Please note this book was reviewed prior to the revelation of author’s identity and actions. Please read this statement from Riptide Publishing for more information.
Oversight, by Santino Hassell
Series: The Community, Book 2
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: June 26, 2017
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.
Enemies to Lovers
Telepathic Sex/Mind Link
Note: Must read book one in the series before starting Oversight.
I enjoyed Oversight immensely. I feel like I have to break things down a bit, but I’ll probably end up rambling, so please just stick with me.
First are the characters… You’ve got Holden Payne, who I had a real difficulty liking in book one, Insight. He’s a pushy, privileged, arrogant ass who uses his abilities to get men into bed with him. Using men for sex, on top of everything else, made him very unlikable. That carries over into Oversight significantly. I mean sure, having a psychic ability that enables you to tap into the feelings of the person you’re having sex with, while having sex? It’s something I can totally get behind. But Holden uses it as a tool and he’s too manipulative. On top of that, Holden is so freaking naive! And yea, he’s naive for a reason, mostly because of the privileged upbringing he had, but I still yelled at him so many times. Holden starts off so unlikable that I thought I’d struggle with him throughout the whole book. I WAS SO WRONG!
“I just think it’s funny how oblivious you are to how this all works.”
I’m totally on board the Holden train now. His character development in Oversight is fantastic. I have notes I took while reading and one of them is basically me being disgusted by Holden wanting to use sex as a tool to get information from Sixtus and it seriously grossed me out. But that’s the thing about great character development… the character does actually develop.
So then you’ve got Sixtus Rossi…the man is my walking wet dream. The hair, the beard, the tattoos, the brawn, the straight talker, the witty conversation, the massive inner strength that overshadows all that physical strength. That’s the man for me. With Six’s Invulnerable ability so strong, he’s totally safe from Holden and his manipulative nature. I really love that about Sixtus because while he can seem cold and uncaring, with little to no empathy, he’s so much deeper than that. Getting to know Sixtus, how he ticks, what makes him work, learning his life story, was some really great storytelling, and a lot of fun. Putting both Holden and Sixtus together and seeing them first struggle, and then not, was really a joy. As far as the other characters in the story, we get reappearances from favorites that were in Insight, so that made me exceptionally happy as well.
Then we have the story. Not just the story between Holden and Sixtus, but we have a overarching story that started in Insight, and continues here. For Holden and Sixtus, their enemies to lovers story flows well. The struggle, the push and pull, the trust that grows, the exploration, it all had me falling in love with them both. These men have PASSION. They way they speak each other is so great, from the dirty bedroom talk, to the tender moments.
“And it’s not just the sex. When we fuck, I’m sucked into this light. This place made of goodness and happiness. It’s the best feeling in the world, and it’s because I’m with you.”
And just like with book one, that overarching storyline that has layers upon layers, continues to grow. I love a major plot line in a series that grows more complex as the stories get released. I covet books like this. The anticipation for book three, Sightlines, out October 9, has now gone to defcon 1 for me.
Oversight is full of suspenseful and thrilling moments that had me on the edge of my seat, tender moments that had me swooning, and itching for more. As with book one, we are left with a bit of a cliffhanger, but not one that left me cursing. This is the kind of cliffy that left me desperate for more, yet happy with the way the two MCs end up… for now, if you get my meaning. This is a story that I really think anyone who loves suspense, thrillers, and romance would love. If you’re not typically a paranormal reader, don’t let that deter you. There are so many layers to the story. So many layers to the characters. Layers that need revealing.
There really is a lot to discuss with this one and I could talk about it for hours. I’m sure Sightlines will be equally, if not more suspenseful, heartbreaking, and amazing. Is it October yet?
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.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.