Publisher: Pocket Books

Review: Hooked on You by Kate Meader

Posted May 28, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Hooked on You by Kate MeaderReviewer: Rowena
Hooked On You (Chicago Rebels, #3) by Kate Meader
Series: Chicago Rebels #3
Also in this series: So Over You (Chicago Rebels, #2), In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels, #.5), Undone By You (Chicago Rebels, #3)
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

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.

Hooked on You is the final book in Kate Meader’s Chicago Rebels series and it features the last Chase sister and the captain of the Chicago Rebels hockey team. Bren and Violet have been circling each other for multiple books and their story is finally here. I have been on pins and needles waiting for this book and when I finally got it for review, I was super stoked.

Violet Vasquez is living her best life right now. After surviving the big C, Violet swore that this year was going to be the year of the V. She was going to live, really live her life and she’s making no apologies for it. Everyone loves Violet, one-third of the new owners of the Chicago Rebels hockey franchise. She inherited a third of her father’s hockey franchise and a couple of sisters that she never knew until now. She’s not quite sure what she’d like to do with her life so she spends her time learning new things, hoping to find something that fits. Something that feels right.

Bren St. James is a recovering alcoholic who is raising two young daughters after their mother took off on one of her “finding herself” trips. He’s working on getting full custody of his girls so he’s got his work cut out for him. He needs to live the life of a monk because he won’t risk losing his girls for anything and anyone. When he needs someone to help watch after his girls during away games, Violet hits things off with his girls and she gets the job. Staying away from the one woman that tempts him proves to be too hard for Bren because before he knows what is what, he’s in a relationship with Violet that is hard to walk away from.

The sparks between Bren and Vi have been sparking ever since they met and watching them come together was a delight. Their banter was wicked and the relationship that both of them had with Bren’s little girls was fantastic. Violet understood Cat and Franky in a way that Bren didn’t and the team that they were together just warmed me right up.

I enjoyed the other books in this series a great deal but this book was my favorite. I had an inkling that I’d enjoy this one a bit more than the others because Bren and Vi were fierce and complicated characters. I knew that their story was going to take the cake and I wasn’t wrong. Kate Meader created a wonderful world for these characters and the romance she wrote for Bren and Vi was solid and it was fun and I loved it.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Chicago Rebels

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Hooked on You by Kate Meader

Posted May 27, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Kate Meader won me over when I really dug into the Chicago Rebels series and I really haven’t looked back. I just read all of the books in this series a couple of months ago so waiting for this book hasn’t been that long for me but it’s felt like it because I’ve been curious about Bren and Violet ever since they came onto the scene. I have every faith that their book is going to be awesome and I’m super thrilled to share an excerpt with you lovelies today.

Sunday Spotlight: Hooked on You by Kate MeaderHooked On You (Chicago Rebels, #3) by Kate Meader
Series: Chicago Rebels #3
Also in this series: So Over You (Chicago Rebels, #2), In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels, #.5), Undone By You (Chicago Rebels, #3), Hooked On You (Chicago Rebels, #3)
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

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.

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

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.”

“Where’s popcorn?”

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.”

“Kate Spade?”

“Purse, heathen.”

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.”

“Oh?”

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.”

“Only Franky?”

“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.

Does this not sound like an awesome book? I’m pretty anxious for it and you should be too because it’s part of a fabulous series. You should definitely be on the look out for this one.

Chicago Rebels

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

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Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Kate Meader

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

I’m Kate Meader, USA Today bestselling author of steamy, funny romances with alpha heroes and the strong women – and men – who match them quip for quip. My books will make you laugh, swoon, fan yourself, and maybe even tear up a little. What more could you want? (Perhaps, one of my heroes at your beck and call? Sorry, they’re too busy being heroic!) Here you’ll find information on my books, including excerpts, free reads, and what’s next. To stay in the loop, sign up for my newsletter, and to get up close and personal, join Kate’s Kittens, my closed Facebook group for fans.


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Guest Review: The Sins of Lord Lockwood by Meredith Duran

Posted March 1, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: The Sins of Lord Lockwood by Meredith DuranReviewer: Tracy
The Sins of Lord Lockwood (Rules for the Reckless #6) by Meredith Duran
Series: Rules for the Reckless #6
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: February 27th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 368
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

BACK FROM THE DEAD, AN EARL SEEKS VENGEANCE...

Liam Devaliant, Lord Lockwood, was born into a charmed life. Charismatic, powerful, and wild, he had the world at his feet—and one woman as his aim. His wedding to Anna was meant to be his greatest triumph. Instead, in a single moment, a wicked conspiracy robbed him of his future and freedom.

...BUT WILL HIS LONG-LOST COUNTESS PAY THE PRICE?

