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Raymond Rodriguez's days of shoving responsibility to the wayside are over. His older brother wants to live with his boyfriend so Raymond has to get his act together and find a place of his own. But when out-and-proud David Butler offers to be his roommate, Raymond agrees for reasons other than needing a place to crash. David is Raymond’s opposite in almost every way—he’s C Raymond Rodriguez's days of shoving responsibility to the wayside are over. His older brother wants to live with his boyfriend so Raymond has to get his act together and find a place of his own. But when out-and-proud David Butler offers to be his roommate, Raymond agrees for reasons other than needing a place to crash. David is Raymond’s opposite in almost every way—he’s Connecticut prim and proper while Raymond is a sarcastic longshoreman from Queens—but their friendship is solid. Their closeness surprises everyone as does their not-so-playful flirtation since Raymond has always kept his bicurious side a secret. Once they’re under the same roof, flirting turns physical, and soon their easy camaraderie is in danger of being lost to frustrating sexual tension and the stark cultural differences that set them apart. Now Raymond not only has to commit to his new independence—he has to commit to his feelings for David or risk losing him for good.


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Raymond Rodriguez's days of shoving responsibility to the wayside are over. His older brother wants to live with his boyfriend so Raymond has to get his act together and find a place of his own. But when out-and-proud David Butler offers to be his roommate, Raymond agrees for reasons other than needing a place to crash. David is Raymond’s opposite in almost every way—he’s C Raymond Rodriguez's days of shoving responsibility to the wayside are over. His older brother wants to live with his boyfriend so Raymond has to get his act together and find a place of his own. But when out-and-proud David Butler offers to be his roommate, Raymond agrees for reasons other than needing a place to crash. David is Raymond’s opposite in almost every way—he’s Connecticut prim and proper while Raymond is a sarcastic longshoreman from Queens—but their friendship is solid. Their closeness surprises everyone as does their not-so-playful flirtation since Raymond has always kept his bicurious side a secret. Once they’re under the same roof, flirting turns physical, and soon their easy camaraderie is in danger of being lost to frustrating sexual tension and the stark cultural differences that set them apart. Now Raymond not only has to commit to his new independence—he has to commit to his feelings for David or risk losing him for good.

30 review for Sunset Park

  1. 5 out of 5

    Baba

    **Review removed due to personal reasons. Rating downgraded to one star** March 7, 2018

  2. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    REVIEW & RATING REMOVED

  3. 4 out of 5

    Santino Hassell

    This (depending on your timezone) is the day! SUNSET PARK is now available to buy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and every other third party vendor online. I loved writing this book so much. It was the first time, and last time, I enjoyed every minute of the process. Raymond Rodriguez might be my favorite character to write of all time. Being in his head is so amazing that I'm trying to devise ways to climb inside again. Telling his and David's story was a great experience, and I hope everyone enjo This (depending on your timezone) is the day! SUNSET PARK is now available to buy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and every other third party vendor online. I loved writing this book so much. It was the first time, and last time, I enjoyed every minute of the process. Raymond Rodriguez might be my favorite character to write of all time. Being in his head is so amazing that I'm trying to devise ways to climb inside again. Telling his and David's story was a great experience, and I hope everyone enjoys the journey. They went from wary strangers, to unlikely friends, to lovers in a way that I never expected. It may sound cliche, but I didn't plan for them to have so much chemistry. In fact, I'd never intended for Raymond to be bisexual until the sparks flew between them during that one scene in SUTPHIN BOULEVARD. But even if you didn't read SB, this book can stand completely on its own. I hope you give it a shot and take a few hours to watch these two guys fall in love. #RayvidForever!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Julio Genao

    incredibly, and despite only seeing a draft somewhere in the middle of the production cycle, i thought thiis novel was even better than the first one.

  5. 4 out of 5

    .Lili.

    Rating removed. Original review under spoiler. (view spoiler)[ How do you begin a review for a book that once started consumed you? That when you went to sleep you dreamt about it. That woke you up at 2:15 am in the morning on a school/work night and forced you to finish reading it. Then you stayed awake analyzing what you just read. I don't know. Sunset Park is book two of the Five Borough's series by Santino Hassell. Here, we finally get Raymond and David's story. Raymond is Michael's pothead l Rating removed. Original review under spoiler. (view spoiler)[ How do you begin a review for a book that once started consumed you? That when you went to sleep you dreamt about it. That woke you up at 2:15 am in the morning on a school/work night and forced you to finish reading it. Then you stayed awake analyzing what you just read. I don't know. Sunset Park is book two of the Five Borough's series by Santino Hassell. Here, we finally get Raymond and David's story. Raymond is Michael's pothead little brother, and David is Michael's co-worker. The highlights: *The character development. Hands down some of the best I've ever read. This book was written from a dual POV (thank you, btw Mr. Author) giving us insight into both their thoughts. It allowed us to feel their struggles, fears, and triumphs. It also took us not only on their personal journey- but their journey from friendship to lovers. *The romance. Their first kiss & the first time they were intimate. Both times I put my iPad down and took a deep breath. Per. fec.tion. *The banter. It was funny and witty. *I also loved catching up with Nunzio and Michael. *The angst. It's that angst that drives you f*cking crazy because it's so raw and hurts and it pisses you off- but it hurts so good. *And the end- gave me butterflies. I could go and on about how much I loved this. I could show you screen shots of the numerous highlights in my e-reader. Seriously guys: READ. THIS. BOOK. Actually, let me rephrase that: READ. THIS. SERIES. This is a 5+ When Can We Get Our Next Santino Fix Stars! "I didn't just want him - I needed him. He wasn't just one of a few options. He was a fucking necessity. " *This review is cross-posted at Gay Book Reviews (hide spoiler)]

