Monday, 24 October 2016

REVIEW: Interborough (Five Boroughs, Book 4) by Santino Hassell




Blurb

The Raymond Rodriguez from a few years ago wouldn’t recognize the guy he is today. He’s left his slacker ways far behind him and is now juggling two jobs and school. But the balancing act doesn’t allow much time for the man he loves.

David is doing his best to be supportive, but problems at work and his own insecurity leave him frustrated—in more ways than the obvious—whenever he goes to bed before Raymond gets home. The heat and affection between them is still there, but they barely have the time or energy to enjoy it. And it doesn’t help that Raymond is still hiding David from his colleagues.

The stress mounts so high that a vacation in paradise is filled with turmoil instead of harmony, and culminates on their return to the five boroughs with broken promises and heartache. They have to figure out how to stop allowing their differences to overshadow their love. It’s the only way they’ll make it to forever.

VIA
Review

RATING:




For starter, getting a chance to read one of Santino’s books always make me giddy.


 Now digging into this one…


Honest. Emotional. Real…

If my word count is limited, that’s what I would say about this. I finished the book days before I’m writing this, and those are the words that continue to linger in my head. For whatever reason, the realness of the emotions that this book evoked out of me punched me straight in the gut… 


Orson Welles said, “If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” If you’ve read Sunset Park, you’ve seen how Ray and David’s story unfolded and how they got to their HEA in a way. But life does go on, does it not? What happens when you’re finally together? What then? Such is what faced our Rayvid… This is all about Rayvid growing up some more. This is all about Rayvid’s relationship growing up…

Ray’s finally making something out of his life but now at the expense of their relationship. Not that it was a conscious intention. It was what it was. And if you know David, you know what that can do to his psyche. But this is not about who’s right anymore. This isn’t about just walking away because you’re done anymore. As one person grows, so should the relationship. The question becomes are both parties growing at the same time and in the same direction and is their love strong enough for the relationship to grow, and stay strong? I doubt anyone in a relationship, or who’s been in one, will not be affected by how these 2 struggled. Some don’t, or will not, succeed. Our Rayvid do, luckily…

Ray has plans, has goals, all to better himself, for him and for David. I understood the things he had to deal with given his racial and socio-economic background. I can understand his doubts given his sexual identity. A lot of food for fodder… Throughout it all, I continue to love the vulnerability underneath all that snark. Oh Ray… 


While I may have tiny misgivings here and there in the past with David, I think I finally understood where he’s coming from. Maybe I’m just a dunce, but I really saw his growth here. Some of the same insecurities are there but it really felt that there’s more self-awareness now. And I completely adore him now. Oh David… 


What these 2 went thru, it may feel like it was all miscommunication but for me, it wasn’t. I get the reticence and what appear to be lies of omission at times because all you were waiting for was the right moment that never came… sigh… *tear*… These poor kids… 


But hey, guess what happens when your love is really strong. You hit a major stumbling block but you gather all your tools to make sure you crumble those stumbling blocks to rubble because what’s waiting on the other side is ever so worth it. Oh yes!!! 


Anyways, fan will be happy to see glimpses of much loved H’s from the previous books… Mikey and Nunzio… Caleb and Oli… And in the end, to get that EPIC epilogue!!! Most definitely tear-inducing in the most romantic way!!! Just saying… 


At this point, all I know is that Santino’s writing continues to capture me with its grit and authenticity, from his settings to his characters and to his stories. I don’t think I’ve said this clearly in my past reviews of his books, so I’m saying it here. There is something in his writing that can make you pull your hair out because he doesn’t gloss over his characters’ flaws. And at the same time, he makes you fall in love with them because he makes them shine with their strengths. The way he describes his settings make it come alive in my head. The way his story flows happens so naturally that while you’re reading, it feels like it’s a story happening to a good friend of yours. His words let the emotions dig its claws in your mind that before you know it, it’s in there marinating and burying itself and next thing you know, its intensity has you reeling. And speaking of intensity, let’s not forget Santino’s skills in writing those smexy scenes. What? I have to say it! They’re always smoking hot, ok?? 


Yikes, now I’m just babbling… Just go and read this!!!

About the Author


Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.

Santino writes LGBTQ romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

To learn more about Santino you can go to:



Thanks for dropping by!

~Leftie


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