Guest Blogger December 2016
I think most of us can agree that 2016 hasn’t been an easy year. For me, it had glows and lows but the last couple of months culminated into constant stress due to 1) the election 2) family issues and 3) an internal tug-of-war about whether or not I should still be banging this one dude who I had All The Drama with for a couple of years now. But that’s another blog post. THIS blog post is about books. I’ll confess and say I don’t get to read a lot. My day job prevents it in the morning and afternoon, and writing consumes my nights. In my spare time I try to eat and usually… don’t manage it (which is why I nearly passed out at the gym tonight). So reading gets left out. BUT, I went through my Kindle today and made a list of my top 5 reads of 2016.
Favorites of 2016
WOUND TIGHT by Tessa Bailey. This book…. Damn. THIS BOOK. It was so fucking hot. I’m talking… awkward to read around other people kind of hot. I loved the main characters and the side characters, the setting, the character voices of the MCs—just about everything. It hit all my buttons right down to the semi-public sex and “first time with a guy” trope. I’m sorry but that does it for me. IT DOES. When I was a youngin’, there was nothing more fun than helping along a guy who was just starting to feel his queerness. Or a straight dude who is just really willing to try something out.
PERV by Dakota Gray Okay… again… this book is dirty as hell. I’m starting to sense a trend, but I have to say the reason this book sticks with me is because of the sex scenes. The characters were great too, and I loved the setup of revenge sex, semi enemies-to-lovers, and the conflicting emotions as they started hooking up, but honestly those sex scenes were bomb. Nate and Robyn had off the charts chemistry.
WILLING VICTIM and BRUTAL GAME by Cara McKenna Okay, technically WILLING VICTIM is a reread, but I’m still counting it because it was updated. This book will always be a favorite. The sex is great of course, but the real reason I love it is because of the way McKenna wrote Flynn. His kink is role play and extremely rough sex, but he doesn’t have any shame or past traumas. No real hang ups at all. He likes what he likes, and he knows what he wants as long as everyone involved is in agreement. Watching them go from a hot hookup to two people who clearly cared for each other was great, and seeing their relationship develop beyond that point was even better.
SO SWEET by Rebekah Weatherspoon I don’t usually find myself grinning when I read a lot, but that happened multiple times while reading this book. Kayla’s voice is charming. She’s funny and sweet but at the same time she is blunt as hell and very honest with herself and the people around her. She was a very well rounded character and that’s what stands out to me the most. She isn’t JUST funny or JUST stressed about her financial situation (which has led to her becoming a sugar baby), she’s funny yet stressed while still managing to be charming in new situations that are a little uncomfortable and has no qualms about saying “okay, I’d like to see how well you fuck before I commit myself.” A woman after my own heart.
Anticipating for 2017
This was a hard list, because I’m thirsty for a ton of books. I managed to narrow it down to five yet again.
BREATHLESS by Beverley Jenkins. I’m not usually a historical guy, but I am a SUCKER for Old West stories. Even without my new Westworld fixation, these books do it for me, and this one looks dope as fuck.
SUMMER STOCK by Vanessa North I saw a single teaser of this book, and was like GIMME MORE. Anything to do with celebrities and paparazzi getting all up in their business is fascinating to me. Make it a queer romance, and you’ve sold me.
BLOODGUARD by Megan Erickson I’ll confess that I love vampires. I’ve been craving an urban vampire tale, and I think Megan’s humor mixed with sexy times, bloodlust, and tons of action will be awesome.
The next two books probably have titles but… I don’t know em!
UNTITLED ART THIEF SERIES by Roan Parrish and Avon Gale I honestly don’t know anything about this series but the premise and the fact that it’s going to be a serial, and I AM SO FUCKING HYPE?
UNTITLED BASEBALL SERIES by Amy Jo Cousins I’ve been in a series sports romance jones for the past several months, and I’m jumping up and down at the idea of this. Especially because it’s another AJ Cousins series, and she will always be one of my favorite authors.
[We are looking forward to all those books as well!]
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.