  6. 4 out of 5

    ~Mindy Lynn~

    ***4.5*** I’ve never been in love with anyone before, but that’s what’s going on, so in my opinion, you should just roll with it.” A hint of a smile danced on his lips. “Oh, is that your opinion?” “Yeah. It is. So just let me love you and stop being a punk about it.” Oh how I loved this one. So much! Raymond..... That boy is delish. He is also a hot mess with a temper, a need for weed, and has no intention on changing his ways. He is quite lazy when it comes to life. His source of incom ***4.5*** I’ve never been in love with anyone before, but that’s what’s going on, so in my opinion, you should just roll with it.” A hint of a smile danced on his lips. “Oh, is that your opinion?” “Yeah. It is. So just let me love you and stop being a punk about it.” Oh how I loved this one. So much! Raymond..... That boy is delish. He is also a hot mess with a temper, a need for weed, and has no intention on changing his ways. He is quite lazy when it comes to life. His source of income is the money his mother left behind for him. Raymond just wants to get high and play his video games. He can't be bothered with getting a job because that takes effort, effort he's not willing to give. He is also curious about his bi side, but once again, can't be bothered with exploring. Well that is until, David. David is also a bit of a mess. He is a needy clingy little thing. He's a romantic and wants his Prince. But he also has a bad case of guilt when it comes to his ex, Caleb. That just brought on a bigger mess than was needed. I didn't really understand why he felt obligated to keep giving their relationship another try. He cheated. He feels bad. OK. But that doesn't mean that guilt should make you want to stay in a relationship with someone you obviously didn't care much for in the first place if you were willing to cheat on them. So this part frustrated the hell outta me as well as it did Raymond. When Nunzio and Michael decide they want to move in together it forces Michael out of his comfort zone. That being his home. But it all works out since David is looking for a new place and offers to be Ray's roommate. This move kind of forces Ray to grow up. He has bills and rent now and his inheritance isn't going to last forever so he eventually lands an office job which he loathes. Moving in together only intensifies the attraction Ray and David have for each other and with Ray now wanting to be bothered by exploring his bi side and David being a willing participant, things get pretty steamy and messy (and not the good kind of messy ;]). Once again the writing is amazing and the sex scenes are off the charts HOT! Just saying..... LOL It was love with this book. I recommend it to all my dolls who enjoy a good MM read. Happy reading dolls!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    This sucks.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kade Boehme

    Y'all. Damn. And that first kiss yo! Really, exactly how I thought Ray would be, only... He's better. Santino nailed it with this one. I'm loving this whole series. Plus the storyline, really. I like how kinda raw Santino's writing is. It's not SUPER ANGST or contrived shit, just... realness. And the characters grow. There's just something about the way Santino can break my heart that works so well for me. Recommend this and the first, Sutphin Blvd, so much. Y'all. Damn. And that first kiss yo! Really, exactly how I thought Ray would be, only... He's better. Santino nailed it with this one. I'm loving this whole series. Plus the storyline, really. I like how kinda raw Santino's writing is. It's not SUPER ANGST or contrived shit, just... realness. And the characters grow. There's just something about the way Santino can break my heart that works so well for me. Recommend this and the first, Sutphin Blvd, so much.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥

