#DGRFave, Geri & Lana’s Review: Down By Contact by @santinohassell

DOWN BY CONTACT
Series: The Barons #2
Genre: MM Romance, Contemporary, Sports
Author: Santino Hassell
Release Date: January 16, 2017

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…

AMAZON | iBOOKS


LANA’S REVIEW

All this time, I’d not only been starving for his body—I’d been deprived of his kisses. Now I couldn’t get enough.

When Santino Hassell puts two rival football players together, the enemies to lovers trope turns from delicious to downright addicting. This book was EVERYTHING. And I truly mean EVERYTHING. You get the enemies to lovers combined with a GFY and one blissed out reader. This series only seems to be getting better and better and this girl simply can’t get enough!

I thought I loved Illegal Contact, but that was nothing compared to my love for this book. There’s just something so magnetic and captivating about these characters that Santino creates that I absolutely devour with a sense of glee that gives me butterflies in my stomach. Being a fly on the wall while these men figure out their relationships, life and themselves while falling in love is unlike anything I’ve experienced in books I read. I just love it.

I already knew I’d love Simeon after getting introduced to him in the previous book. If it’s at all possible, I fell even harder for him in this one. His rough exterior hides a heart of gold. A devoted friend. A loving son. A dedicated and driven athlete. A man that yearns for love but doesn’t believe he’ll find the real thing. A man that goes for empty meaningless hookups because that’s all he feels is possible for a gay man in his profession. Ridicule and sneers are not something he isn’t used to. They roll right off of him. He knows who he is and he’s not ashamed.

With his book bag hanging off one shoulder and his sweatpants hanging off his ass, he was ridiculously fuckable. Too bad he was also over-the-top hateable.

Adrián Bravo is his biggest rival, but at one point he used to be his teammate. Now that Simeon plays for the Barons, Adrián is a source of publicity that he’s simply tired of. Never hesitating to throw shade and subliminal homophobic comments during his interviews, Adrián is the last man he wants in his orbit. Until they’re both forced to make amends after an altercation on the field and perform community service where they have to deal with the animosity that brews between them.

There was a hardness and a sweetness to Simeon that intoxicated me with every touch. It made me pant for him, salivate for him, and think of nothing but my aching need to feel his body completely bared against my own.

As much as I wanted to hate Adrián in the beginning, the more you find out about the man, the more impossible it gets. He’s not a closeted gay man. He’s a man that simply didn’t realize what or who he really is until Simeon. His feelings for the man are foreign to him and something he’s never experienced for another guy. Watching him fight through that confusion and fall harder and harder for Simeon was incredibly satisfying. You understand his hesitation in the beginning. You get his struggle and why it’s so hard for him to wrap his mind around. It makes him incredibly endearing.

And as for the two of them together?
Absolutely explosive!

Down By Contact was a sizzling MM sports romance that I couldn’t get enough of. It was completely unputdownable. I’m simply addicted to this series and I can’t wait for more.


GERI’S REVIEW

This book!

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Two hot-as-sin football players from two rival teams fall in lust and then love with each other in the second installment of Santino Hassell’s Barons series. I just can’t say enough about how awesome this series has been for me. I really enjoyed the first book, Illegal Contact, so my expectations were pretty high. Fortunately for me, Santino Hassell delivered a heartfelt, emotionally charged love story between Simeon Boudreaux and Adrián Bravo.

I had my reservations going into this book. The Predators were set up as the Barons’ rivals since the first book. In fact, one of the inciting incident in that book involved Simeon. And let me just say that the Predators aren’t exactly a cuddly team. They’re clearly set up as antagonists, and Adrián being a predator made me wary especially since he’s done some things that really made me mad. So yes, even though I love some enemies-to-lovers stories, I was worried, Adrián won’t be redeemed.

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Santino Hassell not only redeemed him, he managed to endear Adrián to me. I was falling in love with Adrián at them time as Simeon. He was, for all his bravado at the beginning, showed real vulnerability. He went above and beyond in proving himself worthy of Simeon’s love.

And Simeon of course was just as endearing and vulnerable as Adrián. I’ve loved his character since Illegal Contact and I don’t think it was possible to love him even more but in this book, I did. He was the same confident guy in Illegal Contact but Down by Contact showed a different side to him. His love for his mother and football and his friendship with Marcus and Gavin are some of the most beautiful elements in this book. Their banter and the way they were there for Simeon was my favorite thing.

But what really makes this book special was the romance between Simeon and Adrián. It was sweet and hot and so swoony. Their banter was hilarious and that grand gesture towards the end made me go…

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If you’re going to pick up one MM book this month, choose Down by Contact. And while this can be read as a standalone, I really, really would recommend reading Illegal Contact first. There are so many gems about Simeon there. Plus, you get to meet Gavin and Noah as well.

Seriously, you guys need to get on this series NOW!

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