At 14, Andrew Thompson and Caleb Lakes become best friends. As the years pass, they stand by each other through family trauma, school, and the start of their careers. They share their first sexual experiences, learning and experimenting, and they talk each other through countless dates and breakups.
Decades of trust and loyalty build a deep and abiding friendship, one that surpasses any relationship in their lives. But when the parameters of their unique friendship change, neither man knows how to break out of their established roles to build something new. After all, boyfriends come and go, but best friends are forever.
©2013 Cardeno C. (P)2016 Cardeno C.
Avid reader, reviewer, blogger and budding author.
The way that Caleb and Andrew are always there for each other regardless.
Drew with his piercings and tattoos. They are a form of battle scars in a way, marking every failed relationship or low point in his life.
Emotional, light, different
The One Who Saves Me.
Caleb Lakes and Andrew Thompson became best friends when they were barely teenagers, spending summers together at Andrew’s family’s vacation home. Over the years they developed a bond based on friendship and trust. As the years go by there is one constant in each man’s life, each other. They seriously re-define the term ‘friends with benefits’ and are a rock for each other through jobs, moves, break-ups and family drama. And then one look at a New Year’s party changes just one thing, their commitment to each other.
I first listened to this audio book about two years ago, the version that was narrated by Paul Morey. While the narration for this book wasn’t bad, it wasn’t Paul Morey, so I had a hard time giving Andrew Collins a chance. Once I let my perception shift, I was able to enjoy Collins narration. He does a good job with changes in tone and inflections from one character to another, and he really conveyed the emotions of the characters well.
The story is told almost like reading from a journal of Drew and Caleb’s lives. Spanning over more than a decade, the reader is taken on a journey through summer vacations, college, emotionally absent parents, boyfriends, break-ups and much, much more. The two of them continue to live their separate lives, but they always have time for each other. I think that Drew probably realized he wanted more from his relationship with Caleb before Caleb did, and that was fed into the story through the tattoos and piercings Drew got every time another guy bit the dust, because he couldn’t compare to Caleb. The passion and angst were palpable, but rarely was there awkwardness. In fact, when things did become awkward was when they finally figured out that the reason neither of them were lucky in love, was because their heart had been given away long ago.
What I enjoy about this series is that there is a connection between the books and characters, but not in a way that they must all be read or read in order. The story is sexy, emotional, occasionally intense but light-hearted when it needs to be. Definitely worth your time in my opinion.
I'm an unabashed fiction fan: mostly M/M, Romance, Erotica, Suspense, Thrillers, Action, NA/YA genres.
Told in alternating POV, this is a friends to friends-with-benefits to lovers story with most chapters bringing a new year in the lives of best friends Andrew Thompson and Caleb Lakes. They've always had an unconditional love for each other, sharing all their firsts including their first kisses and all their first sexual moments.
I really enjoyed Alexander Collins' narration. Though he doesn't do a huge difference in the Andrew and Caleb's character voices, he does a good job overall with the tone, pacing, and other character voices.
The genuine love, respect and affection between Andrew and Caleb is so wonderful to witness.
Unfortunately, there's a period in the story where miscommunication comes by to play.
Thankfully, their relationship gets back on track. Once they begin communicating, and sleeping with each other again, the story realigns and I was happy again.
This friends to lovers story has humor, romance, hot sex, and lots of wonderful feels.
Andrew and Caleb are best friends from early on who begin to explore their sexuality with one another as teenagers. When they split up for college, they continue their relationship as best friends who hook up if neither is in a relationship.
Years pass and neither manages to find a permanent relationship that sticks. Caleb never really even tries, but Andrew yearns for a forever-man. However, Andrew is the most screwed up when it comes to his expectations of forever because his parent’s relationship was so dysfunctional.
Eventually, Andrew settles down in an “open” relationship with a very self-destructive man who ends up dying from AIDS. Though Andrew is safe from the disease, it hits him hard that he, as a doctor, couldn’t save his live-in-lover from the disease.
Crushed, Andrew moves back home and Caleb moves in with him to help him heal.
At this point both men are dancing around their previous “friends with benefits” relationship and something about the situation keeps them from starting that up again.
After a lot of misunderstanding and angst, they finally admit how important they are to one another and start a real relationship together.
This was my least favorite of the series.
I just couldn’t get into it. I think that the fact that they kept coming back to each other then seeing other men felt like a betrayal over and over. My sentimental heart couldn’t take it.
There were also so many side issues that didn’t get explored fully enough for my taste. Caleb’s body issues. Andrew’s self-mutilation issues. The whole AIDS thing. Andrew’s commitment issues. Caleb’s willingness to put aside everything for Andrew without taking for himself…
I felt that Caleb was mostly true-blue throughout the entire book and just willing to accept Andrew’s crumbs. Even the new Epilogue Ending didn’t satisfy but instead served to emphasize how far they still needed to grow to be in a healthy relationship.
It had a much darker, less sentimental feel than the other books in the series and as a result felt out of place to me.
That being said, I still enjoyed reading it, just not quite so much as the others.
3 of 5 stars
Alexander Collins has done the re-make of all the books in this series. He adds some unique sound effects that I enjoy and is always good at the emotions in these books. I really love his take on this and thought he did a great job – especially with all the various characters in conversation together. I really hope he does the next ones, too!
Narration 5 of 5 stars
Overall 4 of 5 stars
🌺 Lover of Amazing Stories 🌺
This story was ok. I kind of wanted more time getting to know and go through some special moments with the main MC's that didn't include them together all the time but eh..
Story wasn't bad but I was bored that each year was mainly them having sex, talking about this by or that be and how that relationship needed. I wanted time spent on their life without each other for a bit.