    After reading “Sutphin Boulevard” and loving the story and its characters I actually had no other choice than to read “Sunset Park”. Especially because I knew that Raymond and David were going to be the next couple! *lol* I already loved Ray’s character in the first book and I was really curious to find out how his relationship with David was going to improve and change. In “Sutphin Boulevard” there was already so much chemistry between them and they were just too cute to even think about passin After reading “Sutphin Boulevard” and loving the story and its characters I actually had no other choice than to read “Sunset Park”. Especially because I knew that Raymond and David were going to be the next couple! *lol* I already loved Ray’s character in the first book and I was really curious to find out how his relationship with David was going to improve and change. In “Sutphin Boulevard” there was already so much chemistry between them and they were just too cute to even think about passing on this book! I always hated the thought of David and Michael, but Ray and David? Yesh! Count me in! XD Of course there were a lot of intimate moments between those two boys and yes they once again were pretty intense and very detailed. For some crazy reason I wasn’t as shocked as I was when I read the first book though. Were the sex scenes less fierce and passionate than in the first book? No! Did I blush when I read them? HELL YES!!! So yeah, I really don’t know why I considered them to be okay and why my shame level actually seems to have slackened. Maybe I’m just getting used to all the sex and smut? *lol* Jeez!!! Santino what did you do to me? *LOL* Anyway, back to my review! ;-P The plot: The storyline is easily told. Michael and Nunzio are finally in a solid relationship and decided to move in together. Unfortunately this also means that Ray has to move out of his parent’s old house and now that he managed to lose his new job, he actually has no other option than to live in a shared flat. Of course David offers Ray his help and in the end they both come to the conclusion that it would be best if they become roommates. No sooner said than done, they find a flat and move in together and as you can already guess, this is actually the moment where the fun begins. ;-) “You'll kill each other," Michael noted. "You're OCD, and my brother is a slob." "That's why it's perfect," I said, warming up to the idea. "He'll be my slave.” The characters: As always: Tread carefully, there will be many spoilers in the character’s section and if you don’t want to read them I suggest to stop reading now! Pirates, ye be warned! Raymond: ”While nothing had happened to cause my brother to regress, Michael was my polar opposite. He took on all the responsibilities and worried too much, while I took on nothing and gave no fucks. However, since Michael’s trip to rehab, the Rodriguez ruminate-and-worry gene had activated in me as well.” *sigh* I just love Ray. He’s such a gentle and caring person and he always tries to hide it behind his rather gruff and forthright demeanour. It was so nice to read his POV and I really enjoyed being able to get a glimpse at his true self. Behind all of his carefully built walls there was actually a very sweet personality and no matter how tough he tried to come across, you could still see that there was a lot of good in him. On the one hand I couldn’t help but had to admire him for being so self-confident and direct, on the other hand his wish to keep his bisexuality a secret kind of killed me though. I mean I know why he didn’t want his brother and his friends to know and I could understand his wish to be an individual that’s just interested in both sexes, the way Ray acted he always ended up hurting David though. I’m sure that if they would have managed to have a serious talk half of their problems would have been easily solved, but unfortunately both of their natures were just too short-tempered to even get a chance to get to this point. *lol* ”It said something about me that I’d rather admit to embarrassing things than be called a liar, but the cat was out of the bag. I was already past giving a sweet goddamn.” ”People looked at me and wondered what I’d been doing since my high school graduation. Why my work history was only a year old. How I’d paid rent. Who had supported me. Why my older brother didn’t influence me to do something with myself. What I thought I was doing with my life. And even if people didn’t say it aloud, I could see the questions in their eyes. The judgment.” David: ”I wound my arms around his waist and laid my cheek against his chest. His hand found its way into my hair, and when he started to run his fingers through it, I tried not to read too much into it. We always did this. He knew I was a clinger, and he’d adapted accordingly.” When David was introduced in “Sutphin Boulevard” I really thought him to be a spoiled and insecure brat, but the more I got to know him the more I begun to like him. Yes, he is insecure and yes he had a very nice and good upbringing, he isn’t even half as bad as I thought him to be though. Truth be told, David is actually the embodiment of a righteous and caring man and if I’m completely honest, I really had no other choice than to love him for it! He always tried everything possible in order to help the others and even though almost everyone made it a habit to push him away, he still tried to make it work; he still tried to take care of the people he cared about. ”I can’t help it, I guess. I just want to know why people make the choices they do. Maybe if I understood, I wouldn’t be so frustrated when people don’t agree with my point of view.” ”After finding the Bible and other pictures of them as children, I’d cried for an hour. I’d been mortified when he found me sitting that way in the middle of the floor with the box open beside me. I couldn’t even think about losing both my parents so close together, and I couldn’t imagine how he must feel, let alone actually feeling it. I’d tried to explain this to him while blubbering, expected and pleaded for ridicule just to distract myself, but he’d kissed my forehead and let me sniffle into his shirt while rubbing my back.” After all his former relationships it definitely wasn’t all too hard to understand why he wanted Ray to make some sort of commitment and whenever Ray denied him his love I just couldn’t help it but had to cringe. It hurt to read David’s POV and all I wanted was them to be happy and to say those damn three words!!! *LOL* ”But what would come out of that? Would we be fuck buddies? Pretend boyfriends until he woke up from his extended, bisexual fever dream? It was only a matter of time before he found a girl he liked. Women loved Raymond. A simple trip to the grocery store resulted in multiple pairs of eyes following him and several double takes.” Which actually finally brings me to my rant about their complicated relationship! Jeez! Everything would have been so much easier if they would have stopped for a minute and would have been honest about their feelings! *lol* Michael and Nunzio could see it, David’s parents could see it, their friends could see it, every person who read this book could see it, but DAMN David and Ray were so freaking oblivious! XD ”It all felt so cozy and domestic that I had an urge to sit close to him and try to prompt more conversation between him and my parents as the snow started outside. That’s what happened, except I kept what I thought was a safe distance and an even expression until Raymond asked if I still wanted hot chocolate. The sweet considerate business was going to be my undoing.” I just loved, loved and loved the way they acted around each other and I simply adored their interaction! They were just too cute to be true and my heart ached whenever they were close to each other! Their gentle and sweet gestures and the fact they constantly felt a need to touch… Gosh! This was my undoing! XD ”The way you two behave? There’s more chemistry between you and Raymond than I ever saw with your past boyfriends. It seemed so natural and easy with him. And the way you look at him – “ There was so much love between those two and their chemistry literally killed me! ”But then David clamped his hands around my upper arms to prevent me from escaping. The slide of his fingers over my skin was so welcome that I stopped pulling away. When he moved them up to knead the knots in my shoulders, I nearly sighed in relief. His affection wasn’t just something I tolerated. I fucking craved it. It was strange how I could be so hungry for something I’d never known I needed.” Santino Hassell is truly a master at the art of writing intriguing and three-dimensional characters and this book definitely lived up to all of my expectations. No, if I’m entirely honest I’d even go as far as to say that it actually exceeded them! XD David and Ray were so complex and beautifully written! It actually was more than just amazing! =) It was a pleasure to read their easy banter and I just couldn’t get enough of their quiet and harmonious moments. ”He was so still that it was hard to get excited. It felt like I was molesting him. Or at least it did until his large hand moved up my back and his fingers delved into the hair at the nape of my neck. He cupped my head, pulled me closer, and kissed me the way I knew he kissed the beautiful girls who followed him around. Gave me a taste of what had kept them coming back for more.” Of course there were a lot of angry and bad conversations as well, in the end they always somehow managed to pour oil on troubled water though. I think it was their willingness to invest into their feelings that finally got under my skin. They were both so different but their love for each other was strong enough to bridge the gap! XD ”I don’t know what I think about you. You like it when I fuck you. You like spending time with me. You told me you loved me.” Raymond flashed a tight smile when I tensed. “Yeah, I heard that. And I know you heard me. But you still left my bed that night.” Gosh to read this book was sometimes so frustrating. I mean how could they be so honest and then be so insecure at the same time? *lol* It was maddening, but it was oh so bittersweet! XD But that final moment, when they actually managed to have a good conversation, I swear it was worth all of the pain!!! ”So just let me love you and stop being a punk about it.” You just gotta love Ray’s honesty! XD All told, I really loved the book and in some way I even think it might have been even better than “Sutphin Boulevard”. =))) Santino you are a genius!!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Optimist ♰King's Wench♰

