Author: Santino Hassell
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Rating: 4.5 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: The Raymond Rodriguez from a few years ago wouldn’t recognize the guy he is today. He’s left his slacker ways far behind him and is now juggling two jobs and school. But the balancing act doesn’t allow much time for the man he loves.
Review: Interborough is the fourth book in the Five Boroughs series. It can be read as a standalone, but it is a continuance of Raymond and David’s story begun in Sunset Park, the second book in the series, so I’d recommend at least reading that one first.
Raymond did a lot of growing up in Sunset Park and now, eighteen months into his and David’s relationship, he is determined to show how seriously he takes his responsibilities, that he is no longer the unreliable person he had been before. With two jobs and school, he barely has time to scratch himself and sleep is a thing of the past. But he figures that he puts in the hard work now so that he and David can have a better future together. David supports Raymond’s drive to make something of himself, but night after lonely night leaves David feeling like their relationship is slipping away. He misses Raymond. He misses just hanging out together. He misses the little intimacies. He feels like there is a widening space between them, and David’s insecurities are slowly creeping into that space, pushing them even further apart. David knows that his fears are unlikely, and he doesn’t want to become that needy, clingy boyfriend, but with little time actually spent connecting with each other and his frustrations with Raymond’s unthinking dismissal of what David is trying to tell him, something is going to give eventually.
While it felt like the story dragged a little through the middle with the ongoing communication issues, I really did enjoy this book a lot and completely fell in love with both of the MCs. Raymond and David, and their relationship problems, are very relatable; a lot of couples will go through something similar at some point in their relationship. When life gets overwhelming, time together becomes virtually nonexistent and communication breaks down. The author writes of these with a gritty realism that while heartbreaking at times, also has those moments of insight that remind the characters (and the reader) that they do love each other more than anything, and why, and that their relationship is worth fighting for. I really did feel the connection between the characters and never doubted that bond, not even when things seemed like they were falling apart. Sometimes the beginning of a romance isn’t the true love story. Sometimes it’s how the couple handles the obstacles that test them after they’ve fallen in love and settled in together that is the real HEA. The epilogue is the perfect way to finish their story and left me feeling happy and very satisfied that they had the HEA they had worked so hard for.