Reviewed by Jenna
TITLE: First and First
SERIES: Five Boroughs #3
AUTHOR: Santino Hassell
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 261 Pages
RELEASE DATE: April 18, 2016
A Five Boroughs Story Caleb Stone was raised on the Upper East Side, where wealth and lineage reign and “alternative lifestyles” are hidden. It took him years to come out to his family, but he’s still stuck in the stranglehold of their expectations. Caleb knows he has to build his confidence and shake things up, but he doesn’t know how… until Oliver Buckley enters the picture. Oli is everything Caleb isn’t–risk-taking, provocative, and fiercely independent. Disowned by his family, Oli has made his own way in the world and is beholden to no one. After a chance encounter on New Year’s Eve, Caleb is smitten. As Caleb sheds the insecurities that have held him back for years, he makes bold steps toward changing his career and escaping years of sexual repression. But for Caleb to take full control of his life, he has to be brave enough to confront his feelings and trust Oli with his heart.
This story can be read as a standalone and ends with a HEA
First and First book begins when Caleb sees his x-boyfriend, David kissing Raymond at a party. Caleb is broken up over how good they look together and drunkenly falls into the arms of a stranger. Caleb wakes the next day and realizes he’s had massive amounts of unprotected sex with his gorgeous acquaintance, Oli. Caleb rejects this at first, but realizes that he and Oli have unbelievable chemistry together. The only problem is that Oli is into swinging, which is hard for Caleb to accept.
There was definitely a lot going on in this book. Caleb has a complicated life. He isn’t entirely comfortable with sex and struggles with his confidence due to his previous partners eventually tiring of him. Additionally, his rich father rejected him when he came out, and he’s unemployed with a feeling that he doesn’t have purpose. When a potential relationship is thrown into his already troubled existence, Caleb doesn’t know how to take it.
Like all the preceding books in this series, First and First was steaming hot! There is something spectacular about Caleb’s new found desire to bottom. The sex is amazing and addictive. I loved every moment. Even Caleb’s reluctance to participate in Oli’s swinging was hot as hell. The only part of this book that I wasn’t fond of was when Caleb’s and Oli’s relationship wanes. I didn’t really understand what it was about at first, and I disliked how their interactions seemed devoid of passion while they worked to set up their business together. I understood Caleb’s reservations with the swinging even though he wasn’t admitting them to himself, but I had trouble understanding Oli. Despite this fallout, I loved how beautifully things came together in the end. I recommend this book to anyone who loves hot m/m erotic romance, and I look forward to the next installment in this series.