Misconduct by Samantha Kane
Rosa's rating: 4 of 5 iScream Cones
"You couldn't have room for love when bitterness filled your heart."
Misconduct was my first read by author Samantha Kane. I was intrigued by the synopsis, and the cover, and decided to give it a try. I really enjoyed the author's writing style. The story pulled me in and I found myself drawn to the characters. I can't resist a broken character, and this story has two. It's always inspiring to read about situations where life kicks you in the ass and you find your way back to happiness in spite of it.
Carmina is struggling to work her way back to health and happiness after a traumatic experience in Afghanistan. She's finally feeling more comfortable with her progress and decides to venture outside again. She'd been closing herself off, trying to heal and feel comfortable talking again. Nobody knows about her secret fantasies featuring a couple of the players on her best friend's football team. She sees them when she goes to the stadium to see her friend, but she tends to keep quiet. Not wanting to risk getting tongue tied in front of them. But she can't help drooling over them.
Tom noticed Carmina immediately. She's got everything that he finds attractive in a woman, and he wants to get to know her. But he can tell she's shy. And, he doesn't want to push since she's like his team mate's sister. She and Sam were in Afghanistan together and they have a special connection that makes him very protective of her. He might not have ever reached out to her if he hadn't seen her heading for another man on the team. Nope, if she was ready for that, then it should be him. His jealousy surprised him because he had been playing both sides of the field and had never felt a desire for more than fun. Well, at least not that he admitted to. There was someone he had feelings for, but that was a dead end. At least he thought so. Until he saw that Danny was interested in Carmina too. Tom and Danny were best friends and roommates. When they realized they were both interested in Carmina, things got interesting. Would they both fight for her, or would they both let her go? Was there a way for them all to get what they wanted?
Danny is running from his past. He's got anger issues and has no interest in a relationship with anyone. Tom is his best friend and he doesn't want to do anything to risk that. If he had ever thought of him in a sexual way, he doesn't admit it to himself or anyone else. And when he thinks of Carmina, he wants her. But he knows that he's not relationship material. He encourages Tom to pursue her. Again, he denies what he wants. He wants both of them.
I read Misconduct as a standalone, but I don't feel like it detracted from my enjoyment of the story. I did meet lots of other characters and team members that I'm sure had very interesting stories too. I wouldn't mind going back to read those to get some further detail about how they ended up where they are now. I'm not sure if this is the final book in the series or not, but if not, I'd for sure be up for more. The line forms here...