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評価とレビュー(5 43 星評価
5 レビュー

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4.55
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    Thanks for your feedback!

    A Deliciously Slow Burning M/M Romance

    Illegal Contact was my first Santino Hassell book, and this delicious m/m sports romance will not be my last from him. This book hit so many high notes for me; I just couldn’t get enough. This story was a slow burn, a simmering romance, and in my opinion, it was done so, so well. The characters were perfect; the conflict was believable, nothing was over the top, no drama just for the sake of drama. Gavin and Noah are wonderfully drawn characters. I adored the push and pull between the two men, their banter is fantastic, and when they finally give into their attraction, they are combustible! Their passion jumps right off the page. I love the secondary characters as well. Gavin’s friends are hilarious and entertaining, and I found myself wanting to join their circle. Their bromance has me counting the days until the release of Down By Contact so that I can hang out with the boys of The Barons again. For me, the real strength of this novel was how REAL it all felt. These are real men, everyday men (even if one happens to be famous) and the reader can truly relate to them. These guys are smart, realistic, and honestly trying to make the best choices they can given their unusual situation. Hassell’s writing is magnetic, and I found myself trying to sneak in a few pages, even just a few paragraphs, wherever I could because I was THAT invested in this story. I couldn’t stay away from these boys, even if I tried. Santino Hassell has won me over with is intense, passionate, and sexy m/m romance, and I can’t wait to fill my Kindle with more of his work. I love Illegal Contact. Every word, every paragraph, every page; I love it all.
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    4.5 stars

    Illegal Contact marks the first book in Mr. Hassell’s new football romance series, The Barons, and it was even better than I could have hoped. I’m a fan of sports romances in general, with hockey and football being my favorite to read about; so when the author announced his plans to write a football book, I was excited and admittedly a little nervous. I love when my favorite authors branch out, but there’s always a little trepidation as to whether it will measure up to past works. In my opinion, this title is right up there with my favorite Hassell books and I’m crazy excited to see what book two will hold. Illegal Contact pairs up an intelligent college graduate who refuses to take anyone’s nonsense with a grumpy football player who doesn’t hold back from saying whatever is on his mind. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of back and forth banter, snide remarks, and of course- SPARKS! Though Gavin and Noah are very different from one another, I don’t know that that I’d consider this a case of opposites attracting. Rather, these men fit one another and I absolutely loved them together. Mr. Hassell writes the best grumpy characters who hide hearts of gold underneath their gruff exteriors, and Gavin certainly is no exception. I loved that the reader got glimpses of that goodness right from the start, and I immediately formed a soft spot for Gavin and was excited to see those moments extend as his character develops. I also like Noah quite a lot and found his backstory interesting. I appreciated how he challenges Gavin, and in turn Gavin and his teammates challenge Noah’s assumptions about professional athletes. There is a considerable amount of growth on both sides, and it the relationship naturally matures as the characters acknowledge their developing feelings. This author regularly writes romances bounding with chemistry, and while I didn’t find the pull between Gavin and Noah quite as magnetic as some of Mr. Hassell’s past pairings, these were some of my very favorite of his characters. Their personalities were dynamic and the dialogue made their vibrancy really pop. As always, this author writes with an unbelievably smooth style that has a polished feel without feeling stilted or lacking in authenticity. The pacing was perfect; and between the writing, characters, and dialogue, I found it extremely difficult to put this book down. I would have liked to see more of the football angle explored as I think that’s what sets apart sport romances, but given the circumstances surrounding the characters meeting, those details weren’t necessary to make the story work. For those readers hoping for a book showcasing Mr. Hassell’s talented writing style and complex characters but a little less angst than his Five Boroughs series, Illegal Contact won’t leave you wanting. *Received ARC via Netgalley. The publisher and author had no influence over this review for Alpha Book Club*
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    Illegal Contact

    Male/male contemporary sports romance. Noah and Gavin are two men that are fighting their doubts about their instant atttraction. Glad to see a bisexual character (Gavin) in a sports romance.
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    A five-stars +++ book!

