Review: Misconduct (Birmingham Rebels, #4) by Samantha Kane

The Birmingham Rebels play both sides of the field, proving that the hottest action isn’t always in the arena.

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.


Why can I not find a MMF that makes me dance a Cajun rhythm? It seems like I used to be able to but lately it's been one dud after another. Maybe MM has ruined MMF for me? I wish I knew what the deal was but I don't like it.

I really didn't hate this book but I can't condone some of the sentiments perpetuated by it, thus the 1 heart rating. So let's get those out of the way first.

I've heard about Samantha Kane and her MMF books for years but this was my first experience reading one. I thought for sure it'd be good and was SO excited to read it. I mean, I knew I was going to have to suspend reality since approximately a fourth of this NFL team in the deep South is bisexual and in polyamorous relationships and they all work together, but I was prepared with my goggles and glitter. Because girl scout. However, what I wasn't prepared for was the misrepresentation of bisexuality, or more specifically, erasing the line between bisexuality and polyamory and making them synonymous.

Tom stopped halfway to the table with his plate in hand. "I didn't think about that," he said slowly. "She knows I like guys, too." [...] 
"Knowing you like guys and letting you screw them while you're supposed to be with her is another thing entirely," Danny told him. "Be careful, man. You're entering dangerous territory." 
Tom sat back with a disgruntled sigh and ran his hands through his hair. "I don't want to give up guys or girls," he said. "What am I supposed to do?"

I know it's supposed to be a ménage romance but is it necessary to depict bisexuals as greedy? There were some things that Carmina said and did that were in this same vein or in the vein of being lesbian phobic that rubbed me the wrong way too.

As if that wasn't shocking enough from an experienced MMF writer, I was ill prepared for the sanctioning of rape.

"...You were into it. I wasn't holding you down that hard, Danny. You could have gotten away. If you had said no and meant it, I would have stopped. Hell, you were begging for it."

"His mouth said no, his dick said yes," Tom said with a shrug. "I listened to his dick." 

In 2017? Seriously? I literally cannot believe this is still a thing. If Danny had been Daniela in this scenario this would never have happened. Then Tom took it one step further and brought out the big manipulative guns and Danny eventually tows the I was into it line. Again, I get that this is a ménage storyline but this could've been handled waaaaaaaaayyyy differently.

My last major grievance was Danny's depiction as an angry black man when his actions didn't match that depiction. He's distant and maybe not warm and fuzzy but angry? I didn't see that. I *think* the objective was to contrast "the angry player" in and out of the locker room whose submissive in the bedroom. The idea though trite is solid but the carpet needs to match the drapes otherwise it looks hella racist.

As far as these characters are concerned, I just couldn't with them. I have a tendency to look at behaviors as a conduit for connecting with characters. If I can understand or identify with their actions, things sync up like they're supposed to but this conduit felt more like shock treatment.

Things started off well enough with Carmina. She's ex-military with a TBI and can't orgasm. For 3 yrs! She's kind of frantic at this point and grasping at straws, willing to try anything. Makes sense, right? She's been crushing on Tom and Danny who are best friends, but Danny's got it in his head that he's not ready to make a commitment so Tom it is. They have sex, she doesn't come so he decides to up the ante which equates to public sex? You don't maybe want to try different positions first?

Guess what happens. Fail 2.0

Then... *smh* I... alright, hypothetical situation, say you're casually dating someone, your shower breaks, said person says come on over and use mine. You do. Said person says use my roommate's shower because they're asleep and I'm going back to bed. While in the shower said roommate comes into the bathroom, you lock eyes and go directly to Pound Town without passing 'go' or collecting $200? Show of hands for this being a thing.

Call me judgey. But that shit is weird to me.

Carmina finds The Big O in that short trip to Pound Town and this THIS is what garners all the attention. Not the fact that Tom's best friend and his sort of girlfriend went to Pound Town while he was taking a disco nap!

The next rabbit to get pulled out of the hat are some kinky D/s games that don't even merit mentioning. Tom has no clue what he's doing and no business calling himself a dom period. Case in point, Carmina immediately gets a safe word whereas Danny well... see above quotes if you have any doubts. I need more than someone bossing someone else around and bossed person using the word "owned" often to be interested in or titillated by some quasi kinky shenanigans. To add insult to injury, the sex wasn't even that hot!

Overall the relationship between these three wasn't all that satisfying not just because of the above reasons, but Danny's reluctance to get involved dragged on and on and, honestly, he came across as being willfully obtuse by comparing his desires to what happened to Marian; that just read like a lazy plot device. There was very little page time with them as a throuple which I found frustrating. If more time had been focused on them working through their issues and developing as a functioning unit I probably would've invested in them but as it stands the resolution seemed rushed and their commitment disingenuous.

The story is easy to read and the football stuff was good, though that game with the Rough Riders was a bit OTT. It'd be an understatement to say that I'm disappointed by this read. I may try something else of Kane's in the future because her writing style is pleasant and maybe this was just a fluke. Nevertheless, I can't recommend this but I'd encourage anyone considering it to read the other reviews before making a final decision.

An ARC was provided by NetGalley.



  1. I didn't like R. Kelley saying "your body is telling me yes" in the 90s and I don't like it now in MM. I think people take dubcon out of context and use it so casually that it comes across as sanctioning rape, which drives me crazy. Thanks for the heads up on this one.

    1. Agreed. It's just perpetuating the myth that men can't be raped which is BS.

      And you're welcome. Thanks for reading!