Title: Illegal Contact
Author: Santino Hassell
Series: The Barons #1
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group / InterMix
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Genre(s): M/M, Contemporary Romance, Sport
Rating: 5 Stars out of 5
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…
I am still delighted. I just finished Illegal Contact and the magnificence of what I have read and the way I felt reading it is unbelievable.
I know this story won’t work the same for everyone. I mean, I´m using the word “delighted” here… and I know reading is a very subjective thing. Each one of us has different tastes and, fortunately, a lot of books to choose. But, for this reader, Illegal Contact was an amazing story so elaborate and so simple at the same time that I was completely in tune with characters, the plot and the writing.
The highest rate for this brilliantly written super slow romance.
This is not the typical geek-meets- jock book. It’s not your usual enemies-to-lovers story. It is both but none at the same time and is Santino Hassell who makes the difference.
I am not particularly a sports books fan. I read them as well as I could read rockstars books or serial killer stories… and what I want to say with this is that you will love this book even if you don’t know a thing about football. As you will see, Noah has zero knowledge about it and he is so cute, I may die.
And that said, the important thing here is that I LOVED THE BOOK! 😀
I’m totally and utterly in love with Gavin and Noah. So different voices, so distinctive POVs. So… So… So… (I have no words and, that, coming from me, is saying a lot). At first, I didn´t know if it was the writing, the characters introduction or just the vibe of the book, but it looked terrific since the very first pages and this awesomeness I´m talking about is present all the way to the HEA.
Gavin. The dark one. The moody. The angry guy.
The poor kid and the rich and problematic adult. The cocky football player. The conflictive celebrity. The sarcastic jerk. The closeted bisexual hottie.
He is all this. But also, Gavin the loyal friend. Gavin the helpless kid abandoned at birth. He is a complex e intense character. But all his hostility is melted with a compassion off the charts. He is a contradiction himself and a very beautiful and enjoyable one. The perfect definition probably comes from Noah …
“Gavin. The meanest player in the league, according to the media, but the one with the most aggressively overprotective and caring heart“
Noah. The geek. The sweet. The dreamer.
The more-poor-than-the-rats social worker. The smart-ass gay from Queens. The nerdy savior.And beneath all the sweetness and well being there is also a brave guy who faces whatever life through at him. And he has a temper too. A big one I must say. Gavin refers once to him as “ball of resentment and anger” and also as “sexy-ass geek with an attitude“, and he was very accurate with both expressions if you ask me. He is warmth personified. Hotness and warmth. He is so kind and sexy. So smart and funny, and totally adorable…
Sighs, sighs, and more love sighs.
The millionaire jock and the crusader geek seems incredibly different at first sight, but you can see since the beginning they are not. They fight for the same reason in life. Well, that’s not true. One of them fights and the other shields all his feelings behind an ugly shield of resentment, anger, imbecility, and sarcasm. Yup. Gavin is a jerk, and I felt in love with him right after his first line so, maybe I am a bit messed up but is impossible not to love him.
Both of them grew up poor and unhappy (even though Noah had a family who loved him) and that fact is the nexus between them. Noah’s way out of that unhappiness was becoming a social worker to help underprivileged groups (gays mostly) and Gavin’s out was football. Noah decided to do it to be capable to save other people, Gavin did it of saving himself. But in the end of this journey. Both wants the same. Both are unselfish and altruistic. And two incredible, deep and “rich” characters.The dialogues are fluid, natural. They are funny as hell. The book is riddled with fantastic conversations and smart-ass comebacks (mostly from Noah).
The humor in Illegal Contact is superb.
I’ve been highlighting like crazy all the reading. I was mad because I knew I couldn’t use all my marked quotes and that´s the reason I´m not quoting (even if I´m suffering for it). The thing is the highlights made pretty clear to me that it was being an amazing book. And it was. Till the last word I read.
This is a super slow romance. Very, very slow. 😛
In my case, it worked perfectly because most of the times I prefer the banter, the chasing, the unresolved sexual tension tan the sex itself. And this book has it all, so when you finally get to the sex…well, I´m just saying, it worth every minute of intensity, glances, jealousy and awesome conversations.
So, thank you NetGalley for the copy. Thank you, Santino Hassell, for the perfect book and, thank you, Wendy, for the buddy read. For being there all the way, miles away from me (literally and figuratively because you are the Flash of the books) but hearing my crazy ideas and insight about Gavin and Noah. 😀
ARC of Illegal Contact was generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.