My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Gosh the angsty in this book! However, I absolutely loved it. I got Michael, I could see and empathise with his fall from grace.
Santino has an incredible talent with words to bring a setting to life. I could see the school corridors and the classrooms, hear the kids running through them, appreciate the New York life even though I’ve never been there.
His sex scenes were epic, the threesome felt organic and central to the narrative, not just chucked in for plot’s sake. Their slow burn and the realisation that their 20 year friendship could be so much more was delicious to read, even while Michael’s alcohol abuse and general withdrawal from Nunzio was painful to see.
This was raw and real, gritty and emotional, a portrayal of the expectations of two living, breathing people, not just characters in a story. I loved the secondary characters as well, they helped build up the whole world setting and fleshed it out fully.
I also loved that Michael went for therapy, no magic dick cure, and that he was sceptical about its effectiveness but willing to try because he knew he’d hit rock bottom and couldn’t do it alone. I loved all the scenes at the therapy centre.
I can see why those wanting a romance felt cheated, as it didn’t really kick in until the final 10% of the book, but I don’t always want to read a hearts & flowers tale, I want something that’s a little bit gritty, a little bit dirty.