Monday, November 13, 2017

REVIEW + EXCERPT+ GIVEAWAY: Citywide by Santino Hassell


Citywide (Five Boroughs #6)
 Publisher: Riptide Publishing
 Release Date (Print & Ebook): November 13, 2017
 Length (Print & Ebook): 100k words/367 pages
 Subgenre: Contemporary


I'm truly, madly, deeply in awe of Santino Hassell and his writing skills. It doesn't matter what he writes, he always nails it. In Citywide he puts us back into the Five Boroughs world and we get to see many of our favorites and the secondary characters we've longed to know more about. In each of these shorts, the story arc reads like long form. Each character grouping feels fully fleshed out and somehow leaves me completely satisfied and yet starving for more. It never fails that his characters pull me into their lives and have me longing to insert myself into their lives--I'd die to know these people in real life, to have them as my friends, to mess around with them/crack jokes with them/fall in love with them/be a friend to them--they seem like awesome people all thanks to Santino Hassell and his obvious love and care for the characters he creates. 

You guys are going to love this collection of stories and if you're anything like me, you're going to be dying to get your hands on the next thing he releases. Until then, happy reading. 

Book Blurb:

A record-breaking heat wave engulfs the Five Boroughs, and emotions run as hot as the temperatures.

In Rerouted, Chris Mendez is trying to live a drama-free life. That doesn't include another threesome with Jace and Aiden Fairbairn. But then a citywide blackout leaves them trapped together, and Chris is forced to re-examine everything he thought he knew about relationships and his own heart.

In Gridlocked, former Marine Tonya Maldonado is keeping real estate heiress Meredith Stone on permanent ignore. Mere isn't Tonya’s type. Not even close. Who cares if she kisses like a dream and has the filthiest mouth this side of the East River? But then a security detail at a summer party ends with her saving Mere's life and discovering they have more chemistry than she’d ever imagined.

In Derailed, Stephanie Quinones escapes the heat and her complicated love life by going on a company retreat. Trouble is, it's a couples’ retreat, and she lied about having a boyfriend. Unfortunately, the only person willing to play pretend is her on-again/off-again fling, Angel León. They’re currently "off again,” but after a week in the woods, Stephanie realizes she wouldn’t mind them being permanently on.


Without thinking about it, I grabbed her chin and made her meet my eyes. She was gnawing on her lower lip now, squirming in her tight little dress. I stepped closer.
“I go by either. Or you can call me Sergeant if you want to be cute about it.”
“I’m always cute,” she snapped.
I rolled my eyes. “This is why I fucking ignore you. You’re always doing the most and dying for attention. Making a big show of ice grilling me, so everyone in the vicinity is all up in my business, asking what I did to you. You have no chill, and it makes me tired.”
She cringed, shoulders hunching forward. “Fine. Sorry. I’ll never look in your direction again.”
It was the perfect opportunity to say, Cool, glad to hear it, and walk the fuck out, but I didn’t. Her flip-flopping between sassy immaturity, and bashful insecurity was starting to tug at my interest. I wondered how much of her attitude was an act. Or a shield she threw up when she was feeling unsure of herself.
“Why does it matter if I address you?” I asked, lowering my voice so it hopefully sounded less irritated. It was hard. I’d been born with my bastard father’s harsh tones, and I had to work to not sound aggressive. “We fucked once. Almost a year ago.”
She sucked her lower lip into her mouth and said nothing. I took another step forward until there was barely any space between us, and I didn’t miss her sharp inhale. Or the way her eyes briefly closed when I put a hand on her waist.
“Talk.” I dragged my thumb over the sheer part of her dress, feeling her smooth skin beneath. “Last opportunity.”
Mere shivered but wrenched her gaze up to my own. There was no challenge in her eyes this time. Just agonized desire. “I want another chance.”
“To do what?”
“To convince you to not walk away.” She lifted her hands, letting them hover on either side of my shoulders, before she slowly touched me. “To show you that I can ruin you just as badly as you ruined me.”

About Santino Hassell:
Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family but grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a grumpy introvert and unlikely romance author with an affinity for baseball caps. His novels are heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, and his desire to write relationships fueled by intensity and passion.

He’s been a finalist in both the Bisexual Book Awards and the EPIC Awards, and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award in 2017. His work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Washington Post, RT Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Connect with Santino: Website | Twitter | Instagram | FB Group | FB | GR | Tumblr

Giveaway: win 2 backlist e-copies of any Santino Hassell book:

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