Monday, April 18, 2016

Featured Guest Author: Santino Hassell with an Exclusive Excerpt from First and First (Five Boroughs #3) & Giveaway


Happy Release Day to Santino Hassell!

We are thrilled to have Santino Hassell with us today as he celebrates the release of First and First… the third book in the hugely popular and truly AMAZING series… Five Boroughs. Go check it out!



First and First

Santino Hassell


Series ~ Five Boroughs #3

Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press

Published ~ 18th April 2016

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance





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.

Purchase Link




Exclusive Excerpt

“Chasing after you is starting to become tedious.”

I turned around and pressed my back against the bar. In the flickering LED lights, Oli looked like a spectral figure stalking toward me from the lit portal of the archway.

“Then stop chasing me,” I said. “You barely know me. Just because we slept together—”

“We fucked. There was very little sleeping.”

“Fine. We may have fucked, but before recently, we’ve never had a full conversation. We’re not friends. There’s no need for you to come hunting me down whenever you think I’m in distress.”

“Who says your distress is my concern?” Oli pressed his hands flat against the bartop and fenced me in. “Maybe I just want to effectively have a conversation with you. Even if you’re making it more difficult than I usually have the patience to deal with.”

“So don’t deal with it.” I put my hand on his shoulder but didn’t force him away. “Go find some swinger party.”

Oli leaned closer until our chests were aligned. “Maybe I will. I don’t see what that has to do with you.”

“It has nothing to do with me,” I retorted. “I’m not like you.”

“And yet I have this feeling that you want to be.” Oli nodded, watching me from beneath a fall of messy dark hair. “And that’s the real reason you’re so pissed off.”

“Maybe.” I shrugged stiffly. “Maybe I’m jealous. Either way, it’s too late for that now. 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.”


“I like you.”

“You like me,” I repeated with a strained laugh. “You just read me the riot act over me potentially liking you a little too much.”

“That’s different.”

“How?” My voice rose in the silent room. “How is that—you know what? Never mind. If you’re afraid I’m carrying a torch for you just because you ejaculated in my ass, I suggest you rethink that assumption. You’re the one who keeps chasing me down and groping me. Maybe you should be reciting your speech about keeping things simple to yourself instead of lecturing me. It wouldn’t have fazed me to walk out of that event and go home alone tonight.”

“Are you sure about that?”

“Yes, I’m pretty goddamn sure.”

Oli had no smart retort for that response. He stood without speaking, but he didn’t ease the crush of our bodies against the bar. If anything, he leaned against me harder. So close I could smell the sweet cherry scent of beer on his breath and the subtler hints of cologne.

I wished I could see his face clearly. To read his expression and figure out why he was standing so silently, looking at me in the darkness, and insistent on forcing me into this standoff.

“What do you want from me?”

“I want to be your friend.”

“A friend who touches my dick in public.”

I felt the hint of a smile against my cheek.

“Those are the best kind,” he said in my ear. “I fuck around with a lot of my friends. Intimacy doesn’t have to be normative. We can just… enjoy each other’s company and sometimes enjoy each other’s bodies. And right now I want to enjoy yours.”

“My… what?”

“Your hot body.” Oli dropped his hand between us. He palmed my dick again, and I had to swallow a groan. “I think you need to expand your view of sex and relationships.”

My pulse rocketed but my voice was steady. “More New Age crap?”

“Heh.” He cupped me harder. “This doesn’t have anything to do with spirituality and channeling unless I’m going to reach a heightened state by being a few inches deep in your ass.”

A breathless laugh burst out of me and stirred his tousled hair. It was a moment when mortification or discomfort should have seized me but didn’t.

“You have a dirty mouth.”

“You like it dirty.” Oli stopped kneading my extending bulge and dragged his fingertips against my zipper. “You like it messy. And rough.”

“You’re an expert?” My hands twitched from a desire to touch him, but I kept them still even as my breathing became erratic. “After one night?”

“One night that was the equivalent of four and a half fucks. I know a lot, baby.” He went quiet again. Watching and waiting, maybe for me to make the first move, but I couldn’t.

“We can’t fool around now.”

“It’s closed down here on weeknights unless there’s an event.”

“Even so—”

Oli dipped his head down and latched his mouth on to the base of my throat. My protests turned into a ragged moan, but I still didn’t touch him. I didn’t move even when he sucked harder, probably leaving a mark, and reached around to grab my ass. His fingers dug in so hard that I could feel the tips of them curving inward to press into my crack.

It was just a simple, kneading motion through a layer of cotton, but it set me aflame. My dick went from hard to throbbing, and my hands flew up to clench against him. I jerked him forward, yanked his head up, and kissed him as my breath came out in uneven bursts. The frantic pace was a complete contrast to the sensuous way our kisses had played out in my fantasy renditions of New Year’s Eve, but it didn’t seem to faze him.

