Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review: Undone by You by Kate Meader

Posted April 19, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Undone by You by Kate MeaderReviewer: Rowena
Undone By 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)
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Star
Publication Date: March 5th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 184
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Goodreads
four-stars

USA TODAY bestselling author Kate Meader brings her signature “steamy sex scenes, colorful characters, and riveting dialogue” (RT Book Reviews) to this novella in the Chicago Rebels series, following the general manager of the Rebels as he scores with one of his players off the ice.

Dante Moretti has just landed his dream job: GM of the Chicago Rebels. And screw the haters who think there should be an asterisk next to his name because he’s the first out managing executive in pro hockey. He’s earned the right to be here and nothing will topple him off that perch—especially not an incredibly inconvenient attraction to his star defenseman, Cade “Alamo” Burnett. Cade has always been careful to keep his own desires on the down low, but his hot Italian boss proves to be a temptation he can’t resist. Sure, they both have so much to lose, but no one will ever know...

As Dante and Cade’s taboo affair heats up off the ice and their relationship gets more and more intense, they’ll have to decide: is love worth risking their careers? Or is this romance destined to be forever benched?

Undone by You is the third book in the Chicago Rebels series by Kate Meader and it’s another good one. This book follows the new General Manager for the Chicago Rebels, Dante Moretti as he falls for the fan favorite defenseman, Cade “Alamo” Burnett.

Dante is the first out of the closet GM in the NHL and he’s fought tooth and nail to get where he is now. He’s the general manager for a team in rebuilding mode and he’s got a lot of work in front of him. He doesn’t need the distraction of one of his players but Cade isn’t on board with ignoring the possibilities between them.

Cade is tired of hiding who he truly is. He’s tired of hiding it from his family, from the NHL, from everyone. He wants to live his truth and he wants Dante. Trying to get Dante to see things the way that he sees them is turning out to be a lot harder than he thought. Cade knows what he wants and he knows that Dante wants it too but Dante is trying to be professional, too bad Cade feels anything but professional.

I really enjoyed the dynamics between Dante and Cade. Dante is a bit older than Cade and he’s been through everything that Cade has yet to go through. He knows exactly how Cade feels about coming out to his father and the public so being there for Cade is a given but Dante has a lot to lose if his relationship with one of his players gets out so a relationship with Cade is complicated.

Kate Meader did a great job with Dante and Cade’s story. I don’t read very many MM stories but I have enjoyed the ones that I have read and I thought Dante and Cade’s story was a good one. I liked that Dante was older and more experienced but I also liked that Cade was comfortable in his own skin and knew his own mind. When Dante went to Cade’s father and went to bat for Cade, I sat up and had the biggest smile on my face because yes….that’s how you go to bat for your man. That’s how you have your man’s back.

The romance between Dante and Cade was super steamy and hot damn, their chemistry was off the charts good. I was super glad that Dante had Cade and Cade had Dante. They belonged together and Meader did a great job of showing us readers that. I’m really enjoying the heck out of this series and this book was a great addition to that. I’m so thristy for Violet and Bren’s book.

Like this thirsty…

Kudos to Kate Meader on another fabulous hockey book. I really liked it!

Chicago Rebels Series

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: West Coast Love by Tif Marcelo

Posted April 5, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: West Coast Love by Tif MarceloReviewer: Rowena
West Coast Love (Journey to the Heart #3) by Tif Marcelo
Series: Journey to the Heart #3
Also in this series: North to You (Journey to the Heart #1)
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Star
Publication Date: December 11th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 367
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three-half-stars

An aspiring food journalist and a grumpy cameraman take to the California coast for the biggest foodie event of the year in this sweet third novel in Tif Marcelo’s charming and romantic Journey to the Heart series.

Online food blogger Victoria Aquino has spent years doing social media for True North and Paraiso Retreats, and she’s ready to take her blog and writing to the next level. But after she was catfished and suffered a heartbreak, she’s clamoring for change. She auditions for and accepts a food host opportunity: covering the Labor Day holiday BBQ festivals along the California coast. For eight days, she’ll travel with a producer and a camera and sound person, in a vintage—and rickety—RV, and she’ll get her very first byline as a video journalist. The only catch? She can’t stand BBQ.

And the cameraman also auditioned for the job.

Joel Silva is a cameraman with his own past and big dreams of his own, and when he finds out that the job he auditioned for went to Victoria—a woman he’d gotten to know covering Paraiso Retreats, and someone he later slept with—he’s understandably furious and curious. Joel knows the BBQ circuit like the back of his hand, and he now has to help Victoria do her job amidst their growing attraction.

