Reviewed by Kini
Blurb: The secret about the Birmingham Rebels is out: With a girl in the middle, two mouth-watering football studs are better than one.
Linebacker Sam Taylor feels like a ticking time bomb. He left the army with emotional wounds as fresh as the scars on his back. Sam’s been living like a monk, but his best friend, defensive lineman King Ulupoka, wants to get him laid. Easy for him to say. The larger-than-life Samoan is a hard-bodied, tribal-tattooed fantasy. Sam agrees, under one condition: King stays to watch.
ER nurse Jane Foster is done being a good girl, and nothing says wild like picking up two of football’s sexiest players and bringing them back to your hotel room. Trouble is, she can’t decide which one she wants more. Sam is hot, sweet, and vulnerable. Jane’s more than willing to ride him into oblivion. But King’s intense gaze from across the room promises that the best is yet to come.
Sure, King has had his choice of girls and guys in the past. That doesn’t mean he’ll jeopardize his relationship with Sam over a case of locker-room lust—until a naughty nurse pushes them both out of their comfort zones. Seeing Jane and Sam together turns King on more than he ever imagined. If they’re game, he’s ready to tackle a three-way play.
I must have been in quite an unusual mood the day Mandi sent over blurbs and I offered to read this. I hardly ever read books that feature more than two people in a couple. I like to shake up my reading every now and again and try new things. Sometimes I am rewarded, sometimes I get reinforcement on why I don’t read outside my comforts.
This book did not work for me. It was over the top in many ways. Both heroes are players for the fictional Birmingham Rebels, where it would seem many of the team members are gay, bi and/or in a polyandrous relationship. Polyandry is where a woman takes two husbands, in case anyone didn’t know. I had to look it up to find out how it differs from polyamory, but let’s get back on track. I am all for diversity in my books, but I found the whole set up of the team to be unbelievable. Sam was in the military and suffers from PTSD. He hasn’t been with a woman since he returned from active duty. His BFF and teammate King thinks that Sam would feel better if he got laid, so they go out and find him a woman. Also, Sam wants King to be in the room and watch while he has sex, not because either are into that kind of thing, but rather Sam is worried sex will trigger a violent episode and he will act out.
They meet Jane at the beach and take her back to their room. Jane makes it clear from the beginning that she doesn’t normally do this kind of thing. She must be kind of boring because she makes a point of telling us over and over what a “good girl” she is and how she never does these “slutty” things. In fact the word slut is used 26 times, mostly as Jane refers to herself and what she does with Sam and King. And not in the fun, own your sexuality kind of way. She continually slut-shames herself and it was horrible to read. I get being uncertain about a new relationship, particularly with two men. But her constant dialogue disrespecting and devaluing herself and Sam and King was grating after like the second time.
After their one night stand in the hotel, they decide to not see each other again. Naturally they run into each other again a few months later. Jane freaks out seeing them because of course all the people in the world are going to find out what a slut she is because she had one night of “porn” sex with them. Sam and King both try really hard to convince Jane that what they had and continue to want from her is nothing to be ashamed of. She decides to date them, both of them as a unit, and see what happens.
I felt like there was a lot of telling in the book and not a lot of showing. I noted this a few times to myself. One example is when Sam and King are trying to convince Jane to give them a chance, King notes how “Jane was a woman who liked to take her time about things.” But up to that point, they’d spent hardly anytime getting to know each other outside of the bedroom, so I found it hard to believe.
The one positive of this book was the sex was pretty hot, yet over the top. Sam was a dirty talker once he let loose. I marked a couple of quotes that I think capture that.
Sam talking to Jane-
“I only fuck one way. Lucky for you it’s hard.”
“I really want it,” he agreed. I liked getting fucked in the ass. Sue me.”
I never connected with why any of them would be interested in each other, outside of the sex. There was no enough tension or build up to the relationship between Sam and King. There just wasn’t enough there to make me believe in it. With the lack of showing me why Sam and King would be into each other and Jane’s constant shaming of herself, this book was not for me. Next time I think I want to read a book that features MMF, I’ll reread Laid Bare by Lauren Dane.