One fundamental component of any romance novel IS the HEA. I don’t care what anyone says, if it’s labeled as a romance it has a happily ever after and hopefully an epilogue showing the main characters in love and flourishing in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed David and Raymond’s love story in Sunset Park, but they had so much between them, so much to overcome both individually and as partners. In Interborough readers are able to revisit this couple as they actually go through the hard work of settling into their relationship. All the ups and downs, insecurities, and jealousies.
Interborough picks up about a year and a half after Sunset Park. David and Raymond are still in love, still deeply attracted to each other, but life has gotten in the way. Just like with any long term relationship, they have struggles and doubts and fears. Raymond is still working two jobs and going to night school. He is no longer the slacker, sitting at home on his game system smoking out. He’s got a plan for the future and is working his ass off in order to achieve it. But this means less time at home and less time spent with his new boyfriend. David misses his lover, he misses the dinners and sex and time spent cuddling. Most of all as Ray spends less and less time away from home David begins to feel insecure and starts to wonder if Ray is withdrawing because he knows David’s not the right man for him.
One of the reasons I read Santino Hassell is because his characters and their stories feel so realistic to me. And you know what? This David and Ray… this is real life. I know some fans of this series were a little worried about revisiting a couple who already had their page time, but they shouldn’t be. I LOVED this Ray and David. From Ray’s insistence that he doesn’t need any help and can handle everything on his own, to David’s jealous blow ups, to their fighting and arguing and needing time away. It all felt so raw and authentic.
Despite the angsty, emotional scenes and the feeling that everything is going to come to a head and blow the fuck up, this author managed to throw in some humor and sexy times. But damn, I felt like I was on the edge of my seat the entire book waiting for David to finally reach his limit or Ray to get tired of David’s drinking. When it did happen I was relieved and more than ready for them too sit down and talk. They are such opposites and react to everything is such different ways that I wasn’t sure how it would all work itself out, I just knew that it would. And it did. And seriously, I didn’t think this couple could get any sexier, but that reunion sex scene was just OMG smoking hot, dirty, perfect. The I love yous and I’ll never leave yous whispered and sighed as they were coming down off their sex high and finding solid ground back in each other’s arms were just about perfect too. I think I needed to hear them just as much as David and Ray needed to say them. I loved watching them fight for each other and their relationship. I came out of this book really feeling like Ray and David are solid and will definitely make it forever.
So, all of that put a smile on my face and made me one happy girl. Then I got to the epilogue and just about melted into a puddle of goo. Final Grade-B+
“Sometimes I think them showing me what love looked like is the reason why it was so easy for me to identify it once I moved in with David.”