ARC Review + Excerpt | Third Rail by Santino Hassell

Third Rail by Santino Hassell | Five Boroughs #4.5
Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA
Publication Date | October 25th, 2017
ARC provided by the author

THIRD RAIL releases on 10/25/2017. It will be FREE at all major retailers.



Book Blurb:

Christopher Mendez has always known his sexual identity had a swerve. No straight guy would have low-key lusted after his childhood best friend, right? Unfortunately, a combination of insecurity and overall lack of game has prevented him from further exploring his sexuality. That changes once he agrees to participate in a photoshoot for a queer dating app and meets Jace Fairbairn.

Jace is beautiful, fey-like, and in an open polyamorous relationship with his gorgeous linebacker-looking husband Aiden. Once they set eyes on Chris, they’re instantly in lust and determined to broaden his sexual horizons. But what’s supposed to be a straight-forward sexual encounter gets complicated once a one-night-stand has repeat performances, and Jace and Aiden begin to fall in love.

This collection of shorts explores the start of a relationship that eventually blossoms into something the three men realize they cannot do without.

| Book Review |

It’s true that I’m a sucker for anything Five Boroughs. And so, it would seem, is Santino Hassell, as he can’t stop writing these characters. For which I am so grateful! I’m pretty sure he could focus on this group of characters forever, and still I wouldn’t tire of them. It never ceases to amaze me how rock solid the characterization in this series is. I’ve said it before, but my biggest fear when reading more books about characters I love is that the characterization will fall apart; the Five Boroughs crew never wavers. And we’re getting a lot from our past characters every time we pick up a new installment.

Ok – time to focus on  Third Rail specifically. This book was a hot little number, let me tell you. Whatever you think you know about Aiden and Jace’s sex life – tip of the iceberg! I swear they must have a fire extinguisher in their bedroom. It’s sparks galore when these two men come together, and adding Chris into the mix makes it even steamier. And that’s really what this book is all about; pulling Chris into the mix. Aiden and Jace’s dynamic has always fascinated me, especially with Aiden’s comment in First and First about being jealous all the time, especially when men get infatuated with Jace. But there really is something so special about the love they have for each other. Even in this mostly erotic book, it felt like the pages weren’t big enough to contain their love. It made it so easy to see how they could invite a third person into their relationship and make it work. They just have so much love to give! And I love that they’ve chosen to give it to Chris. Overall, I thought Third Rail was a wonderful peek between Aiden, Jace, and Chris’s sheets, and into their hearts. Fans of Five Boroughs – this is one story you aren’t going to want to miss out on!

| Rating |

| excerpt |

We took the train into Queens, which surprised me. I had it in my head that people like Aiden, who were in the same category as Caleb, Ashton, and Meredith, took cabs or slick town cars everywhere. My rich people hookup fantasy was shattered once he led me to the subway with the rest of the suckers.

“This would have been way cooler if you’d had a car downstairs waiting for us,” I confided as we descended the steps to the subway. “Like you in your suit and me with my fifty-pound backpack getting in a black Lincoln. That would have been tight as fuck.”

Aiden slipped his Metro Card from his pocket, snickering. “What, you thought this was some Fifty Shades of Queer set up?”

“Yup. Do you have a play room?”

“My entire apartment is a play room, bro. Have you met my husband? We don’t exactly keep it to one location in the house.”

“Good for you. I’m lucky if I get any action in my own damn bed with my right hand.”

We walked towards the E train, our conversation lost in the rush of bodies moving around us. He could have started describing exactly what they did in every corner of their place and nobody around us would have given a single fuck. But that was New York for you, and it was why I loved it.

| Five Boroughs Series |


| about the author |

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family but grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a grumpy introvert and unlikely romance author with an affinity for baseball caps. His novels are heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, and his desire to write relationships fueled by intensity and passion.

He’s been a finalist in both the Bisexual Book Awards and the EPIC Awards, and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award in 2017. His work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Washington Post, RT Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

| Connect with Santino |

Website | Twitter | Instagram | FB Group | FB | GR | Tumblr

21 thoughts on “ARC Review + Excerpt | Third Rail by Santino Hassell

Add yours

  1. I absolutely have to give this series a try. It’s a feat when an author can keep characterizations this strong over the course of so many books…in my opinion. 😉 That Hassel seems to have done this and keeps you eager for more of this characters says a lot. I’m happy you’re happy with this installment. 🙂


    1. You really do, Brandee. And if you can start at the beginning, so much the better. This is such a great series. And yes – it’s a challenge to maintain characterization throughout so many installments! Thanks! 🙂


  2. Your description of it being sizzling hot, but full of character development and overall great writing have me eager to try these at some point. I did finally read my first book by Hassell in his other series which has me totally nodding my head to all you say about this one. Great review, Angie!


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