Down by Contact

Down by Contact

by Santino Hassell

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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…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399586309
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/16/2018
Series: The Barons , #2
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 205
Sales rank: 136,139
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Santino Hassell was raised in Brooklyn by a strict Catholic family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school-cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author. 

Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

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Down By Contact 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was good read all the way through
EverAfterBookReviews More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars Raw, edgy and moving. Santino Hassell gives us another exciting and hot-as-f**k book in The Barons series! I really enjoyed Simeon and Adrián’s story. It was sexy, heartfelt and a bit of a tearjerker. I wish I could be more eloquent but I’d rather the readers experience this erotically charged manlove on their own Sexytime scenes aside, Mr. Hassell pens a solid story with flawed characters in a world where what you are and who you love are judged and often ridiculed. Where hatred and bigotry are masks for fear. And where two people—despite all that other bullshit—find the courage to stand up and claim their well-earned happiness. Well okay, so maybe I was a little eloquent. Bottom line: If you love football, brilliant characters, good storylines and steamy man-to-man defense (literally), then DOWN BY CONTACT is just what you need! ***I voluntarily read a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own***
V-Rundell More than 1 year ago
Fun and filthy unexpected love for two football players. Simeon Boudreaux and Adrián Bravo were teammates and friends on the Predators for a short stretch a few years back, but Simeon got cut, and picked up by the Barons. Adrián blames the Baron’s success against his Predators on Simeon knowing their playbook, but deep inside he’s really angry that he lost his friend. And, he’s using that anger to fuel some anti-gay slurs he makes once Simeon comes out. Adrián’s Predators are all about toxic machismo, and homophobia; Simeon’s glad he left that behind and found a team where he could be himself–and support a fellow out player. He lives his truth and loves his life. Of course, he’s not happy with Adrián’s trash talk, or with Adrián’s late hit that lands him on the disabled list for eight weeks. Adrián’s suspended, and their PR teams work out a deal to get both players some positive press: have them use their time off to volunteer at a LGBTQ kids outreach center running the sports recreation. Neither Simeon nor Adrián is wild about this arrangement, and the tension is rough. They have outbursts and power trips, and cause more fuss than help. And, somewhere in the hurt they generate, a kernel of desire is born. As neither man is dating anyone, the taunts they let fly turns the tension up to eleven. Adrián is especially struggling with the recognition that Simeon is such a great guy, and soon he’s also seeing his former adversary as a desirable man. Not that Adrián can act on his impulses. His old school folks would never accept him coming out as bisexual, nor would he find the Predators to be welcoming. But, Simeon is patient even with all the hate sex Adrián is offering. He definitely likes turning Adrián inside-out; his main mission is to turn Adrián into an ally, even if he’s undercover. The press gets wind of their developing relationship, when one of the kids leaks an incriminating photo, and Simeon tries to shield Adrián from the fall-out, but Adrián wants to write his own story. Especially if it includes Simeon. I always love the gritty, filthy talking, hot-and-dirty sexytimes Mr. Hassell writes. There’s no shortage of those moments here, and the sweet way Adrián comes around to accepting his sexuality is a bonus. I love the urbanity of the writing, and the ethnic dialect and experiences. Both Simeon and Adrián are men of color and they feel culturally authentic and interesting. I liked the football setting, though there are lots of off-the-field scenes, as both players are sidelined temporarily. The banter between Simeon and Adrián is amusing, and filled with athletic trash talk, amidst the flirtatious challenges. Their physical relationship begins with little more than a dare, but it grows more tender the longer they go at each other. Adrián’s fledgling steps into sex with Simeon are a revelation he didn’t expect to find, but the companionship they share fills a void neither man anticipated. It’s unexpectedly sweet. And, the end leaves the reader wondering if the league’s biggest homophobe, Adrián’s friend and teammate, Rocky Swoops, might be protesting just a bit too much. Looking forward to the next book in this series.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
DOWN BY CONTACT is the second instalment in Santino Hassell’s contemporary, adult THE BARONS erotic, M/M, football romance series focusing on the professional football players of the New York Barons. This is Barons’ quarterback Simeon Boudreaux, and New Jersey Predators’ linebacker Adrian Bravo’s story line. DOWN BY CONTACT can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed where necessary. NOTE: DOWN BY CONTACT is an M/M romance story line with sexually graphic language, text and situations that may not be suitable for all readers. Told from dual first person perspectives (Simeon and Adrian) DOWN BY CONTACT follows the enemies to lovers relationship between one-time teammates New York Baron’s quarterback Simeon Boudreaux, and New Jersey Predators’ linebacker Adrian Bravo. Following a less than stellar start with the Predators, Simeon Boudreaux was traded to the New York Baron’s where his star power is on the rise, but in the ensuing time rumors and innuendo about betrayal and playbook theft dogged our hero from the opposing team, but none more so than from one-time teammate and friend Adrian Bravo. Simeon’s recent forced ‘coming out’ prompted a firestorm of media sensation including the homophobic diatribes from a man he once call a friend. Enter Adrian Bravo, New Jersey Predator’s linebacker, and the man with whom Simeon would