Sutphin Boulevard (Five Boroughs #1) by Santino Hassell

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Title: Sutphin Boulevard (Five Boroughs #1)
Author:Santino Hassell
Length: 264 Pages
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Heat Level: 5
Overall Rating: 5h

Synopsis:   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.  – via goodreads

Review: Santonio Hassell has a way with words. They pull you in without you even realizing that you’ve spent the entire day lost in the world he’s created and have fallen in love with his characters. (Pssst. Nunzio. Just sayin’). I loved him, I think you will too. He was such a calming influence in the story. Like your favorite fuzzy blanket that keeps you warm on a cool night.

This is Santino’s first full length novel, but he is no stranger to writing. He co-wrote the epic online saga In the Company of Shadows. Which despite it’s length was very good. (I read the original – all three million words!) It has been extensively edited and rewritten if you’d like to give it a go. That said, this does not read like a first time author’s book. The characters are three dimensional and real. You get a true sense of what they’re going through because Hassell shows you – not tells you. Which, I gotta say, has become rather rare in my reading as of late. Anytime an author can do that and do it well is always a special treat. If you like your characters gritty and your ending earned, Sutphin Boulevard is for you.

So do yourself a favor, run – don’t walk – to your nearest online retailer and pick this one up. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

All I need now is its sequel, Sunset Park – like yesterday.

Purchase links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

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