Hooked on You
by Kate Meader
Chicago Rebels, #4
Publication Date: May 7, 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance, Standalone
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.
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.
Ohmygosh, this series! I feel like I probably say this after every book, but this time I really mean it–Hooked On You is my favorite of the series–Violet and Bren (and Cat, Franky, and Gretzky) FTW!
For four books now, we’ve watched the Violet and Bren dance, their chemistry practically oozing off of the page, the will-they-or-won’t-they aspect of it all well neigh making us crazy. Or maybe that was just me. (It wasn’t just me, surely?) I am happy to report–it did not disappoint! As much fun as it was to watch her snarky torture of him, seeing the two of them together was worlds better.
And when Bren puts on his daddy hat? Watch. Out. OMG, the image of him in his apron, helping his girls make apple pie…I may never recover.
Everything’s not all about Vi and Bren, here, though–there’s also a whole lot of quality time for the Chase sisters (awkward sister bonding nights continue!) and plenty of catching up with the previous series couples…and oh, yeah–we finally get to see the end of the Rebels’ season 🙂 Basically, everything that this entire series has been building up to culminates in one final book of awesomeness.
Plus, Violet finally gets all the family she could ever have wanted–and then some. Plus she figures out what she wants to do with her life…no more bartending or tattoo shop working (not that there’s anything wrong with those jobs; they’re just not what she was searching for.) Bren gets his life back, sans the crushing guilt he’s been carrying around…and did I mention that I freaking love these two together? Because I do…
Hooked On You could be read as a standalone if you must, but trust me when I say that this series is worth starting at the beginning for. You’ll grow to love the Chase women and all the men in their lives and won’t want to miss a single second of their stories 🙂
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
DON’T MISS THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE CHICAGO REBELS SERIES!
ABOUT KATE MEADER:
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.