    review removed

  11. 5 out of 5

    Megan Erickson

    Better than the first (Sutphin Boulevard) and that's saying something because Nunzio's mouth should win awards. Santino has a way of writing super hot novels, and yet filling them with so much character growth. Not saying it can't be done but it's not easy to write books, yo! Raymond's journey over this novel was real and so relatable. I loved how he scowled. I love how David got underneath that scowl. And I love how David finally found someone who could make him happy and yet didn't coddle him. Better than the first (Sutphin Boulevard) and that's saying something because Nunzio's mouth should win awards. Santino has a way of writing super hot novels, and yet filling them with so much character growth. Not saying it can't be done but it's not easy to write books, yo! Raymond's journey over this novel was real and so relatable. I loved how he scowled. I love how David got underneath that scowl. And I love how David finally found someone who could make him happy and yet didn't coddle him. These two are so opposites attract yet they work so well together. I think that's what strikes me so much about Santino's books. They are a journey. A character study. He thinks about where his characters are when the book starts and steps they need to take to get to the end. Nothing is wasted. And they get there on their own, finding love along the way. With hot sex. Heh. This series is one to watch. Glad I'm along for the ride. :)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dalia

    4.5 stars Raymond Rodriguez's older brother, Michael, wants to move in together with his boyfriend, Nunzio, and rent the house he and Raymond currently live in. No matter how much Raymond doesn't like the sound of that, he can't hold Michael back. He has to behave like a real adult and quit depending on his brother to handle everything. When his out-and-proud friend, David, offers him to rent a new apartment together, he thinks it's as a good place to start being responsible. David Butler isn't an 4.5 stars Raymond Rodriguez's older brother, Michael, wants to move in together with his boyfriend, Nunzio, and rent the house he and Raymond currently live in. No matter how much Raymond doesn't like the sound of that, he can't hold Michael back. He has to behave like a real adult and quit depending on his brother to handle everything. When his out-and-proud friend, David, offers him to rent a new apartment together, he thinks it's as a good place to start being responsible. David Butler isn't anything like Raymond's ususal crowd of friends, but they recently became close to each other. David assumes his roommate is straight until he admits he's bi-curious. Their growing attraction, mixed emotions and sexual tension lead to fighting and frustration. They figure things out slowly, sometimes with the help of the others, sometimes on their own, but when they do it, they make sure they do it for good. I didn't just want him - I needed him. He wasn't just one of a few options. He was a fucking necessity. I really enjoyed the dual POV. It was great to see Raymond and David's relationship from different perspectives and to know what's going on inside their heads. David didn't make the best first appearence in Sutphin Boulevard and I wasn't a fan of him back then. However, this book made me like him. The way Raymond and David act so natural around one another is heartwarming and the chemistry between the two of them is palpable. The ending they got made very happy. This review has been cross-posted at Gay Book Reviews.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**

    Review and rating removed.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Reads Ravenously

    Quick review: I really enjoyed this one, I was intrigued by these two when they were introduced in the first book and I think they really worked well together. Not a 5 because I feel a lot of issues were really brushed over/rushed near the end. Santino really knows how to bring on the heat!! I cannot wait to read the rest of this series.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nazanin

