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Illegal Contact

5 stars
1,994 (39%)
4 stars
2,031 (39%)
3 stars
795 (15%)
2 stars
139 (2%)
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140 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 975 reviews
Profile Image for ~Mindy Lynn~.
1,399 reviews593 followers
August 15, 2017

I'm a sucker for a MM sport book. Especially a Football one since that is my sport of choice. There wasn't much actual playing going on, but I didn't mind. I like the idea of a big hot Football players getting dirty with another attractive guy just as much and SH surely delivered that.


Gavin is a NFL player who has recently got himself in quite a bit of trouble when he is caught on film having a physical altercation with a man. This incident lands him on house arrest for six months. He can deal with that, but what he can't deal with is also being on athletic suspension that leaves him sitting out a whole season. Gavin lives and breathes Football. It is the only thing that saved him growing up and on the field is where he comes alive. But he's not your usual show boating Football player. No. Gavin doesn't care about his persona or how the media see's him. He has anger issues and a temper that gets the best of him. He also is brash and unapologetic. He is snarky and sarcastic. And I adored him.
Being on house arrest in his huge Hampton mansion and unable to leave the place has put Gavin in a position he isn't quite happy with. That position is having to hire someone to be in house and in his space. He isn't comfortable with that. He doesn't believe he needs a PA, but soon realizes he has no choice. Enter Noah... He's just the match off the field that Gavin needed.

Noah was recently fired from his job. To say he is having financial problems would be an understatement since he to had to move back home to help his father financially since he lost his job as well. He is desperate to find anything and when his friend tells him about a PA position he applies for it. He doesn't really know what the job will require of him or who exactly he will be working for but he is willing to do anything to get out of his debt and to help his father. What he didn't expect is to work for a grumpy, short tempered, overpaid jock.
Noah is full of sass and he's funny, smart, loyal, and can give no f's that his employer is some huge NFL star considering Noah has no love for the game or it's players. Well, expect maybe this player.

The sexual tension between the men was intense. The banter was entertaining. The relationship that builds between the two men was a slow burn that I would gladly watch go up in flames over and over again. Both characters are flawed and raw. They both have a realness to them that Hassell always creates with his characters.

I absolutely loved this story and I can't wait for the next one. This is going to be a series I will follow to the end.

Happy reading dolls! xx

***ARC kindly given to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review***
Profile Image for Shile (Hazard's Version) on-hiatus.
1,106 reviews839 followers
March 14, 2018
Rating removed


Profile Image for ⊱✿⊰ Alicia ⊱✿⊰ .
552 reviews457 followers
September 3, 2017
5 Clark Kent Stars

I loved this!!!!
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Gavin is on a downward spiral. He is a famous footballer who plays tight end (pun intended) in a NFL team, the problem is he has major anger management issues that see him get arrested for sticking up for his best friend and team mate Simeon.

Gavin is suspended from playing football for the season and put on house arrest for six months. All his 'issues' seem to stem from his shitty upbringing, and I admit Gavin comes across as a complete nob at first.
"So don't come at me preaching about the fake-ass persona you want me to have, It's never going to happen. All I care about is playing ball."

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Noah is unashamed of his nerd Clark Kent status and makes no qualms about the fact he knows nor likes anything about football. So why does he want to be the PA to a huge arrogant NFL star? Money that's why. After quitting the job he always wanted as a social worker for teens, he is left with all his student loans and an out of work dad he is trying to help out.

So anyway he lands this interview to be Gavin's PA and from the moment these two meet the insults and banter start flying.
"Don't underestimate me. Or what it will be like to be locked in this mansion with me. I'm not a pleasant person, and no amount of anger management or therapy will turn me into one.

Amongst the sarcastic banter you can sense the feelings of these two beautiful men growing. I am a little shocked that it takes so long for Noah to find out Gavin is Bi, with the way he was so obviously flirting and watching him.

