Thursday, 30 June 2016

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*


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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.



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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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Gif Summary: 


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New Video!




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Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: Can you speak Spanish or a second language well?

Olivia-Savannah x

27 comments:

  1. I don't realize you read M/M romances! I've got to admit that I'm hella curious about this one. You know I could never say no to boys who love boys! Thanks for putting this on my radar, Olivia. :)

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    1. I well, read a little bit of everything xD I quite like Santino Hassell's writing as well which helps. But I don't read books like this too often.

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  2. I haven't heard of this one before- but I am so glad to hear you enjoyed it. Always nice when we can puck up a book and read it in a day or two. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Yes, I love the feeling of being addicted to a book!

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  3. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! And I must say those pictures are beautiful!
    Also, I'm glad to see you are on Booktube! I'm considering getting into that as well.

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    1. Thank you! And I hope you do choose to - I love it over there ^.^

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  4. Drinking tea just works so much better when you're staring dramatically into the middle distance and brandishing a biscuit with an e-reader facing away from you. I do it all the time with coffee - it makes the neighbours worry, but I like to keep them on their toes ;)

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    1. Hehe of course. Posing always helps everything, comes completely naturally and of course, the amount of reading you get done with the ereader facing away from you is sometimes unbelievable!

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  5. My Spanish is not great, but I can speak it well enough and understand it also. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. It's hard for me to just look at a cover for a m/m romance and dive in. I have a few on my Kindle that I'd like to start, but I'm hoping they hook me in.

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    1. I hope the ones you have waiting for you will turn out to be pretty good ones!

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  6. Cool, I should get this for my GBF ;)

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  7. Great picture of you with the tea cup, Olivia! :O)

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  8. You're so clever with your pics! Nice review. :)
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

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  9. NA is not for me, I think. We just don't get along. I do speak Spanish since it's my mother tongue LOL and I can speak English and a bit of German (really bad though).
    Love the photography in this!

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    1. Haha well, if it's not for you then it's good you already know to avoid it! That's a lot of languages :3 Thank you <3

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  10. Thanks for the introduction to this book. And for the review. I do speak a second language.

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    1. It's always good to be aware of more than one language!

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  11. Oh, boy. That gif said it all. Actually, just the cover is enough to make me pick that book up. :D

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  12. I've never tried a book with this concept before. I've been meaning to read Boy meets Boy.

    Oh, I love the pictures you have incorporated!

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  13. I haven't read any M/M romances, although I just bought Leveled by Jay Crownover which is one, so we'll see how it goes! Your review makes me think that I could possibly enjoy these books. Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. I hope you do enjoy the one you bought when you read it! It's always nice to try a new genre than you're used to.

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