Broken Play is the first book in the new Birmingham Rebels series. This book is way more than I bargained for, but overall I still think that it’s a decent read.
*** SPOILERS FOLLOW ***
It’s a spoiler for sure, but I feel like it needs to be disclosed upfront: this book contains not only ménage scenes between three people, but also scenes between multiple partners. Numerous partners, even. I didn’t realize that the book went beyond typical ménage, and I would have liked a heads up prior to reading it. Some readers might be put off by this, so I think it’s important to mention.
Marian Treadwell is the new assistant coach for the Birmingham Rebels, an NFL team made up of misfits and troublemakers. Beau Perez and Cass Zielinski are notorious not just for their athletic skill, but for a sex tape involving a woman and the two of them. When Marian takes the job with the Rebels, she’s well aware of Beau and Cass’s reputation with women and finds herself intrigued by them.
Marian is a good assistant coach, but she has personal demons that become apparent early on. She has suffered a traumatic event of some kind, but it takes her a while to open up about it. Even after it’s obvious that her attraction to Beau and Cass is mutual, they have to earn her trust before she confides in them completely.
Beau and Cass are so different in their personality types. Beau has struggled with substance abuse in the past, but he’s sober now. He’s also incredibly sweet and a good communicator. Cass is more of an alpha male and it’s tough for him to express his emotions. So together, they balance and compliment each other pretty well.
In addition to their attraction to Marian, Beau and Cass realize that they have feelings for each other. So not only is there an m/f/m relationship going on, there’s also an m/m/f one as well. The three of them have to figure out how they’re going to make this unconventional relationship work, especially in light of Beau and Cass’s past–not to mention the fact that Marian is their coach.
If the story had stayed here and tackled these issues, I would have liked the book more. But because it goes further and involves other people in the sexual relationship, it lost some credibility with me. I had trouble believing that Marian would be willing to include people other than Beau and Cass, considering what happened to her in the past. I think that the story would have been stronger if it had focused solely on the three of them.
Having said all this, I enjoyed the book until the 80% mark or so. I still finished it, but the ending lost some steam for me because of the surprise multiple partners aspect. However, I did like the author’s writing style and would read her books again. So, I recommend this book, but with the caveat that readers should be aware that it’s not solely a ménage (threesome) story and some people might not like that big surprise.
I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my review.