Early Bird Review | Illegal Contact

Illegal Contact

About the Book: 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…

The Barrons #1
M/M Contemporary Romance
Intermix | August 15, 2017
amazon2 bn2


My second Santino Hassell read was a raging success!  I seriously couldn’t put it down, and isn’t that some of the highest praise you can give a book?  It was so incredibly awesome!

One of my favorite romance tropes is the ‘asshole who goes on an emotional journey toward redemption’, and that was Gavin in every way.  When you start the book you don’t just feel like Gavin’s a jerk, he says it.  He knows he has a bad attitude, and he built it up on purpose, to wear like armor.  He’s almost proud of it.  Me personally, even at his worse I wanted to like him.  I immediately saw the good underneath all those sharp edges, and I was almost impatient waiting for Noah to obliterate Gavin’s defenses.  He needed to be happy.

I was only impatient in the moment though.  Mostly I appreciated how slowly Noah and Gavin fell in love.  Illegal Contact wasn’t just about Gavin falling for Noah, it was also about Noah’s ability to overcome their beginning, and his own history.  Noah needed to know he could trust himself before he could fully commit to love.

Together, they were like matching puzzle pieces.  For all that Gavin was gruff and grumpy, Noah handed it back with all kinds of sass.  Despite Gavin’s reputation, Noah wasn’t really scared of him.  Their edges matched up perfectly in spite of their differences.  Actually, I think it’s because of their differences that they made a good match.  They both needed someone who would challenge them.

There were a few threads left hanging at the end of Illegal Contact that I was hoping to see cleared up, however the fact that they weren’t didn’t detract from the story.  Sometimes it’s nice when not everything is all perfect in the end.  That’s not how the real world is anyway.  Everything doesn’t just fall in line just because you’ve reached the last page.

I do hope that Mr. Hassell gives us glimpses of Noah and Gavin in the next book, and maybe we’ll get glimpses  of how their lives are going.  I don’t think I’ll be disappointed, seeing as Simeon is the lead in the next book and he happens to be Gavin’s best friend.    I know I’ll be waiting on pins and needles for that next installment, because I can’t wait to watch that playboy finally catch love.


Thank you to Intermix for providing a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

4_5 feather

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About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

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