Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Review: Concourse by Santino Hassell

(Five Boroughs #5)
by Santino Hassell
Release Date: April 29, 2017
Genre: M/M

Ashton Townsend is the most famous celebutante of Manhattan’s glitterati. The black sheep of his wealthy family, he’s known for his club appearances, Instagram account, and sex tape. Most people can’t imagine him wanting for anything, but Ashton yearns for friendship, respect, and the love of his best friend—amateur boxer Valdrin Leka.

Val’s relationship with Ashton is complicated. As the son of Ashton’s beloved nanny, Val has always bounced between resenting Ashton and regarding him as his best friend. And then there’s the sexual attraction between them that Val tries so hard to ignore.

When Ashton flees his glitzy lifestyle, he finds refuge with Val in the Bronx. Between Val’s training for an upcoming fight and dodging paparazzi, they succumb to their need for each other. But before they can figure out what it all means—and what they want to do about it—the world drags them out of their haven, revealing a secret Val has kept for years. Now, Ashton has to decide whether to once again envelop himself in his party-boy persona, or to trust in the only man who’s ever seen the real him.

Woah! This story is a hot mess with such an angst worthy plot. I feel like wanting to wring their necks most of the time for being a complete idiots. How they manage survive in each other lives for decades behaving this way, I had no idea?

Ashton is the rich glamorous kid famous for his socialite status, but mainly infamous for his sex tape and his work is to act as a pretty boy toy and updated his huge Instagram follower. He is as flawed and troublesome as a character can be. A total hot mess when it comes to dealing with his feelings and self worth. Ashton had been in love with his childhood friend, Valdrin since forever, but he is permanently put at the friendzone, despite his numerous attempt to seduce Val.

Valdrin is the poor kid from the wrong side of the town. Ever since he got caught up in Ashton's life, he find that he can't steer away from the troubled man. Val is very protective of Ashton, but he never want to act on his feeling due to judgement from others. No wanting Ashton to see him as another guy who want to bang him.

Right from the start, I can see that their weird pseudo platonic relationship is unhealthy. Val always come to Ashton rescue whenever he was summon. Ashton will get all touchy feely and Val accepted it, but chalked it up to 'loving you as a friend'. Ashton get all clingy and Val will embrace him and then subsequently push him away. I believe Val's hot and cold attitude is what drives Ashton to get crazy and indulge himself in more depravity. 

The constant push and pull and recurring arguments about how their relationship won't work the main meat of the story. But I'm glad that there isn't any third wheel or cheating going on. That would have make all the angst even more unbearable. There are a few assholes that appear along the way and a despicable family member. But overall, Concourse hit all the right button for those who like their romance a little more bumpy, angsty and intense ride.