Saturday, June 24, 2017

ARC Review: Oversight by Santino Hassell

The Community #2
by Santino Hassell
Release Date: June 26th, 2017
Genre: M/M, Romantic Suspense, Paranormal

Spoiler Alert! The following blurb contains spoilers for Insight, book one of The Community.

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 second book for The Community is on my watch list ever since I read the last page of Insight that promise more nail biting suspense for our group of psychic. I must say Oversight is even better than its predecessor because this time around we are already more familiar with the story arc, the background of the Community and I'm already partial towards Holden Payne since he was introduced in Book 1. With all the groundwork being laid out previously, I can dive in and enjoy right from the start. 

The formidable man that is being paired up with Holden, our flamboyant heir and gay club owner is non other than Sixtus Rossi, an invulnerable. Six's talent is being immune to other psychic influence and power. The big, bad, lumbersexual Rossi who rocks a man bun was sent to watch over Holden, much to Holden's displeasure. Holden is an empath who used to read everyone and influence their emotion, but facing Six threw Holden off his game when Six is impervious to all his attempt of manipulation and seduction. 

The highlight of the story to me is definitely the enemies to lovers vibe between Holden and Six. They are not exactly enemies to start off, but definitely not on the same boat and wary of each other motive. Six's blunt honestly and social incompetence initially grated Holden's nerves, but it later turns into an endearing and lovable trait. There is no insta-love, but it seems like they have a deeper connection once we learned their history and amidst all the danger that they embroiled in, Six got to know Holden's behind his glitz and arrogance that lies a man who cares and trying to save and protect the lost psychic with his club. 

The main story arc on the Community turning into a cult is no longer a conspiracy theory, but a fact and Holden's loyalty is torn between his father and his friends. Holden find it hard to believe the Community he grew up in is this big fat lie and I can understand where he is coming from and it might take a while to convince him. 

One thing I find it hard to believe for a story with a bunch of psychic is their harebrained plan for a rescue mission. Although is a suspenseful climax that have me feeling all worry and nervous for all of them, not just Holden and Six, I can't help but feel that they could have plan it better!

Overall, Oversight is a strong sequel that doesn't disappoint me despite my high expectation. Is great to see Nate and Trent from the previous book came back for a mission together and of course, I can't wait to read about Chase and Elijah next. All in all, I like how the series blended all the couples together with each of them playing an important role for one common goal. I'm excited to see how all this will end.

The man who walked into the office did not remotely resemble the teen boy who'd just strolled through his memories. Adult Sixtus was Holden’s height but corded with about thirty more pounds of muscle. His biceps were nearly bursting from the sleeves and his pecs were clearly visible beneath the tight black polo he wore, making the typically conservative style— look like the prequel to a stripping routine in Magic Mike. He also wore khaki pants so tight his thighs looked like they were being strangled. He'd paired the two articles of clothing with scuffed motorcycle boots with steel toes. 

Holden didn't make an attempt to hide his slow ogle, and dragged his eyes from boot to crotch to clavicle before taking in Six's face. His fathomless black eyes were the only familiar feature in that olive complexed face. He had a full beard and mustache, thick black hair tied up in a bun, and wide lips that Holden wanted to suck on. Why did his sociopathic handler have to be a disgustingly sexy lumberjack hipster? 

"Huh," Holden said. "He's filled out." 

Richard went back to pursing his lips but Sixtus didn't even blink. He didn't scan Holden or react to the intense eyefuck he'd just received. There seemed to be nothing behind those dark eyes. The effect was more disturbing when Holden, by default, reached out with his gift to get an impression. He'd expected a hint of impatience or irritation even if it was muted by the mental shield that was apparently always in place.

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.