Four years later, Liam has returned from death with plans for revenge. Standing in his way, though, is his long-absent bride. Once, he adored Anna's courage. Now it seems like a curse, for Anna refuses to fear or forget him. If she can't win back Liam's love, then she means at least to save his soul...no matter the cost.

Four years ago he married a Anna.  It was supposed to be a marriage of convenience but they had each fallen in love.  They never got to tell each other, however, as he was kidnapped, put on a ship and sent to Australia to live through starvation and torture.  He managed to escape, while getting all the others in the camp out as well, and now he’s back in London and ready for revenge on the man who had him kidnapped.

Anna knew that it was a marriage of convenience but she thought that feelings had been involved.  When her husband disappears right before they’re supposed to set sail to Paris on their honeymoon, Anna’s unfortunately, not surprised.  Her whole life people had been leaving her and while she expects it, it still hurt.  Not knowing where her husband has run off to, she returns to the island she inherited in Scotland and stays there for the next four years.  When she hears that her husband is back in London, and has been for the past nine months, Anna is pissed. He’s there spending her money and she’s ready to give him a piece of her mind.  She also demands an heir but what Anna thinks of as Liam’s sexual deviancy is actually Liam protecting them both from, what he believes, are the horrors of his body.

Liam was a good man.  He’d not always been so but when he married Anna he intended to be a good husband, especially after falling head over heals for her.  After his horrific ordeal he is a changed man.  He has some of the convicts he freed working for him in his house as he has a kind heart, but his brain is stuck on revenge.  When Anna shows up he tries to get rid of her, for her own good.  She refuses and then demands a child.  Still in love with her he agrees but wants to tie her up and blindfold her so that she can’t see or feel the scars on his body from years of torture.  This creates issues, of course.  Despite his thoughts of revenge he still loves Anna and in now way wants her around to get hurt.

Anna is stubborn to the core!  That woman knew her mind and wasn’t afraid to speak it.  I loved that about her!  She wasn’t shy and retiring and wouldn’t put up with Liam’s shit and that’s exactly what he needed to get himself out of his own head.  I loved the way she went about matters in the book and was proud of the woman that she became after all was said and done.

I admit it’s been a long time since I’ve read a Duran book so after finishing this one I decided it was the perfect book to be reintroduced to her writing.  The love, heartache and revenge that play the biggest roles in this story were written so well and I thoroughly enjoyed the book because of it.

Rules for the Reckless Series


Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Touch of Red by Laura Griffin

Posted February 21, 2018 by Jen in Reviews | 6 Comments

Guest Review: Touch of Red by Laura GriffinReviewer: Jen
Touch of Red (Tracers, #12) by Laura Griffin
Series: Tracers Series #12
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: October 31st 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

When crime scene investigator Brooke Porter arrives at the home of a murdered woman, the only thing more shocking than the carnage is the evidence that someone escaped the scene. But where is this witness now? A thorough search of the area yields more questions than answers, and before Brooke even packs up her evidence kit, she’s made it her goal to find the witness and get them out of harm’s way.

Homicide detective Sean Byrne has seen his share of bloody crime scenes, but this one is particularly disturbing, especially because Brooke Porter is smack in the middle of it. Sean has had his eye on the sexy CSI for months, and he’s determined to help her with her current case—even if it means putting his attraction on hold so he and Brooke can track down a murderer. But as the investigation—and their relationship—heats up, Sean realizes that keeping his work and his personal life separate is more complicated than he ever imagined; especially when the killer sets his sights on Brooke.

I was excited about CSI Brooke Porter when she was introduced in the last Tracer’s book, and for the most part her story didn’t disappoint. Brooke works for the Delphi Center, and she’s working with detective Sean Byrne to solve a murder. She’s also coming out of a messy, toxic relationship, and that causes some problems for her and her relationship with Sean.

I thought the investigation plot of this book was very strong. I really could not have predicted where this one would end up based on the initial murder! This isn’t a serial killer story like so many of the Tracers books have been, and I admit it was a good change of pace to get something different. Plus the villain is responsible for some awful things, and it’s satisfying to see that person get their just desserts in the end. I also really liked Sean and Brooke, both as individuals and as a couple. I thought they were a great compliment, and I could absolutely see them working out in the long term.

I did have some issues that kept nagging at me after I finished reading, though. First, there’s a plot line with Brooke’s ex-boyfriend that I just didn’t like. He was emotionally abusive and is starting to stalk her in this book. I didn’t see a need for that and felt like it was just gratuitous. Plus, the issue wasn’t really handled seriously in my mind. The whole thing is basically resolved by Sean threatening the guy, which was lame and felt out of character for Sean AND for the ex. That plot point goes nowhere and feels like it’s only there to manufacture a way for Sean to protect Brooke until the major villain starts to focus on her.