When the producer picks up on their push/pull vibe and increases the ante to feature both in front of the camera with the best host taking the next cross-country feature, the two have to decide: is their blossoming romance something that should be left to fizzle along with BBQ season? Or is it the beginning of something even more delicious?

West Coast Love is the third book in Tif Marcelo’s Journey to the Heart series and it was a book that had great appeal for me because I love foodie romances. Victoria Acquino is a foodie blogger who is branching out and trying something new. She wants to try her hand at hosting an on the road foodie show, featuring BBQ festivals up and down the coast of California. Only problem is…she hates BBQ. Joel is an experienced cameraman that has dreams of coming out from behind the camera. He was the cameraman for Victoria’s sisters live stream last year and he’s become a valuable camera to Vic’s family so when they run into each other in Vegas, sparks fly and they give in to the chemistry brimming below the surface. It was supposed to be one magical night. Haha, yeah right.

Joel auditioned for the same show that Victoria did and was really bummed that they approached him with a job offer to be…the cameraman. His dreams aren’t exactly coming true but the money was good so of course, he took the job. After spending a magical night with Victoria in Vegas, he thought of her with fondness until he shows up for the cameraman job and finds out that he lost the hosting job to her and she doesn’t even like BBQ. It’s a sour pill to swallow and he struggles with where he is right now, on this job, with this woman.

Joel has always kept things professional. He was never one to mix business with pleasure and his hookup with Vic is coming back to haunt him because no matter how mad he is about the situation, he is still drawn to Vic and she’s drawn to him.

I enjoyed the first book in this series and was looking forward to reading this one. I liked Victoria’s character in that book and I was curious to get to know her better. Her character was a good one. She was smart, she was driven and even though she was trying to find herself, she didn’t lose herself to find herself, if that makes any sense.

Joel was a great character as well. I enjoyed getting to know him and seeing him try to do right by his sister, by his nephew and then when Vic comes into his life, by Vic.

As great as they were a part, together, Joel and Vic kind of drove me crazy. There was a lot of back and forth between these two and there were times when I wanted to shake some sense into the both of them because they created drama out of the littlest of things. It got a bit annoying to slog through.

Tif Marcelo is a new to me author and even though I spent a little bit rolling my eyes at both Vic and Joel, Marcelo’s writing style is compeling and fun and I will definitely be reading more from her. I wonder what’s next but whatever it is, I’m in.

This book wasn’t perfect but I was stilled filled with feels and I shipped Joel and Vic throughout the entire book. When I put the book down, I was happy to have read it and have plans to go back and read Bryn and Mitchell’s book.

Journey to the Heart Series

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: So Over You by Kate Meader

Posted March 19, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: So Over You by Kate MeaderReviewer: Rowena
So Over You (Chicago Rebels, #2) by Kate Meader
Series: Chicago Rebels #2
Also in this series: In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels, #.5), Undone By You (Chicago Rebels, #3)
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Star
Publication Date: December 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
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Goodreads
four-stars

Three estranged sisters struggle to sustain their late father’s failing hockey franchise in Kate Meader’s sizzling Chicago Rebels series. In this second entry, middle sister Isobel is at a crossroads in her personal and professional lives. But both are about to get a significant boost with the addition of a domineering Russian powerhouse to the Rebels....

Isobel Chase knows hockey. She played NCAA, won Olympic silver, and made it thirty-seven minutes into the new National Women’s Hockey League before an injury sidelined her dreams. Those who can’t, coach, and a position as a skating consultant to her late father’s hockey franchise, the Chicago Rebels, seems like a perfect fit. Until she’s assigned her first job: the man who skated into her heart as a teen and relieved her of her pesky virginity. These days, left-winger Vadim Petrov is known as the Czar of Pleasure, a magnet for puck bunnies and the tabloids alike. But back then... let’s just say his inability to sink the puck left Isobel frustratingly scoreless.

Vadim has a first name that means “ruler,” and it doesn’t stop at his birth certificate. He dominates on the ice, the practice rink, and in the backseat of a limo. But a knee injury has produced a bad year, and bad years in the NHL don’t go unrewarded. His penance? To be traded to a troubled team where his personal coach is Isobel Chase, the woman who drove him wild years ago when they were hormonal teens. But apparently the feeling was not entirely mutual.

That Vadim might have failed to give Isobel the pleasure that was her right is intolerable, and he plans to make it up to her—one bone-melting orgasm at a time. After all, no player can perfect his game without a helluva lot of practice...

