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THREE 5 Star and 3.5 Star Reviews for Sunset Park (Five Boroughs #2) by Santino Hassell #MM #Romance @SantinoHassell @Dreamspinners

1.5

Title: Sunset Park (Five Boroughs #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Santino Hassell (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 11, 2015 – 230 pgs

Synopsis

Raymond Rodriguez’s days of shoving responsibility to the wayside are over. His older brother wants to live with his boyfriend so Raymond has to get his act together and find a place of his own. But when out-and-proud David Butler offers to be his roommate, Raymond agrees for reasons other than needing a place to crash.

David is Raymond’s opposite in almost every way—he’s Connecticut prim and proper while Raymond is a sarcastic longshoreman from Queens—but their friendship is solid. Their closeness surprises everyone as does their not-so-playful flirtation since Raymond has always kept his bicurious side a secret.

Once they’re under the same roof, flirting turns physical, and soon their easy camaraderie is in danger of being lost to frustrating sexual tension and the stark cultural differences that set them apart. Now Raymond not only has to commit to his new independence—he has to commit to his feelings for David or risk losing him for good.

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Review

FiveStars

Sunset park is a book that made me laugh, made me mad, made me sad, and made me want to smack some sense in to the main characters.

Ray is 25 years old and in some ways he still acts like he is 16. He has a “I don’t give a flip about anyone thinks about me” but I believe nothing can be farther from the truth. My opinion of Ray is he is insecure about himself. He believes that everyone looks at him and sees that he has not accomplished as much as the next person so he is down on himself and believes that he can not compete with others in this aspect. He is Bicurious and he is fallen head o we heals for his new roommate David.

David is completely different from Ray. He grew up in a home where his parents accepted him for who he is rather then who he sleeps with. Ray is out and proud and doesn’t hide it from anyone.

I am not going to lie and say that there was not times through out this book that I did not want to wring David’s neck because for all the steps forward that Ray took I felt as if Ray was trying to have his cake and eat it too. The reason I say this is because David cannot cut lose his ex and it seems as if he stringing both Ray and his ex along. He won’t let Caleb go because he represents the perfect boyfriend on paper whereas Ray was hot, funny, carefree, and all around a good time.

I found myself rooting for Ray to come out ahead and prove his worth not only to himself but everyone else also because from what I gathered there was a lot more to Ray then what everyone could see. Beneath it all he was loving, caring, and smart. He would also do anything for David and I thought David was just to blind to see that.

This was a great book and now I am ready for book three so I can see what is going to happen in it.

Great job Santino on another Home run with this book
Tosha
ThreeandHalfStars

David and Raymond… when you look up the definition of drama – their story appears.They have a sweet story, but there is so much drama that I found it hard to enjoy the actual story behind the drama.  You have ex-lovers who are still in their lives, miscommunications galore, hidden feelings, scared of commitment issues…

It’s all a lot to take in when the real story would have been so much nicer had there not been so much drama behind it.

The secondary characters just added to the drama, so they were not great for me either.  And, while you do get a HEA, it is a very long and winding road to arrive there.

Overall, this was just an OK story for me because there was so much other stuff going on.

AvidReader
FiveStars

Again, Santino Hassell has delivered a compelling story with flawed men that truly learn who they are with continued growth throughout the story. His writing easily flows between all the different emotional and physical elements that are wrapped in this story.

 

Raymond, how can you not love Raymond. He may seem to be quite brass, lazy, spoiled when you first meet him, but I have always known deep down there is heart and love. I love how he is so non-chalant about his bi-curious sexuality and that he just goes with the flow and does not panic. He is solid in himself, except for maybe his employment, but his heart is probably one of the biggest yet. I found him all around a loveable tattooed, broody, cursing, laid-back man and definitely one hell of a dirty talker.

 

David had his ups and downs in my head. I completely understood his fear of not wanting to hurt anyone, including his ex, yet trying to find his own happiness. He tried to be sly in offering himself as Raymond’s test subject. But that first kiss, my oh freaking my, David was done for by Raymond. And the Grindr scene, goes from funny to smoking hot and both are lost to each other.

 

These two are polar-opposites that at first glance, you may wonder how they met. But, their flirty banter, natural cuddles, touches and smirks were so sweet, you were rooting for them from the end of the Michael and Zio’s story.

 

Mr. Hassell again wrote with true grit and this raw yet emotional story will fill your heart.

~Keri

FiveStars

Heartwarming happy-ever-afters are great if you’re looking for a light and fun read. But Santino Hassell is the one to look to if you’re in the mood for something intelligent and gritty as well as romantic and hot as hell. This book is no exception.

The Five Boroughs series is made up of interconnected stand-alone books. But I feel you’ll get more out of them by reading them as a series. In this case, it’s great to know the supporting characters so well from Sutphin Boulevard. It adds extra richness to this story that I feel wouldn’t be there if it was just read as a stand-alone.

