Book: Illegal Contact
Series: The Barons #1
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group ~ InterMix
Publication date: August 15, 2017
Length: 251 pages
Reviewed by Meredith
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 have to say that Santino Hassell is one of the best authors for romantic suspense. I’ve read many books and each of his books leaves me with tears, and nubs where fingernails used to be.
Illegal Contact is one of best books I’ve read in 2017. I was on the cusp of an emotional breakdown reading this. Noah and Gavin had me pacing in my kitchen, Kindle in hand, reading in my head and cursing out loud. A book that can turn me into this kind of insane monster is a sure winner! And if you can’t tell yet, I had a massive book hangover when it ended. I wanted to erase my memory of reading it and start all over again.
This story is important. Yes, you’ve heard it before with professional athletes coming out, or struggling in the closet. We all remember Michael Sam and what happened to him when he announced he was gay. Gavin finds himself in the same place. Why should he have to choose between football and love? Yet, we sadly live in a world where, even though we’ve made a lot of progress with acceptance, there’s a wall of bigotry and messy politics in the NFL and all the sports.
This is told in dual POV and I found both characters, Noah and Gavin, written amazing well. I’m not surprised because Santino Hassell has never disappointed when it came to the realistic edge he brings to all his characters. The way the reader relates to each MC has always left me in awe. I love a book to take me out of my head but I also love reading a character and saying, “Yes, I totally get that.” Or “I’d so do that!” Maybe it’s validation. Either way, it’s wonderful.
Illegal Contact is a must read. I can't wait to see other characters in this series get their story as well. You don’t want to miss this outstanding romantic suspense!!!
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