    3.5-3.75 Stars Reymond and David are friends for six months. They met when Raymond visited his brother in the rehab and also David is his brother’s colleagues. Raymond’s twenty-five, lives with his brother and recently got fired from his job and didn’t tell his brother but now his brother wants to move in with his boyfriend and rent the house. Raymond is bi-curious, so David offers Raymond to be roommates and meanwhile he can experiment with David! I liked Raymond character. He’s a bit funny and h 3.5-3.75 Stars Reymond and David are friends for six months. They met when Raymond visited his brother in the rehab and also David is his brother’s colleagues. Raymond’s twenty-five, lives with his brother and recently got fired from his job and didn’t tell his brother but now his brother wants to move in with his boyfriend and rent the house. Raymond is bi-curious, so David offers Raymond to be roommates and meanwhile he can experiment with David! I liked Raymond character. He’s a bit funny and hot especially when he got jealous… but on the contrary I didn’t like David so much! First of all, I couldn’t understand his problem with his ex until the very end! And if he is his ex why he always let him come to his life! (view spoiler)[Or why he cheated on him! if he didn’t like him why not broke up for good and why cheating! (hide spoiler)] Second, his insecurity was on my nerves! Actually in my eye he was like a child! Told in dual POV, 1st person. It’s the second installment in the Five Boroughs series, standalone with character crossover. All in all, I enjoyed it and hope you like it as well!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    Ohhh mannnn this book. This book was everything I wanted it to be and more. See, when I first started reading M/M Romance wayyy back in 2009, when Bareback was my first read in the genre, I was fine with reading about (as Julio would probably put it) escandalo for escandalo's sake. I didn't mind the obvious over-the-top-ness and the drama that permeated the stories I was reading. I enjoyed it for what it was and, at the end of the day, was happy to be reading about gay men doing thangs and havin Ohhh mannnn this book. This book was everything I wanted it to be and more. See, when I first started reading M/M Romance wayyy back in 2009, when Bareback was my first read in the genre, I was fine with reading about (as Julio would probably put it) escandalo for escandalo's sake. I didn't mind the obvious over-the-top-ness and the drama that permeated the stories I was reading. I enjoyed it for what it was and, at the end of the day, was happy to be reading about gay men doing thangs and having their happy endings when all was said and done. No, not THOSE kinds of happy endings, you perv! Well, not always those kinds. But anyway, now that I've gotten somewhat more mature (pffft)... I mean more discerning in my reading tastes, I tend to like my M/M a little more realistic. I'm not and never have been the type of person to look for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or to think the glass is half full. I don't want all my romances to end in marriage and babies or in perfectly happy lovey dovey-ness because that's not how it goes in real life. And while many people read the romance genre because they want their fluffy respite from the world (nothing wrong with that, of course), I read it for the chance to get a peek into another person's life (because I'm nosy). I read M/M Romance because a lot of Gay Lit is super depressing from beginning to end and I still prefer to revel in a gay man's right to have a happy life surrounded by people he loves and that love him (and not just for the sexy times). So where does this book fit into that? Well, it was perfection is what it was. Yes there was drama. Yes there was pessimism. Yes there were many, many times that I wanted to just shake Raymond and then David and then both of them at the same time, and then separately again. But you know what? It was honest. It was raw. It felt like I knew them or had met people like them, or would in the future. It felt real. It felt like New York, and the hopes and dreams and despair of people that live there now or hope to live there in the future. And you know what? That's everything I could wish for in a Romancenovel. So hats off to you, Santino Hassell, and I hope to see much, much, MUCH more from you in the future; hopefully with more contemporary romance with New York as a backdrop. Edited to add: Oh, and did I forget to mention how hot it was? Yep, seems like I did. Welp! It was HOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT.... TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT Umm... yeah. It was.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gaby

    Review Removed.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa North

    I've been struggling with how to review this book nearly since I first read it--which was the same week I read its predecessor, Sutphin Boulevard. So I'm going to try to keep it simple: Raymond is my favorite. I could go on about the things I love about his character--his unflinching honesty about what he wants, the fact that he mouths off to his boss at his shitty office job, the adorkableness of his home life with David... I have so much affection for him as a character, but even more deeply, I I've been struggling with how to review this book nearly since I first read it--which was the same week I read its predecessor, Sutphin Boulevard. So I'm going to try to keep it simple: Raymond is my favorite. I could go on about the things I love about his character--his unflinching honesty about what he wants, the fact that he mouths off to his boss at his shitty office job, the adorkableness of his home life with David... I have so much affection for him as a character, but even more deeply, I recognized him, and I hurt for him. Which brings me to David. There's this thing that happens, it's one of those ugly things about the LGBTQ community that is frustrating for bisexual or pansexual identifying individuals. A certain manifestation of biphobia--our sexuality is assumed to be a "stage" or a "phase" we're passing through, and therefore all kinds of judgments about our morality and our ability to commit to a partner are placed on us based on the idea that bi or pansexuality is temporary state and not a valid identity. David, you see, begins this relationship totally into fooling around with Raymond and fucking and all kinds of super hot sexytimes. But boyfriends? nah. He treats Raymond as though his sexuality, and therefore his feelings, his desires, and his affection are all something temporary. And you know what? If you've ever been on the receiving end of that kind of treatment? It sucks. it hurts. there was a scene in this book that made me bawl my eyes out because it hurt to read, it hurt to feel those things again, even on someone else's behalf. The thing is--I totally get David's fears and worries for himself too. I could totally identify and relate when I was in his POV. And when David and Raymond did work it out, I was happy for BOTH of them. But Raymond? That guy stole my heart. Broke it a little. Put it back together. So when I try to sum up my feelings about this book, it's easiest just to say that Raymond is my favorite.

  19. 4 out of 5

    *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time

    3.75 stars! Unfortunately due to the holidays (and lack of proper internet) I can't properly review this one. I do like this series. It's very addicting. The writing, the characters, the story....its just sucks you right in. I just wish there was more romance. Once again, our MCs aren't a couple most of the book. But I loved Raymond. And I liked David. I'm really glad this one wasn't as heavy and depressing as the last one. It was still heavy and more of an emotional read. And the steam....holy w 3.75 stars! Unfortunately due to the holidays (and lack of proper internet) I can't properly review this one. I do like this series. It's very addicting. The writing, the characters, the story....its just sucks you right in. I just wish there was more romance. Once again, our MCs aren't a couple most of the book. But I loved Raymond. And I liked David. I'm really glad this one wasn't as heavy and depressing as the last one. It was still heavy and more of an emotional read. And the steam....holy wow!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    The more I read the more I know this author is not for me. http://riptidepublishing.com/a-statem... The more I read the more I know this author is not for me. http://riptidepublishing.com/a-statem...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Wendys Wycked Words

