We’ve heard about Jesse and Ian in the first books of the series. They are the mods of Kai’s Twitch channel. The two work well together but they have never met in real life. FallenCon changes that and things quickly get heated between them.
And then my problems with this book started; Ian is not using his real name online and Jesse flips his shit when he finds out that mod Cherrycakes is not a girl but instead a sexy male artist. Sure, Ian should probably have told him sooner that he is Cherrycakes, i.e. Jesse’s co-mod, but the whole thing made it seem as if Jesse had a problem with the concept of someone not wanting to show their true identity in an online world. I mean, really? That’s what people do. It’s called trying to stay safe!
Ian has apparently had some serious, nasty stuff happen to him as a child. He doesn’t trust people in the real world and uses different personas when entering that world to protect himself. His past experiences has led him to believe no one wants to see or know the real Ian. No one until Jesse. They start building something of an online relationship and both start opening up to each other.
And up comes my next issue with Jesse’s behaviour; he keeps pushing Ian to be himself. Telling him he doesn’t need to hide behind a different persona only to later on tell Ian he doesn’t need to keep the personas separate from his true self because they are part of his personality. I just didn’t get that part – is it a persona Ian can just drop if he chooses, or is it an integral part of his personality? Make up your mind, Jesse.
Quite possibly I just lack the knowledge of human psychology to follow here, but it sure did confuse and annoy me.
The ending, sweet as it was, was a little rushed to me. Ian seemed to overcome most of his issues rather suddenly.
All in all, I did like Ian and Jesse quite a lot but I couldn’t help focusing on the negatives so I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first ones in the series.
This is book #5 in the Five Boroughs series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For read understanding, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this compelling series in order.
Valdrin AKA Val is Ashton's best friend since childhood. Val is finding he has sincere feelings for his favorite guy, but he is constantly forced to be in a parental role with him. He thinks he should try to separate himself from the equation, but Ashton won't let him go easily.
Ashton has knows he has been in love with Val since gradeschool. His family welcomed him more than his own. Now there relationship is in confused tatters. Is it possible to get back in sync? Should he take a chance and admit how he feels?
This series is so intense. Each book with such an amazing story of its own. I loved these characters right from the get go. They want the same thing, just have to work it out somehow. Cameo's by favorites from past books make this a must read! I give this story a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!
So back on Mother's Day my hubby in his inimitable wisdom decided that since I was now listening to audiobooks what better gift than to treat me to some new ones and I got to go shopping for them so I could pick what I wanted and while I wanted more than a few this series was at the top of my list, especially since I had this one to review. Overall it was money and time well spent because not only did I love them but I am absolutely dying to go back to the beginning and re-listen to them all over again. I basically marathoned these books over the course of a weekend as soon as I was done listening to one, I clicked the play button to start the next one, which explains why I'm now sitting here catching up on the reviews.
I could not get enough...I devoured them, so needless to say once again Michael Ferraiuoloa was the narrator for this installment of 'The Five Boroughs' and once again I was not disappointed...well other than...more Oli time would have been really nice but since this is a David and Raymond story and not Oli and Caleb, I'm maybe being a little picky on this one, but that's just me.
'Interborough' is the fourth book in this series and unlike the previous books it's not about a new couple. With 'Interborough' we find ourselves back in the lives of David and Raymond. It's about a year later and these men are having a hard time of it...oh, they're still very much in love, unfortunately sometimes life doesn't leave us much time for love and these two are floundering.
David wants to be a loving and supportive partner but that's hard to do when you're feeling ignored, neglected and shut out.
Raymond wants to be the partner he thinks David deserves but with two jobs, school and unexpected demands on his finances and a new friend who really rubs David the wrong way. Raymond's feeling more than a little pressure and stress but he's determined that he can handle it on his own, if David would just give him time.
Both men are hanging on to the prospect of their forthcoming vacation cruise to try and regain some balance in their relationship. But between the sun, the fun and the mojitos Ray's having a hard time getting David alone so they can reconnect but once he does their passion blazes hotter than the tropical sun. Problem is will it last past the end of their cruise.
Raymond and David established themselves as a couple in 'Sunset Park' and while their ending may have been more of an HFN than an HEA they seemed fairly solid. But a little more than a year later things aren't so certain for this pair and it's not because of any over the top angst or drama. Sadly just like in real life what's driving these men apart isn't the big things it's all the little things that life throws at them and sometimes when enough of those little things get tossed our way, the pile they make seems insurmountable.
