Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Book Review: Sunset Park (Five Boroughs #2) by Santino Hassell

Sunset Park (Five Boroughs, #2)
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 bi-curious 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.

Todd's rating:

First, let me just get the rating out of the way. 4 stars.

I loved Raymond, mostly, since he was the main reason that I wanted to read book 2 in this series. Hot stoner begins to get his act together. Yay, I can't wait, right?

I 'liked' David, mostly, but for him to be such an effective teacher at work, the boy seriously needs some lessons in communication. And maybe a little therapy.

After Ray's brother, Michael, nearly driving me to drink in book 1, I was thrilled that I was chugging along happily in this book and thoroughly enjoying it.

Until the scene where David coerces Ray to attend his friend Karen's birthday party. I don't do this very often, but I'm totally calling fuckery on Ray and David's friend Oli for their balcony and Disney princess bedroom scenes.

I had been gaily reading this nice tale of bi-curious cuddling, flirting and a very cool friendship developing into something more, then a skunk ran out into the road and sprayed me from head to toe. Figuratively. And I was more than a little horrified.

Then we're back on track again for quite a while, some miscommunications and frayed nerves, but we're mostly still good. Happy, happy, joy, joy. Then David's ex-BF, Caleb, shows up and David 'does something' at the exact wrong time that it made me insanely furious. I just wanted to close the book and stop reading. I'm not even exaggerating on this.

So a few hours later, once I'd calmed down, I kept reading and the rest of the book was fine again. Mostly. More arguments, misunderstandings and some butthurt, but nothing that made me want to drive my Jeep over my eReader. Repeatedly.

I'm all for flawed characters, most of the books that I read are rife with them; however, there is just some intangible quality about the guys in Five Boroughs that tend to light my rage bonfire and keep poking at the damn thing to keep it burning. I'm not really a huge fan of that feeling.

But the book was extremely well written, the characters were lively and interesting, so sporadic rage episodes aside, as I previously mentioned, this one ranks overall at 4 stars for me.

My copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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