Down by Contact (Lili’s Review)

Title: Down by Contact (The Barons #2)
Author: Santino Hassell
Publisher: InterMix
Release Date: January 16th 2018
Genre(s): Sports Romance, Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 220 pages
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5


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…

Down by Contact by Santino Hassell is the enemies to lovers story of Simeon and Adrián. They were once teammates and friends, but things quickly soured between them when Simeon was traded from the Predators to the Barons. Adrián made it his mission to bully his old teammate in any way he could. During a preseason game, the two got into it causing them both to get suspended and having to do community service- together. What ensues is slow burn deliciousness.

Some highlights:

-Simeon, in Illegal Contact, he was Gavin’s supporting friend, and although he was still a nice guy in this book, he wasn’t perfect. That added to his appeal- had he been an immaculate human being it would’ve been boring so it was nice to see that he’s flawed just like everyone else.

-Adrián. He was tone deaf, cocky, and an asshole, but he will steal your heart. He grew throughout the story, and once he started coming to terms with his sexuality and developing feelings for Simeon, he was all in. No pun intended.

-UST! Palpable in every encounter between these two men.

-BANTER! It added to the sexual tension and made me laugh.

-The pace of the story is quick and flawless.

-Narration. The story is told from POVs which was perfect, loved being in both main characters’ heads.

-Sexual discovery.

-Bisexual rep.

-And the end….♥

Can this be read as a standalone? Yes, but read Illegal Contact. Don’t cheat yourself out of a great book.

Down by Contact lived up to the high expectations I’d set in my head for it. It was funny, moving, relevant but still raw. This was another outstanding book by Santino Hassell.

“You’re killing me, Adrián,” he whispered. “You’re dangerous.”

“I’m not apologizing for it. I like making your heart beat faster.”

“It does. Trust me.”

The Barons

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Down by Contact (The Barons #2) provided by InterMix 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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