Noah has to put up with a lot working for Gavin but he brings out the best in him. They both get so much out of this 'job', after both having hard upbringings in different ways they find a bond. It was so nice reading these two adorable men fall in love.

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When they finally get together, these boys are HOT!!

If you are looking for a great m/m romance I highly recommend this one.

〰️ Reviewed on behalf of the 1-Click Addict Support Group 〰️
Profile Image for Nissa | Of Pens and Pages Book Blog.
337 reviews1,008 followers
March 12, 2018
*In the light of recent events, I've removed my star rating for this book.*

Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,869 reviews2,246 followers
July 18, 2017
4.5 stars!

“I’m your boss. You’re my assistant. We’re not anything else.”

Gavin Brawley is one of the NFL’s biggest players, and after an assault charge he’s been confined to his home for six months, monitored by an ankle bracelet. Being benched means Gavin needs to hire an assistant to manage his entire life, something he’s not exactly happy about.

Noah Monroe is in desperate need of a job, after him and his father lost theirs they need to make ends meet. The last thing Noah wants is to be a PA to a cranky NFL player, but despite his reservations, he takes the job.

Tension is high between the two of them, and things don’t start off smooth. But the more time they spend with each other, the better it gets until a tentative friendship and mutual respect is formed.

“Better to have an insolent nerd with no interest in football than a kiss-ass fan who will tell all to all their friends.”

Illegal Contact is the sports romance you’ve been waiting for! Football is never my first choice (like ever), so I was surprised when I ended up loving this football romance. Well, I shouldn’t have been because Santino Hassell is everything that’s good in the MM romance genre. The voice he gives to his characters is so strong, Noah and Gavin felt like real people to me, one’s I could turn my head and talk to.

This is an I hate you/I love you kind of romance. The beginning starts out with much badgering and barb trading, but I loved the journey from dislike to mutual admiration. They always say there’s a thin line between love and hate and this book encapsulates that phrase excellently. I loved Noah and Gavin equally, neither one of them got on my nerves at any point and I was rooting for them both to get what they want.

This is the next big series in MM romance, so you’d be an idiot not to pick up this book!

“You are trustworthy. And I’m tired of always hiding.”

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Profile Image for Virginia Cavanillas.
Author 29 books148 followers
March 13, 2018
Rating removed because of this:

Original review:

I am still delighted. I just finished Illegal Contact and the magnificence of what I have read and the way I felt reading it is unbelievable.

I know this story won't work the same for everyone. I mean, I´m using the word "delighted" here... and I know reading is a very subjective thing. Each one of us has different tastes and, fortunately, a lot of books to choose. But, for this reader, Illegal Contact was an amazing story so elaborate and so simple at the same time that I was completely in tune with characters, the plot and the writing. 
The highest rate for this brilliantly written super slow romance.

This is not the typical geek-meets- jock book. It's not your usual enemies-to-lovers story. It is both but none at the same time and is Santino Hassell who makes the difference.

I am not particularly a sports books fan. I read them as well as I could read rockstars books or serial killer stories... and what I want to say with this is that you will love this book even if you don't know a thing about football. As you will see, Noah has zero knowledge about it and he is so cute, I may die.


And that said,  the important thing here is that I LOVED THE BOOK! I'm totally and utterly in love with Gavin and Noah. So different voices, so distinctive POVs. So... So... So... (I have no words and, that, coming from me, is saying a lot)

At first, I didn´t know if it was the writing, the characters introduction or just the vibe of the book, but it looked terrific since the very first pages and this awesomeness I´m talking about is present all the way to the HEA.

Gavin. The dark one. The moody. The angry guy. The poor kid and the rich and problematic adult. The cocky football player. The conflictive celebrity. The sarcastic jerk. The closeted bisexual hottie.


