Release Day Blitz and Review: Sightlines by Santino Hassell

The Community - Banner Image

About the Book

Cover Image Sightlines-by-Santino-HassellChase Payne is a walking contradiction. He’s the most powerful psychic in the Community, but the least respected. He’s the son of the Community’s founder, but with his tattoo sleeves and abrasive attitude, he’s nothing like his charismatic family. No one knows what to make of him, which is how he wound up locked in a cell on the Farm yet again. But this time, the only man he’s ever loved is there too.

Elijah Estrella was used to being the sassy sidekick who fooled around with Chase for fun. But that was before he realized the Community wasn’t the haven he’d believed in and Chase was the only person who’d ever truly tried to protect him. Now they’re surrounded by people who want to turn them against their friends, and the only way out is to pretend the brainwashing works.

With Chase playing the role of a tyrant’s second-in-command, and Elijah acting like Chase’s mindless sex toy, they risk everything by plotting a daring escape. In the end, it’s only their psychic abilities, fueled by their growing love for each other, that will allow them to take the Community down once and for all.

The Finer Details

Narrative Arc: Series

Series Detail: The Community, book 3

Series Arc: new relationship

Publication Date: October 9, 2017
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Editor: Sarah Lyons
Layout: L.C. Chase
Cover Artist: Kanaxa Website
Length: Novel, 257 e-book pages
POV: 3rd person
Tense: Past
Pairings: Male/Male
Identities: Gay
Age Range(s): 22 to 25
Genre(s): Thriller/Suspense, Paranormal

Supernatural Elements: Telepathy, Psychics/Empaths

Tropes and Tags: abusive elements, lover in physical peril, scars — psychological, opposites attract
Settings & Locales: New York
Ending: HEA

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Advance Review Copy generously provided by the author via A Novel Take PR.


Back Porch Thoughts

Rating

Rating 4.5 Stars

4.5 Stars

Rating Info

Ratings stick closely to the GoodReads standards. Occasionally I’ll make note of half-star ratings and will typically round up on GoodReads reviews and other sites where I may cross-post.

Stars Goodreads  What this means to me
5 AMAZING This totally knocked my socks off, and I might end up a crazed fan (from a respectable distance).
4 Really Liked This was truly enjoyable, and I’d recommend it.
3 Liked It was good, and I’m glad I read it, but I may have had some issues.
2 It was okay I finished it & kept hoping for improvement. I definitely had issues.
1 Didn't like I read the whole thing but....
1 DNF Didn't like I read past 50% (at least) before giving up.
0 DNF No Rating I couldn't even make it to 50%, but I still feel the need to share my thoughts.

 

Review

Whew mercy.

The worst best thing I can say is that the series is over. For those holding out on jumping in so as not to die from anticipation from precariously hanging on cliffs waiting for each installment, you may now proceed with gusto — GO FORTH! For the rest of us who’ve willingly and vigorously thrown ourselves into each book…well, I don’t know about y’all, but I’m kinda sad to see this all end — and I might’ve spent a few days after finishing curled up in the fetal position.

This series was far more than I expected. I mean…the first book was a relatively harmless road trip with some mystical weirdness and a few dead bodies, but mostly a benign romp of delightful goodness. Books two and three went to some evil scary dastardly places.

It’s man against man — psychic against psychic. A race against time and the pure fucking evils of power and greed. It takes a motley crew of outcasts and puts them in the position to pretty much save the world.

I’mma be honest about this. I had a hard time during the first few chapters. Really hard. It’s stark in its violence and cruelty. It never occurred to me to throw in the towel, but I did take some excessive breaks to play with my puppy. And I had an alternate, happy book I read in tandem at night in bed to keep the nightmares at bay.

But, it turned on a dime and the violence abated just enough and became more heavily weighted toward the relationship, the journey, absolution, the forces of good over evil that after that first almost third I was able to proceed without fingers over my eyes and sort of wish I was there to help justice prevail.

Sightlines is chock-full of action and rarely pauses for these guys to catch a break. And while it was exceedingly well done…well, I’m mostly in all my books for the romance and the emotional journey. It’s here, make no mistake, but there’s so much else going on that we don’t get a whole lotta Chase and Elijah time and the quiet sort of intimacy that I crave. Their evolution to coupledom is cemented more by the external forces of trying to survive and wage war against evil. Though, in retrospect, I get it. Chase is distrustful bastard (with good reason). He needs action, not words of platitude because his entire life is built on a foundation of cruelty and lies. Elijah is up to the task, but it’s a rocky road full of unimaginable horrors he’s got to navigate to get to Chase’s heart and earn his trust — WHILE ALSO TRYING TO SURVIVE OH MY GOD.

