This is Part I of a 3 part series spotlight. Check back on Monday, October 16 for Part II!
Author: Santino Hassell
Series: The Community
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (March 10, 2017)
Publication Date: March 10, 2017
Categories: Gay Romance, Fantasy/Paranormal/Sci-Fi
Growing up the outcast in an infamous family of psychics, Nate Black never learned how to control his empath abilities. Then after five years without contact, his estranged twin turns up dead in New York City. The claim of suicide doesn’t ring true, especially when a mysterious vision tells Nate it was murder. Now his long-hated gift is his only tool to investigate.
Hitching from his tiny Texas town, Nate is picked up by Trent, a gorgeous engineer who thrives on sarcasm and skepticism. The heat that sparks between them is instant and intense, and Nate ends up trusting Trent with his secrets — something he’s never done before. But once they arrive in the city, the secrets multiply when Nate discovers an underground supernatural community, more missing psychics, and frightening information about his own talent.
Nate is left questioning his connection with Trent. Are their feelings real, or are they being propelled by abilities Nate didn’t realize he had? His fear of his power grows, but Nate must overcome it to find his brother’s killer and trust himself with Trent’s heart.
5 of 5 Stars
I won’t regurgitate the synopsis so if you haven’t read that, start there. I also won’t give spoilers and ruin the story so I try not to say too much about what happens.
Let me start my review by saying that I’m not totally a para girl…that would be one of my co-bloggers. She is all about everything paranormal. And while I’ve read books with ghosts, vampires, witches, warlocks, gods, goddesses, monsters and shifters, a mystery or suspense book with psychics is probably my favorite trope of the paranormal romance genre. My above-mentioned co-blogger is a friend I’ve known for over 20 years. I’m pretty sure she’s a precog…and if she has a dream, I listen and listen well. I absolutely, wholeheartedly believe in psychic ability.
Now, this is only my second book by this author. His work comes HIGHLY recommended by a credible source (Jessie – why didn’t I listen to you sooner???) so he’s kind of on my radar now. (Yes, I know I’m late to this game.) The other book I read was so different than this but damn I love his writing style.
This is a complexly woven story that after a slow start had me on the edge of my seat. This is not a quick read because there is A LOT going on and there are several characters, all of which are critical to the story, some of which we still don’t know everything about. All I know at this point is that I love Nate and Trent, the jury is still out on a handful of characters, I’m disgusted by several characters and want a few other characters to just die.
Nate is a mess and it’s no wonder with what we learn about him. Trent is ridiculously smart and immediately attracted/drawn to Nate, mess notwithstanding. Their banter is entertaining which is surprising for such a heavy story. Trent handles Nate’s psychic abilities well but shows major vulnerability in their relationship which endeared him to me. Their romance isn’t at the forefront but grows gradually throughout the story and the bottom line is they need each other.
And we seriously need to talk about the sex scenes. I’ve read intimate scenes with a god and goddess and the physical act between them destroyed rooms…nice, but didn’t leave ME panting. The initial sex scene between Nate and Trent, with Nate’s empath abilities was damn near life changing. My palms were sweaty, knees weak, arms were heavy… Sorry about that but it is so ACCURATE! I felt like I was IN the book with them, like I had empath abilities; and had to put my kindle down for a minute to get my breathing back under control so I could continue reading. Has that ever happened with any of you? Did I mention how much I like his writing?
The only thing I wish we had is Trent’s POV. I’m a HUGE fan of dual points of view and I REALLY wanted to be in Trent’s head at several points in the story.
This is not a cliffhanger per se, but you are left wanting book 2 immediately and you definitely don’t have all the answers at the end. Thankfully, all 3 books in the trilogy are out now so go buy them all and lock yourself in your room for the weekend! I’m off to read book 2 now.
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.