He alternated between stroking my tongue with his own and sucking it into his mouth, and then settled for tonguing me with a desperate urgency that stole my breath even as I tried to keep up. And when he shoved his hand down the back of my pants and pressed the pads of his fingers between my ass cheeks, I stopped trying. My body went molten after the first prodding touch against my hole, and I thought for one absurd moment that I would come from that alone.


First and First Playlist



SUTPHIN BOULEVARD (Michael’s story) and SUNSET PARK (Raymond’s story), are on sale for $0.99/£0.99 and $1.99/£1.19 until 4/30/16!




Meet Santino Hassell

SH image 200x300

Santino is an author of gay 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. His new book,FIRST AND FIRST, is the third in the Five Boroughs series and will be released on April 18, 2016. It is a standalone with a HEA ending.







$25 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I have read so many great reviews for this series and for Santino's writing. In fact, I am finally reading Sutphin Boulevard right now and I'm loving it! The first 2 books have been waiting on my Kindle for months. Can't believe it took me so long to start them. Book 3 has already been pre-ordered. Just need to download it.

    Congrats on the new release and thanks for the giveaway. :)

  2. I've read the first book in the series, and loved it! I've just bought the second one, and really excited there is more on the way...

  3. Congrats on your new book. I have the second one waiting on my Kindle. I loved the first one, so what am I waiting for to go on with the series? More time to reading, maybe... :)

  4. I have the first book in my TBR pile and the excerpt was really good and I'm looking forward to reading it.

  5. It's FINALLY here!! YAY!!! Can't wait to read First and First!!!

  6. No, this is a new to me author for me. Sounds like it would be a hot read.

  7. this is first book i read in this series and loved it....congrats!!!

  8. Took me a bit to get into Sutphin Blvd but now I am hooked on this series!

  9. One of my favorite series...spending the day reading First and First ❤️

  10. I just purchased the first two in the series for my Kindle. Can't wait to read them!

  11. The Five Borough series is one of my favorites. I pre-ordered First and First. I will be reading it later today.

  12. Happy release week, Mr. Hassel. I haven't read this series yet, but saw quite a number of glowing reviews from readers. I'm gonna track back and hit the first book! :)
    Thank you for the generous giveaway chance.

  13. I am new to this author...can't wait to read this series!

  14. I haven't read any of his books yet, but I would love to! Thanks for the chance!

  15. Congrats on the new book in the series. I still haven't read anything by this author but do plan to.

  16. I'm a huge fan of Santino's work and I loooove this series!! Can't wait to read this one, thanks for sharing :D

  17. I can't wait to read this book. I loved the first two and I know this is going to be great

  18. This seems like a great read. Thanks to this blog to the introduction of Santino and his work. (

  19. First and First is the best book of the series, so far! Santino managed to take two characters I didn't particularly like and made me love them. The whole series is really great and Ilook forward to more!

  20. I can wait to read this new one as well as the others since I have heard so many great things about this series.

  21. I have read Sutphin Blvd and Sunset Park. I loved both. I am excited about "First and First".

  22. I've been meaning to start the Five Boroughs series but haven't had the chance/time to do so, yet! With such great recommendations, I'll find a way though ;-)
    Congrats on the new release.

  23. I've heard great things about Santino's series, so I'm excited!


  24. Congrats on the new release. I have the first 2 in the series & look forward to reading all these as I have heard wonderful things about them.

  25. I haven ot as yet read a book by this author. I hope to with this one.

  26. I have read the first two in the series and liked them. I am looking forward to reading this next book.

  27. I haven't yet read any of Santino Hassell's books, though all of them are on my wish list, and some already in my Kindle app but I just haven't had a chance to get to them yet. With excerpts like that, it's impossible not to get drawn in!

  28. Yes read & loved1 and 2. Also loved Strong Signal co-author book. Thanks for chance!

  29. I am in the middle of Sutphin Boulevard now...I am enjoying this series a lot. I do not know how you author types :) manage all the magic, but I am appreciative! Thank you

  30. New to me. I always love that.

  31. New author and series for me....sounds like a great read !

  32. new to me author
    series sounds awesome

  33. Have read them all and they are phenomenal - everyone should go read them all NOW

  34. I loved book 1&2 and can't wait to read book 3!!! These are fantastic books. I love them!!! Congrats on your new release!!!

  35. One of my must buy authors - really looking forward to reading this one.

  36. I was gifted the first two books in this series, after having discovered and read ICoS. I got hooked into the stories fast and hard. I will continue to buy and read his books from now until!

  37. I read Strong Signal which Santino cowrote with Megan Erickson and loved it, and have the first two books in the series waiting in my kindle to hopefully read soon.

    This book sounds amazing!

  38. I loved ICOS and can't wait to get started on this series. - Tex Reader

  39. No I haven't read this author yet but I can't wait to.