Emotional, light, different
Drew. I love all of his tattoos and piercing. He had a lot of emotional scars to work through.
When Drew admitted his true feeling about Caleb.
The One Who Saves Me
I had the audio version of this story. This story was so captivating. It was great! I fell in love with Drew and Caleb. This story had a lot into finding out about each other. I love how they knew each other since they was 8 and then reconnect with each other at 14. Been best friends since then. It was definitely a heart warming read. Can't wait to read Cardeno's next book. Would recommend this book to everyone.
*** Audiobook provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review. ***
This audiobook is one of my favorites for sure! Not only is the story trés hot, but I just adored listening to the different voices Alexander Collins came for the different characters. He managed to show us both the sizzling chemistry and the love that Andrew and Caleb felt for each other, and how perfect they were for one another even if it took them so long to realize it. Highly recommendable!
Rating: 5 Stars!!!
The vocal performance for this book was decent. He had distinguishing voices for the main characters and a couple of the side characters. He isn’t one of my favorites, but I didn’t stop listening because of it.
This is another Cardeno C book that just didn’t work for me. I felt like I was listening to a ‘Groundhog Day’ story. The bulk of the story is back story, flashbacks over the years establishing Andrew and Kaleb’s relationship. They would date other people, break up because the guy either of them was dating just didn’t work out so they’d get together, have sex and make each other feel better. It was a hard pill to swallow that for 20 years neither of them realized that the reason no other guy worked for either of them is because they loved each other and they were it for each other. I even started rolling my eyes as it happened time and time again. I seriously wanted to scream by the end of the book.
And this is minor but his name is spelled Caleb in the synopsis but Andrew called him ‘K’ in the book. That confuses me a bit…is that a misprint in the synopsis?
I usually like friends-to-lovers stories but this one is the exception.
I am a huge fan of the friends to lovers trope, and The One Who Saves Me is an excellent example of it. Caleb and Andrew meet as kids, then again as teens (where their story actually begins) and we get to follow them from the time they are fourteen every year for the next twenty years. Each year gives us a glimpse into their friendship as it grows and flourishes, and eventually as it turns experimental when they start exploring their sexuality. It continues with their unique and unconventional arrangement when it comes to sex and intimacy when they are not involved with other people, but that arrangement actually serves to further strengthen their bond and intricately weave their lives tighter and tighter together.
I loved both of their characters, and if asked to choose a favorite there's no way I could do so. Though both of them fully support each other, Andrew seems to need more support than Caleb with his truly bad luck with relationships, especially after having to endure what he experienced with his parents. Caleb is Andrew's rock through everything, just as Andrew is always there for Caleb as well. I actually grew a little impatient as the years progressed wanting them to just wise up to what they truly felt. Even their friends could see how they fit together.
We only get intimate scenes between Andrew and Caleb, never with any other partners either of them had throughout the years...and that is just fine with me--their sexual chemistry rockets clear off any chart I know, and those scenes are positively explosive.
Andrew's quirk of how he deals with his relationships as they each end is interesting, and when Caleb calls him out on it when they finally come together in the end shows just how well the two of them know each other...and how the only logical way for them to be is TOGETHER, not just being emotionally and physically supportive best friends apart. In the end when they finally realize and admit they only want each other, I was breathing a HUGE sigh of relief and thinking "FINALLY!"
The narration of the audiobook by Alexander Collins is done in such a soothing, consistent voice that it makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. He does an excellent job of bringing the characters to life and helping you feel as they feel with every emotion the characters experience. He also did a great job of giving all of the characters both main and supporting their own individual voices.
The One Who Saves Me was a 4.5-star read for me-if I wasn't so impatient for Andrew and Caleb to finally get together, I would have given it 5 stars. The audio was also 4.5 stars and was a really good performance. Recommended for those 18+ only due to adult language and explicit M/M sexual content.
This was my first read of The One Who Saves Me by Cardeno C. I've been slowly making my way through her entire Home Story collection, and enjoying learning the lives of all the men in Emile City. I'll admit to being slightly confused in the prologue, because it was foreshadowing for much much later in the book.
I loved the relationship of Drew and Caleb. These men began as teenage friends, and continued their friendship through their entire lives, sharing their sexual experiences with each other, both as young men, and later, between boyfriends, and time spent in different cities.
There was a lot of sex in this book. A lot! And it made sense for these men, who settled into a routine with each other when they were unattached in some way. But there was also a lot of friendship. You knew that no matter what, these men would be there for each other through thick and thin. When their parents disappointed them, when they kept trying and failing at relationships, they were always there for each other. Until they realized that they wanted to be with each other more than anyone else. Then their magic could begin.
In some ways this was my favorite book so far of the Home collection. The friendship that really had no bounds for these men just did it for me. And in other ways, it was my least favorite, for a reason that I likely have never used before. There was too much sex. Okay, I really never say that. EVER! But it seemed that every chapter there was sex, and although this author can write some fantastic and super hot sex scenes, there were times where I just didn't want any sex, I just wanted the connection between them.
In the end, though, I really appreciated how connected these men were, in all ways, and was happy to see them finally realize that being together was where they would fit the best.
The narration of Alexander Collins never ceases to make me happy. He has such range, and talent for creating voices for the characters that I haven't heard in his other Emile City characters. The differences between these two men could be noticed immediately, merely by his tone of voice. Great job once again, Alexander!
The story line was interesting
When Andrew finally realized Caleb was Mr Right
When Andrew and Caleb finally realized the loved each other
There were some pretty funny parts
Love that it was told from both characters POV got to see how both men felt
"Good but didn't like the narrator"
I really didn't like the narrator on this one. The story was good but I did feel the characters didn't grow they still seemed quite juvenile.
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