Title: Oversight (The Community #2)
Author: Santino Hassell
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: June 26, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Paranormal
Page Count: 242
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Holden Payne has it all . . . or so he thinks. As heir to the founder of the Community—an organization that finds, protects, and manages psychics—he’s rich, powerful, and treated like royalty. But after a series of disappearances and murders rock the Community, he’s branded the fall guy for the scandal and saddled with a babysitter.
Sixtus Rossi is a broad-shouldered, tattooed lumbersexual with a man-bun and a steely gaze. He’s also an Invulnerable—supposedly impervious to both psychic abilities and Holden’s charms. It’s a claim Holden takes as a challenge. Especially if sleeping with Six may help him learn whether the Community had more to do with the disappearances than they claimed.
As Holden uncovers the truth, he also finds himself getting in deep with the man sent to watch him. His plan to seduce Six for information leads to a connection so intense that some of Six’s shields come crashing down. And with that comes a frightening realization: Holden has to either stand by the Community that has given him everything, or abandon his old life to protect the people he loves.
We last met empath Holden Payne, manager of Evolution, in Insight. Holden’s father is one of the Community’s founders and having grown up with the us-against-them verbiage, Holden finds it hard to believe the Community is anything other than an altruistic organization helping those with paranormal skills. Sixtus Rossi has been sent to Evolution by Richard Payne to handle club security. Sixtus is an invulnerable -“He has a natural mental shield that prevents him from being susceptible to psychic abilities” – perfect to safeguard Evolution against mental and physical attacks. Six and Holden last saw each other when they were both teenagers and Six was in front of a Community tribunal. Holden remembers:
It’d been the first time he’d feared the founders. And when he’d first learned that breaking Community rules could have serious consequences.
Six was sent to The Farm for years for “realignment” and is now Head of Security there. Holden believes Six to be merely another tool of his father’s to monitor and control him.
But bit by bit, we learn more about The Farm, about Holden’s mother, about the men following and harassing Elijah, about Ex-Comm and the tension builds and builds to an almost unbearable cliffhanger of a conclusion. One character mentions “invisible insects skittering over his skin” and that’s what this book feels like. The tension ratchets up and honest to gawd, it’s almost excruciating getting the picture of what is actually going on.
“Because this is out of control. I was raised in this Community, Six. These people were my family. Growing up, people talked about the Farm and the people who worked there like they were clergy. They were what other members aspired to be, or at least respected even if that wasn’t what we wanted. And now you’re telling me it’s this fucking—”
Six and Holden’s relationship takes second place to the unveiling of The real Community, yet in a way it’s fitting. There’s a steamy sexual component, and a tentative mental connection that develops where nothing should exist because of the nature of Six’s abilities (it’s like there’s a barrier around his thoughts and feelings) while Holden being empathic feasts on the emotions of others. It’s a tantalizing work in progress.
The best part of Oversight is going in cold, so it’s a bit of a problem to review this book without telling too much of the plot, but believe me, this book is 5 stars all the way and I highly recommended it!