by Santino Hassell




Ashton Townsend is the most famous celebutante of Manhattan’s glitterati. The black sheep of his wealthy family, he’s known for his club appearances, Instagram account, and sex tape. Most people can’t imagine him wanting for anything, but Ashton yearns for friendship, respect, and the love of his best friend—amateur boxer Valdrin Leka.

Val’s relationship with Ashton is complicated. As the son of Ashton’s beloved nanny, Val has always bounced between resenting Ashton and regarding him as his best friend. And then there’s the sexual attraction between them that Val tries so hard to ignore.

When Ashton flees his glitzy lifestyle, he finds refuge with Val in the Bronx. Between Val’s training for an upcoming fight and dodging paparazzi, they succumb to their need for each other. But before they can figure out what it all means—and what they want to do about it—the world drags them out of their haven, revealing a secret Val has kept for years. Now, Ashton has to decide whether to once again envelop himself in his party boy persona, or to trust in the only man who’s ever seen the real him.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626495630
Publisher: Riptide Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 04/29/2017
Series: A Five Boroughs Tale , #5
Pages: 306
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.69(d)

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Concourse 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
toniFMAMTC More than 1 year ago
I like how this series embraces the diversity of New York. It has those coming from poor and rich backgrounds, the ones that don't have to work and the ones struggling with several jobs, entrepreneurs, teachers, dock workers, philanthropists and so on. The main couples have been a mix of ethnicities also. In Concourse, Valdrin is from Albanian descent and working multiple jobs to stay afloat. Ashton is from old money and became famous for a bit of 'acting out' and social media. Honestly, I do not like reality tv or the rich and famous celebrity gossip type stuff. I don't keep up with them in real life and usually don't like to read books with these types of characters. Because of how I am, it seems certain that I would not like Ashton, but I adored him. The author does an excellent job of showing how human he is. He's not just the diva he shows his fans. I've always had a thing for book boyfriends who are fighters, boxers or MMA so my love of Valdrin isn't a surprise. These guys are just perfect compliments to each other. They are almost opposites in many areas but similar in heart. I completely fell into the life these guys were leading and couldn't put the book down. I love when I have a reading experience like that. Concourse is sweet, sexy, romantic and entertaining. I recommend it for sure.
V-Rundell More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars for this tender M/M friends-to-lovers romance! Ashton Townsend, also known as A-Town, is a celebrity of dubious distinction. His family owns a telecom company, but he’s the black sheep known more for his unauthorized sex tape and twitter feed than any of his philanthropy. And that’s okay, Ash supposes. Just because he’s notorious doesn’t mean he can’t help out. Still, Ash knows he’s mostly being used by his hangers on, and expects that’s pretty much all he deserves. Val is the son of Ash’s former nanny. He’s had a long-standing love for Ash, despite his mixed feelings about Ash and his family. Way back when, Val’s mom sacrificed time with Val and his sister to take care of Ash and his brothers–and that was hard to take. Then, Val was hired by Mr. Townsend on the down-low to help keep Ash out of the tabloids. It was money Val couldn’t turn down–and Val’s still working crap jobs to pay his sister’s college tuition. If he can win a few fights, he will qualify for the Olympic team. Then, he’d have time to do more than work. Being in close proximity to Ash’s life gave Val insight into Ash’s tender nature. Val was ashamed of how few others, including Ash’s own family, really tried to know the tender, loving person Ash was–beneath his glamorous persona. Val has never forgotten. It’s why Val will give up his few hours of sleep to ‘rescue’ Ash from bad situations. It’s also why Val’s in love with Ash, and now he’s ashamed he ever took money to hang out with Ash, even if he used the money to care for his mom when she was dying. Now he’s not sure what to do. Ash needs his companionship, but the one time they got physical turned bad, fast. Can they build a relationship? Or will A-Town’s circus life upset Val’s training to be an Olympic boxer. This is a tender romance between long-time friends who are learning how to be lovers. I enjoyed seeing Ash learn he’s worthy of love, even though it was somewhat bittersweet seeing Ash and Val fall for one another. I understood the conflict and why Val held back–both the truth and his love: he didn’t believe he was worthy, either. Expect a good bit of back and forth as Val comes to Ash’s rescue, and Ash learns to stand on his own. They make a good couple eventually, and I liked being in their heads. There are many other characters that interact with both Val and Ash, so now I’m trying to figure out which one might get a book. I’m fairly sure we’ll see one of Val’s toughest opponents find love, soon…. (Fingers crossed!) A review copy was provided by NetGalley.
