Illegal Contact

Santino Hassell
Illegal Contact
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Release Date
August 2017
Book 1 of The Barons
Contemporary Romance, GLBT

The rules of the game don't apply off the field in this first Barons novel.

New York Barons tight end Gavin Brawley is suspended from the team and on house arrest after a video of him brawling goes viral. Gavin already has a reputation as a jerk with a temper on and off the field—which doesn't help him once he finds himself on the wrong side of the law. And while he's been successful professionally, he's never been lucky when it comes to love.

Noah Monroe is a recent college grad looking for a job—any job—to pay off his mounting student debt. Working as Gavin's personal assistant/babysitter seems like easy money. But Noah isn't prepared for the electrifying tension between him and the football player. He's not sure if he'd rather argue with Gavin or tackle him to the floor. But both men know the score, and neither is sure what will happen once Gavin's timeout is over…

Book Review by Ana (reviewer)
Sep 28, 2017   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
11 people found the following review helpful
Gavin is the New York Barons' tight end. Known by his bad temper that has gained him to be on house arrest after an incident on a night out, and not being able to get out, he needed someone to run his errands. Noah has been struggling to pay student debts and trying to help his unemployed father. A job as a personal assistant to a famous athlete seems to be what he's been looking for. But none of them is prepare for the tension and attraction that start to grow between them.

It took me quite a while to care for Gavin. He was such an unlikable character for most of the book. I have a lot of issues with him because he was awful with Noah when he was a stranger. He only treated him well when he was already someone important in his life and that bothered me a lot. I do think the author did a great job with him at the end because Gavin kind of grows on the reader. For most of the book I couldn't care for him but toward the end, I was so invested in their relationship that I want them to end up together. I really got to like Gavin and it makes a perfect example of how easy it is to judge a person by the first impression we get from them.

Noah was a great character. He would speak his mind and do as he like, whether he was talking to his boss, a friend or anyone else. He knew what he wanted and he wasn't afraid to ask for it. I liked him so much more than Gavin. He wasn't perfect either, but somehow it was easier to forgive him.

One of the things I liked about the book was the importance it gives to the prejudice. It was really sad to see how much a person living in the spotlight is seen as an object and it gets hard to see beyond the personality or the features that have been assigned to them. Although it gives mostly a positive message, there was a thing that bothered me a lot. It was how violence tried to be justified. I don't believe it had any justification, sure it make the character seemed more human, I understood where it came from, but still, I see no good reason for violence.

The relationship between Gavin and Noah is exactly what I look for when reading romance. There was attraction from the start, but it started to develop at a steady pace. It gave enough time to the reader to make it believable. Near the half of the book, I was thinking the sex was going to be a little more toned down than I'm used to from the author. How mistaken I was. It is very explicit and it has a lot of steamy sex scenes.

Overall it was so much more than I expected. I'm not really into sports books, but this was a great one. Recommend it to anyone looking for a steamy M/M romance with bad tempered characters.
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November 23, 2017 07:38 PM ( EST )