He is all this. But also, Gavin the loyal friend. Gavin the helpless kid abandoned at birth. He is a complex and intense character. But all his hostility is melted with a compassion off the charts. He is a contradiction himself and a very beautiful and enjoyable one. The perfect definition probably comes from Noah " Gavin. The meanest player in the league, according to the media, but the one with the most agrgressively overprotective and caring heart "

Noah. The geek. The sweet. The dreamer. The more-poor-than-the-rats social worker. The smart-ass gay from Queens. The nerdy savior.


And beneath all the sweetness and well being there is also a brave guy who faces whatever life throws at him. And he has a temper too. A big one I must say. Gavin refers once to him as " ball of resentment and anger " and also as " sexy-ass geek with an attitude ", and he was very accurate with both expressions if you ask me. He is warmth personified. Hotness and warmth. He is so kind and sexy. So smart and funny, and totally adorable... Sighs, sighs, and more love sighs.

The millionaire jock and the crusader geek seems incredibly different at first sight, but you can see since the beginning they are not. They fight for the same reason in life. Well, that's not true. One of them fights and the other shields all his feelings behind an ugly shield of resentment, anger, imbecility and sarcasm. Yup. Gavin is a jerk, and I felt in love with him right after his first line so, maybe I am a bit messed up but is impossible not to love him.

Both of them grew up poor and unhappy (even though Noah had a family who loved him) and that fact is the nexus between them. Noah's way out of that unhappiness was becoming a social worker to help underprivileged groups (gays mostly) and Gavin's out was football. Noah decided to do it to be capable to save other people, Gavin did it to save himself. But in the end of this journey, both wants the same. Both are unselfish and altruistic. And two incredible, deep and "rich" characters.

The dialogues are fluid, natural. They are funny as hell. The book is riddled with fantastic conversations and smart-ass comebacks (mostly from Noah). The humor in Illegal Contact is superb.

I've been highlighting like crazy all the reading. I was mad because I knew I couldn't use all my marked quotes and that´s the reason I´m not quoting (even if I´m suffering for it). The thing is the highlights made pretty clear to me that it was being an amazing book. And it was. Till the last word I read.

This is a super slow romance. Very, very slow. In my case, it worked perfectly because most of the times I prefer the banter,, the chasing, the unresolved sexual tensión than the sex itself. And this book has it all, so when you finally get to the sex... well, I´m just saying, it worth every minute of intensity, glances, jelousy and awesome conversations.

So, thank you Netgalley for the copy. Thank you Santino Hassell for the perfect book and, thank you Wendy, for the buddy read. For being there all the way, miles away from me (literally and figuratively because you are the Flash of the books) but hearing my crazy ideas and insight about Gavin and Noah.

Highly recommend!

***arc provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review***
Profile Image for Jaime.
1,668 reviews299 followers
Shelved as 'no-no-cuz-reasons'
March 10, 2018
Review and rating removed
Profile Image for .Lili. .
1,181 reviews259 followers
March 10, 2018
Rating removed.

Original review under spoiler.
Profile Image for Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth.
794 reviews892 followers
March 12, 2018
In the light of recent events I removed my rating.

Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,593 followers
August 13, 2017
5 AMAZING stars

I have read before books from Santino Hassell but this is my first from him alone and I can't help myself from being blown away by his beautiful writing and awesome characters!Illegal Contact is a story of passion, tension,slow burn and temptation. It has everything I wanted in a story, amazing plot,slow burn,super hot and sweet romance.


Another thing that I loved about this story is the fact that the characters felt realistic! Gavin and Noah's relationship is complex, both of them are so different.Gavin is cocky and in the begining a little bit angry and dificult so I don't blame Noah for not liking him at first.On the other hand we have Noah who is sweet,cute and smart. I freaking loved their romance, it's so intense and the slow burn is perfect.There are some really hot moments between them!

Overall it was a sweet,passionate and romantic!I highly recommend it to everyone!!


Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,520 followers
September 26, 2017
“Sorry. I’m not usually this sarcastic when talking to potential employers.”
“You should probably work on that. My fuse is short and burns fast.”
“So I’ve heard.”
Gavin pointed at me. “You did it again.”
“Were a smartass.”

