Sutphin Boulevard [Book Review]

Sutphin Boulevard [Book Review]
Hi there!
Title: Sutphin Boulevard (Five Boroughs #1)

Author: Santino Hassell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Published Date: 31st July 2015
Rating: 4 Stars
*Thanks to the author for the review copy*
Synopsis: Michael Rodriguez and Nunzio Medici have been
friends for two decades. From escaping their dysfunctional families in the
working-class neighborhood of South Jamaica, Queens to teaching in one of the
city’s most queer friendly schools in Brooklyn, the two men have shared
everything. Or so they thought until a sweltering night of dancing leads to an
unexpected encounter that forever changes their friendship.

Now, casual touches and lingering looks are
packed with sexual tension, and Michael can’t forget the feel of his best
friend’s hands on him. Once problems rear up at work and home, Michael finds
himself seeking constant escape in the effortless intimacy and mind-blowing sex
he has with Nunzio. But things don’t stay easy for long.

When Michael’s world begins to crumble in a sea
of tragedy and complications, he knows he has to make a choice: find solace in
a path of self-destruction or accept the love of the man who has been by his
side for twenty years.

Review: When it comes to
this book, if you read my review of Stygian by Santino Hassell, you know I just
needed to try another one of his books. I’ve settled for the fact that these NA
m/m romances are my little guilty pleasure reads that I’m going to let myself
pick up from time to time. But only on the days where I have time to do nothing
else but read because this one had me excusing all my duties once again until I
had finished the book. It took me only two days to read from beginning to end.
Unfairly though,
I kept comparing this to Stygian when I shouldn’t have been because they are
quite different books. This one is really based on a friendship which blossoms
into love. Well, at least it has done so on one side of the grid, while the
other best friend stays incredibly ignorant as to what is happening.
I did want to
have a little bit more romantic suspense though. The characters are already
getting things on in the first 5% of the book. Nothing wrong with that and it
didn’t mean that all the romance related issues were over and solved – they
were only just beginning because of that! But it didn’t have the level of
suspense that I was looking for, so it was a little disappointing in my own
personal want from choosing this book.
That aside
though, it was a very good book. It’s not only about the romance story!
Michael’s family is definitely dysfunctional. His mother has passed away due to
illness and his father who was abusive towards him and drinks/spends money all
the time has suddenly decided to return home and is ill as well but refuses to
go to the hospital. Double that with the fact that Michael has a good for
nothing brother who sits on the couch all day and doesn’t seem interested in
finding a job… no wonder Michael is feeling a bit of stress from his home life.
On top of all
that, this book manages to somehow find the time to deal with some pretty dark
themes of drinking and depression. It really delves deeply into those themes
and makes this one of the more meaningful NA novels that I have read.
I really liked
Michael as a main character because he seemed to really care about the people
he came across, even if he didn’t particularly know how to help them. For
example, he’s a school teacher and he really does love the kids and wants the
best for them. Nunzo was also an interesting character. He seems all light-hearted and funny and like he doesn’t get offended by anything. But sooner or
later you get to know him better and you see there is a lot more to him
underneath all those layers.
Both of the main
characters are Spanish speakers here, so this book does use a few loan words
and throw in bits of Spanish. It’s just a few words so it doesn’t disturb from
the story at all, but just adds to the atmosphere and setting. It was a nice
little touch.
Seeing as this is
the first book in a series, somebody should give me book two already!


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Links: Goodreads and Amazon!
Question: Can you speak Spanish or a second language well?
Olivia-Savannah x

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