Sunset Park Review

October 22, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★★

Sunset Park ReviewSunset Park (Five Boroughs, #2) by Santino Hassell
Published by Dreamspinner Press on December 11th 2015
Pages: 230
Source: Purchased
Also by this author: Strong Signal (Cyberlove, #1), Fast Connection (Cyberlove #2), Sutphin Boulevard (Five Boroughs, #1), First and First (Five Boroughs, #3), Interborough (Five Boroughs, #4), Mature Content (Cyberlove, #4)
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four-stars
five-flames
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.

I thought Michael’s brother Raymond was totally hilarious in the last book, so I’m happy that he received his own love story. I first read from this blurb that the romance was between Raymond and David right after I finished reading the first chapter of Sutphin Boulevard, so I thought that they made the WEIRDEST couple. I couldn’t be more wrong, somehow Raymond and David just end up making sense together. Yes, there’s roadblocks in the way here, but it’s worth it in the end. Though I enjoyed the first book, I have to say that I might have liked this one just a little bit more. Nevertheless, Hassell has delivered yet again on a gritty romance filled with memorable characters. I highly recommend it for M/M fans, or new readers of the genre!

Like I said, Raymond was hilarious and entertaining in the last book and I’m glad we get his story here. It was interesting to see Raymond exploring his sexuality, now that he realizes that he’s bisexual. Throughout the story, we watch Raymond deal with his personal problems with what exactly this means and how he wants to go from here. He’s also very insecure when it comes to what other people might think about him, so that comes up again and again in the story. I thought that he was a fabulous character and I really liked him for the most part. He was a lot less frustrating than his brother, that’s for sure!

David was a character that took me a little bit longer to really love. I’m not going to lie, I judged him hard in the first book for cheating on his boyfriend just because he was “boring.” However, we end up seeing a different side to David in this book. Yes, he can be kind of stuck up at times, but Raymond ends up bringing out the best in him. What’s different from this book is that we get both POV’s, and I thought that was a smart move from Hassell. He was able to create two very unique and distinctive voices from these guys who came from completely opposite backgrounds, and make them both extremely relatable. Anyway, I liked knowing what exactly David was thinking, it made me like him so much more. At the end of the day, he’s a smart and interesting guy who is the perfect match for my boy Raymond.

I love that Raymond and David started out as being friends in the first book and at the beginning of this one, before they become roommates. The friendship seemed weird to me at first, but it ultimately ended up working in such a surprising and awesome way. I loved the natural progression of their relationship. There was a gradual and realistic build-up that truly worked. Sutphin Boulevard was totally hot, but I have to admit that Sunset Park might even be a bit hotter! Nope, there aren’t any threesomes in this one, but the heat and passion that exists in every David and Raymond sex scene was scorching hot. There were quite a few sex scenes, and I have no complaints about that at all. Aside from the physical parts, there’s still an emotional depth to the relationship that I absolutely loved. Sorry Nunzio and Michael, David and Raymond are my favorite couple in this series so far.

Santio Hassell has wrote yet another beautiful and complicated love story. Though I thought that the first book was refreshing and incredibly well written, I have to admit that I might just like Sunset Park a bit more than the previous one. I was happy that this book was a lot less dark and depressing than Sutphin Boulevard. I also felt relieved that David and Raymond seemed to get it together much sooner than Michael and Nunzio did. As I’ve already mentioned, this is a wonderful series that I recommend if you’re a fan of the M/M genre, or if you’re new to the genre and looking for an awesome series to start, try these books.

four-stars
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