Hooked on You
Chicago Rebels #3
By Kate Meader
Releasing May 8th, 2018
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.
In Hooked on You (Chicago Rebels #3) by Kate Meader, Violet Vasquez never had much to do with her late father, but at least he left her a part of his legacy when he died. However, having to share it with her half sisters and work towards the goal of showing everyone that they can get the Chicago Rebels to the playoffs isn't easy, but she's trying her best. Yet, when Bren St. James asks her to be a nanny to his two girls, Violet knows she faces an even bigger challenge. Will she be able to convince Bren that he picked the right woman for the job or will they lose their shot at happy ever after because Bren is another man that lets her down?
Ms. Meader delivers an utterly fantastic read in this third book of her Chicago Rebels series, which I loved from the very beginning because these two have such strong chemistry and I could understand why Violet feels the need to taunt the hero after what happens when they first meet. Will Bren see Violet as anything more than a party girl? Will Violet be able to win Bren over, considering they didn't get off to the best of starts when they first met, which makes him all the more intriguing to the heroine?
Both the main characters are an absolute delight because of their interesting back stories, their growing relationship and everything they go through on their journey to happy ever after. Their interactions are fun and I loved how good the heroine is for the hero's girls and vice versa, especially when Violet tells cheesy jokes that had me smiling. Moreover, the heroine has been through a lot and I liked how she handles everything she goes through in this story. Really, she's resilient, courageous and I liked that she was willing to take on the role of nanny. Yet, what I liked most of all about the heroine was the growing bond she shares with her sisters. They didn't know much about each other when they were thrown together because of their late father's will, but I liked that Violet's sisters do everything in their power to show her that they want a relationship with her.
While the hero, he's been through so much and I loved how he's gotten his life back on track after the rough patch he had that could have ruined his career if he didn't do something to turn things around. I also liked the support he's received from those that care about him, which is proven by the close friendship he shares with one of Violet's sisters and the friendships he shares with his teammates. Then there's the relationship he shares with his daughters and that he would do anything for them, which is proven by what he's doing to ensure their happiness. Yet, what I liked most of all about the hero is his determination to win the heroine over and that he gave a relationship between them a chance because Bren needs Violet just as much as she needs him to heal from their pasts.
Overall, Ms. Meader has delivered a superb read in this book where the chemistry between this couple was intense; the romance full of exquisite heat and passion and had me loving these two together; and the ending had me cheering for this couple's happy ever after. Certainly, I loved how much good Violet and her sisters have done for the Chicago Rebels, yet it was the words Bren says to Violet to show her that she's the one for him. However, it was the epilogue that wrapped this story up wonderfully, as Violet and Bren are so happy and it shows through the gratitude Violet feels for everyone in their lives. I would recommend Hooked on You by Kate Meader, if you enjoy the opposites attract trope or books by authors Kelly Jamieson, Jamie Davenport, Sylvia Pierce and Lisa B. Kamps.
She smiled at him, a dazzler that knocked him over. “I’d best be off. Harper’s freaking out, which means my night playing nurse is only beginning. But first, I have a question for you, Franks.”
His daughter sat up straighter. “Okay.”
“What did the baby corn say to the mama corn?”
“I don’t know.”
Pretty lame, but Bren would suffer through a million terrible jokes just to witness the smile Violet put on his daughter’s face.
Franky grabbed her hand. “I could show you those other slugs tomorrow. They’re not as fascinating as the Rathouisiidae, but they’re still interesting. I have them in a terrarium at home.”
Kendra had never been encouraging of Franky’s interest in wildlife and science, preferring to direct her energies to dolls and clothes, pursuits that Franky didn’t care for. Though his daughters never said it, he suspected Kendra’s ambivalence to motherhood shone through, and this is why they’d wanted to live with him. His kids needed accepting adults in their lives, and he waited with bated breath for Violet’s response.
Violet squeezed Franky’s hand back. “Wow, you sure know how to sell it, kiddo. Let me see. I’ve got improv class in the afternoon, but maybe we can figure something out.” She was clearly trying to take the middle ground here—not hurt his kid’s feelings and still keep with Bren’s ill-conceived wishes that she not spend time with them.
He was such a jerk. He’d made this big to-do out of Violet and his kids because he wasn’t strong enough to be around this beautiful steak of temptation.
“See ya, Franky,” Violet said, pulling her hand away gently. “And remember: always ask before you chow.” She nodded at Bren as she headed out.
Bren leaned in and kissed Franky on the cheek. “I’ll be back in a sec, sprite.”
He caught up with Violet a few feet away outside the room. “Vi.” Vi?
She turned, obviously surprised. “Oh. Hi.”
“Thanks for doing that. For having the presence of mind.”
“No problem. I mean, it was pretty fucking scary, but I knew Harper had one with her and luckily she’d left her Kate Spade in the box when she stepped out.”
He rubbed his beard to hide his budding smile.
“Don’t be too hard on Caitriona,” she said softly.
“Why do you say that?”
“I know she’s older, so I’m guessing you expect her to look out for Franky. But she’s just a kid herself, and she’s kind of self-absorbed right now for self-preservation reasons. I remember what that was like when—well, I remember. These last couple of weeks have been trying on you all.”
Worst father ever right here. He couldn’t think of a single thing to say. For years, he’d not needed to because he was: (a) married and (b) reliant on alcohol to make him more palatable to those closest to him.
Violet didn’t seem to care. She could have stepped into the silence, but she just stood there, waiting for him to get his personality together.
“Franky really likes you,” he said.
“Well, she has excellent taste.” Wink and grin. “She’s pretty special herself. She’s going to either rule the world or destroy it. Maybe both.”
“Yeah, sometimes I think she’s hovering on the edge of the dark side.” Talking about his kids was easy. For the last eleven years, his marriage had survived on conversations about the girls, which was perfect for the man who lived inside his head and made rare visits to the world of normal adults. He’d made a terrible husband, and not just because he was a drunk. Now, if he ever got around to dating, what the hell would he talk about?
Violet was surprisingly easy to talk to when he wasn’t trying to ram his tongue down her throat. He wished he’d tried this sooner instead of scowling at her for the last eight and a half months.
“When’s the hot Swede starting?”
“I haven’t called her yet.”
He shook his head, unable to verbalize it. Ms. Ikea would have done a fine job saving Franky tonight—of that Bren had no doubt. But she wasn’t the one on the spot. This woman was.
“Could you come over tomorrow like Franky asked, for the slug show? After your improv class, if that’s a real thing?”
“Oh, it’s a real thing. I’m also learning flamenco. Building my résumé.”
He had no idea whether to believe her. But he wanted to believe in something.
“Her mom wasn’t the most encouraging of her interests.” He refused to feel bad about guilting Violet into a visit, not if it pleased his daughter. “If you have time, Franky would appreciate you stopping by.”
“Not sure Caitriona appreciates anything right now.”
She smirked, a smartass look of I’ve got your number. She’d meant: Would one Bren St. James appreciate a visit from one Violet Vasquez?
“I’ll see what I can do, Nessie.”
She sashayed off down the corridor back to the waiting room, leaving him bewildered and questioning everything he thought he knew about women.
DON'T MISS THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE CHICAGO REBELS SERIES!
Originally from Ireland, USA Today bestselling author 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 or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.
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