Gavin Brawley is the star of New York Barons, but he if truth be told he needs to have some anger management lessons. When he is pissed, he is ready to kill. Nobody can really control him and one day a videoclip of him beating up someone goes viral on the internet.
The result is that he has to stay for many months on house arrest and to be suspended for the same amount for time from his team. This drives him crazier because football is the only thing that could help him to manage his temper.

The truth is that it is about time for him to have a personal assistant, someone who can go out and buy him food and do all the tasks outside of his house because Gavin cannot get out.

Noah Monroe desperately needs a job, because he got himself fired and he needs money. He still has so many students’ loans to pay and moreover he has to look after his also jobless father.

When Gavin and Noah meet, they don’t really like each other – although they are really attracted to each other. Oh, and Noah does not like football…

Noah has never hidden the fact that he is gay. Gavin has never admitted that he is bisexual.

Well, these two will have to learn to live together. Just Noah has to be strong enough not to lust for his boss as he did for his previous boss (even though his new boss never leaves him alone). And maybe Gavin has to tell the public -before he is blackmailed- why he almost killed a guy with his fists.

I absolutely love the story! This is the first book that I read by Santino Hassell and certainly will not be the last. I know that he has written some science fiction stuff that I am dying to read.

Anyway, in this story Noah is super cute, tender and funny. Gavin is the perfect brute who needs someone to look after him.

The pace is fast, the dialogues are clever, the secondary characters are interesting; and the love story is sweet and life- changing for the two characters.

Other plus points when you get this book:
The book cover is extra delicious.
The sex scenes are extra hot.
Profile Image for Wendys Wycked Words.
1,560 reviews3,842 followers
March 9, 2018
Release day 8/15 !!!!!

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I am a sucker for geeks, jocks and sports themed books, so I just knew this one was gonna be a big hit for me.....and since I am always right...

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I loved the story, the MC's and the sidecharacters !!

Gavin Brawley is a famous football player...a tight end to be precise. He is also snarky, growly and has some anger management issues. These issues are actually the reason for him being on house arrest with an ankle bracelet, for the next 6 months.

Since Gavin is not real good at taking care of himself and not able to go anywhere, he is forced to hire a PA.... He ends up hiring Noah...

Noah is a bit of a geek, he has lost his previous job, because his boss was an asshole and he  is drowning in debt. He needs a job stat !

hot men - Album on Imgur:

These two really don't get off on the right foot. Now Noah might not like the arrogant football player,  but money is money and he is seriously lacking... So he can suck it up for the next 6 months.....he hopes.

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Being cooped up together in Gavin's big mansion, these two slowly get to know each other and they realize, that first impressions aren't always right. They actually end up being friends...

Now Gavin has known Noah is gay from the beginning and he has even flirted with him, but Noah didn't take any of it seriously... He should have though, because Gavin is not as straight as Noah thought he was, and when the truth comes out...all bets are off !! These two really had it going on ;)

"You'd let me come in you ?" "Use you intil I fill you up?"

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I loved that this book didn't have any insta-love. You could really see the two of them growing closer.... I also loved the last chapters. There isn't a huge HEA, nore like a HFN and a very realistic one. I loved it and I loved how these two suprised me near the ending.....especially Gavin.

I can't wait for the next book to get here. Highly recommended !!!

And thank you Vir for the awesome buddyread !! You rock <3

I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This review has been posted on Dirty Books Obsession


Profile Image for Dia.
534 reviews139 followers
January 19, 2018
5 BIG stars

Reread in January 2018 and loved it even more than the first time! Amazing book, amazing characters, great banter and delicious hot scenes! Highly recommend!

I never thought I would ADORE a football romance but it's Santino Hassell so of course it was absolutely fabulous!!!

