Thursday, April 7, 2016

Book Review: Sunset Park by Santino Hassell! (@SantinoHassell)

Sunset Park (Five Boroughs #2)
Author: Santino Hassell
Publication Date: December 11, 2015
Published: Dreamspinner Press

My Rating:

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.

I didn’t think it was possible to love something as much as I loved Sutphin Boulevard. I told anyone who would listen that they needed to read it. I guess I have to add Sunset Park to the list. Or basically anything he writes. I’m officially a groupie.

Sunset Park follows the story of Raymond, Michael’s younger brother, and David, the once threesome partner and co-worker of Michael. This is basically an opposites attract meets don’t judge a book by its cover. Raymond with his blue collar upbringing, roughneck exterior and laid back attitude to life ends up shacking up with David and his liberal, white collar, and optimistic ways to life.

Through the unexpected friendship that is filled with loads of sexual tension and true affection, both Raymond and David learn a thing or two about themselves and one another that others may have once misconceived.

I think the best part about this book was the interaction between Raymond and David. Of course, they’re the leads in this, but getting to read this in the dual POV was extremely helpful. Both supporting players in Sutphin Boulevard, you got to see how the events of that book affected their actions and kind of pushed together.

A lot of my love for this came from the bluntness that was Raymond. He had no time for the bullshit. And you saw how losing his parents and being Michael’s younger brother made him become the person he was. And you saw how accepting his bisexuality was something that came rather easy and he didn’t want to make into a big thing. I also loved the hopeless romantic that David ended up being. I admit, I didn’t think much of him in the first book and he was slightly a pest but seeing how these two balanced each other out and lifted each other at the same time was amazing.

Now, if I didn’t mention the hot sexual tension and scenes in this, I’ll be doing a disservice. With all the built up tension these two had as “friends” and then “roommates”, of course when the cork was popped things would be awesome. I will say this, I will never look at laundry rooms the same again.

Again, Santino does NYC proud. This time with Brooklyn, which is where I live. I’ll even try to forgive the dig he made about my neighborhood (East New York is NOT that bad!). Either way, I don’t think I could say anymore, because I’ll give away everything!

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