fall in love. A preseason, on-field brawl between our leading couple finds Simeon and Adrian facing suspension with team ordered volunteer work at a local children’s shelter. What ensues is the building relationship between Simeon and Adrian as they are forced to work together for the benefit of a children’s summer camp, and the potential threat to Adrian’s career when their relationship is revealed. Adrian Bravo always thought he was a heterosexual male until the day he met teammate Simeon Boudreaux but Adrian had to keep up appearances in front of his team fearing rejection and ridicule at the hands of the media and his so-called friends. Social media attacks against Simeon Boudreaux quickly made Adrian an enemy in more ways than one. Simeon Boudreaux was previously ‘outed’ by several jealous fans who posted sensitive images for all to see but discovering that Adrian Bravo, quite possibly, wanted something more than a rekindling friendship brought hope to a man who was potentially looking for a happily ever after. The relationship between Simeon and Adrian is an enemies to friends to lovers romance; a second chance friendship that continues to build as they must work together towards a common goal. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and intense without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. My only complaint is the lack of condom usage. Although this is a story of fiction, in an era of STDs and AIDS, I believe the author ( or for that matter, everyone) has a responsibility to promote safer $ex. DOWN BY CONTACT is a sexy, sassy and spirited story line; an inspiring and hearheart warming romance about passion, perception, discrimination and love. The premise is encouraging and energetic; the romance is sensual and provocative; the characters are dynamic and realistic.
NatReadsMM More than 1 year ago
I am such a sucker for alpha types in stories and this one was everything! Equally matched enemies-to-lovers, not-too-cutesy-kids with attitude, and smokin’ chemistry between the leads. Santino Hassell can be a little hit or miss for me; I liked CoS, didn’t click with most of his Five Boroughs series and I’m not fond of paranormal. But Hassell is an amazing writer and the Barons has subjects and tropes I can mesh with. Simeon and Adrian’s nascent friendship ended when Simeon left the Predators for the Barons. Much of Adrian’s hostility stems from internalized homophobia, fostered by a toxic atmosphere in the Predators locker room. Community service, after an on-field brawl, forces a détente and begins a slow burn romance. Simeon challenges and pushes at Adrian’s fears and misconceptions and when he pushes back...angry sex can be so hot! Simeon and Adrian add ethnic diversity and realism often missing in this genre, which makes little difference in the plot, and rightly so. The narrative uses a favorite style of alternating POV’s, which helped me make a strong connection with the characters. The dialogue from both MC’s did seem too similar sometimes; I didn’t see much influence coming through from both growing up in such different states. Maybe it’s because they used a lot of contemporary slang I’m not always familiar with. The youth center work and kids didn’t overwhelm the story but added enough plot device to keep things interesting. Of course the big theme was Adrian coming to terms with his bisexuality and falling in love with Simeon. He did have the requisite freak out, acted out badly and Simeon handled it perfectly. He understands but refuses to tolerate Adrian’s BS. The culmination of the story hit the right romantic chords, ending up just a little predictable, in a good way. There’s a cheerful epilogue set in the near future and I appreciated the assurance of a HEA. This book does stand alone, although I’d highly recommend reading Gavin and Noah’s story. I can’t wait to see who comes next in the lineup since I’m all but certain I’ll love it too. I do know this book is starting my best of 2018 book list! *An ARC was provided by the author or publisher and I have chosen to publish a fair and honest review for Hearts On Fire Reviews blog*
S_White_1218 More than 1 year ago
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review! Yowza, this book was chock full of hotness. Fiesty dudes, getting busy with each other! Sexual tension you could cut with a knife! Emotional turmoil and angst! Serioualy though, I loved this book so much I read it in a few hours. The first book was better, in my opinion, because, well, Gavin Brawley was super effing sexy! This one had some ridiculously heated scenes though, and definitely differentiated Simeon and Adrian from Gavin and Noah. They didn't feel like generic copies, like so many romance series following different couples each time seem to fall into. Definitely thinking there will be a third (probably Rocky? paired with Wyatt maybe?), and will definitely be all in for that one too.
DiverseReaderMK More than 1 year ago
Down By Contact is book two in Santino Hassell’s The Barons series. I fell hard for book one, Illegal Contact. I thought it was the best book written by this author and that’s saying something since I love his work. When Down By Contact became available I pounced. I remembered Simeon Boudreaux from Illegal Contact. He was one of Gavin’s best friends and even from there I knew he was gonna be awesome. I wasn’t wrong. What makes this book really good is the chemistry between these two MCs. Simeon is the golden boy. Quarterback for the Barons. Adrian Bravo is the Linebacker for the Predators. From page one you see the push and pull with these two. When a physical altercation occurs on the field these two are benched for six games. They are forced to work together at a camp with kids and the story takes off from there. I loved the breakthrough Adrian makes in this book. Santino does a really good job of lifting the veil for Adrian. Seeing who he really is without making it into some sort of a spotlight revelation. It’s gradual and the way Simeon helps him really made me smile. This enemy to lovers story is so much more than that. No, you don’t need to know a lick of football to love this book. In case you were worried. The story isn’t so much about football as it is about these two uncovering who they truly are. Trust plays a huge part in this book and carries out all the way to the end. It’s a touchdown for Santino Hassell for sure. Amazing book and outstanding series!