Review: Down By Contact by Santino Hassell (The Barons #2)


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…




…And here I thought I loved Illegal Contact…

Simeon and Adrián were once friends. Then Simeon left the Predators for the Barons and Adrián has been a bit bitter—bitter being a euphemism—since.
Between Adrián’s tweets about Simeon’s sexuality and an encounter at a preseason game, they land themselves a six games suspension and some community service.
At first, it is nearly impossible for them to see each other face to face but the more time they spend together, the stronger the attraction between them becomes.

I love Simeon. There’s something about him, an aura or whatever you want to call it, that makes it absolutely impossible for anyone to hate him (even Adrián). He’s sweet, charming, irresistible, observant and did I mention sweet? He’s very patient with Adrian as he comes to terms with his bisexuality and he’s just an amazing parter/friend to Adrián. Sigh. Couldn’t have asked for a better main character.
Adrián drove me crazy and he drove me to tears too. He’d been feeling attracted to Simeon for a while but hadn’t even realized. His way of coping with Simeon’s “betrayal” and with the feelings he couldn’t explain was by teasing and/or saying snarky comments about Simeon’s sexuality. I wasn’t a fan of him when he was acting that way because I thought he was just going to break Simeon’s heart but that wasn’t the case. Once he came to terms with the feelings he had towards Simeon he went all in and he became pretty darn perfect in my eyes.

If you are looking for a steamy, mature, perfectly-paced and beautifully-written M/M romance then Down By Contact is the answer to your prayers. I promise you’ve never read anything like this book, it is truly a breath of fresh air—that ends up burning you inside out from the sexiness.
Santino Hassell deserves all that’s beautiful in the world for giving us such amazing stories about amazing characters. You NEED to read this book!


Massive thanks to Berkley Publishing Group / InterMix for sending me an advance copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!


5 / 5 flowers


Check these out: