The one thing this story had going for it was a totally kick ass premise. Alphas from different packs fated to come together and bond in order to solidify power and territory, making a super pack? And they just happened to love each other at a soul-deep level as well?! Friggin' genius. Add in the fact that they were ripped cruelly away from one another just as life was supposed to be handed to them on a platter and I was eating out of Cardeno C.'s hands before I had even finished reading the book blurb.
But apparently I shouldn't have read All of Me
directly after reading Kendall McKenna's [b:Strength of the Pack|17258293|Strength of the Pack (The Tameness of the Wolf, #1)|Kendall McKenna|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1358531696s/17258293.jpg|23858530] (my first ever shifter book); all of my friends that have read this story thoroughly enjoyed it - giving it 3.5-5 stars across the board - but, as I was reading this story, I couldn't help but compare it to McKenna's work and find it a wanting - a lot
wanting. I know that Cardeno C. was dealing with the constraints of a short story, but the character development, the world-building, the action, and the dialogue in All of Me
felt underdeveloped and rushed. This caused me to feel detached from the characters and what they were going through. Kai's emotional return just didn't resonate with me the way that scene was intended to. Kelly's anger didn't make me flinch the way it should have. And the big showdown at the end between Kai and his tormentor left me feeling ragey because after all the poor guy had been through, it happened OFF THE PAGE!!!
So... 2 stars. Personally, I think I'll stick to Cardeno C.'s non-shifter books in the future and leave the werewolves to Ms. McKenna.