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review 2017-12-19 01:11
#Audiobook Review: Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell
Illegal Contact: Barons, Book 1 - Eric London,Tantor Audio,Santino Hassell,Alexander Cendese

Star football player Gavin Brawley has a temper which has branded him as the bad boy of the NFL. It’s also what landed him under house arrest for six months, benched for the entire season. Recognizing he’ll need help, his manager pushes the solitary Gavin to hire a personal assistant to run the household and help with day-to-day tasks. 

 

Noah Monroe was forced out of his last job after he tried to out his boss for inappropriate behavior. Now he’s desperate to find work, and acting as a PA for a self absorbed jock will have to do. Determined to keep his job, Noah does what it takes to impress Gavin and make the arrangement work. However, when Noah learns Gavin’s secret - that he’s bisexual - Noah wonders if he can fight the constant flirting, or if he’s doomed to repeat past mistakes.  

 

I’ve been wanting to read Santino Hassell for a while now, so I jumped at the chance to review Illegal Contact. Overall, it is an engrossing story with a heartwarming, sexy romance. Gavin and Noah are like two rough-edged pieces that fit together perfectly, once you work to find how they mesh. Both slow to trust, they find common ground because they truly like and respect the other. They want to do things to make the other happy. 

 

The story starts rough. I mean, Gavin has issues. He’s angry. But every time Noah challenges him, Gavin comes back stronger and better. And Noah sees the real person in Gavin-not just some pro-athlete. He stands up for Gavin. Slowly each realizes there are real feelings forming. The characters are given time to work out feelings and issues, creating a stronger bond in the end. Additionally, I appreciate that the author doesn’t blow off the employee-boss relationship and its impact on power exchange. The pair discuss the issues and try to ensure that it’s not part of their relationship, yet it never really goes away - just gets fluffed over by their lust. 

 

Each narrator is great for his given character. Gavin’s narrator is very aggressive and rough around the edges, just like Gavin’s persona. He’s got a strong accent and can be abrasive at times. Conversely, Noah’s narrator is calm, with a softer, younger feel. It suits Noah’s easier manner. They also both do certain characters well, like manager Joe; however, both have weaknesses. Like Noah’s narrator doing Gavin’s BFF Marcus, and Gavin’s narrator doing agent Mel, as well as the passionate/heated moments of Noah. 

 

In the end, Illegal Contact is a well-written romance filled with real emotion. In a relationship that appears to be doomed before it starts, the author finds a way for love to win in the end. The book doesn’t promise HEA, but I know that Gavin and Noah’s love is strong… It will be interesting to see what happens once their relationship is out in the real world. 

 

My Rating: B+

Noah Narrator: B+

Gavin Narrator: B

 

Review copy provided by Tantor Audio

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review 2017-12-09 00:00
Same Time, Next Christmas
Same Time, Next Christmas - Victoria Alexander The best of regency lies at the hands of Victoria Alexander. From her quirky characters to her enchanting tales, she knows what it means to captivate readers. From humor to heart, Same Time, Next Christmas piles on the charm. From beginning to end, the most endearing of moments is the ones that surprise us all. Fletcher and Portia bring sentiment to life and take romance to heart in this flighty and flirty tale.
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text 2017-12-03 00:38
Reading progress update: I've read 197 out of 316 pages.
Get Wallace! (Wallace of the Secret Service) - Alexander Wilson

still amazing. saving the rest until tomorrow morning. will pick out another Espionage novel after that...or, I have to say, there may be a one-book break from the spy games, because this thing I picked up today, The Last One by Alexandra Oliva, sounds pretty darn tempting. I would even say the synopsis on the back cover suggests that there's the teeniest teeny-weeny chance that there will be a weird espionage angle. or I'm just rationalizing.

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text 2017-12-02 20:52
Reading progress update: I've read 166 out of 316 pages.
Get Wallace! (Wallace of the Secret Service) - Alexander Wilson

this book is fabulous! I'm caught a little by surprise, as the first one in the series--The Mystery of Tunnel 51--was fun, but did not force me to commit to any more follow-ups. but then I thought "I did like it; it's not like I had a bad reaction, it's just a question of whether they all sort of operate at the same level...or did the author, like most, get better as he went along...?". there are also those gorgeous covers, which made me want to try at least one more.

 

so, eventually, when I was at a bookstore that had this one, Book 4--as opposed to several other stores, including my main, local book source, which would have bits and pieces of the series, but never Book 4--I took it as a sign that it was meant to be, and got the one with my fave cover. I braced for "average", and instead I'm getting all-out fun and excitement! fast pace--and get this: the book is from 1934, and we get a car with some gadgets, plus one of the best female villains I've encountered in Spy fiction in a long while! 

 

now I am feeling forced to commit to more follow-ups!

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text 2017-12-02 02:07
Reading progress update: I've read 6 out of 316 pages.
Get Wallace! (Wallace of the Secret Service) - Alexander Wilson

I think I'm mainly going to read Spy books this December (fiction and nonfiction), though don't hold me to that. some books on the fringes of Spy fiction may also be allowed in...Wicked Leaks has a chance to make the cut (Conspiracy Theory elements to the plot); Quarry has a shot (assassins not prohibited); Pursuit may get read (sounds like a Spy novel, but if it's not, I won't know till it's too late and hopefully won't care). Count of Monte Christo is on the table! Foreign and Domestic sounds more like a "Special Forces Mission" thingy, but it may tempt me. plus, all full-blooded Spy books I own should get lots of love and attention. way out on the fringes, but still clinging to "maybe, Tigus?": The Fatal Touch, and Operation Alcestis (if anything is not a Spy novel, but should have been, it's anything with a title like Operation Alcestis!). 

 

first--a second go-round with Wallace of the Secret Service. this Spy adventure is from 1934.

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