It's been a couple of months since I've read this book, but only now I realized I haven't wrote its review. I was in vacation at the time. Well there are some things I still want to mention because it's one of my favorites from Santino.

I had to reread some of my highlights and the sex scenes were unbelievable hot! I kind of want to reread the whole book now.

I am really sorry I've read it fractured, being in vacation. I feel I should have took my time with it. Savored it more. Maybe I will reread it. It would be a great idea to reread it before the second book's release.

There were some scene really painful. I just couldn't believe they didn't see any way out, any solution that might work. It was so painful to witness their broken hearts and I wanted to hurt someone for all the unfairness!!!
Santino is again amazing beyond words! He just ripped my heart then put it back together.

The ending felt a little rushed, and unfortunatelywe don't get an epilogue, but I loved it anyway because it was sweet and made me want to hug our boys real tight.

Oh and the excerpt from the next book made me want to read it like yesterday! Enemies to lovers is my favorite trope!!! I really don't know how I will survive until January.
(Well, I survived, and might add that Illegal Contact is still my favorite.)
Profile Image for Eliza.
664 reviews835 followers
March 11, 2018
Rating removed in view of events that have come to light.

Profile Image for *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time.
1,921 reviews3,458 followers
June 5, 2017
4.5 Stars!

Sometimes, when I'm having a really shitty day and I want to feel even worse about myself, I'll go on NetGalley and request books I'll likely never be approved for. *insert Illegal Contact*

So imagine my surprise when I got an e-mail saying I was approved for this one.

Merry. Freakin'. Christmas. To. Me. And THANK YOU Berkley Publishing Group.

What could be better than a new Santino Hassell book (that's not paranormal :))....well duh, a Santino Hassell book about football!

I found this book to be a cross between his collaboration with Megan Erickson and his Five Boroughs series.

It didn't have the grit and heaviness of the Five Boroughs series, but the characters were still very Santino raw and real. It also wasn't as high angst as some of the Five Boroughs and Cyberlove books.

Hmm, you know was pretty perfect.

I was a little afraid I might not like my friend Gavin. But he came through when it mattered.

Can't wait for Simeon's book!

ARC kindly provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Ⓐlleskelle - That ranting lady ッ.
998 reviews829 followers
August 28, 2017
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️4.5 STARS⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I don’t even like football—or sports for that matter, yet here I am professing my indisputable love for Illegal Contact, a story about a football player behaving badly butting heads with his new snarky PA.
The main reason behind my sudden reversal lies in the cleverness in which Santino Hassell fleshes out his characters. An author I’ve only discovered recently through his collaboration with Megan Erickson (Cyberlove series) and became instantly addicted to.
There was something reassuring about the realness of outright hostility.

Gavin Brawley , thirty something strong and opinionated football athlete oozing resentment, grumpiness and giving out strong cynical vibes didn't leave me much choice but to take interest in him. (There is something about jerk heroes, you know?) Add to this fact he's been forced upon a new PA with a personality in total opposition to his own, a smart mouth and a body forcing awareness. Oh was a perfect / imperfect match for Gavin! Just picture him as a nerdy Clark Kent. Yep, there you go.
I’d never been into the whole geek thing before, but his lean body, thick, dark hair, and square-rimmed glasses did it for me. I wanted to fuck him while he was wearing them and see if they fell off his face.

Their immediate mutual dislike only served to nurture and build the tension between them, and this was executed brilliantly by the author. I’m a sucker for opposites attract tropes in my romance books and here, every little jab, line or retort between Gavin and Noah was banter-licious. Delectable antagonism only adding fuel to their restrained magnetism.

Then there’s the fact that the Santino Hassell’s writing literally compels to turn the pages to reveal layers upon layers about his characters. And this clever way to weave in feelings, flirtation and humor is just fetching. The dialogues are so genuine and engaging you just want his characters to never shut up! It’s that entertaining.

