June 29, 2017

BLOG TOUR REVIEW: Oversight (The Community #2)

Oversight (The Community #2), by Santino Hassell
Publish Date:
June 26, 2017
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Format: e-ARC, provided by the author and A Novel Take PR
Genre: adult m/m paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(Synopsis) 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.

I really loved book two in Santino Hassell's The Community series, not only because of Holden and Six (I'll get to them in a minute), but because Santino chose this book to crack this paranormal world he's created wide open. Now, we all know that Santino Hassell can write contemporary romance like a boss. But, let me tell how how brilliant he also is at writing paranormal. 

In Oversight, we meet a lot more people with psychic abilities than we did in Insight. Better yet - we get to see them use their powers in pretty awesome ways. We also get a greater scope and understanding of The Community. We take a trip to the infamous Farm. And we learn of the widespread revolutionaries that are just waiting for the catalyst to start fighting back against those who have been using, mistreating and killing them. 

Who knew that in the middle of all this, the son of the big bad guy could find truth and love?

 Six is a man that Holden saw only briefly as a boy, but that one instance made a big impression. Years later, Six is sent to be the new bouncer/babysitter at Holden's nightclub. He's socially inept, scary, broody, and frustrating. And he has this really cool ability - he is immune to all other psychics. Their powers don't work on him because his shield is that impenetrable - a fact that Holden finds incredibly annoying at first, but soon realizes what a wonderful blessing it is. 

Holden's empathic abilities have always made relationships hard. He doesn't have to worry about that with Six. He feels calm and peaceful around Six. That is, until Six shatters everything Holden has ever known about his life, his parents and The Community as a whole. 

In Oversight, I felt this overwhelming sense of camaraderie and togetherness, as we see old friends (yes - Nate and Trent are back) join with new ones to finally start to take back their lives and claim them for their own. It's an upward battle though - a handful of determined and talented men and women are fighting against an establishment with hundreds of brainwashed minions. Not every move they make carries a positive result. Good thing there's another book coming. 

The buildup to the last book in this series is crazy. It started in Insight, and built in Oversight. I'm about jumping out of my skin to get my grabby hands on Sightlines to see what happens to the final couple in the series and how all of them will manage to accomplish what seems to be the impossible.
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.

Connect with Santino: Website | Twitter | Instagram | FB Group | FB | GR | Tumblr

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