We are excited to share the release of HOOKED ON YOU by Kate Meader with you!
HOOKED ON YOU
by Kate Meader
The Chicago Rebels series, Book 4
The eBook is on sale May 7, 2018!
The mass market is on sale May 29, 2018!
Mass Market Paperback • Price: $9.99 • ISBN: 9781501168574
eBook • Price: $5.99 • ISBN: 9781501180903
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.
Originally from Ireland, Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron, a fire hose, or a hockey stick, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines (and heroes) who can match their men quip for quip. Visit her at KateMeader.com.
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.
Since Irresistible You, the first in the Chicago Rebels series, I’ve been waiting for Violet and Bren’s story. A free spirit and a brooding Scot? That has my name written all over it.
Violet’s character has been portrayed as a snarky, cute firecracker who showed surprising depth when her sisters needed help sorting out their own lives. But you wouldn’t guess at the hurt about her father’s indifference and the constant fear she has been living with since her cancer diagnosis. When Violet inherits a third of the Chicago Rebels her plan is to fulfill the conditions her father expressed in his will, then sell her share and get the hell out of Dodge…but she didn’t anticipate the fierce attraction she feels for the team’s captain Bren St. James, who gives her the sexiest scowls which turn her into a puddle of need. Too bad he doesn’t feel the same way, right?
Violet’s propensity to needle Bren, always having a comeback on her lips had me laugh out loud frequently. She lives in the now and is determined to make “the year of the V” all about herself, which is not to say that she’s selfish but having a health scare like hers just makes you look at things differently.
If you’ve read the other books in this series you know that Bren has a drinking problem. If not for Harper he would have been kicked off the team. After rehab he’s now determined to not only make sure that he deserves this second chance but also repair the relationship with his daughters who have come to live with him, at least for a limited time. Being on the road a lot he needs somebody to look after his kids and while he totally underestimates Violet in the beginning, thinking of her as flighty and superficial, he soon realizes how good she is with them. If only she weren’t temptation personified. He is spread thin with all the things going on in his life and a relationship with this woman who lights up his very soul would be doomed at this point. But who said they can’t just…play?
Sixteen months without sex. That’s all it was. He was hard up, and his hard-on was making everything so fucking hard.
Bren was actually less broody than I expected. Yes, he had a lot of issues but he had a surprisingly positive outlook on his life. Doing right by his girls and Violet came always first and I loved him for that. I adored the way he was with his daughters – there is nothing more beautiful than a father who shows his love for his kids.
While Bren was a natural skater, he was a born father.
A love that Violet never had. It was obvious why she always gave way when it came to Cat and Franky – with her own daddy issues she understood that they would always come first in Bren’s life. Violet is incredibly aware of her environment and the people close to her, very smart, witty, full of life and sparkle and a wisdom beyond her age.
One of the scenes I found most endearing was their reenacting Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It had most of my favorite characters from all books in it and was sweet and funny.
Speaking of, we get to catch up with them all. Harper and Remy is his charming sweet Southern self, as per usual, Isobel and Vadim who doesn’t let us forget how adorable and hilarious he is in arrogance. And of course Cade and Dante, who have stolen my heart and were featured in the novella Undone by You. I can’t say how much I loved Vi’s and Cade’s friendship – and her relationship with Izy and Harper which is getting stronger and more substantial. All of Violet’s friends and family wanted her to be happy and helped her getting there.
Their collective group dynamic was just wonderful…
“You hungry, Vasquez?”
“Starving. I think Remy might have brought something, though.”
“Uh-oh,” Cade muttered. “Dante also brought something. Ingredients for pasta puttanesca.”
All attention shot to the chefs, watching as the two men sized each other up, kitchen masters about to throw down. This could get ugly real fast.
“DuPre,” Dante said, all gravity.
“Moretti,” Remy replied, equally serious.
Both of the main characters are at a point in their life where they wait for it to re-boot and start again, finding their place after so many changes. It’s a little like standing in the waiting line and things are moving slow and I have to admit that I kind of felt a little bit like that in the first half of the book. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this story so so much and my admiration for both Vi and Bren knows no bounds but the first part felt a little on the slower side.
The relationship is a deliciously slow burn but Violet and Bren’s chemistry certainly sizzles from the beginning and will have your reproductive organs melting down.
The conclusion of the Chicago Rebels series had me laughing out loud, giggling like a school girl and swooning because of all the hotness that is Bren, Remy, Vadim, Cade and Dante – I will miss them all so much. Kate Meader has become an author I can count on to deliver thoroughly entertaining stories with buckets of humor and a very pleasant writing style. If you haven’t read her books yet, the Chicago Rebels can all be read as standalones…but I’m sure once you’ve read one story in this series you’ll want to read them all.
“I wasn’t ready for you, Violet. I wasn’t fully formed. You need a man who will give you a 100 percent of his focus, who will treat you like the queen you are. It took me time to become that man. He stands before you.”