Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Raymond Rodriguez’s days of shoving responsibility to the wayside are over. His older brother wants to live with his boyfriend so Raymond has to get his act together and find a place of his own. But when out-and-proud David Butler offers to be his roommate, Raymond agrees for reasons other than needing a place to crash.
David is Raymond’s opposite in almost every way—he’s Connecticut prim and proper while Raymond is a sarcastic longshoreman from Queens—but their friendship is solid. Their closeness surprises everyone as does their not-so-playful flirtation since Raymond has always kept his bicurious side a secret.
Once they’re under the same roof, flirting turns physical, and soon their easy camaraderie is in danger of being lost to frustrating sexual tension and the stark cultural differences that set them apart. Now Raymond not only has to commit to his new independence—he has to commit to his feelings for David or risk losing him for good.
Raymond is my favorite character so far in this series, and while I like the narrator’s accent and voice for David, at first his portrayal of Ray didn’t work for me. I wanted him back the way he had been in book one, the way I’d been used to hearing him. However, as the story went on, I grew used to the new Raymond and once I’d accepted it, the narration worked for me. He definitely created emotion and uniquely discernable character voices, and it ended up being a fun listen.
This one didn’t have the negativity and angst and deaths like the first one. I wouldn’t call it light, but it was more positive. Raymond took the bull by the horns and went for what he wanted when it came to his sex/love life. That was awesomely refreshing. He had a bit to work through on the vocation side of his life, but it was fun to watch him work through what he wanted and how to get there. Raymond comes across as a simple, down-to-earth, honest guy. I was all over him from book one.
David took a bit of warming up for me as I had not much cared for him in book one due to his cheating, and although I came to see that he was good for Raymond, he’s still not a fav for me. I feel like he used Caleb and then strung him along for a long time, and it seemed as if Caleb really did love him, so that was sad.
Despite that, the chemistry between Raymond and David was smoking hot, making it the second book in a row where I needed to have a personal fan handy while listening. Whether they were bickering, outright fighting, or going at it, these guys were off the charts together. Add in excellent writing and characterization, and great pacing with no slow parts and this was a very enjoyable read. I would have preferred if there was just a bit more as the ending rather hit me unawares, but then again, it did leave me eager for the next book to revisit and see how their relationship progressed after that declaration. Plus I’m very eager because I saw that it’s Caleb’s story, and I’m feeling bad for him right now. He needs his HEA.
Another lovely, simple black and white cover by Paul Richmond that sets a tone for this story. My only quibble is that I wish it had shown Raymond with his long hair since he had that up until nearly the end.
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Audible Audio, 9 pages, 8 hrs 7 mins
Published May 24th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press, LLC (first published December 11th 2015)
Original TitleSunset Park
SeriesFive Boroughs #2 settingNew York (United States)