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.
“Why don’t you run along and find someone more exciting and sexually free to play with? As you said, I’m prone to complications.”
“No,” Oli said simply. “I think I’ll keep trying to play with you.”
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.
I lay back in the mess of the bed, wanting to soak in the bath but unwilling to get up while Oli was pressed to my side and gazing down at me like it was the most natural thing in the world. When he smoothed my hair back from my forehead for the second time, I met his eyes.
“Oliver, what are we doing?”
He searched my face for a moment before smiling. “We’re just having fun.”
“Okay.” I quirked a smile and sat up with a groan. My body was aching in places that required an extended soak in hot water. “I want to clean up, but I don’t think I can move.”
“I’ll give you a sponge bath and you can chill in bed.”
I arched a brow, but Oli looked serious.
“Is that cool?” he asked. “I’ll throw in a massage for going so hard on you.”
I was starting to think Oli’s definition of “just fun” was a lot different from mine. Maybe my ideas of intimacy, beyond animalistic fucking, were his versions of casual trysts. But I didn’t let my confusion show. I didn’t do anything that would send him skittering off. I just nodded, smiled, and enjoyed the attention while I had it.
Also by Santino Hassell:
Five Boroughs series:
Book 1: SUTPHIN BOULEVARD
Book 2: SUNSET PARK
Book 3: FIRST AND FIRST
Standalone books by Santino Hassell:
STRONG SIGNAL (with Megan Erickson)
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Check out my review!