Illegal Contact (Lili’s Review)

Title: Illegal Contact (The Barons #1)
Author: Santino Hassell
Publisher: InterMix
Release Date: August 15th 2017
Genre(s): Sports Romance
Page Count: 3248 kindle locations
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5


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 story starts off with Gavin being under house arrest for getting into a physical altercation. He’s got a bad boy reputation- cocky, volatile, and unrepentant. During his house arrest, it’s decided he needs a personal assistant- someone to run his errands and keeps his affairs in order. His enthusiasm at having a stranger in his home is about as high as watching his team play without him- not much- that is until Noah walks in to interview for the job. Noah who’s not afraid to go toe to toe with Gavin.

Noah interviewed for the job for one reason only: money. Having recently lost his job, student loans and the added pressure of helping his dad get back on his feet forced him to take the position he’s dreading working. What ensues is a high level of UST, snark, romance, heartbreak, and a fabulous end.

My highlights:

-Gavin. Underneath the thorny exterior lay a man who was lonely and reading his evolving feelings for Noah gave me butterflies.

-Noah. Sassy, snarky, loyal Noah. He disliked Gavin from first sight but as the different layers of Gavin began to unfold Noah couldn’t help but fall.

-UST. This is probably one of the best slow burns I’ve read. It kept me engaged and on my toes. I was glued and dying for them to get together.

-The secondary cast of characters was all kinds of awesome even a particular man who made me see red. >> Joe >:(

-The dialogue. It was natural and funny. It flowed seamlessly.

-The climax/conflict. It broke my heart- because I’m sure it happens. It made me rage at the unfairness.

-The end. Sigh, talk about healing a girl’s heart and making it sing with joy. The end brought forth a smile and all kinds of mushy feelings.

I also want to give a special shout out to what I consider: The Best Last 30% of a Book. The last part of this book was jammed packed with all the feelings you want have when reading a romance novel. It was stupendous.

You guys, I can’t recommend this enough! Santino Hassell again has delivered complex, flawed characters that make us swoon. I just can’t get enough of his raw, edgy romance style. 5 Stars!

The Barons Series

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Illegal Contact ( Barons #1) provided by Berkley Publishing Group via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.


I’m a thirty-something Colombian who loves to get lost in a good ol’ Romance.

My favorite tropes are:

-Best friends to lovers
-Opposites attract
-Humor (as long as it’s not slapstick type comedy)

My favorites authors are:

-Lane Hayes
-Santino Hassell
-Kade Boehme
-TJ Klune
-Heidi Cullinan
-NR Walker
-Eli Easton
-Amy Lane
-Keira Andrews
-Nick Pageant
-Annabeth Albert
-Jay Northcote
-Riley Hart/Nyrae Dawn
-Melanie Hansen
-Megan Erickson

Some of my all time favorites stories are:

-The Five Boroughs Series by Santino Hassell
-Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan
-BOATK Series by TJ Klune (anything he writes actually)
-Let’s Hear It For The Boy by TA Webb
-A Kind of Truth by Lane Hayes
-Cyberlove Series by Santino Hassell & Megan Erickson

**Also: HEA a must!

NetGalley Member since 2015
2016 NetGalley Challenge 80% Professional Reader 2015 Challenge Participant

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