Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell

Illegal Contact by Santino HassellIllegal Contact by Santino Hassell
Series: The Barons #1
Published by Penguin Publishing Group / InterMix on August 15th 2017
Pages: 259
Buy on Amazon

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…

Meet Gavin Brawley: Crude, abrasive, loyal, muscled, misunderstood and a closeted bisexual football player who cares naught about what people say about him. Now meet his other half who doesn’t know it yet: Noah Monroe, the broke, snarky and soft LGBT social worker turned personal assistant who’s quite the opposite of Gavin and knows next to nothing about football.

An application for a PA position for Gavin puts Noah in Gavin’s path and the easy money that being a PA offers makes Noah grit his teeth in the first few weeks. But the hostile antagonism shifts with snarky banter holding the base line throughout until Gavin and Noah find themselves brooding about the fact that lines and boundaries have crossed into the personal zone.

I do like Santino Hassell’s take on bi- and homosexuality in the world of competitive sports, and I’ll have to say that it’s written so differently from what I’m used to. But that’s not a bad thing at all. The male-male conversations and the deconstruction of men’s emotions, written by a male author about other men, were like a gold mine of insight into the opposite gender’s mind and well, my catnip. Gavin/Noah’s attraction and chemistry spark off the pages and with a cast of amusing secondary characters that already make me want their stories, ‘Illegal Contact’ proved to be quite a read with a kind of raw realness that I loved.