Monday, February 05, 2018


Two rival football players begin a game with higher stakes than the Super Bowl in this steamy romance from the author of Illegal Contact.

Simeon Boudreaux, the New York Barons’ golden-armed quarterback, is blessed with irresistible New Orleans charm and a face to melt your mama’s heart. He’s universally adored by fans and the media. Coming out as gay in solidarity with his teammate hasn’t harmed his reputation in the least—except for some social media taunting from rival linebacker Adrián Bravo.

Though they were once teammates, Adrián views Simeon as a traitor and the number-one name on the New Jersey Predators’ shit list. When animosity between the two NFL players reaches a boiling point on the field, culminating in a dirty fist fight, they’re both benched for six games and sentenced to joint community service teaching sullen, Brooklyn teens how to play ball.

At first, they can barely stand to be in the same room, but running the camp forces them to shape up. With no choice but to work together, Simeon realizes Adrián is more than his alpha-jerk persona, and Adrián begins to question why he’s always had such strong feelings for the gorgeous QB…

Release Date: January 16, 2018
The Barons #2
Sports Contemporary Romance-M/M Romance
Review copy provided by publisher

Liza's Review:

Illegal Contact was the first book I'd read by Santino Hassell, and I loved it. I couldn't wait to read Down by Contact as soon as it hit my kindle. 

Adrián and Simeon have been at odds since Simeon left the New Jersey Predators team for the New York Barons. When all hell breaks loose between them at a preseason game, they are forced to work together on a joint community service project teaching football to a group of kids at a community center. 

I have to admit right up front that I had a very hard time with Adrián and what he said through much of the book. He spewed so much hatred that I honestly had trouble getting into the book in the beginning. I really didn't see a way for Hassell to redeem Adrián at all. On the other hand, I absolutely adored Simeon and really wanted him to find a man to fall in love with and make him happy. I figured out pretty quickly Adrián was gay or at least bi and that was part of the reason he made such an ass of himself when it came to Simeon. It still took me over half of the book to start to like him.

I did love how well both men connected with the kids they were working with at the community center. Yes Simeon seemed to connect better with most of the kids, but Adrián started to really enjoy working with the kids and making connections the longer they worked with the kids. I think seeing Adrián with the kids is what helped start to turn my feeling around for him. Honestly his snarkiness never really goes away, but I quickly learned it was a bit of a defense mechanism for him. 

While it did take me a bit longer to buy Adrián and Simeon as a couple, I will say the sex between them was smoking hot! I did love how they really couldn't keep their hands off each other. I also love that both Simeon and Adrián really wanted to protect the other from anything coming out about them before Adrián was ready. I will say I didn't agree with how Simeon tried to protect their secret, but got his reason for doing it at the time. I also loved seeing both men go big in their declaration for each other. OMG I think that was honestly when I fell in love with Adrián. 

I absolutely loved Santino Hassell's voice and his in-your-face story telling in Down by Contact. While I only found Santino Hassell's books recently, I have to say he has become an auto-buy author for me rather quickly. I highly recommend his books.

Rating: 4 Stars (B)

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