Guest Post: Down by Contact by Santino Hassell

Good morning y’all! We are excited to have Santino Hassell on From Top to Bottom Reviews with a guest post about some of his favourite enemies to lovers stories!


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…

Goodreads | Amazon | Publisher | Barnes & Noble
Release Date: January 16th
Jude’s review


[Y’all ready for some recs? ;)]

When I think of sports romance, I almost always think of an athlete’s competitive spirit and rivalry. It’s partially why my M/M football series, The Barons, is full of relations full of tension that turns to sexual tension, and guys that like each other even when they don’t want to. Besides that, enemies-to-lovers is just my jam, so here are some awesome books where that trope comes into play.

Relay by Layla Reyne

Relay is the first book in Reyne’s new Changing Lanes series, and it’s epic. Two former lovers, who are now bitter enemies after a bad breakup, both end up on the Olympics swim team and all kinds of shenanigans ensue. There’s serious UST, descriptions of wet rippling muscles, and a team full of awesome characters that you’ll be dying to read about next.

Off the Ice by Piper Vaughn and Avon Gale

Off the Ice is so unique because it’s about a professional hockey player who decides to go back to school to further his education. Who does he fall for? His cranky-ass professor (who accuses him of cheating at one point). The chemistry between these two is pretty mild missing, and once again you will be left wanting a story for every side character.

(Watch Me) Break You by Avril Ashton

This book has everything you want in an enemies-to-lovers. Danger, suspense, serious grittiness, and literal enemies. The heroes are in rival gangs, and one is meant to kill the other. There’s also extremely kinky sex. Also, I have a weakness for the name Xavier.

Hate F&@k by Ainsley Booth

I was so taken by this title, because hate sex is the best part of enemies-to-lovers yes? The love/hate in this serial is pretty epic, and I love that neither character can ignore the chemistry between them. Throw in the fact that the hero is a bodyguard, and you’ve got me hooked.

Give it All by Cara McKenna

McKenna can pretty much never let me down when it comes to smoking hot sex scenes, but this book had such a cool set-up. A corporate dude comes into a small town, wanting to clear it out to make room for a new casino, and the heroine owns one of the bars his employers want to swallow. They shouldn’t work for multiple reasons, but they do.


Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family but grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a grumpy introvert and unlikely romance author with an affinity for baseball caps. His novels are heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, and his desire to write relationships fueled by intensity and passion.

He’s been a finalist in both the Bisexual Book Awards and the EPIC Awards, and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award in 2017. His work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Washington Post, RT Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

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Genre: Contemporary Orientation: Bisexual Orientation: Gay Pairing: M/M Publisher: Penguin Random House Review Tag: Enemies to Lovers Tag: Part of a series Tag: PoC Tag: Sports

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