    After reading book 1, I skipped this one, because David really wasn't my favorite person. I jumped right into book 3. However with book 4 coming out and it being about the same couple as book 2, I had no choice but to put on my big girl panties and give it a go. I'm glad to say that it was way better than I expected. The MC's didn't annoy me as much as I thought they would. The sexscenes were also scorching hot, which is a real plus in my book ;) I do have to say that Nunzio and Michael are still After reading book 1, I skipped this one, because David really wasn't my favorite person. I jumped right into book 3. However with book 4 coming out and it being about the same couple as book 2, I had no choice but to put on my big girl panties and give it a go. I'm glad to say that it was way better than I expected. The MC's didn't annoy me as much as I thought they would. The sexscenes were also scorching hot, which is a real plus in my book ;) I do have to say that Nunzio and Michael are still my favorite in this series !! I shouldn't have worried, since this is a Santino Hassell book after all ;) Ofcourse I jumped right into book 4 after finishing this one and so far I'm really impressed with that one as well !!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Review Removed

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shile

    Rating removed ****************************************************** Audio Re-read. 5++++ stars for round 2, the audiobook narrated Michael Ferraiuolo brought these characters to life. (view spoiler)[ Santino's writing *sighs* is my drag of choice. This guy can write so effortlessly. "You have all these different identities. Being gay or bi is just a fraction of who you are. You're primarily New Yorkers, but also Puerto Rican or Italian, lapsed Catholics, and then there's the other parts--sons and br Rating removed ****************************************************** Audio Re-read. 5++++ stars for round 2, the audiobook narrated Michael Ferraiuolo brought these characters to life. (view spoiler)[ Santino's writing *sighs* is my drag of choice. This guy can write so effortlessly. "You have all these different identities. Being gay or bi is just a fraction of who you are. You're primarily New Yorkers, but also Puerto Rican or Italian, lapsed Catholics, and then there's the other parts--sons and brothers, teachers, gamers, etcetera." I loved that the characters felt real. With real problems, fears, insecurities. Raymond and David’s story was exhausting, frustrating and funny to read. Rayvid deserved to be together, their relationship was so fucked up, but they cared and loved each other. Polar opposites yet they fit. The chemistry between the two is there from the beginning and off the charts. Raymond, I loved this guy, he was easygoing, honest, blunt and damn hot. I loved his character growth from, the lazy pothead who did not give a shit about anything, to a man who started thinking about life and shit, and the way he cared about David warmed me inside. Oh, come on, man.” Raymond tapped his fingers against the table. “I’ve never treated anyone the way I treat you. Not even Crystal, and I figured eventually it would get there with her, but it never did. I never wanted to show anyone affection before you. Never wanted to meet their fucking friends or their parents, or even make enough of an effort to leave the house and take them out.” David! David! Oh my! he got on my nerves, I wanted to smack him, and get all the insecurities and doubts out of him. At the same time, I understood him, he wanted safe and let’s face it,Ray was Ray. He felt guilty for cheating on Caleb and wanted to make it up by being Caleb’s friend, and Caleb just let him feel that way. His bad decisions in the past made him doubt his relationship with Raymond. “My jealous streak ran long and wide and was strong enough to decimate small villages.” "In high school, creating entire fantasy relationships out of minor interactions had been a wretched hobby of mine." The sex scenes were dirty, desperate and so hot. I pulled away from him with a slurp, licked my lips, and slid my hands beneath his knees. Shoving him back onto the machine with his thighs pressed into his chest, I leaned forward again, and began tasting the rest of him. I sucked his balls in my mouth, licked his taint, and was gripping him with trembling hands by the time I was lapping his hole with my tongue. Steady ah, ah, ahhh gasps fell from David’s lips, accompanied by the sound of his hand sliding roughly over his cock. The banter was on point as usual. My door clicked shut, and the bed rocked as David plopped down next to me. “I’m not teaching summer school, so I have nothing better to do than coming to see your charming face.” “Go away,” I muffled out. “I’m busy.” “You look super busy.” “I’m busy willing multiple people to be hit by cars.” “Am I on the list?” “No. But you could be.” That Kiss that started it all *Le sigh* Our lips sealed together, then parted, and smoke billowed from his mouth into mine. I sucked it in, wondering if this could even get me high, and slid forward on his lap. Our crotches pressed together and his hand rose to hold on to my hip. While smoke escaped the seam of our mouths, I flicked my tongue to his. His fingers tightened against my hip, and I delved my tongue inside less tentatively. He was so still that it was hard to get excited. It felt like I was molesting him. Or at least it did until his large hand moved up my back and his fingers delved into the hair at the nape of my neck. I loved this book! Loved the cuddling sessions,the gentle touches, David playing with Ray’s hair, Raymond holding David’s hand unconsciously during the house hunting. I loved seeing Nunzio and Michael. I can’t believe Santino made me love Caleb and Oli in book 3. Because in this book I wanted to strangle them. “I’m not straight, you idiot. Or did you miss it the last two times I had my dick in your ass?” I didn't just want him - I needed him. He wasn't just one of a few options. He was a fucking necessity. 1st Read ******************************************************** I really enjoyed Raymond and David's Story ..their intimacy was so real and their friendship was also believable.. even though David came of as a drama queen sometimes i actually understood him he just wanted to be loved.. and Raymond i fell in love with him deeply.. these two belong together. I love Santino's Writing the characters are so believable... Highly recommended im off to book 3 (hide spoiler)]