So Over You is the second book in Kate Meader’s Chicago Rebels series and what a great book it was. Kate Meader keeps getting better and better in my opinion and the more that I read from her, the more I want to read from her.

Isobel Chase was the apple of her father’s eye. She was the son that he never had and she strived every day of her life to please him but when her professional hockey career is cut extremely short, she feels like she let him down and she never really got over it. Her father was not the best father. He was a terrible human being and he broke her heart when he messed with the guy she lost her virginity to. Nobody has made her feel more like a failure than her father and when he keeps right on messing with her from the grave, Isobel is determined to do her own thing.

Vadim Petrov has been traded to the Chicago Rebels and he isn’t exactly thrilled about it because she’s there. It’s been years since he’s seen the young girl that he was crazy about when they were young but being with her cost him a promising career that he had to work hard to put back on track. He’s finally playing in the NHL like he always dreamed but now Isobel is back in his orbit, as his coach and it’s hard because on top of the new team, the new city, Vadim is dealing with a new sister he didn’t know existed until she needed some of his organs to stay alive. So on top of Isobel being back in his life, his long lost mother is too. He’s not sure how he feels about Isobel again but his mother? He wants nothing to do with her. There’s a lot of baggage with that and man, the more I got to know Vadim, the more that I loved him.

So this is a second chance romance and an office romance and a coach/player romance and I enjoyed all aspects of Vadim and Isobel’s story. I enjoyed getting to know them, their situations and I really loved seeing them bicker their way toward that happy ending.

Isobel was a great heroine. She was strong and she was grumpy but she was learning to be a part of a family outside of the family she had with her mother. She had strained relationships with both of her sisters and seeing them bond over the course of the book filled me to the brim with feels. Harper was a great character in her book so it was good to see her in a supporting role in this book. Violet’s book is going to be another fun one. I just know it. These Chase sisters are a force to be reckoned with and I can’t freaking wait to see more of them.

Vadim’s story was such a good one. He didn’t have an easy life even though he was rich as hell. He grew up alone and when he met and fell in love with Isobel, things didn’t work out the way that he hoped they would but seeing him fall for her again and everything was so, so good. He was a great brother and in the end, a terrific son….but he was also a great boyfriend. I want my very own Vadim…even though he has a Russian accent and the accent in my head sounded really bad, I don’t even care. I adored him and am going to be looking for him in all of the other books. He’s my favorite.

This was another great book in a series that is shaping out to be a fantastic one. I’m anxious for more and will be so sad when the ride is over. Kate Meader has made her way onto my auto-buy list. I can’t get enough of her stuff.

Chicago Rebels Series

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Irresistible You by Kate Meader

Posted March 16, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Irresistible You by Kate MeaderReviewer: Rowena
Irresistible You (Chicago Rebels, #1) by Kate Meader
Series: Chicago Rebels #1
Also in this series: So Over You (Chicago Rebels, #2), In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels, #.5), Undone By You (Chicago Rebels, #3)
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Star
Publication Date: August 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
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Goodreads
four-stars

Hot in Chicago series author Kate Meader returns with her all new, scorching Chicago Rebels hockey series. Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.

Harper Chase has just become the most powerful woman in the NHL after the death of her father Clifford Chase, maverick owner of the Chicago Rebels. But the team is a hot mess—underfunded, overweight, and close to tapping out of the league. Hell-bent on turning the luckless franchise around, Harper won’t let anything stand in her way. Not her gender, not her sisters, and especially not a veteran player with an attitude problem, a chip on his shoulder, and a smoldering gaze designed to melt her ice-compacted defenses.

Veteran center Remy “Jinx” DuPre is on the downside of a career that’s seen him win big sponsorships, fans’ hearts, and more than a few notches on his stick. Only one goal has eluded him: the Stanley Cup. Sure, he’s been labeled as the unluckiest guy in the league, but with his recent streak of good play, he knows this is his year. So why the hell is he being shunted off to a failing hockey franchise run by a ball-buster in heels? And is she seriously expecting him to lead her band of misfit losers to a coveted spot in the playoffs?

He’d have a better chance of leading Harper on a merry skate to his bed…

After the rocky start with this series with In Skates Trouble, I’m glad that I stuck with this series because I really enjoyed Irresistible You.

Harper Chase is dealing with the death of her father but not in the way that you’d think. You see, Harper has worked her butt off to prove to her father (when he was alive) that she had what it takes to run his hockey team when he retired but no matter what she did, he didn’t see her potential. So when he dies and leaves the hockey team to, not just her, but her two estranged sisters, Harper wants to pull her hair out. But no, her father wasn’t done messing with her because on top of having to share the hockey team with her sisters, they have to jump through more of his insane hoops to keep the team at the end of the season. So Harper has to turn around a failing professional hockey organization and she doesn’t have a lot of time to do it.

