New York lovingly stars in Hassell’s latest romance

Sunset Park (Five Boroughs #2)Sunset Park by Santino Hassell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wowzers! That’s pretty much my take on this book. I fluctuated between exasperation, exhilaration and exhaustion watching Ray and David go on their relationship journey.

I love how, in a Santino Hassell novel, the setting is another character, New York is larger than life and utterly central to everything which takes place in this romance. The Puerto Rican background for Raymond, David’s Connecticut childhood, these things are as integral to their pairing as the stupendously hot sex they have as Ray looks to explore the male side of his bisexuality.

I also love “real” and Santino is one of those authors who brings it every time. David’s fears that Ray’s bisexuality is a phase and he’ll ditch him are grounded in truths often expressed not only in literature but in “real life”. There’s angst in this one, but thankfully nowhere near the level of Ray’s brother Michael’s story and it works well with this lower level of tension.

They are flawed men, they’re not caricatures but fully fleshed out with all the frailties of humanity. Ray can’t manage to tell David how he feels, David’s scared he’s not enough and in the background are the rest of the Five Boroughs characters, intertwined and interconnected through everyone’s lives.

This is a well earned and well worked for happy ending and it’s beautiful.

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Another enjoyable read focusing on men with issues

The Heart As He Hears It (Perspectives, #3)The Heart As He Hears It by A.M. Arthur

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As with the other books in this series, there’s angst but, like book two, it’s not as bad as the first one.

Jon and Isaac made an interesting pair with their different hang ups and mental anxieties and both brought something solid for the other to rely on.

I liked that there was a lot of conversation between them in this romance, not silly misunderstandings or lack of communication. The odd side plot really didn’t work for me though as it seemed to come out of nowhere even with the red herring in play.

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Far more enjoyable with less angsty stuff

The World As He Sees It (Perspectives #2)The World As He Sees It by A.M. Arthur

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked this one, the drama and angst levels were so much more manageable compared to book one in the series.

I absolutely adored Gabe, he was perfect for Tristan, supportive without being patronising and willing to work with his short term memory issues.

The email correspondence was a clever way of getting the relationship development needed without the difficulties involved with Tristan’s disability.
Shane also was much improved in this one while Noel had a brief period of being a dick but it was good to see them still together and thriving.

The sex was also lovingly crafted as Gabe found ways for Tristan to keep the feelings of their love making even when he couldn’t find the memory.

I liked the way the medical trial was handled too with encouraging development not a miraculous recovery and how Gabe was giving Tristan hope for the future no matter what happened.

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Conflicted with this one

Temptation's InfernoTemptation’s Inferno by Kat Mizera

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The cover for this book pulled me in and once I started reading it, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to actually like it.

In the end I’ve come in neutral, it was a drama lama ride through a serious amount of angsty stuff but there was also a good romance at the core of it.

I haven’t read anything by this author before, including book one in this series, but it didn’t really affect my understanding. Who was who and what had happened to them was explained without it being too much exposition.

I could have done without the M/F stuff but it was clearly presented that there would be some. It didn’t, imho, distract from the main relationship between Jamie and Viggo.
I’m not sure I’ll read any more though.

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Took me a while to warm up to this one

In Your Eyes (Mates, #3)In Your Eyes by Cardeno C.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For a great deal of this book I was completely out of sorts with Samuel, who just came over as a bit of a dick. Thankfully we got an insight into his relationship with Korben and that improved things massively.

It also served me right for doubting that Cardeno C wouldn’t offer up some great steam alongside the main plot and develop a relationship between the two men. This book had a side order of devious plot by one pack alpha which loosely tied into the previous books in the series.

Otherwise, it had all the fluffy feels I’ve come to expect with this author alongside more great world building and those “mine” passions which go hand in hand with shifter books and true mates.

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