Marian’s brown eyes grew big and she stared at Cass as if she’d never heard a man apologize before. Next to her, Mike turned his body abruptly in his chair to face her and she jumped.
“Whoa,” Mike said, his hands up in surrender. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to startle you.”
She laughed that tight laugh again. “No, I’m sorry. I get lost in my head sometimes. Don’t bother about me.” She cleared her throat. “Don’t forget we also snagged Kitt Doyle. When he went free agent I thought he’d get more offers despite his age and injury record.”
She successfully changed the subject as Mike and Beau began to discuss how Doyle, a good veteran left tackle, would affect the offense. She glanced up and when she caught Cass’s gaze, she tensed. After a second or two, when her mouth grew tight and she looked like she might say something, he looked away. There was definitely more to Marian Treadwell than what met the eye.
He was wearing a cowboy hat and cowboy boots, for heaven’s sake, Marian thought as she looked away from Cass Zielinski’s penetrating stare. Did he think he was a Cowboy? Wrong team. The way the Rebels played last year, nearly the wrong league. She was exasperated, but it was with herself, not him. She was letting his sun-kissed good looks get to her. All six feet four inches and 280 pounds of him. That was a lot of good-looking. He had auburn hair and a beard to match, both bleached a little redder by the sun. And the cowboy thing? Yeah, a total button pusher. But she could resist it, because damn it, that wasn’t why she was here. She didn’t want to screw football players. She wanted to coach them. She had something to offer this team. The head office saw it and so did Mike. Clearly the players were going to be a harder sell. If she could get Cass Zielinski on her side, that would go a long way to getting the others to accept her. According to everything she’d read, and from what Mike had told her, the whole team idolized Zielinski. He’d been playing, and playing well, in the NFL for over ten years. Everyone knew he’d accepted the Rebels deal because they’d promised him front office when he retired, which wasn’t too far in the future. He was thirty-one, old for an offensive lineman. And of course, the deal had included Beau Perez.
She stole a glance at Perez. He was a scary-looking son of a bitch. Taller than the average player, he was more thug than Latin lover, brooding and intense. The tattoo on his neck didn’t help. She’d heard he was a real sweetheart in person, but she hadn’t seen it so far. He obviously had Zielinski wrapped around his massive pinky finger, the way he’d jumped to remove his hat when Perez frowned at him. Somehow he’d ridden Zielinski’s coattails back into the NFL after a suspension for drugs. His drug use and overdose were a red flag for any coach. He’d spent months in rehab, and Zielinski had been a constant visitor. That was the beginning of the rumors.
She hated to admit she’d read every tabloid rumor about them. Most of her information came from the Enquirer and People magazine. They’d been caught on tape having sex with the same woman. At the same time. The sex tape had gone viral. You couldn’t Google them without it turning up, despite all their efforts to get it taken down. There was no sound, and there were some malfunctions with the recorder, but you didn’t need to hear it to know they were giving her a hard, rough fuck. Jesus, Marian had watched that video about a hundred times and fantasized about them both. She wished she’d known at the time that she’d be working with them. She would have passed it by. She could hardly look at them without picturing them naked and straining, as they slammed into the willing woman in perfect synch. They had clearly done it many times before in order to have that sort of synchronization. With Perez’s dark hair and exotic looks, and Zielinski’s reddish hair and paler skin, they had complemented one another perfectly. She began to sweat and squirm in her seat as she tried to force her attention back to what Mike was saying.
Before long her gaze slid over to Perez again. He was a loose cannon, in her opinion. For the last two years he’d walked the straight and narrow, it was true. He played hard, stayed out of the limelight, and he was clean. Regular drug tests made sure of it. But his hold on Zielinski worried her. Cass clearly led the team, but Beau just as clearly led Cass. They needed the center to make this team work. He was the center in more ways than the position he played. The team revolved around him. He made it work, made this group of losers and misfits rise above their pasts and their reputations and play some pretty decent ball. Could they be better? Yeah, they could. And Marian was going to help make that happen. She’d hitched her wagon to the Rebels’ star, and she wasn’t going down without a fight.
She had something to prove. To herself and to her father. No one here but Mike and head coach Shannon Ludwig knew her dad was Rufus Sedgeway, one of the most successful coaches in Division I college-football history. And that was how Marian wanted it. She didn’t want to talk about her father to anyone; she didn’t even want to remember he existed on most days. He’d silenced her. He’d chosen some sleazy football players and his precious winning record over her. She’d had to go crawling back to him to ask him to help her get this job, but that was it. She knew he’d gotten her a job with the Rebels because he wanted her to fail again. He wanted to control her again. But she’d show him and everyone else. They hadn’t broken her, not by a long shot.
Broken Play was an okay read for me. It wasn’t horrible in any way. There were things I liked about it, and things that I didn’t care for. A little background without spoiling anything…Marian is the new female offensive coach for the Birmingham Rebels football team. She wants to work hard to make the team a success. However, she has two distractions, the sexy Beau Perez and Cass Zielinski. She’s supposed to be professional, but all she can think about is the infamous sex tape the two made with a girl. It awakens a desire she has held deeply inside of her. It both excites and frightens her. Beau and Cass also fantasize about sharing Marian, but they know that isn’t professional. And, they have questions about their own hidden desires for one another?
First, the aspects of the story I liked. I loved that Marian held a powerful position in a field dominated by men. And yes, I loved Beau and Cass…who wouldn’t, they’re sexy football players. Secondly, I liked the way Kane handled the serious issue that Marian was dealing with. There was sensitivity and a toughness in regards to her past. I liked Cass and Beau even more as they helped her accept herself and heal from her past.
Now, the one aspect I didn’t much care for. I thought the sex and eroticism overpowered the underlying romance between Marian, Beau, and Cass, especially the scene near the end of the book. And, don’t get me wrong…I love eroticism and sex in a story, but not when it takes away from the heart of the story which was healing, acceptance, and finding your happily ever after.
Overall, the book was well-written, and it was very fast paced. Please, don’t let my opinion sway you from reading this book. As I said, it wasn’t horrible; it just wasn’t necessarily completely enjoyable for me, and I am just one reviewer. We all like different things; that’s what makes the world a great place. In fact, that’s what the heart of this story is…there isn’t one way to fall in love. If you are open to that, then give this book a try. You never know if you will like something if you don’t give it a try!
**ARC was provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**