Beautifully written relationships that will have you wanting more

Citywide (A Five Boroughs Novella Collection, #6) by Santino Hassell

This is my first full length book by Santino Hassell and despite being a party of his Five Boroughs series, I felt that it really read well as a standalone collection of novellas. In saying that, I have the rest of the series on my to read list and I plan on getting to them as soon as I can!!

Being three distinct novellas I have written my review of each of the stories below. But in summary, whether your are a fan of Santino, a fan of the Five Boroughs series or a total newbie – this book is for you. It’s an incredible read that I could barely put down. Santino writes relationships so very well and this is what will draw you in and keep your turning every page.


This was the novella I was waiting for after reading Third Rail last month. I absolutely loved the storyline between Chris, Jace and Aiden and had to know how it all panned out.

Santino did not disappoint in this story full of heart, feelings and plenty of streamy sex. The way in which these three men came to terms with their feelings for one another as well as the values they hold dear in a relationship was authentic and never felt contrived. Despite the story taking place in a heatwave induced blackout, there was no drama for the sake of drama – just genuine relationship defining situations that made for one of the most enjoyable mm romance stories I have read this year.

Already I know I need to read this series from its beginning – if the full length novels are even half as good as this story, I’ll be more than satisfied.


I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw this story was apparently about two women as I haven’t enjoyed previous novels (by other authors) that included any female/female action (I was soon corrected though that in Gridlocked only one character identifies as a woman while the other is genderqueer). But I trusted Santino would give me a fabulous story and I was not disappointed!!

Tonya and Meredith had previously had a sexual encounter but neither of them actively pursued more. When Meredith is threatened their relationship moves quickly and both Tonya and Meredith have to confront some home truths!!

This was yet another perfect example of a beautiful relationship building between two people – where their genders aren’t important; it’s who they are as people that counts. I enjoyed the feeling of love and support and familial protection that emnated throughout Gridlocked and I hope get to see more of Tonya and Meredith in future novels.


This final novella was a beautiful story of friends to friends with benefits to fake fiancés to lovers. Again Santino writes the relationship between Angel and Stephanie with such heart and pure emotion that I could hardly put their story down as I was desperate to see how it all ended.

I’m always a fan of the “fake relationship” trope and this one was no exception. Pretending to be more than they ever have been before forced Angel and Stephanie to confront their feelings and reading their emotions play out over the course of the short novella was as much wonderful as it was frustrating. But with such genuine and authentic back stories I couldn’t help but be captivated by their unconventional relationship and I revelled in the incredibly hot and steamy sex scenes.

I know now that I have to get cracking on reading Santino’s Five Boroughs series as I can tell I’ll be in for some incredibly amazing relationship-driven stories.

nicandbooks rating ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️
Amazon/Goodreads rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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