The other thing that bothered me was more subtle, and it wasn’t something that even bothered me while I was reading. It was only after, as I started to think about the book, that it started to get under my skin. Brooke doesn’t want a relationship at the start of the book. She admits she’s rushed from bad relationship to bad relationship for years, and she feels like she needs time alone to figure out what she wants and who she is independent of a man. She tells Sean this repeatedly, and he tells her he totally respects that. But then all he does is push her to start something with him. Obviously, Brooke wanted him as well, and it’s clear the reader is supposed to recognize that Sean is a great match for Brooke (and he very much is). My problem isn’t even that Sean sticks around after she tells him she doesn’t want a relationship. My problem is that he says “Yes I totally get it” while secretly thinking “But I really want her so I’ll keep trying to convince her and then she’ll see the light.” I just don’t like it when books subvert the heroine like that. It reinforces the idea that if it’s “true love” it’s ok to push past a woman’s boundaries and ignore what she’s telling you. It didn’t feel necessary, and it didn’t reflect well on Sean in my mind.

Despite these issues, I truly did enjoy this book. It was well paced, a good mix of excitement and geeky investigation, and had a great central couple.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Tracers Series

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Dark Needs at Night’s Edge by Kresley Cole

Posted January 11, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 5 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Dark Needs at Night’s Edge by Kresley ColeReviewer: Casee
Dark Needs at Night's Edge (Immortals After Dark #5) by Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark #5
Also in this series: A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2)
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: April 29th 2008
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 368
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Bestselling author Kresley Cole continues her seductive Immortals After Dark series with this tale of a vampire shunned even by his own kind and a beautiful phantom, bound together by a passion they cannot resist.

A RAVEN-HAIRED TEMPTRESS OF THE DARK...

Naomi Laress, a famous ballerina from a past century, became a phantom the night she was murdered. Imbued with otherworldly powers but invisible to the living, she haunts her beloved home, scaring away trespassers -- until she encounters a ruthless

A VAMPIRE WARRIOR CONSUMED BY MADNESS...

To prevent him from harming others, Conrad Wroth's brothers imprison him in an abandoned manor. But there, a female only he can see seems determined to drive him further into madness. The exquisite creature torments him with desire, leaving his body racked with lust and his soul torn as he finds himself coveting her for his own.

HOW FAR WILL HE GO TO CLAIM HER?

Yet even if Conrad can win Naomi, evil still surrounds her. Once he returns to the brutality of his past to protect her, will he succumb to the dark needs seething inside him?

Every Thursday in 2018 we will be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on April 29. 2008.

Conrad Wroth despises his brothers for turning him into a vampire. Years before he turned, he was a member of a highly secret society whose duty it was to destroy the vampire. Conrad was taught that a vampire was nothing more than an evil that needed to be destroyed. So when he found himself one of the very creatures that he hunted, he was beyond angry. After being turned, he tried to ignore his need for blood, but it soon became too much and he found himself as one of the Fallen. A vampire who has killed while taking directly from the vein. A vampire that who has succumed to a madness in which there is no returning.

Conrad’s brothers, all vampires, refuse to give up on their brother. Having their own reasons for believing that it’s possible to save Conrad, they imprison him in an abandon manor, having no clue that a ghost is also in residence. When Conrad first sees Néomi, he’s convinced that it’s nothing more than the madness that has created the ghostly aberation. What he finds confusing is that the rage that is so much a part of him seems to dim when Néomi is with him.

Néomi Laress died in one of the worst ways a person can imagine. For 80 years, she has been bound to her home, the place where she died. Having no idea why she hasn’t “moved on”, Néomi finds her happiness where she can. Usually it is with the tenants that move into her home. Though they never know she’s there, she takes joy in their lives. When Conrad is brought into the manor, she is estatic that there is someone that can finally see and hear her.

I really enjoyed the love story between Conrad and Néomi. I think what made it even more poignant is that, for over half the book, the two couldn’t even touch. They fell in love with each other before they were even able to have physical contact. Néomi was exactly the sort of woman Conrad needed. Even after 80 years as a ghost, she was still able to find joy in the smallest things. For someone that felt only rage for 300 years, it was a powerful thing. Néomi helped Conrad overcome the rage that is so much a part of them. With every day that passes, Conrad is more and more certain that Néomi is his Bride. The one woman that can made his heart beat. All he has to do is escape the manor in which his brothers imprisoned him in and find a way to made Néomi sentient. Piece of cake, right?

I don’t want to give away too much, so I’ll leave it at that. Needless to say, the author throws enough twists and turns in to keep the reader guessing. Fans of this series will be more that satisfied with Dark Needs. There are several characters that we get to revisit, which makes the book even better. There’s also a highly amusing scene between Myst and Kaderin that made me laugh out loud. You gotta love those Valkyries.

4 out of 5.

four-stars


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