Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review: Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell

Illegal Contact 
(The Barons #1)
by Santino Hassell
Genre: M/M Sport Romance
Release Date: August 15, 2017

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…

This is something different that I read by Santino Hassell. I didn't realize he can do light hearted and fun romance. Illegal Contact is like any sport romance that I've come to expect with MM theme and a bit of employer/employee vibe. I miss the focus on sport though, but I can why is that because Gavin Brawley is in a half year long house arrest.

Gavin, an athlete infamous with his reputation as a hot head and social recluse. He loves his football but didn't bother with the fame and blitz. Growing up in the foster system, Gavin is a loner with only have his teammates as his family and with his latest debacle, he ended up stranded in his mansion without even his favorite thing in the world.

Noah is a do gooder with a big heart, wanting to save the world kind of person. But when it comes to relationship, Noah is in a serious funk and haven't recover from his last betrayal. The last thing he wants is to work for a self entitled rich jock and cater to his every whim, but being broke make him desperate enough to swallow his pride. 

Right from their first meeting, Gavin and Noah didn't went off the right foot. Noah is not a football fan and didn't even know who the heck is Gavin Brawler and Gavin is incredulous with the man who live under a rock and call out on his bullshit. They just keep throwing insults and bullshit at each other at every turn, which make into an entertaining read. 

Despite the romance didn't really took off until the second half of the book and even then things were pretty light hearted, nothing overly intense or angst ridden, but sprinkle with some good dose of jealousy. I enjoyed their banter, their daily interaction and how close they got as time went on. 

Noah gets protective of Gavin after learning his past and the vulnerable side of the big man. But Noah knows better to get involve with another employer again. Gavin is a little dumb towards the end, but I can see why he thinks football is the most important thing in his life. The story ended with a nice HEA, but seeing that the entire story is told with Gavin being under house arrest, I did wonder how their relationship will progress after Gavin is back into the world. May Book 2 of the series will explain it to us.