. He gives so much emotion to poor Johnnie and does a fantastic job giving Hugh just the right amount of robotic certitude (at first) then utter adoration as he discovers his deep love for Johnnie.
It’s always like diving into a movie when listening to Greg tell his tales. I know I’m going to be blown away when he’s listed as the narrator and he never disappoints. When I see his name it’s an auto-buy for me!
Having him read this story that I loved so much was simply paradise and I listened to it all right away and started listening to it for the second time immediately again, because it’s just that good.
6 of 5 stars
I love cardeno c but cardeno and Greg tremblay together has to be by far my new addiction. I can't wait for more and I hope Cardeno lets Greg narrate more of his wonderful works!!!
"two thumbs up. "
this was a great book the only thing was that it was just too short but so good. more please :-)
I am a great supporter for any shifter related books but this has a compelling storyline and Cardeno has composed a lovely piece. Both characters are finding themselves and through differences and other factors find love. I also like the fact that this wasn't rushed but slowly kindled into something beautiful. (Amazing narration by Greg who never fails to submerge listeners into the story)
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