Hey, everyone, are you ready to have some fun??? Today we’re so pleased to have author Santino Hassell stopping by on the release day of Sunset Park, book two in The Five Boroughs series. As a special bonus, he’s also brought Raymond Rodriguez and David Butler along to play a little game. Check it out, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card.
And now, here’s the host of our show, Santino Hassell!
The M/M Newlywed Game with Raymond and David
At the start of SUNSET PARK, Raymond and David have known each other for about six months. They met at the end of book 1 of the Five Boroughs series, and became fast friends. But just how well do they know each other? Let’s find out!
Host: I’d like to thank everyone for coming to the first M/M Newlywed Game! Today I’m hosting Raymond Rodriguez and David Butler, the stars of Santino Hassell’s upcoming book SUNSET PARK.
David: We were also in SUTPHIN BOULEVARD!
Raymond: I don’t understand why we’re playing this stupid game.
David: Because it’s fun! And Santino created us, so we have to do what he wants.
Raymond: Yeah, we’ll see about that.
David: *rolls eyes* Just be nice.
Host: Okayyy. So, how long have you been together? Let’s start with that.
David: Oh, we’re not! Sorry, Santino should have explained. Ray is straight. We’re just friends.
Raymond: Does this mean I don’t have to play?
David: No. We already answered all the questions!
Host: Let me explain how this works to the audience. Traditionally, I ask spouses the same set of questions while the other is out of the room, and matching answers get points. They have to get at least fifty points to “win”. It’s a way to see how well newlyweds know each other. Or in this case how well these two friends know each other.
Raymond: Don’t put weird emphasis on words.
Host: *ignoring Raymond* On this round of the M/M Newlywed Game—
David: Newlyfriended Game.
Host: —we’ll see how well David knows Raymond. We’ll test Raymond on Tuesday, December 15th, at Charlie Cochet’s Purple Rose Teahouse.
Raymond: Holy shit, can you stop pimping Santino’s tour and ask the fucking questions? I have things to do.
David: *kicks Raymond*
Host: Okay David, first question—who is Raymond’s favorite singer?
David: Nooo, that is super hard! Bah. *bites lip and squints at Raymond* Ummm. I’m going to go with Big Pun? I’m probably wrong, but he always gets super excited and turns up the radio whenever a Big Pun or Terror Squad song comes on the radio.
Raymond: *flips up card saying ‘Big Pun/Terror Squad’* You’re lucky. I almost changed it.
David: *fist pumps*
Host: Okay, next up—What is Raymond’s favorite comfort food?
David: Pastelles! He always asks me to bring him some from the restaurant near my job.
Raymond: *flips up card that says ‘pastelles’* They make them good there, and my Boricua food resources are tapped out unless I go to visit my friend’s mother.
Host: What is Raymond’s favorite article of clothing?
David: Pssh. That’s easy. His Yankees cap. It gets all sweaty and gross after he plays handball too.
Raymond: So stop wearing my shit! *holds up card that says ‘fitted Yankees cap’*
Host: You two are adorable.
David: You’re right. I am.
Host: Okay David—what’s Raymond’s most used curse word?
Raymond: *holds up card without comment*
Host: These are a little more challenging. Who are Raymond’s closest friends?
David: Oh! That’s easy. Chris, Sharky, Tonya, and Stephanie.
Raymond: *smirks and holds up card that says Chris, Sharky, Tonya, Steph, and David*
David: Oh, wow I didn’t—
David: *scoots closer to Raymond on the couch until they’re pressed together* I knew you loved me.
Raymond: Oh, shut up.
Host: *grinning* Who would Raymond say takes longer to get ready—you or him.
David: Oh God. Totally him. His hair takes like fifty hours to comb or wash.
Raymond: That is some bullshit. *holds up card saying ‘David’* You and your seventy two pairs of shoes. He be paying like almost five hundred bucks for some ugly ass—
David: Don’t insult my shoes or I’ll get started on your assortment of hoodies and sweats. Who needs that many pairs of sweatpants or hoodies?
Raymond: Again—then don’t wear them when you come over!
David: Your clothes are more comfy.
Host: Riiight. So, David, what is one thing you do that Raymond claims to not like, but you do it anyway?
David: I cuddle him nonstop. And jump tackle hug him. He’s tall, okay? It’s fun.
Raymond: *holds up sign that says ‘stage five clinger hugs’*
David: He likes it. He’s such a liar.
Host: Who would Raymond say is the better catch out of the two of you?
David: He’d say me because he’s ridiculous and judges himself way too harshly.
Raymond: *holds up sign that says ‘David. He has a solid job + better social skills + is prettier’*
David: *blushing* The last one is a lie, and he knows it. When we walk down the street people stop to ogle Raymond. Eyes literally follow him wherever he goes.
Raymond: They fall out of people’s faces?
David: They’re going to fall out of mine if I keep rolling them at you.
Host: What’s the first body part Raymond notices when he’s attracted to someone?
David: Umm. I don’t know. He never talks about being attracted to anyone! I guess… if I go by the stunningly gorgeous women he’s slept with in the past, I’d say their face?
Raymond: *holds up sign that says ‘smile’*
David: I totally get points for that! I am not missing another question.
Host: Close enough. Let’s hope you get this last question then: What would Raymond say is the moment when he first realized he cared about you? As a friend.
David: *stares at Raymond and gnaws on lower lip again* I think… the only thing that makes sense is the first time I came over to the house in Queens. It was while his brother was in rehab, after the death of their father, and Raymond was there all alone. He was talking about… having no parents and how it felt to be alone in that house after everything that had happened, and—
Raymond: *puts an arm around David*
David: *presses into his side* Anyway, we um, I hugged him. And he let me. I thought he’d push me away, but he didn’t. After that, we talked to each other every day.
Raymond: *flips up card that says ‘the night we talked about my parents’*
Host: Well done, David!
David: Do we win?
Raymond: What happens if we win? Do I get money?
David: No, we do not get money.
Host: We won’t know if you win until Raymond finishes his round. Tune in next time for round two of the M/M Newlywed Game with Raymond and David!
Blurb: Sunset Park
A Five Boroughs Story
Raymond Rodriguez’s days of shoving responsibility to the wayside are over. His older brother wants to live with his boyfriend, so Raymond has to get his act together and find a place of his own. But when out-and-proud David Butler offers to be his roommate, Raymond agrees for reasons other than needing a place to crash.
David is Raymond’s opposite in almost every way—he’s Connecticut prim and proper while Raymond is a sarcastic longshoreman from Queens—but their friendship is solid. Their closeness surprises everyone as does their not-so-playful flirtation, since Raymond has always kept his bicurious side a secret.
Once they’re under the same roof, flirting turns physical, and soon their easy camaraderie is in danger of being lost to frustrating sexual tension and the stark cultural differences that set them apart. Now Raymond not only has to commit to his new independence—he has to commit to his feelings for David or risk losing him for good.
About the Author: Santino is a writer of queer romance heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.
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