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
Review and rating removed.
On or about March 9, 2018, the news broke far and wide that the author known as Santino Hassell is a catfish, abusive, predatory, a master manipulator…and the list of sociopathic adjectives could go on from what I’ve gathered.
In the days surrounding, ties with this author were severed with ‘his’ agent and most (if not all) publishers including Riptide, Dreamspinner, Berkley, and…probably others.
I’m not here to write a think piece on the matter, plenty are out there, and I’d just be repeating what’s already been said. Though, I’ll say that it disgusts me to my core that anyone who came into contact with this author — from readers to authors (including co-authors), to those who were barely even in ‘his’ orbit and those who were close friends — are all victims of such a far-reaching deception. It’s monstrous how much damage and harm was caused by such epic deceit and web of lies spanning nearly two decades. I was duped. We were all duped.
It’s not about a pen name. It’s not about gender. It’s not about author privacy. It’s not about author brand. It's a fucking mess of despicable truths stranger than fiction that has left this community I love reeling in the aftermath.
If you need more information here’s a start:
Statement from Riptide: http://riptidepublishing.com/a-statement-on-sh
Twitter Moment outlining the allegations: https://twitter.com/i/moments/970716633017790464
Tumblr post further outlining allegations: https://thesaltminers.tumblr.com/post/171680546960/the-santino-hassell-debacle
Twitter post that’ll blow your fucking mind: https://twitter.com/sweetsakuradoll/status/972031764766994432
Heartbreaking statement from Ais, co-author of the ICoS series: https://twitter.com/aisness/status/976957000708915200
NOTE: Several Twitter handles were also massively important — chiefly Nikki @ease_dropper who worked for over a year to bring this information to light with receipts like you wouldn’t believe while simultaneously dealing with increasing backlash and abuse in those efforts to be heard.
A Twitter search of #SHconfessions will also work as well as the entirety of the Twitter handle @sweetsakuradoll.
Other posts that can be found with a google search of “Santino Hassell” or “Santino Hassell Catfish.”