About the Five Boroughs Universe
A record-breaking heatwave engulfs the Five Boroughs, and emotions run as hot as the temperatures.
I finished this anthology last night and I found myself still thinking about these characters this morning while I was waking up. It felt almost like they were real people and I can totally see this as a sort of sitcom or want to be reality TV show. I could see this entire series sort of running in tandem as a show, it is something I would definitely watch on TV.
In Rerouted, Chris Mendez is trying to live a drama-free life. That doesn’t include another threesome with Jace and Aiden Fairbairn. But then a citywide blackout leaves them trapped together, and Chris is forced to re-examine everything he thought he knew about relationships and his own heart.
This was an emotional story to me. Chris is basically stuck in a rut. He’s the goofy dude that makes everyone laugh, yet he’s the one getting passed over once they see his taller, buffer, friends. Chris has always known he was up for polyamorous affairs ((Ray and Steph for example)), but he didn’t know he would ever just be into men until he is invited into a little fun three-some with Q-Findr co-founder, Aidan, and his husband Jace. What really surprises him is the feelings he catches so early on in the game. While Chris maybe into a tripod, he is most definitely not into an open relationship. When Jace talks about his and Aidan’s exploits it kind of drives Chris into a jealousy, but also his lack of confidence makes him back away from the duo because he feels they will never change for him, and why should they since that’s how they have always been. Chris’ turmoil is what really stabs you in the heart, that and the miscommunications between him and the married duo. When the heatwave causes Q-Findr servers to crash, Ollie calls in Chris in an ER response to help them as their IT guy is out of town. Chris decides to help them, even though he’s internally struggling on whether he wants to see Aidan or not, and that’s when things get very interesting.
I love these three together and I think Santino did a great job with making these 3 a fluid unit. A tripod is not easy to write about, let alone making it believable. I was so impressed it almost makes me want to be in one :D I was so happy for Chris to finally get the love and devotion he deserves…good things come to those who wait, I guess J
In Gridlocked, former Marine Tonya Maldonado is keeping real estate heiress Meredith Stone on permanent ignore. Mere isn’t Tonya’s type. Not even close. Who cares if she kisses like a dream and has the filthiest mouth this side of the East River? But then a security detail at a summer party ends with her saving Mere’s life and discovering they have more chemistry than she’d ever imagined.
This was my first full on FF ((I don’t think orgy’s count, right?)) and I was quite impressed with it. Tonya, aka T-Bone, actually reminds me of a friend of mine and THAT’S what I love about these characters! They’re “real” and “relatable”, In my head they’re people I actually know.
Tonya has been ignoring Mere for a year now since their bathroom hookup at the Q-Findr release party. This part really had me thinking. Mere had said something along the lines of not being able to wait to tell her brother she bagged the hot marine. That rubbed Tonya the wrong way as she isn’t something “to-do” on a bucket list. Makes you think of all the woman who do this to men in uniforms but flipping the coin and doing it to a woman. Also on that note, does it bother most men in uniform that woman do this to them? I imagine people (both men and woman) use it as an advantage, but I wonder about those that are offended by it.
Anyways, I’m getting off track.
T is hired as security for a recent event and finds herself once again in Mere’s presence.
There’s a lot of hot and cold going on during the event, but when Mere is threatened T doesn’t think twice about stepping in. Mere is by no means a damsel in distress, but it is still T she looks to for comfort.
The only real downfall to the story, again, there’s a lot of back and forth and mixed feelings and misleading actions and it kind of gives you whiplash. By the end you’re like FINALLY! And also, when will this heatwave end!? Do none of these guys have AC!? LOL
In Derailed, Stephanie Quinones escapes the heat and her complicated love life by going on a company retreat. Trouble is, it’s a couples’ retreat, and she lied about having a boyfriend. Unfortunately, the only person willing to play pretend is her on-again/off-again fling, Angel León. They’re currently “off again,” but after a week in the woods, Stephanie realizes she wouldn’t mind them being permanently on.
So this blurb is a liiiitle misleading…. Yes, there’s a retreat, yes Stephanie lied about having a BF. But the way it comes about is utterly hilarious and embarrassing for Stephanie. I won’t give it away, you’ll just have to find out for yourself. :D I also understand why she did it, unfortunately, she shouldn’t have had to do it in the first place though. Double standards are a b*tch! I was so happy for her when she finally came out and told her bosses what was what *pats her on the back*
While I enjoyed this story and I thought Debbie (a co-workers Tinder hookup) was funny with her, errr, bedroom noises competition against Stephanie, if I thought the last story gave me whiplash, this one put me in a neck brace. I love Angel and I love Stephanie… I did NOT love the constant stringing along. I don’t think I would have put up with that for more than a decade, somethings gotta give, regardless of the “on again” status. What’s more was, when you thought Stephanie was about to give in, it went in the complete opposite direction you thought it would. I kind of wanted to pull out my hair, I felt bad for Angel (yes, another story that made me freaking cry)!! I am so glad though that Stephanie finally realizes what she has to lose, while I am sorry for everything that had happened to her to make her feel the way she did, I am glad they get their HFN.
5* for realism (labeling, social structure, sexism, character development, etc…)
3* for miscommunication and whiplash
About Santino Hassell
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