Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Blog Tour: STYGIAN #Excerpt #Review #Giveaway

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Jeremy has been isolated and adrift since the death of his brother. Most people just see him as the skinny emo kid who wears eyeliner and plays drums. No one gets him. Nobody tries. He thought the indie rock band Stygian would become his anchor, but—lost in their own problems—they’re far from the family he sought.

Still, hoping to get close to Kennedy, the band's enigmatic guitarist, he follows Stygian to northern Louisiana for a summer retreat. They had planned to spend six weeks focusing on new music, but things go awry as soon as they arrive at the long-deserted Caroway mansion. Tempers flare, sexual tension boils over into frustration, and Jeremy turns away from the band to find a friend in his eerily beautiful landlord Hunter Caroway.

Kennedy suspects there’s something off about the creepy mansion and its mysterious owners, but Jeremy thinks he's finally found somewhere he fits. It isn’t until Kennedy forces the Caroways’ secrets into the light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.


The roar of his own heartbeat, white noise, and the echo of Kennedy’s voice, filled Jeremy’s ears. A raw feeling moved through him, something exposed and vulnerable, and for a minute he clung to the sheets as the tears dried on his face.

Kennedy closed a hand around his hip and kissed the sweaty stretch of skin between the wings of his shoulders. That one gentle touch undid Jeremy faster than anything else.

He bolted upright.

“It’s okay,” Kennedy said quickly. “We’re okay.”

“No, we’re definitely not.” Jeremy threw his legs over the side of the bed and stood. He was loose-hipped and dizzy from the pounding he’d just taken. But with reality settling around their naked bodies, he needed to get away. “I’m so fucking stupid.”

Even stricken with confusion, Kennedy looked beautifully debauched in the swaths of moonlight pouring in from the windows. “Please don’t leave. I’m sorry.”

“What are you sorry for? We fucked, right? You got off.” Jeremy wriggled into a pair of shorts and realized they were Kennedy’s. They sagged on his narrow hips, but he kept them on. Too late now.

“I’m sorry that I laid a finger on you if it was going to send you running out the goddamn door. But you were… all worked up while sleeping, and when I kissed you, you kissed me back. I thought you wanted me.”

Those words held enough self-doubt for Jeremy to pause in his search for additional clothing. He chanced a glance at Kennedy, and his chest tightened.

Again with that wrecked fucking hurt look….

Naked and lacking a hint of modesty, Kennedy stood up and moved closer. He was so broad and strong that it was difficult to picture their bodies crushed together on the bed. They were completely different, but they’d still fit perfectly. Jeremy swallowed and continued hunting for a shirt.


Santino Hassell’s mind must be a tornado of creative genius. There’s no other way to explain how he not only manages to plot his books, but to brilliantly get it onto paper. Stygian is a hauntingly beautiful story about 4 misfit band members. Told in the point of view of Jeremy, the new member of the band. Jeremy is shattered. Utterly broken. He clings to a love that may not be. He is shrouded in a past so dark no light can illuminate hope. We follow this broken existence. See him grappling any solid happiness he can find. He’s mesmerized by the illusion others show him. These characters are facets of all things. I didn’t know who to believe. I felt like I was Jeremy. And in a way we are. We are experiencing all of this through him.
Santino’s ability to bring reality to a plotline such as this is breathtaking. Stygian is nothing like I thought it would be… it was far better. It sucked me in. It wrapped me up in these 4 boys and their lives. In their maybe futures. I’ve read hundreds (yes hundreds) of books so far in 2015 and I can say this is the best book of the year so far. Make it part of your life.

Author Bio:

Santino Hassell says that while New York City is his heart, writing is his soul. He writes LGBTQ romance heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of NYC, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

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  1. You had me at "tornado of creative genius!" Not to mention the blurb! This will be my first Santino book! I've always heard great things about his writing! Thank!

  2. Love the cover, it is so amazingly intricate. I keep finding something new every time I look. Thanks for the great review.

  3. Cool cover, cool blurb, cool author. Thank you for the giveaway!