Reviewed by Tracey
Burb: 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.
I don’t really even know where to start with this book, it’s just a mess from the word go. I knew I was in trouble by the first page when I started highlighting the bad stuff instead of quotes I liked. It is book #4 in the Birmingham Rebel series, and I haven’t read any of the other books, and I can’t tell you whether it works as a stand alone or not, because I never made it past 11%. This is a big DNF for me. The heroine, Carmina, is a wounded veteran who served in Afghanistan. She was wounded by an IED and has difficulty speaking and has PTSD. The book opened with her trying to masturbate…jogging in place and shaking out her arms like it was an Olympic event. Giving herself pep talks, because…yes…isn’t this is how women approach masturbation? I knew it was going deep south when I came to this part:
“She’d read up on how to do this right, even watched some how-to-videos. She’d felt like a total pervert watching women get themselves off, but she’d studied those videos like she was taking the masturbating SAT tomorrow. She’d tried all the tricks, all the steps.”
I didn’t know that watching other women have sex or masturbate made you a pervert. The more I think about this book, the angrier I get. Are we supposed to feel like perverts if we watch men get off too? Then she decided she just needed a man with enough ‘forcefulness’ to get her off. I’m not sure how much force she needs, but, whatever…she acted like the orgasm is her main problem in life, and she needs two men to fix her. Do we really need men to fix us….I. Think. Not. I just assumed, from the little I read, that her issues stemmed from the war and being injured, but I guess they just stemmed from not being able to get off!
In the short time I was reading this book, I was introduced to two polyamory relationships with all the men playing on the same football team. With the heroine being introduced, her two potential love interests being introduced, and all six of the other two relationships being introduced…I didn’t know who the hell was who, and I didn’t know anything about any of them…except I did know that I didn’t like them. And, I really didn’t care. The heroine’s two love interests were Tom and Danny. The two men knew the heroine, Carmina, from her being friends with the other two menages.
I didn’t like Tom from the word go, and his sparkling personality went downhill from there. He’s was just an ass. Maybe he would have improved had I stayed with the story, but I just couldn’t do it. When the other hero, Danny, talks about Carmina, this is how he describes her.
“…he felt sorry for her, too. She had some messed-up brain and couldn’t talk right.”
This is one of the heros of the book? This is the guy the reader is supposed to fall in love with? Nope. Just. Nope. Then Danny spends time with another team member, and they discuss how to actually hurt another football player on another team.
“ How bad do you want him hurt?”
“I suppose nothing career ending,” Danny mused.
What a wonderful guy Danny is. He only wants to hurt somebody just a little bit…not enough to end his career. That’s the kind of guy you want for your hero? Neither Tom or Danny were in any way likable, in fact they were edging toward despicable. Tom’s thoughts about sex and women were just an insult to any woman reading the book. We all love heros that are bad boys, commitment-phobes, and sometimes a little grumpy…but, Tom is just a dick. His thoughts about women are denigrating, and his thoughts about being bisexual are just insulting. He ‘loves’ being bi, because gay sex is forbidden and titillating. Guess what Tom….IT’S NOT!!!! Tom wants a relationship with a man and a woman, because he wants dick and pussy. So good old Tom is picking his lovers based on what genitalia they have. Nope. And the two heroes even joke about Carmina’s inability to talk:
“She barely speaks to me,” Tom said, sounding sad. “She barely speaks to anyone one,” Danny pointed out.
I just can’t with this book. If this had been a paperback, I would have thrown it in the trash. This book offends me as a woman, as a football fan, and on many other levels.