Review: Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell

34346381New 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…

It’s no secret that Santino Hassell is my favorite romance writer, right? So when I heard he was publishing a sports romance book, I was thrilled. For someone who doesn’t like sports all that much, I’m especially fond of romance books featuring athletes, so a sport romance book + my favorite author was just the combination I needed.

Illegal Contact was a fun, delightful read. It’s not my favorite Hassell book (Concourse/Interborough/Sunset Park are), but all the stuff I came to like in this author’s books are back: complicated characters, good writing and, more importantly (at least to me), relationships that make sense. That’s the one thing I look for in romance books: relationships where I can see why the characters are together and why they came to like each other. Illegal Contact excels at this.

I think the main reason this one didn’t become a favorite is that I didn’t relate with the characters that much and I kinda need this to really love a book. I do think I’m going to like the second book, Down by Contact, much more. I loved the little of Simeon we saw here in Illegal Contact and now I can’t wait to read his book.

In conclusion, Illegal Contact is a really good story with complex, well developed characters and a wonderful relationship. Definitely recommended. 4.0 stars.


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