Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Book Tour for Broken Play by Samantha Kane (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a fan of sports-themed romances I'm thrilled to introduce you to the first installment in the Birmingham Rebels series and the gritty men who inhabit this world.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of the sensual read Broken Play by Samantha Kane, along with my impressions of it, and learn even more about it by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  You'll also find out what sets these bad boys apart from other sports heroes before celebrating this release by filling out the form below for the chance to win a selection of eBooks!

I’m trying, with the Rebels, to address some very real issues in the NFL that we’ve all read about. For instance, in Broken Play my heroine is an assistant offensive coach. I refer several times to the lack of women in coaching positions in the NFL and how hard it has been for her to get there. Just last week, the Arizona Cardinals hired the first female assistant coach in NFL history. There are Rebel players who are drug addicts, former gang members, have gambling problems, anger management problems, arrest records—all issues that plague the NFL and make headlines. I like to think that with the Birmingham Rebels series, I’m tackling some issues that you don’t find addressed, or fully addressed, in most mainstream romances. That’s not to say the books aren’t romantic and funny, because if we can’t laugh at our weaknesses we’d all go insane, and that’s true of romance characters as well. And while love doesn’t cure all, it is a great support systemto help us overcome those weaknesses.
The second major aspect of the Birmingham Rebels series that sets it apart would be the polyamorous relationships among the players. When Michael Sam was drafted as the first openly gay player in NFL history he began a discussion in society about gay professional athletes and about inclusion in major professional sports. I continue that discussion in Broken Play, Calling the Play and future Rebels books. It’s an m/m/f ménage series, meaning some of the professional football players on the Rebels roster are bisexual. And I will be introducing an openly gay player, as well. At least one younger player, a recently drafted college graduate, is exploring his sexuality and trying to find out who he is. They don’t keep their relationships secret. They treat them like normal, healthy relationships, discuss them in the press, and deal with the fallout from the NFL, other players, and fans.
Not surprisingly the heroines in the books are incredibly strong female characters, with high-profile jobs and personalities that can handle relationships with alpha football players and the sometimes-negative reactions to those relationships. In Broken Play, Marion Treadwell is an assistant NFL coach. In Calling the Play, Randi McInish is a cop. So there are power dynamics at play in the romantic relationships that help everyone sort out who they are and what they want.
What current issues do you see in the NFL that you’d like addressed in a romance?

Perfect for fans of Shayla Black and Lexi Blake, the deeply sensual new Birmingham Rebels series introduces an unforgettable team of chiseled football gods—and the daring, provocative games they play behind closed doors.
Birmingham Rebels offensive linemen Beau Perez and Cass Zielinski are inseparable, on and off the field. Cass, the captain with the cowboy swagger, is a loose cannon. Beau, the veteran tight end, is cool under pressure. And ever since they were caught on tape in a steamy threesome, their exploits have fueled more than a few tabloid headlines—and naughty fantasies.
Marian Treadwell knows all about the video. And now that she’s the Rebels’ new assistant offensive coach, she can’t look at Beau and Cass without picturing their hard, naked bodies—with her pressed in between. Marian would like nothing more than to indulge those impulses, but she knows better than to get too close to her players, a bunch of adrenaline-fueled alpha males who don’t always follow the rules.
Just the thought of sharing the gorgeous yet guarded Marian drives Cass wild. At first, Beau isn’t sure she’s right for them . . . and lately, all he desires is a little alone time with Cass to explore their new intimacy. But it’s only a matter of time before Cass breaks through both of their defenses. Because when seduction is the game plan, he always plays to win.


