Tag Archives: Santino Hassell


Book Review of Sightlines (The Community #3), by Santino Hassell

I received a copy of Santino Hassell‘s Sightlines through Netgalley. I reviewed the first two book in the series, Insight and Oversight, earlier in the year.

Description from Goodreads:
Chase Payne is a walking contradiction. He’s the most powerful psychic in the Community, but the least respected. He’s the son of the Community’s founder, but with his tattoo sleeves and abrasive attitude, he’s nothing like his charismatic family. No one knows what to make of him, which is how he wound up locked in a cell on the Farm yet again. But this time, the only man he’s ever loved is there too.

Elijah Estrella was used to being the sassy sidekick who fooled around with Chase for fun. But that was before he realized the Community wasn’t the haven he’d believed in and Chase was the only person who’d ever truly tried to protect him. Now they’re surrounded by people who want to turn them against their friends, and the only way out is to pretend the brainwashing works.

With Chase playing the role of a tyrant’s second-in-command, and Elijah acting like Chase’s mindless sex toy, they risk everything by plotting a daring escape. In the end, it’s only their psychic abilities, fueled by their growing love for each other, that will allow them to take the Community down once and for all.

I hate to say this, but I think my love affair with Santino Hassell’s books is over. On the sites I’m forced to use a numerical start rating, I almost gave it 2 stars. The end dragged it up to a third, but it was a close call. I simply didn’t like it. I didn’t like the characters. I didn’t like the narrative style. I didn’t like the pacing. I. did. no. like. it. And if I’m honest, the last several books by Hassell that I’ve read have skirted this same edge. And it makes me so sad, I lovedhis early works. But all his characters feel the same now and here I felt Chase was taken to such a grumpy extreme that I couldn’t overcome it enough to enjoy his character. And Elijah was a shadow, barely there. As always, the mechanical writing is good but this book was a bust for me.

Illegal Contact

Book Review of Illegal Contact (The Barons #1), by Santino Hassell

I received a copy of Illegal Contact, by Santino Hassell, through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
New York Barons tight end Gavin Brawley is suspended from the team and on house arrest after a video of him brawling goes viral. Gavin already has a reputation as a jerk with a temper on and off the field—which doesn’t help him once he finds himself on the wrong side of the law. And while he’s been successful professionally, he’s never been lucky when it comes to love.

Noah Monroe is a recent college grad looking for a job—any job—to pay off his mounting student debt. Working as Gavin’s personal assistant/babysitter seems like easy money. But Noah isn’t prepared for the electrifying tension between him and the football player. He’s not sure if he’d rather argue with Gavin or tackle him to the floor. But both men know the score, and neither is sure what will happen once Gavin’s timeout is over…

Gah, how to express my feelings about this book? If this was the first Hassell book I’d ever read I’d probably call it a 4 or 5 star book. Honestly, I think it’s the best thing he’s written since Sutphin Boulevard. But it’s the twelfth book by him I’ve read, many in the last year or two, and I’m afraid I’m burning out. Because as grumpy-cute as Gavin was and mouthy-cute as Noah was, they sound and act exactly like too many of Hassell’s other characters. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking football platers, school teachers, dock workers, band members, psychics or assassins a person just plain loses interest if they’re basically given the same character in different settings, and that’s how I’m feeling about Hassell’s books lately.

And I know a lot of authors write to a formula. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it makes it hard for a dedicated fan to maintain their excitement. Thus, here I am. Hassell is an auto-buy (or request) for me, but lately the books sit on my Kindle far longer than they should before I work up the gumption to read them. Because I know exactly what I’ll get, the good and the bad.

So, if you like Hassell’s past characters and you’re someone who doesn’t believe there can every really be too much of a good thing, buy this book. The writing is good, as always. The characters are cute. The sex is hot, a little kinky but it’s not a kinky book. It stands alone; all good things. Just be prepared to confuse Gavin with most of Hassell’s other alpha-grumps and Noah with other his mouthy betas.


Book Review of Oversight (The Community #2), by Santino Hassell

I received an ARC of Oversight, by Santino Hassell. I read it while traveling from Florida to South Carolina, during my summer vacation.

Description from Goodreads:
Holden Payne has it all . . . or so he thinks. As heir to the founder of the Community—an organization that finds, protects, and manages psychics—he’s rich, powerful, and treated like royalty. But after a series of disappearances and murders rock the Community, he’s branded the fall guy for the scandal and saddled with a babysitter.

Sixtus Rossi is a broad-shouldered, tattooed lumbersexual with a man-bun and a steely gaze. He’s also an Invulnerable—supposedly impervious to both psychic abilities and Holden’s charms. It’s a claim Holden takes as a challenge. Especially if sleeping with Six may help him learn whether the Community had more to do with the disappearances than they claimed.

As Holden uncovers the truth, he also finds himself getting in deep with the man sent to watch him. His plan to seduce Six for information leads to a connection so intense that some of Six’s shields come crashing down. And with that comes a frightening realization: Holden has to either stand by the Community that has given him everything, or abandon his old life to protect the people he loves.

This will be a brief review, as I’m on vacation and my internet connection is sketchy, at best. I enjoyed this new Hassell book, as usual. The magic system (for lack of a more accurate, but equally concise description) is interesting. I liked the characters, both old and new, and the writing is engaging. Admittedly, I never felt especially I connected with Sixtus and I don’t know that I would have with Holden if it weren’t for book one, and it was a bit too much of an insta-lust/insta-love for my taste. Plus, the darned thing ended on a cliffhanger. But overall, I liked the book and will look forward to book three in The Community series.