Author: Santino Hassell
Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: 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…
Review: The NFL season is starting tonight so this was the perfect read at the perfect time. I’m a huge fan of football but I think even those that aren’t will enjoy this one. One of the MCs is the bad boy of the NFL. He spends the entire book on house arrest so there’s really no on the field action. The character development and growth in this book was amazing. I seriously felt like I got to know the guys on a very real level. I think the only thing that wasn’t ever really explained was why Gavin is SO angry and abrasive initially. He was a foster kid passed around so I guess there doesn’t have to be a specific reason but I kept waiting for some more of his back story to help me understand. Football was his first love. He loves the game but hates all the public relations that comes with being a professional athlete. He’s also in the closet so that makes life tricky. Secret hook ups is all he can have and honestly all he wants until Noah. Gavin is quick to anger. He lashes out and doesn’t care what people think of him. He just wants to play football without all the other nonsense. When it’s taken away from him he struggles with what he has beyond the sport. His manager forces an assistant on him to help him while on house arrest. Noah is drowning in debt. This job promises some relief so he has to stick it out no matter how big of a jerk his boss is. So someone with little to no regard for athletes spending everyday with a guy who doesn’t like people. Gavin has a very distinct POV that I grew to love as the book goes along.
The guys push and pull at each other for weeks before something gives and they start to warm to each other. As much as someone like Gavin can warm up to someone. I loved the tension built here. It’s not just sexual. It’s a mental and emotional journey for Gavin. He doesn’t like people. They always disappoint or expect things from him. Gavin finds he trusts Noah. Not only with his personal things but his opinion. Gavin is in the closet but he isn’t exactly subtle about his developing attraction for Noah. Noah thinks surely Gavin is straight and brushes off the flirting as a way of messing with him. Noah had previously slept with a boss so he resists the urge to make the same mistake twice. The banter and sexual tension here is off the charts awesome. I LOVED this couple. I laughed, swooned and ugly cried!
I absolutely recommend this book. Reading about Gavin opening up to Noah was truly beautiful. It’s something he never knew he’d have or wanted. He’s this big tough gruff jock that you can’t help but fall for. Noah struggles with protecting himself and the feelings for Gavin. He wants to be there as a friend because Gavin obviously needs him but things get much more complicated than that. The journey they take in this story is an emotional one. It’s also full of humor and the couple is seriously sexy together. I loved this story. It will for sure go in the reread pile. I’m completely invested in this couple. I can’t wait for the next one whether it follows a new couple or stays with Noah and Gavin. Either way I’m hooked!