2kasmom More than 1 year ago
This is book #5 in the Five Boroughs series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For read understanding, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this compelling series in order. Valdrin AKA Val is Ashton's best friend since childhood. Val is finding he has sincere feelings for his favorite guy, but he is constantly forced to be in a parental role with him. He thinks he should try to separate himself from the equation, but Ashton won't let him go easily. Ashton has knows he has been in love with Val since gradeschool. His family welcomed him more than his own. Now there relationship is in confused tatters. Is it possible to get back in sync? Should he take a chance and admit how he feels? This series is so intense. Each book with such an amazing story of its own. I loved these characters right from the get go. They want the same thing, just have to work it out somehow. Cameo's by favorites from past books make this a must read!
BookWorm221 More than 1 year ago
Santino Hassell can't do no wrong . . . I mean seriously! Each and every book he writes is AMAZING! He always captures the life of these incredible characters he gives them a voice and makes the real, but enough of me rambling about how awesome Santino's writing is, let me tell you about the book. If you've been reading this book you'll already now Ashton but in case this is your first time reading a book from this series (you should totally read all of them) let me tell you about him, Ashton is famous around the NYC elite, he has a successful Instagram page, he used to model and he's in general quite fabulous but in this book we get to know th real him, how his insecurities have shaped him to be the way he is. We also meet his best friend Val, they have known each other for years and have maintained a friendship based on what Ashton thinks his need for Val to save him and get him out of a tight spot again and again, what he doesn't know is that Val' s reason to stay close to Ashton are much deeper than just making sure Ashton is alright. This book I think might be my favorite of the series so far, I mean inloces them all but Ashton just broke my heart again and again I just wanted to hug him and make him feel better also I really wanted to tell Val to get over himself and accept his feelings once and for all. As I said before the writing is superb and the characters are incredibly complex and well developed, we get to go with them on this journey and see them grow and leaving behind all of the things and feelings that were hindering them. I'm so excited for what's to come in this series, I really don't want it to end but I'm cofindent in Santino and his ability to give us heartfelt stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm going to be honest. There was a moment I thought about not finishing this book. I wasn't in love with the characters. I didn't feel any connection to them. The first quarter of the book seemed too slow, as a matter of fact, it didn't even seem like Santino Hassell's writing. But I'm glad I ignored that voice in my head, or I would have missed out on some very special moments. Just as I was about to put this down, there's this lovely conversation between Ashton and Nunzio that turned this book around for me. It sealed the deal on just how awesome of a character Nunzio is in this series and more importantly, showed me an Ashton I could love, and I really did love him by the end of this book. The friends-to-lovers romance between the flamboyant socialite Ashton and the demisexual Val is complicated not only by the differences in their social class and overall world, but by big secrets that could crush both tender and stubborn hearts. While I didn't connect with Val all that much, I really felt I got Ashton. He's smart and sensitive and plagued with self esteem issues that really cover up who he really is. Val understood him, and Ashton craved that understanding. And it wasn't just one way -- Ashton understood things about Val, too. Their friendship was a solid foundation to their love story that just couldn't be ignored by either character. The story also puts a light on the nastiness that is homophobia. I thought it worked well to increase awareness without sacrificing realism or being preachy. The escalation from words to physical attack put me in someone else's shoes for a moment and increased my personal awareness. I liked that about Concourse. But really, the star of this tale was Ashton. I just totally fell for him, and I thought the epilogue was one of the best I've read this year. It left me smiling so hard and that's a terrific way to end a book! Overall, I did enjoy Concourse, in spite of a few pacing issues at the start. I was glad that I stuck with it because it was really worth my time.