Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Illegal Contact: by Santino Hassell
Series: The Barons #1
Release Date: August 15th, 2017
Pages: 259 • Format: eARC
Published By: InterMix
Purchase Links:
AmazonKoboiBooks

The rules of the game don’t apply off the field in this first Barons novel.

New York Barons tight end Gavin Brawley is suspended from the team and on house arrest after a video of him brawling goes viral. Gavin already has a reputation as a jerk with a temper on and off the field—which doesn’t help him once he finds himself on the wrong side of the law. And while he’s been successful professionally, he’s never been lucky when it comes to love.

Noah Monroe is a recent college grad looking for a job—any job—to pay off his mounting student debt. Working as Gavin’s personal assistant/babysitter seems like easy money. But Noah isn’t prepared for the electrifying tension between him and the football player. He’s not sure if he’d rather argue with Gavin or tackle him to the floor. But both men know the score, and neither is sure what will happen once Gavin’s timeout is over…

four-half-stars

 

This was an instant winner for me. Hassell last few books didn’t really do it for me. I was hesitant to try this one, but I was so glad I did. I loved the slow burn of the relationship, and Gavin Brawley is everything. Love that he means what he says, and says what he means. Noah is everything as well. Who knew Clark Kent would be so dirty? Plus Football is sexy! About time I can get a sports romance and I know the sport forward and backward. No offence to Hockey, but Football is so much sexier.

This is definitely a realistic fiction story, but a softer side then I’m used to. Yeah, I had some issues with me feeling like every guy is a Michael, Raymond and Garrett. I have a hard time keeping different characters apart when all of their backgrounds are so similar. It doesn’t take away from my inner glee with this story though. It was gritty, honest, sexy and I never wanted it to end.

Gavin is a softer version of all 3 of those guys. I mean, he has a shitty life, and anger problems. He’s on a 6 month house arrest for physical assault. No one outside of Simeon & Marcus seems to know the real Gavin. At times, Gavin doesn’t know the real Gavin. Enter mister Noah Monroe. Freshly finished from college, and out of a job. Not caring who the client is, he decides to take a position for a PA. I really enjoyed Noah. More often then not in stories like these we have to deal with that pesky miscommunication trope, but here everyone is outspoken and sarcastic. Basically speaking my language. Right off the start they are bitchy towards each other. After countless assumptions, we finally see a different side to each guy. They start opening up to each other, and everyone around them can see the attraction clear as day. This is something Noah doesn’t want to deal with again. Falling for his boss. It didn’t lead him to a good place the first time, and he’s trying so hard for it not to happen a second time around. Gavin make me gush so hard, he understands Noah’s boundaries so well. He respects him, and that is how he knows he’s screwed. He’s never loved anyone before. I loved that its a slow burn for the romance. The buildup between these two are scorching hot. From the first kiss to the last scene, it kept me glued to my tablet. Do you know how hard it is to read in Miami? If I wasn’t drinking and partying, I was neglecting my friends to read this. **Sighs**, I really enjoyed them.

Fans of sports romance, gay romance, and Hassell in general will most likely fawn all over this. Can’t forget about the amazing Simeon & Marcus. These are the bestest friends ever! I can’t wait for Simeon’s book! I definitely recommend this book!

 

 

signature-fonts

About Santino Hassell

Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.

Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of queer fiction 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.

Diary Dates by T.J. Masters

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

diary-datesDiary Dates by T.J. Masters
Series: Christmas in July
Release Date: July 23, 2016
Pages: 52 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Link:
Dreamspinner  • Amazon •  ARe

Postgraduate student Andrew Chin arrives in London not only to study, but to explore life away from his traditional family in Singapore. His adventure begins at the airport, where he finds the diary of a wealthy British businessman and endeavors to return it.

James Howard is twice Andrew’s age, and he’s not used to selfless youngsters. Despite a rocky first meeting, the two develop an unlikely friendship as James introduces Andrew to the city. James is looking forward to the festivities leading up to Christmas in London and maybe a celebration with Andrew. But will a nasty bout of the flu ruin their romantic holiday?

