My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When Ashton first appeared in one of the earlier Five Borough novels at the Liberty X party I knew there was going to be more to him than was shown on the surface.
And I was right, throughout this book I wanted to take Ashton away and wrap him up in bubble wrap and give him a big hug and tell him he was a person of worth.
I don’t think there’s much more emotionally damaging than to be told you’re a failure, an embarrassment, to consider yourself to be useless. That he manages to find a purpose is down to him being encouraged to look within for the strengths he possesses comes, rather appropriately, via a Nunzio cameo.
Ashton also has his rock, Valdrin, son of his nanny, a boxer who loves the thrill of the fight but couldn’t care less if he wins, a pleaser who finds it hard to let things go and do what’s right for him.
Together they have a seriously beautiful friendship which Santino allows to play out in slow burn perfectly. The usual New York setting and cast of supporting characters are also here to bring this world to life.
It is a rare talent to make a book feel like you’re reading about a bunch of real people who decided one day to allow their stories to be told and Santino has it in spades.
I can’t wait to take another trip through the streets of New York with these guys and gals.