Book Reviews

Oversight (The Community 2) by Santino Hassell at Riptide Publishing

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Psychic Powers / Erotic Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 09-August-2017

Book 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.


Book Review

After the intense events and multiple revelations of the first book in the series (and yes, that does need to be read first or this sequel will make no sense), I couldn’t wait to see what was next for the Community. Specifically Holden, who did not strike me as a very nice person as the events of ‘Insight” unfolded – and here he is, one of the main characters of ‘Oversight’. I couldn’t wait to see how the author was going to redeem Holden. Plus there were quite a few loose threads and open questions left even after Nate figured out who killed his brother, and none of them pointed to much good going on behind the scenes of a seemingly benevolent organization set up to identify, protect, and manage psychics so they aren’t discovered and/or hunted by non-psychics.

Holden turns out to be a multilayered character caught up in the webs of power and deception being woven by those who control – or attempt to control – the Community and its members. Being the son of the founder makes him privileged in one way, but vulnerable in many others. With him being blamed for the scandal that caused so much pain and death in the first book, he now faces “oversight”, i.e., a bodyguard, sent by his father. He resents that – but it also triggers a kind of reality-check for him and makes him begin to question much of what he took for granted before. A fascinating process!

Six is at least as interesting as Holden, but he is a lot harder to get to know. And that isn’t just because the story is told from Holden’s point of view. Six is an “Invulnerable”, which means he is unable to feel other’s emotions or be influenced by psychic abilities. He literally has no empathy and lacks even the most basic social skills. He is super hard to read, and even though Holden manages to “crack” his shield, with amazing results and surprises I found hard to believe at first, Six remains somewhat of an enigma.

There is a lot of intrigue going on in ‘Oversight’, and much of it chilled me to the bone. The world of psychics is very different from the one I experience every day, and very hard to imagine. But Santino Hassell made it real for me, showed me what it might be like to have all kinds of psychic powers – and what the consequences are when they mix with basic human greed, an insatiable need for power, and the determination to subjugate everyone else to your will. Yes, we’ve had this before in human history, but extrapolated to a world where some people really do have more mental power than others, it paints a very scary picture indeed.

Despite of all of that, or rather on top of it, there is the developing relationship between Holden and Six. You might expect it to be secondary amid all the other events, but actually, it is the central thread around which everything else rotates and builds. Both men have a lot to learn about the world around them, as well as about each other. And with as many obstacles as they face on every level, it’s not an easy journey – but one that is ultimately very rewarding.

If you like your stories mysterious and full of suspected (and real) conspiracies, if you enjoy watching two men get to know each other out of curiosity more than because of emotions, and if you’re looking for a read that is scary, engrossing, and nail-bitingly intense, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. It continues the series’ theme of opening up a whole new world of fights for power, and I hope the next sequel will be published soon!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Riptide Publishing for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 242 pages/64000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 26-June-2017
Price $5.99 ebook, $17.99 paperback, $23.98 bundle
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