When Eli Block steps into his parents’ living room and sees his childhood crush sitting on the couch, he starts a shameless campaign to seduce the young rabbi. Unfortunately, Seth Cohen barely remembers Eli and he resolutely shuts down all his advances. As a tenuous and then binding friendship forms between the two men, Eli must find a way to move past his unrequited love while still keeping his best friend in his life. Not an easy feat when the same person occupies both roles.
Professional, proper Seth is shocked by Eli’s brashness, overt sexuality, and easy defiance of societal norms. But he’s also drawn to the happy, funny, light-filled man. As their friendship deepens over the years, Seth watches Eli mature into a man he admires and respects. When Seth finds himself longing for what Eli had so easily offered, he has to decide whether he’s willing to veer from his safe life-plan to build a future with Eli.
Review by Anna
(Previously reviewed on this site by Morgan here: https://openskyebookreviews.com/walk-with-me-audiobook-by-cardeno-c-narrated-by-alexander-collins/)
When you pick up a book in the Home series you know what you’ll get: Love at first sight from one partner, whilst the other one will take a little longer to get with the programme, some scorching hot sex scenes and tender love, interspersed with a conflict and topped with a deeply satisfying happy ending.
And in many regards this book does not disappoint. Except on one count: there was no conflict! Eli falls in love with Seth as a pre-teen, it takes Seth many years to acknowledge that he feels the same, but when he does come around, at around 60% into the book, nothing else happens. They are just happy! Which is great for them, I guess, but doesn’t make for a riveting last 40% of the story.
The fact that we had to wait so very long for our MCs to get together also meant, that the intimate scenes were quite few – for a Cardeno C book, at least. And horror of horrors: the author cheated us out of the first time the two did anal, which is just not ok! Seth was a ‘gay virgin’ and Eli had had issues with anal sex in the past, which meant he really didn’t enjoy bottoming much – how can you not give me that sex scene? I actually had to jump back, to make sure I hadn’t missed a chapter, when the narrator suddenly said: “3 years later”.
We follow the two for 13 years, through Eli’s crush, him trying to move on, Seth trying to come to terms with his bisexuality and their ongoing friendship. Which is great, but at 50% I was begging for some action, any type of action really, just something!
Even if I am normally not a fan of the ‘love at first sight’ thing and prefer my MCs to be friends first or at least get to know each other before they spout the magic words, this just went on for too long, with too many mundane details. And too bloody many disastrous weddings for Seth to officiate. The slapstick comedy of the weddings was cute at the beginning, but by the 3rd it was getting tiresome and by the 7th I was kind of really really over it!
However, this is still Cardeno C, so the writing flows nicely, the story is engaging enough, despite the lack of action and the happy ending is very very sweet.
The narrator, Alexander Collins, has a bit of an odd way of narrating, which needs to grow on me every time I hear it. I always start out not liking it, but by the end of the book I am really enjoying him. And I did enjoy the special effects, like ‘phone calls’ and ‘talking from another room’.
3 of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review
Review by Morgan
Eli fell in love with Seth when he was just a teenager attending a Jewish summer camp where Seth was a counselor.
Years later, Seth is now an associate Rabbi at Eli’s father’s synagogue. Eli is now 18 and shameless in his devotion to the new Rabbi.
Seth, who is several years older, doesn’t feel comfortable accepting Eli’s feelings and in fact doesn’t really seem all that attracted to Eli at first.
Over the next few years, Eli both torments Seth with his constant come-ons and frustrates him with is seemingly poor decision making skills regarding sex and love. Eventually, Eli gives up on Seth as a love interest, keeps him as a dear friend, and tries to move on.
Now that Eli has graduated from college and he has moved home to work on his Master’s. He’s spending a lot of time with Seth as a friend and as part of their “wedding team”. (Seth performs the ceremonies and Eli does the music.) Now it’s Seth’s turn to finally see Eli as more than the boy who pestered him for so many years.
Once the blinders come off, it’s a brief trip to convince Eli to give their relationship a try and then a very, very satisfying HEA.
This was one of my favorite of the series. I ADORED Eli. He was precocious and snarky, hilarious and blunt, funny and sweet – all rolled into one. Seth kinda bugged me at first. He seemed to either just be oblivious to how hard he was making things for Eli or didn’t care.
But – when Seth finally figures things out – YOWZA – the man did surprise me! He turns out to be quite the experimental and daring lover and I loved their interactions in the bedroom.
I also loved the funny wedding stories and thought it was so clever how each chapter started with an invitation and ended with… well – you’ll see!
Again I really appreciated the glimpse into Jewish culture and loved learning more about it.
Alexander did another amazing job – talking on the phone, around corners, acting as a jewish mom and dad – LOL. He was funny and sweet at all the right moments. Highly enjoyable!
5 of 5 stars
Copy Purchased For Review