Concourse (Five Boroughs #5) by Santino Hassell #BookReview
Contemporary gay romance
May 1, 2017
Santino Hassell’s dialogue was the first thing about this story that charmed me. It’s so organic, so authentic, that I could tell more about a character from a single conversation than I’d have gotten from paragraphs of descriptive prose. His world-building is equally immersive, communicating just the right amount of grit or polish to round off the story’s stand-out characters. Speaking of special characters…
Oh, Ash. Ashton Townsend breaks my heart. Here’s this charming, unique, free-spirited young man who genuinely wants to help people, and he’s so convinced he’s worthless that he cultivates this fake, cheery, perfect facade of a life and lets other people use him. Val is an amateur boxer who wants to go pro for all the wrong reasons, but he’s got the talent and the work ethic. His lifelong love for Ash is the one thing he can’t seem to reconcile with the relationship-killing secrets he keeps.
Ash’s crew of friends are as unique and vibrant as he is. Spanning the spectrum of queer, they all support each other regardless of their disparate backgrounds. Concourse offers a peek into the lifestyle of socialite celebrities like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian—how they make their money, what’s expected of them, the perils and perks of their social butterfly lifestyle.
This book is all about journeys—personal, professional, emotional, as a couple, with friends. Concourse is about growth and overcoming adversity, embracing who you are and following your own ambitions because it’s what you want, not what you think you should want. I enjoyed this story so much, I blew through it in less than a day (practically got no sleep). I loved the intense realness of Val’s character and the vulnerability of Ashton’s. I adored the quirky vibrance of their friends and the glimpse into two completely different lifestyles.
In the end, Concourse is a book about love and acceptance and knowing your own heart, and it’s simply beautiful.
Note that Concourse is the fifth book in the Five Boroughs series, set in New York City, but it can be read as a standalone. You’ll meet several characters from the other books, but it’s rarely overwhelming, and they will all charm you just as much as Ashton himself.
You may also like…
If you enjoy the unlikely romantic combo of a rich, somewhat scandalous socialite and an amateur boxer, check out Faking It by Christine d’Abo.
If you love Ashton’s willowy, vulnerable, chaotic personality, you may enjoy the very memorable and always glowing Darian from Alexis Hall’s Glitterland.
Both the recommended stories above are contemporary gay romances.
Concourse is recommended for readers who enjoy…
- celebrity romances
- socialite characters
- boxer characters
- New York City as a setting
- gay romance
- LGBT and queer themes
This review copy was provided by the Publisher. No compensation was received for this review.
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Concourse by Santino Hassell
Series: Five Boroughs #5
Published by Riptide Publishing on May 1, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Gay Romance, Celebrity, Fighter
Add it to your To Read shelf: Goodreads
Also by this author: Illegal Contact
Find the Author: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+
Ashton Townsend is the most famous celebutante of Manhattan's glitterati. The black sheep of his wealthy family, he's known for his club appearances, Instagram account, and sex tape. Most people can't imagine him wanting for anything, but Ashton yearns for friendship, respect, and the love of his best friend--amateur boxer Valdrin Leka.
Val's relationship with Ashton is complicated. As the son of Ashton's beloved nanny, Val has always bounced between resenting Ashton and regarding him as his best friend. And then there's the sexual attraction between them that Val tries so hard to ignore.
When Ashton flees his glitzy lifestyle, he finds refuge with Val in the Bronx. Between Val's training for an upcoming fight and dodging paparazzi, they succumb to their need for each other. But before they can figure out what it all means--and what they want to do about it--the world drags them out of their haven, revealing a secret Val has kept for years. Now, Ashton has to decide whether to once again envelope himself in his party-boy persona, or to trust in the only man who's ever seen the real him.
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