Down by Contact

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Down by Contact

The Barons

Get a bucket of ice nearby and turn your fan or air con to low temperature as it’s getting HOT in here. The second entry in “The Barons” series had former NFL teammates Simeon and Adrián clashed in a tangle of limbs and senses. I’m new to Santino Hassell’s works - this book being only my second read of his - but I got to say I like his writing style.

Just like the previous book, “Down by Contact” exhibit quite a number of graphic performances on page. While I’m no fan of excessive sex scenes, the way the whole plot plays those become more than just another steamy scenes one after another. I fanned myself a few times, I’m not gonna lie, but I also feel the action itself expressed the characters’ inner turmoil and gradual acceptance of their feeling.

Identifying oneself is not always easy for everyone, as experienced by Adrián Baron - a linebacker with New Jersey’s Predators. Even before Simeon Boudreaux signed up to the Barons, Predators’ rival team, Adrián is drawn to him; and became more obsessed once they are on opposite teams. He just couldn’t figure out “why?” until throwing insults become one too many during a pre-season game got them both suspended and have to work community service together. And Adrián is forced to admit he’s not so straight after all.

Told in alternate POVs in first person, “Down by Contact” delved and reveal the nitty gritty of two bewildered minds. In a way this almost feels like “the one who got away” simile. It explains the rapid change of animosity between Adrián and Simeon; that what they feel have been brewing for years, since before they fell out of being friends.

That said, I confess to a bit of struggle liking the characters, especially Adrián. He’s portrayed like an overgrown teenager who clowned and dimpled his way around. Most often than not his reflex (comeback) got me wanting to either smack or gag him. The hot and cold retaliations between the MCs are rather exhausting too. Yet the whole thing also makes the confusion and the journey to find themselves believable.

This series also embracing current situation with social media hoopla, touching on the current (US) administration and society that’s not overly in favor of LGBTQ community. At the same time, it doesn’t try to solve every problems in one swoop. But there’s silver lining in cloudy moment. I like that about this book. The ending might be too Hollywood-esque to my taste, but I guess I don’t mind that sort of grand gesture at times. The question I have now is what - or whom - the next installment of the series would bring. I wonder about a certain douchebag who went silent here. Well. Who know. :)

Book Blurb for Down by Contact

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…

Night Owl Reviews Nov, 2017 3.75