Title: Oversight (The Community: Book Two)
Author: Santino Hassell
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Length: 242 Pages
Category: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Suspense/Thriller
At a Glance: This novel gives you an incredible story that is chock-full of mind-bending, non-stop action from beginning to end, and it leaves you wanting more. I highly recommend it to you.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Spoiler Alert! The following blurb contains spoilers for Insight, book one of The Community.
Holden Payne has it all . . . or so he thinks. As heir to the founder of the Community—an organization that finds, protects, and manages psychics—he’s rich, powerful, and treated like royalty. But after a series of disappearances and murders rock the Community, he’s branded the fall guy for the scandal and saddled with a babysitter.
Sixtus Rossi is a broad-shouldered, tattooed lumbersexual with a man-bun and a steely gaze. He’s also an Invulnerable—supposedly impervious to both psychic abilities and Holden’s charms. It’s a claim Holden takes as a challenge. Especially if sleeping with Six may help him learn whether the Community had more to do with the disappearances than they claimed.
As Holden uncovers the truth, he also finds himself getting in deep with the man sent to watch him. His plan to seduce Six for information leads to a connection so intense that some of Six’s shields come crashing down. And with that comes a frightening realization: Holden has to either stand by the Community that has given him everything, or abandon his old life to protect the people he loves.
Review: Okay, I must echo Mr. Hassell’s spoiler alert and tell you that if you did not read the first book in The Community series, Insight, then this review of the second installment, Oversight, will definitely give some juicy tidbits away.
Having said that, I am also about to curse—something I am fairly sure I have never done in a review before but, damn…just dayum, this author is just crazy good at creating a world set apart from any other I have ever encountered. With characters that both plug holes in your heart and have you yelling out loud at your ebook reader of choice, to evil villains you want to see just decimated, author Santino Hassell has created yet another outstanding series. Welcome back to the world of voids and psys (psychics) and the creepy, deadly machinations of an organization that is supposed to promote and protect them. Headed up by the father of our hero du jour, Holden Payne, the “community” is a place that should be a safe haven for those with psychic abilities. However, in this installment we find out that all is not what it seems on the “farm” where recalcitrant psys are sent to be “realigned”.
Nightclub manager and playboy, Holden Payne has always been just a little bit frightened of his father. Since his mother has moved to the farm for the foreseeable future, Holden has been alone, toeing the company line while carefully trying, unsuccessfully, to buck the system his father has created. After the near death by psychic vampire incident in book one, Holden is really shaken to the core and is rather surprised when his father sends him a replacement for the ability-sucking vamp he had first planted in the club to keep an eye on things.
Not only is Holden to get yet another babysitter, but he discovers that his father is supporting—in fact, spearheading—the idea that all the deaths associated with the club are his fault for not realizing sooner that the very spy his father sent was literally killing other psys in order to consume their abilities. To top it all off, the replacement, Sixtus Rossi, is an impenetrable hulk of a man. Holden can’t get a read on Six, and best of all, Six seems to lack any ability to understand or care about people’s emotions. He is an invulnerable—and Holden has no idea how to get inside the guy’s head, or whether or not he can trust him. Given that Holden has used his charms to get inside the pants of more than one conquest, Six leaves him frustrated in more ways than one.
When a fleeting moment of passion between the two men unlocks both Six’s mind and reveals some startling truths, Holden is faced with a terrifying choice—either pretend that the community his father runs is what it purports to be, or join the underground anti-community movement and bring it—and his father—down.
I am going to tell you that without a doubt this is one of the best paranormal series I have ever read. With each new novel, we are taken deeper into the grim place that is so bucolically called the “farm”, and made privy to just how warped the place is in reality. Not only that, but each installment introduces yet another character that turns out to be more than meets the eye, and draws us more deeply into this tangled web of a plot. I so happily got sucked into this series and cannot wait for book three to hit the sales floor.
Six is…unexpected. Unlike Holden, who, at the end of book one, we got an inkling was something more than a manipulative ass as we first imagined, Six is a real conundrum and when we finally get his back-story, it is just heartbreaking. If that is not enough, the story offers an ever-thickening plot that leaves one fairly squeamish about further insight into just what actually may be going on at the farm. Couple that with the revelation that Holden is a genuinely nice guy—one far more capable of falling in love than we had ever anticipated—and add in a dash of all the terrific side characters introduced in the previous story, and you have a sequel that rocks from page one to the end.
If you have not yet grabbed up Oversight, I urge you to do so immediately. This novel gives you an incredible story that is chock-full of mind-bending, non-stop action from beginning to end, and it leaves you wanting more. I highly recommend it to you.
You can buy Oversight here: