Title: First and First (Five Boroughs #3)
Author: Santino Hassell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Novel in a Series
Blurb: Caleb Stone was raised on the Upper East Side, where wealth and lineage reigns, and “alternative lifestyles” are hidden. It took him years to come out to his family, but he’s still stuck in the stranglehold of their expectations. Caleb knows he has to build his confidence and shake things up, but he doesn’t know how… until Oliver Buckley enters the picture.
Oli is everything Caleb isn’t—risk-taking, provocative, and fiercely independent. Disowned by his family, Oli has made his own way in the world and is beholden to no one. After a chance encounter on New Year’s Eve, Caleb is smitten.
As Caleb sheds the insecurities that have held him back for years, he makes bold steps toward changing his career and escaping years of sexual repression. But for Caleb to take full control of his life, he has to be brave enough to confront his feelings and trust Oli with his heart.
Tell me you love me.
The words were in my head, but for a fraction of a moment, I thought I’d said them aloud. I felt instantly pathetic. Even worse, because I really wanted it. I foolishly desperately wanted it. For someone to love me. For him to love me. But I knew he didn’t, and I knew no one else did, and God but that was an awful feeling to have.
A soft sound slid from Oli’s mouth. “You’re dangerous.”
“Yeah,” he said, “you are. This kind of thing only leads to complications, and complications lead to people wanting things, losing them, and then winding up with broken hearts. Just look at you.”
I brushed thick, black hair off his brow. “The condition isn’t as permanent as it seemed.”
About the Author: Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.
Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.