Readers familiar with ICoS will likely find some nuggets of familiarity between The Company and The Community, the secrets, the intrigue, the grit, the determination and quite a bit of the action. It’s a place where Santino excels as a writer, ripping it all open to expose some sheer ugliness, turning over every rock to expose the grubs underneath, forcing characters through the gauntlet to face their fears, fight the baddies, tearing them open to get to the bleeding, beating heart of what matters and the stark, naked truth — love wins.

I wholeheartedly recommend this series for the twisted goodness it is. It’s not light-n-fluffy, but it wouldn’t be Santino if it was.


What Santino has to say about Sightlines:

Anyone can be a hero. Rising up. Fighting back and revolutions. Coming together as a team despite differences.

Quotes from Santino about the book: 

“Chase is one of the most vulnerable bad asses I’ve ever written.”

“I haven’t written a hero with a mouth as smart as Chase’s since In the Company of Shadows.”

“Chase is one of those heroes who thinks no one reasonable would ever be in love with him, and anyone who claims to be is probably lying.”

Praise for INSIGHT:

“A fast-paced cavalcade of psychics, intrigue, and a young man’s powerful discovery of his own nature.” — Jordan Castillo Price, author of Psycop

“Hooked me on page one! Another winner from one of the most appealing voices in romance.” — Suzanne Brockmann, New York Times bestselling author

Select brief quotes from the book:

I may be hogtied mentally due to the drugs, but I still have a mean streak a highway wide and can hold my own in a fight.”

You’re a punked-out ragey cynical bastard, but you have hero potential.”

“It was hard to offer empty platitudes when people always expected you to be dropping precog knowledge.”

“When it came to Elijah . . . Chase’s chest was like a cage with wide bars. Easy for the beautiful boy with the smart mouth and luminous eyes to reach in and touch Chase’s heart, even if those feelings never managed to get out.”

“Leave it to them to want to smash in the middle of a goddamn horror movie.”

Excerpt:

Chase looked away from Elijah’s furious gaze. It was hard to believe what he was saying after so much evidence to the contrary. “This isn’t the time. They’ll be in here—”

“Stop telling me about it being the right time! Whatever you think about me and about how I feel is wrong. Maybe I’ve said things out of anger in the past, but that’s because you do act like a bastard. Why would I tell you how much you mean to me when you sometimes act like I’m nothing but a convenient piece of ass.”

“Good point.” Chase pushed Elijah back. “Can we—”

Elijah surged forward to crush their lips together. Chase started to shove him away, to twist his face and end this, but when Elijah’s tongue flicked at his mouth . . . he was gone. Gone into the sea of warm sensation and pleasure. The peace of the man’s mouth and the familiar stirrings of arousal that made it clear his sex drive would never lower no matter how much they tortured him. Months of mind-fucking, and his body reacted to Elijah just as strongly as it always had.

He wanted him on the bed or on the floor. Screw it, he’d fuck Elijah up against the wall. Run his mouth all over soft brown skin, tangle his fingers in tangled hair, and look into eyes that always held a promise even though Chase had never allowed himself to fall too deep. Believing Elijah could ever want someone as warped as him was as good as believing in miracles. Telling himself he was just a stand-in, a big dick and a high libido with killer stamina, was easier.

But Chase hadn’t realized how much he’d miss Elijah’s mouth. After all this time, it was like heaven. Or whatever afterlife would take a freak show like Chase.

He slanted his mouth and kissed Elijah deeper, drinking in the soft little moan that followed, and enjoying how demanding Elijah was even now. They were surrounded by enemies, locked in a room with only a small hope that there were still no cameras, and moments away from pretending to be enemies. And yet . . . Chase wanted to rip down Elijah’s shorts and bury himself in his tight heat. Let him feel, with intense fucking, how much Chase wanted him. But then he’d have to swallow all the traitorous nonsense words that always wanted to fall from his mouth, because those words made it plain as day that he needed Elijah for a lot more than sex.

He tore away, heart jackhammering against his chest, and sucked in deep even breaths.

“I might have to hurt you,” he panted against Elijah’s mouth. “If they let me in the silo.”

“Until I . . . pretend to have turned?”

Chase nodded, still running his fingers through all that wild beautiful hair. “At the very least, I’ll have to treat you like you’re finally mine. And you’ll pretend you want it that way.”

“Who said anything about pretending?” Elijah licked his lips slowly. “If us fucking makes things more believable, I’m not going to complain.”

“Even if I treat you like my bitch boy? Tote you around like arm candy?”

“You can slap me around and fuck me in front of an audience as long as no one else lays a hand on me and the end game is us getting the hell out of here.”


About the Author

Author Photo - Santino Hassell Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family but grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a grumpy introvert and unlikely romance author with an affinity for baseball caps. His novels are heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, and his desire to write relationships fueled by intensity and passion. He’s been a finalist in both the Bisexual Book Awards and the EPIC Awards, and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award in 2017. His work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Washington Post, RT Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

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