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New Release Review! MAN DOWN by Kate Meader (Rookie Rebels #3)

Man Down cover

I’ve been texting the wife I lost, the woman I loved beyond measure … Now someone else has answered back.

Gunnar Bond is broken.

Three years ago, he lived through the car crash that took his wife and twins away from him—though “lived” barely describes his current state. Giving up professional hockey, going off grid, and drinking himself into oblivion are his coping mechanisms. Another is texting his dead wife about his days without her. Therapeutic? Doubtful. Crazy? Definitely. But those messages into the ether are virtually the only thing stopping him from spiraling to even darker places.

Until someone texts back …

Sadie Yates is losing it.

Suddenly guardian to a little sister she doesn’t know and a misbehaving hound she’d rather not know at all, she’s had to upend her (sort of) glamorous life in LA and move back to Chicago. The nanny has quit, the money’s running out, and her job is on the line. The last thing she needs is her sister’s hockey camp counselor, a judgmental Viking type, telling her she sucks at this parenting lark. Thank the goddess for her sweet, sensitive, and—fingers crossed—sexy text buddy who always knows the right thing to say. In the same city at last, they can finally see if their online chemistry is mirrored in real life. She just needs to set up a meeting …

A ruined man who claims to have used up all his love is surely a bad bet, but Sadie’s never been afraid of a challenge … even one that might shatter her heart into a million pieces.

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OMG, this book. My new favorite of 2020…good luck trying to unseat it, future me’s TBR…

Many years ago, when my kids were still babies, my husband was killed in an accident at work. For five or six–seven, maybe?–years after that I went to a survivor’s weekend seminar with other people who had similar losses (I went until my nephew was born and my brother and sister-in-law decided to have his birthday celebrations that weekend each year, since it was a long weekend–otherwise I would probably still be going, honestly). As I read Gunnar’s story, I kept thinking of one woman I’d met at that seminar–she had lost her husband and all six of her children when the small plane they were flying in crashed. The only reason she hadn’t gone too was because the plane was too small. It was a birthday treat for one of the kids, and she’d volunteered to stay behind–and then of course ended up being left behind.

So, yeah. Gunnar’s story made me think of her. All. Book. Long. The soul crushing loss. The guilt. The how-can-one-person-possibly-move-on-from-this?-ness of it all. Because Kate Meader made me feel everything I felt when listening to that woman tell her story all over again. I honestly couldn’t put it down (except for the two times I had to put it down, just for a few minutes…because, yikes. Too. Many. Feelings) until I got to see Gunnar make it through to the other side–because he had to make it there. If he could, then anyone could, gosh darn it.

(Yes, I know he’s fictional. But still, he gave me hope!)

i loved that Ms Meader was able to not only make me cry in this book, she made me laugh too. So. Much. (And not always because of “Instacrush” Theo Kershaw…although a lot of it was thanks to him. Superglutes will never *not* make me laugh, I’m pretty sure) There might also have been a healthy amount of swooning as well. And some clothes lust–can Sadie make me a custom dress too, please? (And boy, did I feel for Sadie’s issues with her sister–I am so glad my kids are past that age!) I loved that there weren’t easy fixes for everyone’s problems here, and that the end of the book shows them working toward a new HEA–even though it’s not the one they necessarily thought they’d have–with a newfound sense of optimism.

And that epilogue–sigh.

As with the other series books, you don’t have to have read them to enjoy Gunnar and Sadie’s story. If you have, though, chances are that you’ve been all but chomping at the bit to see Gunnar get his life back on track…and you won’t be disappointed. If you haven’t, though…? Well, don’t blame me when you find you have to go back and read Theo’s story. And by that point, you might as well just start with Levi’s. I mean, really… 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Don’t forget to head on over to the MAN DOWN blitz page and enter Kate’s giveaway (if you haven’t already)!

Published in4.5 starsABook reviewsBOOKS!new releasespotlight

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