Series: Chicago Rebels, #3
Published by Pocket Books on May 7th 2018
Genres: Sports Romance
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The steamy Chicago Rebels series returns with this racy and sassy tale of embittered hearts, second chances, and going for the goal—on and off the ice.
Violet Vasquez never met her biological father, so learning he left his beloved hockey franchise—the Chicago Rebels—to her is, well, unexpected. Flat broke and close to homeless, Violet is determined to make the most of this sudden opportunity. Except dear old dad set conditions that require she takes part in actually running the team with the half-sisters she barely knows. Working with these two strangers and overseeing a band of hockey-playing lugs is not on her agenda…until she lays eyes on the Rebels captain and knows she has to have him.
Bren St. James has been labeled a lot of things: the Puck Prince, Lord of the Ice, Hell’s Highlander...but it’s the latest tag that’s making headlines: washed-up alcoholic has-been. This season, getting his life back on track and winning the Cup are his only goals. With no time for relationships—except the fractured ones he needs to rebuild with his beautiful daughters—he’s finding it increasingly hard to ignore sexy, all-up-in-his-beard Violet Vasquez. And when he finds himself in need of a nanny just as the playoffs are starting, he’s faced with a temptation he could so easily get hooked on.
For two lost souls, there’s more on the line than just making the best of a bad situation… there might also be a shot at the biggest prize of all: love.
“I have to warn you that if you had ovaries they would probably be exploding in approximately three, two, one . . .”
Hooked on the Rebels? If not, you should be. With Hooked on You Kate Meader delivers a fantastic romance, sports, contemporary, single father – all those delicious tropes add up to one fantastic read. I don’t know how she does it, but this series gets better and better. With each addition. I love all the books, but the more I got t know the characters , the more I loved them. From book one on Ms. Meader had me anticipating Bren and Vi’s story and so I’m so happy to finally have it. The culmination of the Chicago Rebel series is everything I hoped it would be – heartfelt, hopeful, sweet, a little angsty, and a whole lotta sexy!!
First I have to say that Ms. Meaders’ writing is simply outstanding; her storytelling remarkable and her characters are like no others. I always find myself fully absorbed in them and I truly want to dive into their world and stay there. But alas, real life…
Hooked on You focuses on Rebels Captain Bren St James and Clifford Chase’s offspring Violet Vasquez. As the ½ sister to Harper and Isobel, Violet becomes part owner of the Chicago Rebels hockey team but not having been an active part of the family, Violet is a bit removed from the inner workings of the team. But with a bunch hot sweaty guys around, Violet finds herself in the thick of events. She’s built to be a cheerleader after all. She may have been forced to move to Chicago to meet the terms of her fathers will, but Vi has made it through worse. And being around a bunch of hockey players, well the promise for fun is pretty apparent. Especially for Vi when she can antagonize team captain Bren “O Captain! My Captain!” St James. In Violets’ self-described “Year of Vi” she’s dedicated to making the very most of life, getting closer to her sisters and just maybe finding out what she wants to do as a career.
There are so many things to love about the Bren and Vi connection. The banter is outstanding as they needle each other for reaction. Violets’ blatant seductress skills and Brens’ inability to keep his eyes off of her. Their chemistry is mesmerizing but it haunts them at every turn; Bren practically turns tail to avoid her but the situation is such that he comes to rely on Vi and this is very troublesome. Very troublesome indeed… Although Vi has no plans to stay in Chi-town, she’s become an intrinsic part of his life.
“The thought of Violet leaving , for that’s what she’d eventually do, made him queasy and angry. Quangry.”
There’s many reasons for them to stay away from each other. He’s in a recovery program, he’s now the primary parent raising two girls, and for Gretsky’s sake, he’s in the middle of the play offs. But her future remains wide open; she’ll travel, she’ll go to school, she’s among the living and intends to grab life by the “pucks”. But could she be convinced to stay? If only the schmexy times between them were all that that have to be considered.
Once Violet and Bren succumb to their desire for each other things go beyond complicated and hit all my angst buttons. There’s some scorching hot moments but that leads to a bit of heartbreak, some groveling, and a certain character is forced to come to their senses. But once again, Meader uses humor to balance the strife and with that creates this captivating read. I have been so invested in these characters and I’m a bit bereft to see the series come to a conclusion. But I guess that’s what a re-read is for. 😉 I truly adore Meaders’ storytelling making her a one-click author if ever there was one.
5++ Stars & a #FaveSeries
~Review by Cyndi
She blew out a breath that was half growl, picked up a can of Italian wedding soup, and examined the ingredient list like she was studying for a test. Why wasn’t she taking this opportunity to get under his skin using those taunts that tripped off her tongue like sensual ninja knives?
“Have I offended you in some way, Violet?”
Keeping her chin dipped, she shook her head, but it was a shake of disbelief, not of disagreement with his question.
“Violet, look at me.”
Glittering eyes snapped to his, in them a flash of something—a visceral response to his demand—but it was gone so quickly that even the rewind called him a liar.
“Has something happened?”
“Look, St. James, you and I have never meshed, so we don’t need to pretend to get along. We just ran into each other at the store and you ‘saved’ me from the unseemly interest of a fellow shopper. ¡Maravilloso! ¡Gracias! Now you can take your steel buns and your sexy scowl off in the opposite direction.”
Color flagged her cheeks, making her olive skin glow. She was furious, and he still didn’t know why. He was also furious, and he had a better idea of the reason.
She’d changed the social contract. They’d been moseying along with her teasing and taunting and flirting, and him acting like it was the worst thing ever to happen to him. Like Violet’s attention was a fresh slice of hell, because in a way it was. She reminded him of everything he couldn’t have. She reminded him of the man he used to be. His body came alive around her, and alive was dangerous. Alive was the opposite of numb, and numb was his best defense against the demons whispering in his ear.
One drink won’t hurt. Thirst like yours can’t be quenched with anything but whiskey.
If he allowed himself to want her, it was a slippery slope to succumbing to the demons at the door. Of course he couldn’t tell her this, so instead he latched on to her words.
“Steel buns?” There was also “sexy scowl,” but he figured he’d start with the ass stuff.
She rolled her eyes, then coasted those same eyes down his body, half hidden by the grocery cart. “As if you don’t know.”
“That I have an ass you could bounce a puck off of?” He twisted to check himself out. “S’pose I do, lass.”
She burst out laughing and muttered something in Spanish.
“Not for your ears, Scot.”
One day she’d tell him. One day, he’d get it out of her, preferably while her body arched into his and his body drove into hers.