Not if Andrew has anything to say about it.

three-stars

I enjoyed this story alot for the amount of pages that we were given. It was a cute novella. Definitely a slow burn between the two. It was more friends to lovers then expected. Andrew moves to London from China wanting to experience everything great about it and go to school. He is such a kind soul, and you get that right from the beginning when he finds a diary of some sort. His decision to locate the owner tells you the kind of person he is. I liked that he seemed so shy and timid around abrasive and bold James. It’s kind of a facade for James because he is a successful business man, and expects everyone who comes in contact with him in some regard to want something from him. Well Andrew didn’t and I think it blew James away. This started a really sweet friendship between the two. I loved seeing them go on their outings together and experience different things. This was a breath of fresh air and I felt like them being together was very organic to the soul. This was a first for me by this author and I really enjoyed it. Looking for more from this author.

About T. J. Masters

T.J. Masters is a fifty-six-year-old author and life coach living in Hertfordshire just to the north of London, England. T.J. has shared thirty years of suburban life with his civil partner Ian, and they enjoy the love and support of T.J’s large Irish family who all live nearby. In 2009 T.J. took early retirement from a thirty-three-year school teaching career and decided to follow a new path. After qualifying as a life coach, T.J. found that he was coaching a couple of authors who were going through the process of giving birth to the book which “had always been inside them.” This rekindled T.J’s long-held desire to write and get published.

With a lifelong passion for books, learning, and the sharing of knowledge, T.J. woke up to the realization that he had stories to tell, books to write, and less than half a lifetime left to do it in. As for the kind of books he is writing… well, let’s just say that he decided to channel over thirty years of experience in the gay BDSM lifestyle into a genre where it would be most appreciated!

Alongside this passion for books and writing, T.J. also found an outlet for his inner geek and has become a great advocate for social media in various forms. Blogging has become a great outlet for T.J’s many interests including the writerly ones. The author has a website where he blogs regularly and he loves to interact with his readers and followers a

Beta Test by Annabeth Albert

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

0516_9781459290648_BetaTest_WebBeta Test by Annabeth Albert
Series: #gaymers, Book Two
Release Date: May 30, 2016
Pages: 178 • Format: eARC
Published By: Carina Press
Purchase Links:
Carina Amazon iTunes • Kobo • B&N • Google Play

Player vs. Player. Fight!

Brilliant graphic designer Ravi Tandel is ahead of the game—he’s just been asked to present a top secret project at a huge conference in Seattle. All systems are go…until he learns his buttoned-up office nemesis is coming along for the ride.

Tristan Jones isn’t really the gamer type, but he knows the back end of the video game business inside out. Together, he and Ravi will give an awesome presentation. If they survive the cross-country trip first.

Tossed together in close quarters, Ravi’s shocked to see Tristan’s sexy, softer side emerge from such a conservative shell. He’s less shocked to learn his handsome colleague’s prominent family would never support an out-and-proud son. But Ravi didn’t struggle through his own coming out to hide who he is now. To be together, Tristan will have to push past his fear and ultimately decide: Does he want a future with Ravi? Or is it game over before they’ve even begun?

four-stars

This book was just as good as book one! I’m really enjoying this series a ton. I love the characters, the colorful personalities, and just the overall theme of it. I’m so looking forward to book 3 in the fall!

Book is the ultimate geek fest for me!!! Goodness Tris and his spreadsheets were hawt!!! Ravi has a million friends, is well liked, knows everything and falls for straight edge Tristan who wears simple colors, who has to have order and closed off!!! This is definitely a slow burn, but once things get going it’s so hard to stop. I never wanted the story to end. I was enjoying it alot! I like that we got to know each character apart from the romance before anything happened. They come from two different walks of lives but seem to be totally the same with family issues. Both guys had to learn how to stand up for themselves with their family and outside forces. Both come from conservative homes where being “Gay” didn’t fit their families plan. Both guys treated it differently. Ravi decided to leave his family behind and live his own life in his own way. Tristan was the complete opposite, he stayed around out of guilt.

I like that both guys kind of notices each other good qualities. Tris is really insecure in a relationship because of a previous one, and we see Ravi constantly building him up. I thought it was super adorable. Tris notices Ravi’s eating choices and his low blood sugar hulk rage. I get that way as well, so I definitely understood. I loved what Annabeth Albert did. It was so refreshing to see a New Adult book with some communication. These two had no problems with speaking their minds and they were magnificent. The physical side of their relationship was sweet, sensual. Both guys were patient with each other, and it’s hard not to have heart eyes while reading the story. I basically felt like a voyeur reading these scenes, it was passion and such vulnerability at times. They explored each other’s body and that was more sensual in itself.

I loved the writing, and thought this slow burn is one of the best out there. I loved seeing Noah & Adrian. I cannot wait to book three, because A.A. is rocking this series.

About Annabeth Albert

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.