The Thanksgiving leftovers are gone. The Christmas tree is up. Shopping has barely started because I’m a procrastinator. The weather is getting colder each day, and I don’t like that so much.
BUT it’s Friday!
And guess what?
NEXT Friday…this guy–Santino Hassell–has a new book coming out. Book TWO in the Five Boroughs series: SUNSET PARK.
I’ll be aaaaallll over that book next Friday and reviewing ASAP.
Sooo…if you haven’t read book one yet I recommend getting on that. Here’s what you need to know, and what I thought about it:
Michael Rodriguez and Nunzio Medici have been friends for two decades. From escaping their dysfunctional families in the working-class neighborhood of South Jamaica, Queens to teaching in one of the city’s most queer friendly schools in Brooklyn, the two men have shared everything. Or so they thought until a sweltering night of dancing leads to an unexpected encounter that forever changes their friendship.
Now, casual touches and lingering looks are packed with sexual tension, and Michael can’t forget the feel of his best friend’s hands on him. Once problems rear up at work and home, Michael finds himself seeking constant escape in the effortless intimacy and mind-blowing sex he has with Nunzio. But things don’t stay easy for long.
When Michael’s world begins to crumble in a sea of tragedy and complications, he knows he has to make a choice: find solace in a path of self-destruction or accept the love of the man who has been by his side for twenty years.
Contemporary, M/M, GLBT+
264 e-book pages
Series, book 1
Edition I read:
This was my first Santino Hassel book. It won’t be the last.
This is the sort of book that comes along every once in a while that causes real life to come to a screeching-ass halt. Good thing it was the weekend. Good thing nobody really had any expectations of me. Bad thing that I have no clean clothes to start the week and the sink is full of dishes.
Oh Michael. Damaged, damaged Michael. So much of him just resonated with me. Weird, ‘cause there’s not much at all we have in common. I’m a southern, straight, white girl without addiction problems. So..huh? Not going into it…because spoilers. And because, well…personal.
So – we’ll stick to regular review-type topics.
The writing – gorgeous. Fluid, profound, and introspective. Did I say gorgeous? This is the kind of writing that grabs me by the throat and keeps me fused to my kindle from beginning to end.
I loved, loved, loved the setting of NYC – it’s a character in itself. God, I love New York. And also, not just being told that Michael and Nunzio are teachers – but actually being taken into the inner workings of the school and challenges of being a teacher. These were beautiful backdrops and, at the same time, integral elements.
The story, plot, arcs, etc: so much more than what I expected and perfectly executed. I was hooked.
Sex scenes: blazing hot, scorching, fucking NUCLEAR, ummmmm…whew – still fanning.
Was there anything I didn’t like? Yeah…well, I’m a greedy reader. I wanted more, more, more of Michael and Nunzio figuring things out and less of David being a factor of miscommunication and incorrect assumptions.
Also, this ended way too damn quickly. At some point, I recall looking at the bottom of my kindle and saw I was at 60-something% and thought woo-hoo, then the next thing I know “The End”. The book had dared to end. Rude.
So, um, Mr. Santino Hassell… more please.
This review also posted on GoodReads.