Then there are the feelings between Gavin and Noah, portrayed with astute sensitivity while the intensity of their slow burning attraction is burning through the pages! An ideal balance between sweet and sexy making Illegal Contact hit the spot for this romance reader.
The power and tension in the few sex scenes in this book may have literally felt like a ball of fire. Scorching hot, raw and just damn exciting!

I’m not going to explain what goes down in the book, Gavin is under house arrest for a reason, there is more to him than just your average athlete behaving badly, and Noah may appear first as stuck up privileged kid but there’s more to him than meets the eye too. Both have some revealing and uncovering to do and that protective shell they’re hiding under is going to get shredded down in a slow burning dance which feels like a treat to read.

Once I started Illegal Contact, there was no putting it down, I felt trapped by Gavin and Noah growing chemistry, engrossed by their developing friendship, riveted by their thriving banter and just mesmerized by their lovemaking. If you enjoy a good sports romance, have a soft spot for opposite attracts tropes, and love your heroes with a smart mouth, then just go ahead and read this one already! It’s a winner!

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for my review.
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Profile Image for Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘.
1,314 reviews2,863 followers
January 15, 2018
⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱*#DatBrawleySmile* ⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱

This book is about New York Barons tight end Gavin ‘G’ ‘Gav’ Brawley (28? 29?) and his personal assistant/babysitter Noah Monroe (how old?). Gavin is suspended from the team and on house arrest after a video of him brawling goes viral. Noah gets hired as his assistant even though they get on each others nerves. They are also very attracted to each other. However, Noah needs this job as he has a whole lot of student debt and needs to help his father financially as he was laid of work. As Gavin and Noah goes head to head, they realize that they have more in common than they thought and frankly neither of them is letting one one of them bullshit their way out.
It wasn't fair for him to look this good and to have a dick that big. Life was ridiculous.

Jesus, I have no idea what I just wrote. I'm tired and distracted and just wrote whatever. Which is probably not making any sense. Overall, the book was better than I expected but not better than I had hoped. It wasn't bad, at all. The story was good, cute, fast forward and easy to read. I liked the characters. Noah and Gavin were great and together they were perfect for each other.... However something was missing. I have no idea what, but something was. Perhaps more depth? Or the fact that we didn't get to see Noah and Gavin as a couple out in the open? How they would act and all that... Also I had hoped that we had gotten more of a closure for those two. I'm not sure if I'll continue the series as I didn't necessary like Simeon Boudreaux, one of Gavin's best friend and main character in second book.
Gavin Brawley was one of the most unlikeable people I’d ever met, and yet my brain had no problems conjuring images of us naked, sweating, and doing the unmentionable.

Quick basic facts:
Genre: - (A) Contemporary Romance (M/M)
Series: - Series (Standalone?), Book One
Love triangle? -
Cheating? -
HEA? -
Favorite character? - Gavin ‘G’ ‘Gav’ Brawley.
Would I read more by this author/or of series? - Yes.
Would I recommend this book/series? - Yes.
Will I read this again in the future? - Unsure.
Rating - 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Kaje Harper.
Author 76 books2,539 followers
March 9, 2018
I am pulling reviews and ratings of the books by this author, due to well-documented evidence of catfishing and abusive behavior toward members of the M/M community - I refer you to Riptide Publishing's statement -
Profile Image for Susan.
2,222 reviews408 followers
August 15, 2017
I should really stop reading Santino Hassell's books. His formula just doesn't work for me.

- Asshole MC
- Sex with other people while there's already an emotional connection (no relationship yet)
- Lots of push and pull
- Asshole side character who I wanted to kill, but who supposedly has everyone's best interest at heart and therefore it's okay that they’re rude and hurt people.

All of this makes for an intense read, but just not the kind of intense I like.


Aaaaaand, I guess I'm literally the only one who didn't like this book. I'm quite surprised everyone was so okay with Gavin's assholish behavior and the sex with another person thing. But I know I can be sensitive about those things, so I should definitely stop reading SH.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 975 reviews