Title: Sutphin Boulevard (Five Boroughs #1)
Author: Santino Hassell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 31, 2015
Page Count: 264
Reviewed by: Renee
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
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.
I’ve been dying to get my hands on this book since I heard that Hassell was releasing it. As a huge fan of ICoS (and that’s saying something because only an amazing author could make me a fan of a dystopian series), I couldn’t wait .
Michael and Nunzio have been friends for 20 years and grew up in Queens, NYC together. They’ve been through hell and back with their respective childhoods but have always been there for each other. But this isn’t your typical best friends to lovers story. Nothing is easy.
For those who are unfamiliar with this author, this is not a light and fluffy read. Hassell’s storytelling is raw and gritty, but utterly perfect. It’s been a while since I had a book hangover of this magnitude, but it’s here in full force.
This is a love story where a HEA doesn’t come easy to our MC’s. They have to fight for each other. Family dynamics for a Puerto Rican MC can’t be easily turned away from when things are so deeply ingrained in culture. And how do you stop enabling your best friend of 20 years? Stop being there for him when you see a fast downward spiral?
The book itself is nothing like Chase in Shadow, but this hangover? That’s what it feels like. The feeling I had after that book. But I loved the MCs in this book more. I was more invested in them.
This was my first contemporary from Hassell, and I am officially hooked. I gotta have more. I’m completely addicted to his writing at this point.
And it’s a series?! We get the blurb for book 2 at the very end for the next couple.