Reviewed by Morgan
Author: Santino Hassell
Narrator: Michael Ferraiuolo
Series: Five Boroughs #4
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 6 Hours, 42 Minutes
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: May 15, 2017
Available at: Amazon, Audible and iTunes
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
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.
Review: This is one of those books that I both enjoyed SO MUCH and could have done without. The narrator, Michael Ferraiuolo is really good. He has a fantastic voice for Nunzio, Michael, their families and the others; he’s good with emotion and timing, and listening is absolutely the way to experience this story and this series – since he narrates most of the others as well (except book 1 😦 )
In this story, the author takes our established couples and expands on their lives. Sometimes this is awesome, sometimes – not. Some people really love this, others just skip these books. I can understand the desire to “remember” our MCs as they were at the end of their stories and leave them be. It’s hard to have our beloved couples struggle – no matter the outcome.
One thing Santino Hassell brings to his work is a gritty realism – that realism is pervasive here. David and Raymond are not at their HEA by the end of Sunset Park and they work through a lot of those issues here. I was reminded of all the things, good and bad, that come along with that. To me – David and the amount of angst and the continual struggle over – what felt like – the same issues, became annoying. So, while I really enjoyed Raymond as a character, I never warmed up to David as much and though Ray’s issues got to me in book one, David’s issues bothered me here. The end result is that – as a couple – David and Ray aren’t as strong for me as Michael and Nunzio and this book is more about David and Ray than anyone. However, we do get to see Ray’s feelings for David in a far more intimate light than we had before and that was really touching.
BUT… and it’s important – there are parts here with Nunzio and Michael that make ALLLLLL the David and Ray angst TOTALLY WORTH IT! I predicted when I read this that the audio would be amazing and I was RIGHT! Michael F. does an amazing job with the epilogue and I think fans should listen to this book for that reason alone! (If you’ve not started the series, I don’t know that this will be where you want to start. It’s not really a standalone.)
Impression of the Book: I really liked it
Impression of the Audio: It was amazing!
Overall Impression: I loved it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*