OVERSIGHT by Santino Hassell
Series: The Community, Book #2
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date (Print & Ebook): June 26th, 2017
Length (Print & Ebook): 242 pages
Subgenre: Romantic Suspense, Paranormal
Links: (Amazon, B&N, etc are available on release day)
Shel: Is all PNR like this because if it is then why the hell haven't I been reading more of it more often? I'm such a newb when it comes to PNR but if it's anything like the world Santino Hassell has created with this series than I'm one part pissed at myself for not getting into this scene earlier (with the exception of Anne Rice and her Nola Vampires) and one part excited about a whole new world of books that is opening to me. I love how this series blends the world I know into one I don't inhabit (to my knowledge) and makes me seriously question whether psychics exist. Seriously. Mr. Hassell is so convincing in his characterization and world building that it doesn't seem out of the norm that pys on every part of the spectrum could be walking around me right now *shrugs* either I'm that gullible or Hassell is that good (I'm going with the later, for obvious reasons). Court: Shel! Yes! LOL! This is what I've been saying! Now...there is so much to love about this world and it is a world that sucks you in immediately and it multifaceted in a complex way but still tugs at your heart in all of the right moments. The writing is so good, and the characters are complex (I said that I know, but you have no idea how important this is) and the plot is complex and the setting feels like another character. I felt so many emotions in this and any given page might change how those emotions were processed. But at this point, all I can say is wow! Gimme more!
Shel: In addition to creating a convincing PNR world, Hassell also convinced me to actually like Holden--somehow turning him from a somewhat douchey charm-meister into a man who I ended up feeling a lot of empathy for. And I think that Six was an important part of this change. Actually, there were a few people who may have nudged him along, but Six was the one that had the most significant impact. His lack of tolerance for Holden's bullshit, his unwavering honesty, and his calm and steady influence all helped spur Holden into action. I enjoyed how Hassell created them for each other and how they were equally responsible for helping break down or through barriers that they each used as protective mechanisms. I also liked the dichotomy I imagined between the two- a hardness and a softness, gruffness and charm, experienced and inexperienced--it really worked for me. Court: It did. I also think there are a lot of observations spurned by Six that Holden experienced in how he used his gift to manipulate people. I think that really affected him in a profound way...if we could know what people are feeling at any given moment...and were able to say and do things based on that...just wow. He pondered if any of his interpersonal relationships were ever real, and definitely knew that most of his sexual ones weren't...it really made him grow as a character and I really enjoyed all of the character development intermixed in with all of the action and suspense.
Shel: Additionally, I enjoyed the way the suspense built and the tension amped up as the novel raced toward the end. I'm just as anxious as ever to see how things will end up for all of these characters. The ending of Oversight has me hungry for answers about so many things and eager to see which of those things Hassell focuses on in the last book. He's done a really great job of handling PNR and romance and suspense and really keeping the threads of all of those things going in a way that is interesting and satisfying while keeping me on edge as I wait for more. Court: Urban fantasy somewhat fits this too...that we're in a realistic setting really makes it all the more believable for us. I fell in love with some characters that we didn't even get to meet and now all that much, and hated others. I really went through the ringer with my emotions, and I have to say...I cannot wait for the next book! You should read this right away because it is amazing.
Spoiler Alert! The following blurb contains spoilers for Insight, book one of The Community.
Holden Payne has it all . . . or so he thinks. As heir to the founder of the Community—an organization that finds, protects, and manages psychics—he’s rich, powerful, and treated like royalty. But after a series of disappearances and murders rock the Community, he’s branded the fall guy for the scandal and saddled with a babysitter.
Sixtus Rossi is a broad-shouldered, tattooed lumbersexual with a man-bun and a steely gaze. He’s also an Invulnerable—supposedly impervious to both psychic abilities and Holden’s charms. It’s a claim Holden takes as a challenge. Especially if sleeping with Six may help him learn whether the Community had more to do with the disappearances than they claimed.
As Holden uncovers the truth, he also finds himself getting in deep with the man sent to watch him. His plan to seduce Six for information leads to a connection so intense that some of Six’s shields come crashing down. And with that comes a frightening realization: Holden has to either stand by the Community that has given him everything, or abandon his old life to protect the people he loves.
Six was sitting behind the desk, once again clad in a skintight polo buttoned up all the way but this time paired with cargo pants. As he sat on the edge of the chair with his thighs spread, Holden was waiting for all those muscles to burst the seams.
"Why do you dress like an extra from Jersey Shore?"
"I'd have to pop my collar for that." He only paused in his typing when a surprised laugh fell from Holden’s mouth. Raising an eyebrow at me, Six said, "Was I not supposed to get the reference?"
"Well, you're a cyborg so I didn't think you would."
Six turned in the chair so he was facing Holden. He had on his default neutral face, but a slight twitch of his brow and lip betrayed possible amusement at the comment. Was there some getting through to him after all, or were they destined to stare at each other in mutual blankness to see who could emote the least for the next… however long he'd be here as Holden's handler?
"Not having an empathy chip doesn't make me a cyborg. There are plenty of ways to figure someone out without feeling any of their vibes."
Holden crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the wall next to the desk. "As someone who was born with an empathy chip with elephantiasis, color me skeptical."
Six mirrored his post, crossing his arms and leaning back in the chair with his thighs spread. The view of thick thighs and a good sized bulge were a temptation Holden didn't try to resist. He glanced down twice before managing to hold Six's steady gaze.
Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.
Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.