Raymond and David are wonderful, complex characters, flawed and relatable. This story addresses difficult contemporary issues very well through their personal growth. Their relationship is tumultuous and angsty, but also sweet and sexy. And Santino writes some of the best sex scenes I’ve ever read.

I highly recommend this book (and the series) to anyone interested in a down to earth contemporary romance that’s a bit rough around the edges.

~Amanda

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, 5 Star, Amanda, AvidReader, Bisexual, Keri, M/M, New Release, Review, Tosha

TWO 5 and ONE 3 Stars for Sunset Park (Five Boroughs #2) by Santino Hassell #MM #Romance @SantinoHassell @Dreamspinners

1.5

Title: Sunset Park (Five Boroughs #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Santino Hassell (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 11, 2015 – 230 pgs

Synopsis

Raymond Rodriguez’s days of shoving responsibility to the wayside are over. His older brother wants to live with his boyfriend so Raymond has to get his act together and find a place of his own. But when out-and-proud David Butler offers to be his roommate, Raymond agrees for reasons other than needing a place to crash.

David is Raymond’s opposite in almost every way—he’s Connecticut prim and proper while Raymond is a sarcastic longshoreman from Queens—but their friendship is solid. Their closeness surprises everyone as does their not-so-playful flirtation since Raymond has always kept his bicurious side a secret.

Once they’re under the same roof, flirting turns physical, and soon their easy camaraderie is in danger of being lost to frustrating sexual tension and the stark cultural differences that set them apart. Now Raymond not only has to commit to his new independence—he has to commit to his feelings for David or risk losing him for good.

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Review

FiveStars

Wow.  Just wow.  I was consumed by this story.  This is an unusual m/m romance  – I’m not sure I completely liked either of the leading men and I’m not sure I was supposed to.  Raymond is a closeted sponging stoner who can’t hold down a job and has failed to gain any qualifications since high school.  David is a slightly snobby player with an ego and a slight Grindr addiction.  

But these men are real.  They’re  complicated.  Raymond has been hurt.  His confidence is much lower than his glowering thug persona suggests.  Likewise, David is weaker and needier than his affluent background and professional polish suggests.  Together they are a hot mess. A really, really hot mess.  They are both terrible at relationships.  Communication is non-existent and the angst is raw and palpable.  

But when they finally connect, David and Raymond’s first kiss is one of the hottest first kisses I can remember reading.  And it just gets steamier from there.  The chemistry between David and Raymond is hot.  The sex is raw, fierce and surprisingly tender.  Santino Hassell consistently writes unforgettable sex scenes and this might be his most erotic work yet.
For me, this is worth five stars because it is so much more than than just an erotic romance.  The story is dedicated to the Millennials and I think the author has captured the spirit of a generation with accuracy and more than a little empathy.  These kids expect work to have meaning.  They are torn between making money and making a difference; giving up and dropping out or risking rejection and failure.  This is a simple story with beautifully drawn characters and a contemplative heart.  I loved it.  

Sarah

FiveStars

Raymond has to get his act together because his older brother who we meet in the first book in this series wants to move in with his boyfriend which means Raymond needs to move out and be responsible. David we also meet in the first book agrees to move in with him.

I have to say I really love this authors writing style! The way he writes these characters was just awesome even though I really need to be honest and say I was not a fan of David through a lot of this book. I mean there were just so many times he would annoy me with his I want you but I need to decide what I feel about my ex, but I want you that really drove nuts and made me feel bad for Raymond and the way David was running him around.

Other than that I really also loved the way this story was written and the slow build up between these two men which was very hot! I do not want to give away any spoilers because you really need to read this series for yourself because it is just so good! So I will leave this review with although it took awhile for David’s character to grow on me I really loved this book and would definitely recommend this series!

Kara

ThreeStar

I didn’t read the first book, and I don’t think I really want to. Book 2 wasn’t a horrible book, Actually, the writing was pretty good, but I really didn’t like the main characters. Well, I didn’t like David.
So, Raymond, the younger brother from the first book, the slacker, finally has to grow up cause his brother wants to move in with his lover. David offers to be roommates because he has the hots for Raymond, who is supposed to be straight. Well he’s not, since he’s having fantasies about David.
The beginning of the book caught my interest, but it went down hill foe me when they moved in together. David…oh David. I liked him in the beginning, until he turned out to be a cheating, indecisive, whiny, needy, diva-jerk. He didn’t cheat on Raymond, but he had cheated on his last partner several times. I hate cheating. I hate reading a book with a cheater main character. Sure, David could have redeemed himself to me, but he didn’t.
I liked Raymond. I thought he was funny, but in the end, I didn’t feel much love for him either. I may be tempted to read book 3 if it’s about David’s ex. I feel like the poor guy needs a happy ending.
~Cookie

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Filed under 3 Star, 5 Star, Bisexual, Cookie, Kara, M/M, New Release, Review, Sarah