Another powerful New York tale from Santino

Concourse (Five Boroughs, #5)Concourse by Santino Hassell

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.

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Truly scrumptious friends to lovers romance

Adam's Song (8 Million Hearts, #1)Adam’s Song by Spencer Spears

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fabulous friends to lovers romance which – like toffee sauce down the side of an ice cream sundae – brings a little drizzle of sweetness to a sharp bite.

While this is truly sweet at times, there is also an edge to the friendship between Adam and Ben which is caused by quite realistically depicted anxieties and fears on the part of Adam and a slow dawning that his feelings for his best friend might be a but more from Ben.

There is a proper slow burn to this one too, it’s a long book but every bit of the story felt necessary and earnt its place in the narrative.

When the smexy times come they just add the sprinkles on top as Ben fully embraces his newly developing feelings. Virgin sex is handled with care and with plenty of emotionally driven feelings.

The world building is excellent too and I’m looking forward to finding out more about the secondary characters which help prop up the narrative in this one.

#ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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Keira Andrews pulls at the heart strings yet again

35121059 In her latest novel – Road to the Sun – Keira Andrews demonstrates that innate talent she has for realism even in a scenario which on paper is completely unlikely.

The dynamic between Jason and Ben is powerfully brought to life as they connect under Montana’s “Big Sky” out in the wilds of the national park where Ben’s skills as a ranger will be tested to the full after Jason’s eight-year-old daughter Maggie is kidnapped by a murderer on the loose.

There’s passion, there’s emotion, there’s heart-stopping moments of bravery and heroic action, there’s hurt and conflict and there’s pain and suffering but – at the heart of it all – there is love.

The love Jason has for Maggie, who he’s looked after since he was a teenager himself, there’s the broken love Ben once had with his former partner, and boss, Brad who is now living the life he thought they’d have together, there’s the estranged love of Jason’s parents and younger brother and then, finally, there’s the fledgling love which is slowly building between Jason and Ben when the crisis strikes.

When the tensions boil over, it looks like all is lost but under Andrews’ skillful hand, the plot is allowed to expand, develop and come to a conclusion which feels both right and completely believable.

The epilogue is all ends up awesome and helps to give that depth of love that brings a heart-warming feeling to this romance.

#ARC kindly provided by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.