    If I could give one more star, I would! This story is just amazing, well paced and the character development is great, as usual with Santino. The fact that the MCs own their shortcomings and what they want is so mature. Really, nothing to throw away here! I can't wait for the next instalment!
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    This one scored a touchdown with me...

    So just add me to the list... What list you may wonder why the list of people who loved this book of course...yeah, that list. First off let me just say I'm not much of a fan of football, sorry I am Canadian the hockey arena is more than likely where you'll find me if sports are involved, but for me, when it comes to books it's the story that matters and the subject doesn't always have to be a favorite topic of mine. Santino Hassell is one of those authors whose name on the cover takes precedence over what the story is about...in other words a good book, is a good book, is a good book and I've learned that there are certain authors who I can rely on to deliver a good book no matter what they're writing about. Santino Hassell's name is on that list for me. ICoS was my first reading experience with this author and he and Ais totally blew me out of the water with that series. So much so that after reading it I was compelled to buy the Director's Cut copies for Evanfall. I own the e-book copy or I own the book I don't make it a habit to own both and if you know me than you know that doing so speaks to how incredibly much I enjoyed them. Next I discovered the awesomeness that is his 'Five Boroughs' series and enjoyed these as audiobooks and now this author has again shown his diversity with 'Illegal Contact' the first book in his latest series 'The Barons' again...mind blown! I have yet to enjoy his paranormal story 'Stygian' and his other new series 'The Community' but trust me, I have them all waiting for me on my e-reader...it will happen. Gavin Brawley has it all the successful football career, the money, the huge house that you can get lost in, fame, success...so it begs the question 'Why is someone with all this so unhappy?' Noah Monroe is a college grad, he's buried in debt, lives with his dad who is jobless after being on the wrong side of his employer's latest downsizing efforts and yet, in many ways he's happier than Gavin and would be even happier if he could just find a job that allowed him to earn enough money to pay his bills. Thankfully Gavin's misfortune is about to become Noah's golden opportunity. When the successful football player ends up under house arrest and needing a Personal Assistant. This one's a slow burn to be sure. There may be a bit of lust at first sight but Gavin and Noah have more of an oil and water mix going on at the beginning. Watching these two maneuver their way around each other as they slowly work their way past the barriers each of them have built is more than a little entertaining. As Gavin and Noah spend time together Noah begins to see past the gruff and rude exterior that Gavin has put up to the man...the man that no one but Gavin's friends and teammates, Simeon and Marcus, ever see and even they don't get to see the person that Noah ultimately uncovers. Noah’s lips stretched into a smile, and his eyes twinkled behind his glasses. “I feel like four and a half months ago those words would never have come out of your mouth.” “Heh. Maybe. Four and a half months ago I didn’t see a need to not drive people away.” So much of Gavin and Noah's story feels real, like maybe we could have read this in the tabloids. There's a lot of unvarnished truth in the story we're being given and much of it is a sad commentary on how we...and by we, I mean society in general, view celebrities. Whether they're actors, singers or sports figures...if they're in the limelight we tend to feel that their private lives are meant for public viewing and this is the issue that drives Gavin's actions both at the beginning of the book and at the end and how Gavin deals with the circumstances during both events shows his growth as an individual and how much Noah has influenced his life, which for me was definitely in a positive way. The secondary characters in this story as always were given enough depth and dimension to make them feel real...some of them were totally likable, such as Jasmine. Noah's best friend who calls him on his BS and isn't afraid to keep it real as well as Simeon and Marcus who do the same for Gavin. There was also Gavin's agent Mel, a tough, no non-sense businesswoman but then there was Joe Carmichael, Gavin's manager who was admittedly not very likable but he truly cared about Gavin and had his best interest at heart...likable but not. But when it came to secondary characters my personal favorite was Case the guy from the autoshop who befriended Noah. I totally want a story for him...please? There must be a quarterback or a linebacker somewhere in need of an awesome, sexy and genuinely nice guy to work on his care and maybe him? Just offering that one up for the powers that be to consider. As for the sexy times in this one...well all I'm going to say is 'good things come to he or she who waits and this pair are so worth the wait...Gavin and Noah are seriously hot...I'm pretty sure that some circuits got scorched in my Kobo.
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