Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Sunset Park
Author: Santino Hassell
Series: Five Boroughs #2
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 230 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 11, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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.
Review: This is the story of Raymond, Michael’s brother, who we met in the previous book. He’s always been a bit of a screw up, babied by their parents, unable to hold a job, etc. He has become quite close with Michael and Nunzio’s “friend,” David, who offers to be his roommate after Michael decides they should sell their childhood home.
David was a part of the super hot threesome he had with Michael and Nunzio in the beginning of their relationship and was actually the main event that brought Nunzio and Michael together. He is also a teacher who works with Michael. He knows Ray claims to be straight and doesn’t push the envelope for the most part. Nunzio, Ray’s best friend, finds out this isn’t necessarily the case, but doesn’t push Ray either.
One thing I love about Mr. Hassell’s stories is that they have a very real feel to them. The characters are just normal guys with normal issues and you can easily picture seeing them as you walk down the streets of NYC. These guys go through many emotions, either with their friends or with family members. Those bonds are tested in ways that are just so believable. Ray afraid of coming out to Michael, hiding his sexual curiosity, and David allowing him (and him taking David up on the offer) to try things out with him all made things very interesting.
Unfortunately, I think I have been ruined slightly by my love for Nunzio (and Michael) that I just didn’t have quite the feels for Ray and David. They did make a perfect couple though, shared great chemistry and were definitely hot together.
The writing was fantastic, just as with Sutphin Boulevard, and kept me turning pages just the same. I’m definitely a fan and can’t wait to see where this story is headed next.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*