Enter Remy DuPre. Veteran center who is on his way to finally getting his hands on that coveted Stanley Cup. He just has to stay healthy and play hard for the rest of the season and he’ll be holding that trophy over his head with his team in Boston…only, he’s traded to one of the worst teams in the league and his chances of getting that cup fall flat on its face and who does he blame for this mess? Harper freaking Chase.

Remy comes to Chicago kicking and screaming and Harper practically drags him there. They face off every chance they get and all of that fierceness is bound to thaw out and turn into a passion so strong, they don’t stand a chance against it. Seeing them bicker their way toward the thaw made for such a fun romance. Kate Meader is really bringing it with this series and I’m so glad that I continued it.

Remy was such a great hero. One that was caring at the same time that he was strong, loving and just an all around good guy. I loved how the veteran presence that he brought to the team when they needed it most and I loved seeing him so sure of how he felt for Harper.

Harper was so much more than I thought she’d be from In Skates Trouble. She was smart, she was strong and she was so damn good at what she did that it didn’t take long at all for me to jump on board the Harper train. I loved seeing the ice melt between her and her sisters. Things weren’t always perfect for Harper but in her heart of hearts, she always tried to do what was right for them and the team.

Seeing Remy and Harper together was a lot of fun. Each encounter that brought them closer was just one of the reasons that I enjoyed the book. I loved the way that Remy was with his nieces, with his entire family to be honest and I loved the way that he was with Harper. How he fed her, looked out for her, all while trying to respect her wishes of being and staying discreet. When he decides to woo Harper into his way of thinking, it was just too freaking sweet.

Harper had a lot going on in this book and I really liked the person she grew to be. Her hesitation to take her relationship with Remy public was completely understandable and I really liked how pissed she was at herself and at the whole situation. The way that she was with her sisters was a lot of fun to witness because they’re all so different from each other. I’m looking forward to reading the next book to get to know ice princess Isobel better. Bring on the Russian lovin’… 🙂

Overall, this was a wonderful contemporary romance that really kicks the series into high gear, at least for me. I enjoyed the characters, the chemistry between the main couple and the promise that the coming books bring with the set up in this one. It’s a great read.

Chicago Rebels Series

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

Posted March 15, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 12 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude DeverauxReviewer: Holly and Rowena
A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
Series: Montgomery/Taggert #15
Published by Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: March 27th 2012
Genres: Historical Romance, Time Travel
Pages: 416
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Once upon a time . . . as a fair maiden lay weeping upon a cold tombstone, her heartfelt desire was suddenly made real before her: tall, broad of shoulder, attired in gleaming silver and gold, her knight in shining armor had come to rescue his damsel in distress. . . .
A Knight in Shining Armor
Hailed worldwide as one of the most romantic novels of all time, Jude Deveraux’s dazzling bestseller “will capture your heart—and hold it” (Daily Herald, Chicago) with its breathtaking tale of lovely Dougless Montgomery; her savior knight, Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck; and the timeless adventure of passion and memory, danger and desire that sweeps them into each other’s arms.

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

Holly: Rowena and I got into a discussion about this book on Twitter (caution, thread contains spoilers for this book and others) this week along with some other long-time romance readers. We all agree this is one of the few books that can still fill us with rage even all these years later. I’ll never be over that ending. Never.

This review was originally published on June 7, 2008.

I saw a review for this one online a couple of days ago and got mad all over again so I’m going to resurrect this review Holly and I did over at our old blog, Sanctuary’s Finest.

Enjoy!

Rowena says:

Jude Deveraux did such a wonderful job sucking me in with Dougless Montgomery and Nicholas Stafford. I mean, Dougless wanted nothing more than a man, a good man to love and care for her enough to marry her, she strived to have a family of her own with a man who wouldn’t make her look like the insipid younger sister to her family, she didn’t want to be the laughingstock of her family which is understandable and I thought it was so sweet that she asked for a Knight in Shining Armor and got it…in the form of Elizabethan Knight, Nicholas Stafford.

Nicholas Stafford was a rascal of a hero who died long ago and WAS the laughingstock of not only his family but of England. He wanted so much to be remembered for his learning and for his architecture, but instead was remembered as a traitor to his Queen and a sexual exploit of his youth on a table. What a way to be remembered and back in the day, well in Nicholas’ day, all you had to live for was your honor.

