Stygian (Review & Giveaway!)

Stygian (Review & Giveaway!)
Hi there!

Title: Stygian 

Author: Santino Hassell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Published Date: 26th October 2015
Rating: 5 stars
*Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for the review copy*
Synopsis: Jeremy
has been isolated and adrift since the death of his brother. Most people just
see him as the skinny emo kid who wears eyeliner and plays drums. No one gets
him. Nobody tries. He thought the indie rock band Stygian would become his
anchor, but—lost in their own problems—they’re far from the family he sought.

Still, hoping to get close to Kennedy, the
band’s enigmatic guitarist, he follows Stygian to northern Louisiana for a
summer retreat. They had planned to spend six weeks focusing on new music but
things go awry as soon as they arrive at the long-deserted Caroway mansion.
Tempers flare, sexual tension boils over into frustration, and Jeremy turns
away from the band to find a friend in his eerily beautiful landlord Hunter

Kennedy suspects there’s something off about the
creepy mansion and its mysterious owners, but Jeremy thinks he’s finally found
somewhere he fits. It isn’t until Kennedy forces the Caroway’s secrets into the
light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.

Review: I
have been putting off writing this review for the longest time possible simply
because I don’t quite have the words for this book. I’m going to try my best,
but I’m pretty my flailing everywhere, so hopefully you can decipher what I am
trying to convey through reading this one.
This was one of
my usual cases of, “Ooh, look at that pretty cover. Let’s read that! Should we
check the synopsis? Nope.” And this cover is gorgeous! But I really need to
stop doing that because: (i) I don’t read NA. (ii) Certainly not LGBT+ fiction
with a few exceptions. (iii) I don’t read books with this much swearing. So
basically, this book was EVERYTHING that I never read.
But I loved it.
So much so, that I will probably be reading more NA in the future.
This story
follows a band of four guys as they go on a music retreat because things seem
to be falling apart. The first thing I noticed was that these guys seem to
swear an awful lot. So if you don’t mind that in your reading, then you might
like this. It was a pretty big contrast from my usual classic and YA reads so it
bothered me in the beginning but the more you read, the more you get used to
The second thing
you quickly realise is that this book is very explicit. You can see it in the
first couple of pages. I would love to be able to tell you just how explicit so
you can determine whether this is for you or not, but I haven’t read enough NA
to have another book to compare this one too. But I will say it is a M/M
romance if this helps you decide anything yourself?
Jeremy has been
attracted to Kennedy for a long time and even though Quince and Watts (the
other two bandmates) seem happy enough together he has been trying to keep away
from Kennedy because he doesn’t seem interested. I have to say that this author
perfectly knows how to build sexual tension because at certain times in the
novel I wanted to yell at the characters to ‘just get together already!’ The
suspense got so high that I couldn’t stop reading and I basically devoured this
whole book in a single day.
There was a bit
of backstory as well. Jeremy has recently lost his brother to suicide, and
Watts has had a whole lot of stuff happening in his life as well. At first when
they mull over the backstory and the emotional part I wasn’t feeling too
plugged into it. It was just there. But then it comes back later on in the
story and you realise how difficult it was for each of these characters and
that tugged on my heartstrings a bit. You come to notice how much each member
of the band really does hold the others up and they are like a little family in
that aspect.
The characters
all grow a lot as the novel progresses. I wasn’t impressed at the beginning,
but hold out, because the more you get to know about them, the more you will
feel for them. The more individual and unique they all become.
Aside from that,
there is also a bit of a haunted house mystery kind of thing going on. I’m not
going to say too much, but there is a creepy side to this novel too. The
suspense in the horror-storyline goes a little slower and accumulates the most
at the end of the novel because the romance is the focus, but it was still done
pretty well. A nice paranormal touch.
The ending was a
little bit abrupt and if there was one thing that I could change about this
book, it would be that. But this doesn’t deter from the five star rating. I
still can’t believe how addicted I was to this book. I even had to tell my
friend about it (the poor girl became victim to my fangirling.) I read this on
a school day for starters. And then I spent day 2 rereading the whole thing
from back to front. THAT’s the extent of my love.
*le sigh* Please,
just read the book.

Me after finishing this book.

Giveaway! Enter to win an ebook copy of Stygian or be the winner of book on in Hassell’s Five Borough series! Open internationally!

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Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Author Bio: 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.

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Question: What genre do you usually avoid?
Olivia-Savannah x

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