As in the previous books in this series we also get the fun of catching up with Michael and Nunzio, Caleb and Oli, as well as glimpses of other characters we've already met and new ones whose stories have yet to unfold.
What I really loved about this book was that more than any of the previous books I was really able to relate to what David and Raymond were going through. This was in some ways the most realistic story of them all because relationships...they're hard work and so often life hands us so much sh!t to deal with we lose sight of things...like what and who's really important. For me this wasn't a story about assigning blame it was about learning to truly be partners, to listen and share, to communicate and always appreciate that person who you've chosen to spend your life with. The good times are easy to get through but it's what you do when your faced with the day to day challenges that can often make or break a relationship.
'Interborough' didn't really so much feel like it was messing with the HEA of an established couple as it was taking us further along on their journey to show us that having a happily ever after means working at it every day in order to keep it. I absolutely loved that just like in real life there are no promises and guarantees, just chances and opportunities and it's up to David and Raymond to make the most of them.
From start to finish I was on the edge of my seat cheering for these two to find a way to make things work again. Caleb and Oli may be my favorite couple in this series so far but that doesn't mean I don't have a place in my heart for all of them.
An audiobook of 'Interborough' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I totally have a thing for Oli's voice...I mean have a thing...Oli's voice just...well, it gives me butterflies in the tummy and goosebumps and seriously I could listen to that voice all day and still want more. It's not just that I like Oli's voice which you know...bonus when you're listening to an audiobook, but for me as soon as I heard him speak it worked, it clicked into place and my brain was in total agreement that this was how Oli would sound.
Michael Ferraiuolo is again the narrator for this installment of Santino Hassell's 'Five Boroughs' series and I have to say I'm truthfully hoping this doesn't change. I freely admit I'm not from New York and have never had the opportunity to spend time there so in terms of dialects/accents I'm by no means any kind of authority and can honestly say that my liking this narrator as much as I do has nothing to do with how much he does or doesn't sound like someone from New York. For me, he ticked those basic boxes in my 'what I want from an audiobook' checklist. He was consistent, his voices were unique I had no trouble discerning which character was speaking, emotions were conveyed when the characters were speaking. It just all worked for me and in the case of Oli...he nailed it.
I've been playing catch-up with this series via the audiobooks and I was really excited to get to this one. Oli was a character that grabbed my attention from the word go back when he made a play for Ray in 'Sunset Park'...did I want him getting it on with Ray, not really but I liked that he was there because I hoped that he would be a motivator for David to get his butt in gear with Ray and truthfully I liked that he was direct and said what he wanted didn't play games. Plus we got just enough of a peek at him to lock him into my brain as someone who would be interesting. Who he'd end up with at that point, I really had no idea, but I have to admit that it was Caleb...well that totally intrigued me, because Caleb in some ways seemed to be Oli's polar opposite.
Caleb is David's ex and by the time I finished 'Sunset Park', while I was definitely feeling better about David, even though I still wasn't happy that he'd cheated on Caleb when they were together, I was still finding it hard to see Caleb as any kind of a victim for me, he came off as a bit of a cold, manipulative douchebag. But, I also felt like Caleb and David together were a train wreck waiting to happen. You can love someone with all your heart but that doesn't mean they're the right person for you and by the end of 'Sunset Park' I very much felt like Caleb and David just never really belonged together, in a nutshell they just weren't good for each other or too each other. So 'First and First' was my chance to get more Oli and take a second look at Caleb, which turned out to be a very good thing.
I like Michael & Nunzio and David & Raymond really are adorable, but at this point Caleb & Oli are my favorite couple in this series. I like the dynamics between these two the push/pull of their relationship and how they challenge each other. Oli with his sexually adventurous nature and his ability to get Caleb to really examine what it is he wants all while he challenges Oli to use his adventurous nature outside of the bedroom and to look closer at his feelings. One thing that neither Oli, nor Caleb can ignore is their attraction to each other and the sexually charged air that exist when they're together. The fact that by the end of this book not only were Caleb and Oli my favorite couple but I really like Caleb. I still don't think he's perfect but he does seem like someone that I'd be happy to know and be friends with and that I think speaks volumes to what an amazing job the author has done with this story...more so really than anything else that I could say.
'First and First' is the third book in this series and so far each book just gets better and better and there's no way that I'm stopping whether it's the audio book or the e-book I am so on board for whatever and whoever comes next in this series. Santino Hassell has created a world that's realistic and filled with all the passion and emotion that you'd expect to find and who knows this might be only chance to spend time in New York with a bunch of hot men!