  24. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    i literally cannot even fucking function atm. i'm a mess. i'm so sorry. god. review and rating withdrawn. i literally cannot even fucking function atm. i'm a mess. i'm so sorry. god. review and rating withdrawn.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dia

    5 BIG stars for Ray and David!!! At last 5 BIG stars! I rate this wonderful book with 5 stars full of joy! It hurt me not to give Sutphin Boulevard 5 full stars, because I love Santino's writing! But Sunset Park really kept me glued to the pages. I read it in one standing and it was absolutely amazing! Exactly what I needed! Ray David We met Ray - Michael's younger brother, in the first book. At 25 he didn't have a job being kind of lazy. He suffered a lot after losing both parents in such 5 BIG stars for Ray and David!!! At last 5 BIG stars! I rate this wonderful book with 5 stars full of joy! It hurt me not to give Sutphin Boulevard 5 full stars, because I love Santino's writing! But Sunset Park really kept me glued to the pages. I read it in one standing and it was absolutely amazing! Exactly what I needed! Ray David We met Ray - Michael's younger brother, in the first book. At 25 he didn't have a job being kind of lazy. He suffered a lot after losing both parents in such short time, less than a year. He almost lost Michael too and I think it was the moment he started acting like a real man. He convinced Michael to go to rehab and he took a job. I admit I was afraid he will be such a baby in the second book. Somehow I couldn't picture him as a tough guy, but he became sure of himself and it was nice discovering his strenght. As a lover he was so jealous. I loved his possessiveness!!! David was kind of sweet - I imagined a cute, lovely blond man. In the first book I didn't like him much, I admit. He cheated his boyfriend and drank like a fish. But in Sunset Park I started to like him more and more. He was so into Ray, wanted to be his friend and then tried not to fall in love with him but failed. This book was so HOT, the slow burning was killing me. Such a beautiful friends to lovers story! I loved Ray's curiosity and David's need to help him explore. I loved it all - their fears, the way they got closer and closer. It was awesome! Caleb got on my nerves, but it was David's fault he came into their lives. He seemed very demanding, and kind of a control freak, but I hope his story with Oli will make me love him too.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Eva

    Enjoyed with my ladies from Monday 7 March 2016 here Same city New story Great story. I loved the first one better though. Will there be more? Enjoyed with my ladies from Monday 7 March 2016 here Same city New story Great story. I loved the first one better though. Will there be more?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Line

    Because of GR rules: http://riptidepublishing.com/a-statem... See comments for the rest. Because of GR rules: http://riptidepublishing.com/a-statem... See comments for the rest.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I expected a romance, but what I got was an awful lot of insecurity, a lot of selfishness, kissing, groping and talking about sex with other people, fights between Raymond and David, oh and don’t forget the angry sex (which almost felt like rape since David said NO several times, no matter how much he eventually enjoyed it). Raymond and David are friends (no idea why), when David suggests they become roommates. When Raymond tells David he is bi-curious, David offers to experiment with him… All in I expected a romance, but what I got was an awful lot of insecurity, a lot of selfishness, kissing, groping and talking about sex with other people, fights between Raymond and David, oh and don’t forget the angry sex (which almost felt like rape since David said NO several times, no matter how much he eventually enjoyed it). Raymond and David are friends (no idea why), when David suggests they become roommates. When Raymond tells David he is bi-curious, David offers to experiment with him… All in secret of course, because Raymond doesn’t want anyone else to know about ‘his business’. This had an overall sense gloom. No one was actually happy. They all seemed hell bent on making their lives as difficult as possible. No one actually sat down and talked about how they really felt. Raymond was an ass about just anything (from David’s friends to David himself) and David was acting like the biggest drama queen there ever was. I still don’t get what the deal was with David and his ex, Caleb. David did not want to get back together, but he also wasn’t ready to let him go, so he just let Caleb sleep in his bed when it snowed too much to go home. Yes, because that’s so helpful in his relationship with Raymond. Oh wait, there was no relationship, just angry friendship with some sex thrown in. And don’t forget the massive amounts of weed these guys were smoking. Apparently that’s friendship (because I saw no other moments these guys actually got along). I didn’t like anyone in this. They all gave me a massive headache. The audio was great though!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tamika♥RBF MOOD♥

