The Birmingham Rebels play both sides of the field, proving that the hottest action isn’t always in the arena.
Rookie running back Tom Kelly loves the perks of football stardom. Men, women—there’s no shortage of companionship for a pro athlete who’s hot, young, and willing, and Tom is definitely willing. But deep down he wants a committed three-way relationship, especially if the female in the middle is Carmina de la Cruz. The undeniably sexy Army veteran may not say much, but her body speaks loud and clear.
After a traumatic tour in Afghanistan, Carmina is struggling to regain her speech and rebuild her life. More than anything, she wants to feel like a woman again. Tom may be a wholesome All-American, but he knows just how she needs to be touched—and he’s not the only Rebel who arouses her interest. With his scorching intensity, Tom’s best friend leaves her wondering if two players might be better than one.
Danny Smith is no stranger to his team’s kinky reputation. He gave in to temptation once, but he’s not going down that road again. Sure, Carmina’s curves promise pleasure, but her eyes guarantee it comes with baggage—and Danny has enough of his own. Still, giving up control can feel so good. And when it comes to everything Danny craves, Carmina and Tom make the perfect team.
3.5 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.
*heavy sigh* So, I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it more than the previous book in the series (and I’ve only read books 3 and 4, not the first 2). I came out at the end of it entertained, I thought the character development was pretty good, and I thought the steamy scenes were deliciously…well…steamy. I even initially pegged this one as a 4 star for me. And I’m going to round up, b/c I’m trying to keep true to *my* personal feelings at the end of it.
I thought all the characters had something to offer, and I particularly liked the goofiness and just, well, like-ability of Tom. Like seriously, I really loved him, and his humour, and he was just so adorable. And I loved the way he pushed both Danny and Carmina, recognizing what he wanted was a relationship with both of them (all three of them together), and after recognizing interest from both of them, I enjoyed how he pushed them out of their comfort zones to get them to that place together.
I thought Carmina’s storyline was interesting, particularly since I didn’t see her past with Richie coming. I had been looking forward to learning more about her brain injury, b/c she fascinated me in the previous book, and I was a bit bummed that besides putting herself down about it, we didn’t really get as much out of that as I’d wanted. But I did like seeing her grow more confident, and I appreciated a glimpse into some of the challenges that she faces (particularly in trying to reenter the workforce, and dealing with well-meaning friends/family).
I thought Danny was probably the one I learned the least about, and probably had a few reservations about. He came across kind of homophobic (even though he ended up being bisexual), and while I understood his hangups about his sexual preferences in light of his past with Marian, I still had a hard time with it…I always have a hard time reading about characters that feel ashamed of what they like, even though I think it’s a valid storyline b/c I’m sure many people go through this. I’m not sure how much I liked the scene between Tom and Danny in the hotel room, particularly consent-wise, but I let it pass…and I’m not sure what that says about me.
And here’s where the sigh comes in. I decided to glance at other reviews of the book. And I realized that, as a white woman, I didn’t see a lot of things surrounding the race of Danny and Carmina that others might. I subscribe to the philosophy that everyone’s a little bit racist, and I was bummed that I had yet again failed to see the far reaching consequences of some of the elements in the story. Also, while I am trying to be more conscious of slut-shaming, consent, and all the other little sexual tidbits that crop up in books, I tend to forget about them in eroticas sometimes…is it suspension of disbelief? I don’t know. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that while reading other critical reviews, I could see some of the points that they were making, but they hadn’t bothered me while reading, and so I’m going to maintain my rating, b/c it’s how I felt and I’m reviewing my personal experience. But if you are sensitive to these issues, then you might want to read some other reviews to help you make a better decision. And hopefully you won’t judge me too much.
Anyways, I do want to say that I did enjoy how the football game against the Rough Riders went at the end there. I was proud of all the boys for growing and learning and eventually helping each other to do the right thing in such a hard situation.
So yeah. There you go. I enjoyed the book. *shrugs* I guess I just don’t think as hard as other readers, especially when it comes to eroticas. And here I was excited that we got so much diversity in this story. Whatcha gonna do? Learn and grow I suppose.