Honor made men out of boys and Nicholas’ wanted to be remembered by his mind. He wasn’t perfect by any means (I mean come on now, you slept with a married woman for goodness sakes but still) but he did work hard to supply for his family and he did have a heart, a very big one.

I really loved Nicholas Stafford and I loved the whole story between him and Dougless, they were perfect for eachother, so bloody perfect. The ice cream scene in the kitchen? YUM! I mean, there wasn’t much to love about Dougless and Nicholas because they were both just so loveable. You wanted someone like Dougless as your friend because she cared a whole lot about those around her and she was loyal and just an all around good hearted young woman. Nicholas on the other hand, you wanted Nicholas in your bed, he was hot, he was funny and he was caring. He really was though, just a regular guy with the same goofiness as all of those guys that you can’t help but love.

I can’t tell you guys how great Jude Deveraux did with the telling of this story. The entire time you were rootin’ these two on because you wanted them to have their happy ending. Dougless was a good strong heroine who was soft hearted but worked hard for those around her and then Nicholas, you couldn’t help but fall in love with him, he was just too cute. He too, worked so hard to right the wrongs that were done to him and you really wanted him to find his happy ending…..with Dougless.

Now, JD did a wonderful job with the secondary characters too, you either loved them or you hated them. I mean, with Kit and Lady Margaret, you fell in absolute love with their characters because there was a wealth of love between these two and Nicholas. It was more than aparent that Kit had Nicholas’ back and that he loved his brother with everything, same thing with Lady Margaret, she was a great mother to the two men and she showed that love by fighting for the truth about Nicholas to save him, she was a smart cookie and the bad guys seriously underestimated her abilities to dig out the truth, she was an amazing mother and she was gracious to Dougless for saving both of her sons, I thought that was great.

Now on the flip side of the coin, we have characters like Arabella Sydney who I hated just because she was a little slut that cheated on her husband with Nicholas, stupid chit needed to keep her damn legs closed and work on her marriage to her husband, since that man was one evil ass man. Then you have Robert and Gloria, Dougless’ insufferable boyfriend and his evil spawn of a daughter. Never in my life have I wanted to hurt people more than I wanted to hurt these two, I’m serious because I wanted to stab Robert and keep stabbing him until he had more holes in him than a piece of Swiss Cheese and then I wanted to hang him by his balls and let him bleed out, ever so slowly. You don’t want to know what I wanted to do to his good for nothing little shit of a daughter.

Grrr…

So as you can see, JD did a great job with this book because she got this kind of reaction out of me, always looking on the bright side Rowena, that’s me. If a book is bad, I’ll overlook it if I enjoyed the story as a whole, oh but not this time around. Not with this book, this book infuriated me so much that I am going to burn this shit in the Burn Book pile, oh wait…I already did that, but this time I’m going to keep it in the burn pile.

You see, as much as I loved the story, I hated the ending, the ending is what burned the book, ruined it for me, but aside from that horrendous ending, the book was FABULOUS!

Holly says:

I couldn’t agree with Rowena more. When we first meet Douglass she’s on her way to England for a vacation with her stupid cad boyfriend and his stupid, spoiled daughter, and as a reader, you want so much for her to find true love and happiness, because she’s the type that deserves it.

As a member of the overachieving Montgomery clan, Douglass has always felt inferior to the rest of her family and she truly just wants to be loved and accepted for who she is, and not reminded of the mistakes she’s made. As a woman, a sister and a mother, I totally identified with her.

When she was weeping on the steps of the church because her jerkass boyfriend had abandoned her in a foreign country, I wept with her. And when Nicholas Stafford was brought forward through time as her Knight in Shining Armor, I cried harder and wanted so much for them to be together. I cried again when Nicholas was sent back home and I prayed Douglass would find a way to be with him again.

I cheered when Douglass went back to Nicholas’ time and I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation, waiting to see how the story would unfold. Would Nicholas remember Douglass from when he was in the future? Would his family come to accuse her of being a witch? Would Nicholas fall in love with the Douglass in his time, or remember he loved her in her time? Would he still marry the psycho that got him into trouble before?

The scenes Rowena mentioned, like the ice cream scene, were amazingly told. I was completely wrapped up in this story, breathless with anticipation and almost sick to my stomach wondering how JD was going to keep these two amazing characters together. I just wanted them to have their HEA….together.

Conclusion: With Spoilers…you were warned!

View Spoiler »

Dammit. And Double Dammit. There’s no redeeming this book at all. No matter how I look at it, it sucked ass, plain and simple.

Stupid ass book!

Story: 4 Ending: 1

This book is available from Simon & Schuster . You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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