    *****Breaking News****** This just became my favorite book of the year. Review @Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words "Life wasn't always fun, and sex wasn't always fireworks and explosions, craving each other and needing it so badly you visualized your partner throughout the day. That was always his implication, and I 'd accepted it every time-David" Dear Santino Hassell, This might not make sense to anyone reading except me. I apologize in advance for the rambling. I've had the hardest time trying t *****Breaking News****** This just became my favorite book of the year. Review @Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words "Life wasn't always fun, and sex wasn't always fireworks and explosions, craving each other and needing it so badly you visualized your partner throughout the day. That was always his implication, and I 'd accepted it every time-David" Dear Santino Hassell, This might not make sense to anyone reading except me. I apologize in advance for the rambling. I've had the hardest time trying to put together words for this beautiful story. I don't think I can say what I really feel on GR. LOL. I read this book on 12.11 & the next day as well. I finished it the first time and had all these thoughts going in my head. I know it was good, but I couldn't stop thinking of these two. They were everywhere. So the next day I picked it up, and paced myself while reading it. Well I still feel like this review isn't going to do justice on great this story is. The impact the characters had on me was so personal to me. This was my relationship 10 years ago without the happy ending, the rich guy or me picking Raymond. It was the conversations, the emotions, and the explosions that I can definitely relate to. I understand David's decisions and thought process. I even get Raymond's no ambition issues. I get it all. It's so graciously written in a way that this is the real world people. S.H. did an amazing job writing these two. It was so raw, real, and heart pounding good. I've swooned over this book for the last week now. Talked to multiple people on why this is my favorite book of the year. I've even stared at this book's Pinterest board. The dialogue, story, and characters are ingrained in my skin it seems like. I wrote out 2 pages for this review, and can't seem to type it. I don't have the words to explain how I feel about these two correctly. Sure David from book one was so annoying. This David is amazing; he's a Teacher so I understand his thought process a little bit more. He needs to think things out, and ask questions. He's curious, and wants to know why. He's all super supportive of Raymond. He sees this bright aura around Raymond that no one else does. Just reading from his p-o-v you can tell that when he feel in loved. It's written across his face, his those little things that he does for Raymond. Raymond should be put on the damn pedestal. That man is wonderful. IF I had to place him in my world he has definitely earned his spot amongst Reyes, Zane, and Cole. Now Raymond is up there. They only difference from them are that I get Raymond's lack of ambition. We have to think on his culture. It's similar to mine. He's a young guy spoiled, mom takes care of everything. Doesn't have to pay bills, but stay at home smoke weed and play video games. The lack of ambition is because he never had to think about it. I really love Raymond because when he puts his mind on doing something he does it. He didn't get defeated about life, yeah he was unhappy with his job situation but he never gave up. Another reason why I <3 him so much is because he accepted his bisexuality with no qualms. He didn't get defensive, or mean. He owned up to it. It was his feelings, emotions, and he made them apart of himself. The actual feelings of the book had me in a gushy mess. First of all, I was at like a low-burning candle throughout the entire book. Arousal central people. I don't even know if I can write that. LOL. Jeez the man knows how to write a sex scene. A romance scene, a cuddling scene, even a damn weed scene. I've re-read that Grindr and Laundry scene up to 6 times now. I know, I counted but I loved it. If someone could get me one thing for Christmas it would be my straddling Raymond's lap shotgunning a hit! I hope this review is adequate enough. I loved it, and I wish people could have read it from my eyes. Sincerely Raymonds' RBF Out

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cristopher

    4.5 STARS! Shit if this didn't rile me up, made me swoon, made me salivating, cranked me up laughing, made me wanting to punch a face whenever someone would disturb me from reading and made me look like a stupid zombie in the office just because I couldn't stop. I've traded hours of sleep, lunch breaks, socializing, and doing anything else for this. I. Just. Cant. Put. It. Down. Told in dual POV, Raymond & David. At the age of 25, Raymond was a bum, content with smoking his pot, playing his video ga 4.5 STARS! Shit if this didn't rile me up, made me swoon, made me salivating, cranked me up laughing, made me wanting to punch a face whenever someone would disturb me from reading and made me look like a stupid zombie in the office just because I couldn't stop. I've traded hours of sleep, lunch breaks, socializing, and doing anything else for this. I. Just. Cant. Put. It. Down. Told in dual POV, Raymond & David. At the age of 25, Raymond was a bum, content with smoking his pot, playing his video games, refusing to get a job, dependent on his older brother Michael.. “Michael was my polar opposite. He took on all the responsibilities and worried too much, while I took on nothing and gave no fucks” Gave no fucks. Lol! This guy is full of attitude. Brash and straightforward, and lazy. But don't let that fool you. He gave this book full of colors especially when he's a bicurious willing to explore and experiment.. and being in his head was totally something of a fresh air. No nonsense beating around the bush, just him. And what he feels, and what he thinks, other's opinions be damned. So when his brother moves out of their house to live with his partner Nunzio, he was forced to get his shit together and start acting his age, meaning getting a job, and taking responsibilities like paying rent and bills. Moving out of their house, he took an apartment with David. His brother's colleague, gay and out, and proud and well...irritating. (Sorry, just had to really say it.) So... David. The fucking drama queen. Okay. I didn't think this story would work out the first time I've figured it'd be him in it. The first book just didn't paint him in much of a good light. But he's okay. Really, he is. He's logical and overthinks at times but considering his background..it made sense. "In high school, creating entire fantasy relationships out of minor interactions had been a wretched hobby of mine." He's very gay for my taste. Lol! But that's okay. He's lovable and charming and most of the time, I think he's relatable. With all those fears that held him back, and thirst that made him stupidly barging on to "help" Raymond figure out his bi-curiosity. But he's the reason for that missing half of a star! I fucking hate that he couldn't get his shit together, hate that he'd made Raymond suffer unnecessarily. I mean, bitch, you're totally into the guy but kept on dodging him, playing hard to fucking get. I really wanna bury my fist in his face. *** Anyways. So they're opposite as north and south, you'd wonder why are they even friends. Prim and proper, while the other one is rude and unconcern. When they moved together, it was a total riot. Attraction and sexual tension flared up. I swear, it's scorching. Santino could write some dirty steamy sex scenes that made me.. Lets skip that bit. Yea. Lol! I didn't want to make this very long. But my fingers got a blabbermouth. I couldn't applause more for the way it's written. Engaging. Imaginative. Detailed in a fun way. Very millennial. All in all. Santino, man. You are one hell of a writer. Hats off! :)

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