Sutphin Boulevard (Five Boroughs, #1) by Santino Hassell
Published by Dreamspinner Press on July 31st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, LGBTQIA, MM Romance, Romance
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.
Honest to Gawd I’m going to meet Santino Hassell at a Book Convention and I’m not sure how to respond. His books are so damn amazing that it’s really hard to read the book without blushing when someone recognized that you too have read the most emotional, edgy, romantic, and overwhelming contemporary novel, that has the best sex scenes that I have ever read in a MM Romance. Sweet Baby Geezus if he ever writes an autobigraphy I would be the first in line to multiple copies of it, for educational purposes I swear! His writing style is so true that what ever hardships he’s ever encountered in life has truly, and I say this with great love, must have made his life both interest as well as amazing source of pure seniority that you can only see in his characters development.
Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell is a great MM Romance novel with a great edgy narrator who is confident, unapologetic but also leaves himself constantly overwhelmed with family responsibilty. This is exactly where we meet Michael, planning a trip with his best friend, Nunzio, only to find out from his baby brother that their disreputable father has suddenly returned in their lives after the recent death of their mother, only to live her former home. The added stress in Michael’s life only left him spending the summer with his family and not with his best friend in Europe. But it’s not the sudden change in travel schedule that caused the change between Mihcael and Nunzio relationship.
The story is just as always what you expect from Santino Hassell. Honest writing with great intimate scenes that are not only arousing but vulnerable between characters as they give him selves to one another again and again. Its absolutely the best romance scene I have ever read and continue to read because it’s more than just jaw dropping sex it’s characters being so damn venerable with each other.
What I love about Santino Hassell characters, are that they are always confident about their sexuality, as well as their careers. I love the fact that the issues that the face through the book are not tailored to only the LGBTQIA but factors that lead the characters. It’s like watching a cause and effect in the plot instead of the plot being focused on only life experiences that happen to those who are LBTGBTQIA. I find that Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell write from experiences father than a point of view that only one type of audiences can enjoy. This is why I really enjoy their romance novels because they are books that anyone whose willing to witness a character struggle with life, be harder by life but not beaten as they recognize their problems and grow from it. It’s that type of character growth that makes it really hard not to love Santino Hassell.
I have to say my favorite part of this entire book of course is the relationship of Nunzio and Michael. To me it was a great twist to the typically written, ” Friend Status” when you truly want to be “Boyfriend Status”. I feel the relationship between Nunzio and Michael was not written to fast or to slow. I feel that it was written in real time, with real reasons why not to expand their relationship in both in the work field along within their own personal field. How can you love someone who has so man issues that there is honestly no room for your love to grow. That is why I feel that Hassell is a great romance author. He is so raw but also writes in great straight point perspective. Many times I’ll read romance novels that have great scenes, but lack common sense but ever with a Hassell novel. He’s honestly one of a very short list of authors that are able to write from all perspectives and still make the novel just overwhelming amazing read.
Sutphin Boulevard is primarily the story of Michael. Michael is the type of character that you would instantly fall in love with. Michael is unapologetic, he’s confident, but he’s also constantly consumed by the worries of others. It’s almost like Michael blocks out any other types of attention when the focus turns towards his family.It’s these sacrifices that Michael constantly makes to ensure the safety, concerns, and happiness are also his main focus. This is surely the case when we meet Michael preparing to travel with his best friend to Italy when family issues arrive in the form of his absent father returning to live in their recently deceased mother’s home. With his baby brother living in the home, the recent arrival of their father quickly created an instant reluctant
I really love this novel because it’s set as always in New York, I feel that it adds more the story especially since both men Nunzio and Michael are both confident within their sexuality, even more adventurous than I would have ever imagine school teachers to be! It’s also in this t also adds the quick destruction that’s painful to watch occur to Michael
The novel is written completely in Michaels point of view, but he’s also not a dishonest narrative. He knows he has problems, he knows that everything is not alright and what I love the most about it is that he honest, like most people, truly believe that he can figure out on his own. The entire story truly speaks to the heart as well as to the soul. Once you understand that Michael holds the responsibility of being an eldest brother to a Puerto Rican family living with the unapologetic dysfunctional family as many loving family do. Santi Hassell is just an amazing author whose face is quite mystery which only brings excitement to his work. Read the Five Borough Series NOW!