“Get. In. Here.” Marian spoke in that one-word-sentence staccato that had become so popular on television and that she’d sworn she’d never imitate. Now she knew it wasn’t a choice. She was simply so mad she couldn’t get more than one word out at a time. Beau didn’t argue. He simply slid sideways in through her office door, past where she stood holding it. She started to close it, but a hand grabbed it from the hallway and pushed it open again. Cass. Of course. “Can’t I even yell at him without your presence?” she asked coldly.
“Nope. Team captain. Got to be here.” Cass turned and closed the door behind him, then leaned against it, his arms crossed, that damn cowboy hat in one hand.
“Fine,” Marian said. “Since you piss me off, too, you can share the punishment.”
“I don’t take punishment,” Cass said, his usual charming smile gone as he gave her a heated stare that made sweat pop out along her spine. “I give it.”
It took Marian a moment to get past the images that flashed through her head at that outrageous claim. “On the field, not in my office,” she said a little unsteadily.
“Anywhere I choose,” Cass told her calmly.
“Maybe I should go,” Beau said from behind her.
Marian jumped and spun around to face him. She hadn’t been paying attention. She couldn’t believe she’d let him flank her like that.
“Settle,” Cass said quietly but firmly. “There’s no threat here.”
“You just made threats,” she countered, backing up until her back hit the wall a few feet off to Cass’s left.
“No,” he said, the charm back in his voice, a sexy little drawl making it sound like Naw. “Those were promises.”
She actually felt a bead of sweat slip down her cleavage, and she shivered.
“Stop it,” Beau said. “You’re scaring her.” She glanced at him and he looked a little sad, his eyes big and golden brown, and soft with some emotion she couldn’t name. Instinctively she knew he wasn’t the threat here, which threw her into confusion. Wasn’t he the one in charge?
“I’m not scared,” she said. It was a knee-jerk reaction, something she’d said so often in the past few years—to others and to herself—that it was second nature.
Cass sort of rolled himself along the wall toward her until he was leaning over her, not quite pressed against her, his hands on either side of her head, one still holding his hat. “Good,” he said, his voice rough and heavy with wanting. “I don’t want you scared.”
She was breathing too fast. “Move your arms,” she said, and she winced at the panic in her voice.
“Cass,” Beau said. She saw his hand on Cass’s shoulder and her heart nearly beat out of her chest. She had to put her hand up to her chest and press against it to make sure it didn’t.
“You know I’d never hurt you,” Cass said softly. He turned and tossed his hat onto the couch, against the opposite wall. Then he dropped both arms to his sides. He didn’t move back, though. He stayed close enough that she could feel his heat and smell his cologne and a hint of his sweat and deodorant and laundry detergent and shampoo, all the things that combined to be Cass’s scent. She hadn’t realized she knew his smell so well. It was an odd thought and made her frown at him. He frowned back. “Don’t you?” he asked.
It took a moment to remember what he’d said. “Yes.” She did know it. But that didn’t make her heart slow down, because she wasn’t afraid of him. She was afraid of herself, and what she’d let him do if she let go.
“Yell at me.” Beau’s soft words were lost in Cass’s gaze for a second and then they sank in.
“I should,” she said, standing straighter and tugging on the hem of her shirt nervously. “What in the hell do you think you were doing out there?” She pushed on Cass’s chest, but he wouldn’t budge, so she stood on tiptoe and glared at Beau over his shoulder.
“Speaking my mind,” Beau said. He walked over and dropped down on the couch, easily within her sight, making sure not to crush Cass’s hat. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do that."
“So you decide to do it on my watch?” Marian said in a strangled voice. “Gee, thanks.”
“On your watch?” Beau asked, obviously getting angry. “Now you’re my babysitter, too? Jesus, how many do I need?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Cass said, turning to glare at Beau, hands on his hips.
“Don’t try to distract me with a lovers’ quarrel,” Marian warned them. “I’m still pissed about Beau’s big mouth.”
Cass slowly swung his head back around and pinned her to the wall with his stare. He had the bluest eyes, and they could go cold and hard as fast as they could turn hot and heavy-lidded. “Lovers’ quarrel?” he asked quietly. Too quietly. Marian tried to slide sideways along the wall, out of his reach.
“That’s right,” she said, full of false bravado. She thought for a second that this must be what the canary felt like before the cat pounced.
Suddenly Beau laughed loudly, a harsh bark that sounded more incredulous than amused. It broke Cass’s stare and Marian quickly moved over to lean against her desk, facing them on more solid ground. “What’s so funny?”
“We”—he gestured between him and Cass—“are not lovers. We’re friends and we fuck women together. That’s it.” He didn’t sound happy about it. Or was he unhappy that people thought they were?
“Beau.” This time it was Cass trying to yank on the leash with a warning in his voice.
“Forget it,” Beau said flatly. “I’ve come out of my shell today. I’m not crawling back in.”





On the surface, the premise of this book offers me all I could want in a romance...sexy athletes, steamy encounters, appealing secondary characters, all inhabiting the gritty world of football.  What I ultimately got though was a steamy story full of erotic encounters that never went too deep into the character's psyches but was more of an entertaining journey of eroticism between three people fully embracing their kinky sides.

Marian has always been surrounded by football through her father and it's in her blood too.  After a traumatizing incident left her emotionally bruised she's now starting over as an assistant coach to one of the worst teams in the league. Though she's drawn to popular country boy Cass and his permanent sidekick Beau, their sexual infamy leaves her leery as she's trying to keep that side of her sexuality at bay.  It's a losing battle though as Cass' commanding presence and Beau's caring side call to her in a sexual game that brings all of them closer together.  Marian's a likable heroine that I wish we'd learned a bit more about as I never felt completely connected to her.  She was self-assured and more than an equal when it came to her sexual interludes with Beau and Cass though.

Cass is in the latter stages of his football career with a popular and commanding presence that helps him in and out of the bedroom.  He knows the Rebels are his last chance at the playoffs and will do anything to steer his teammates to victory, but meeting Marian throws him off his game as she doesn't immediately give in to his desires.  Theirs is a sexual tug of war made even hotter by the addition of Beau.  Beau's still making a comeback from a career derailed by drug addiction but through it all Cass has been by his side, grounding him with his unwavering support.  It's a friendship that's morphed into more, but that more isn't something Cass can admit out loud.  Before Marian, Beau was content to be in the background but he's now taking the lead as his sweet nature brings Marian closer to him and Cass.  As a trio they find the strength to admit their true feelings, accept their hidden desires, and support each other wholeheartedly despite their differences. Through it all, though I liked Cass, it was Beau who called to me most and who I wish we'd gotten to know more about.  I wish we could've gotten greater insight into his addictive past to see how far he's come.  Cass was stoic and strong, but not good with emotions, while Beau was full of emotions but often kept them hidden as most people judged him by his looks.  Their different personalities ultimately kept the sexual interludes exciting with interactions that were crackling and reignited Marian's sensual side in numerous and varied scorching menage scenes.

This was an entertaining series starter that grabbed my attention with its scorching sexual encounters and secondary characters full of intrigue.  Though this read didn't get as emotionally intense as I'd hoped, or depicted the world of football as graphically as I wanted, it still laid satisfying groundwork for future installments.  The players of the Birmingham Rebels are far from perfect but they do have me longing to learn their stories in a series that shows great promise.

My rating for this is a B-

*I got this book from NetGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Samantha Kane lives in North Carolina with her husband and three children, two boys and one girl. With a master’s degree in American history, she spent seven years as a high school history teacher before becoming a full-time writer and mom.


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