I think this was an awesome addition to Kate Meader’s series that surrounded an NHL team: the Chicago Rebels. I was a big fan of the first book, IRRESISTIBLE YOU, but not of the second book, SO OVER YOU. I’m glad to report that this newest addition is a hit for me! UNDONE BY YOU follows the burgeoning romance of Dante, the general manager of the Chicago Rebels, and Cade, their defenseman. There’s lots of scorching chemistry, lust/love-filled looks, and character development that will make your heart soar.
The premise of this series is that the owner of the Chicago Rebels, a super toxic man, dies and splits ownership of his hockey team to his three daughters. This story revolves around the new general manager that the daughters hire, Dante, who essentially becomes a part of the family. It explores the traditional roles of men in the NHL, and the hypermasculine vibes that the field is surrounded with. Dante is the first openly out manager in the NHL, but he’ll soon find his match with – surprise, surprise – someone from his own team.
“Three women and a gay guy walk into an NHL franchise…”
I think this book did a great job in exploring what a man is “supposed to be” and what he “isn’t supposed to be” – that is, negating the strict confines of what society thinks men should act as. This is seen through Cade’s struggle with coming out. Cade is young and passionate and lively. Despite that, he struggles with coming out and instead hides behind the veneer of homosexuality by advertising women surrounding him. This has to do with a past family event and just the fact that he repressed it while growing up because of conservative families. I thought Cade’s decision to come out – for himself, not for other people – was nicely written, and realistic.
“‘Everyone’s mileage will vary. Maybe you’ll go your whole career and keep it to yourself. Maybe you’ll have an epiphany one day and realize out is that you need. On you will know what’s best for you, your career, and your mental health. I’m here to talk, to listen, to be your shoulder.’”
Dante is older than Cade (12 year difference, ahh!), and he thinks that he’s jaded compared to Cade. But Cade has been a fan of Dante since he was a teen and Dante still played hockey (the cutest). The book starts with Cade chasing after Dante for a no-strings-attached relationship that turns into something more. The chemistry between the two was as hot as it was cute (like cooking homemade ravioli for a loved one? Yes please!). My only complaint with the romance was that I wish we saw more progression, although that was hard considering this is a novella. We start the book with Cade and Dante already attracted to each other, so this attraction developing into love was rather predictable. It’s also quick and sudden, which made it a bit superficial for me. Nevertheless, Meader does a great job in conveying their love through the characters’ actions.
“‘You’re so… oh man, you’re even better than I hoped.’ He yanked Dante on top of him and rolled him onto his side so they faced each other. ‘This chest. These muscles. All this hair!’ And then he rubbed his cheek against Dante’s pec like a fucking kitten.”
I really enjoyed UNDONE BY YOU and read it in one sitting! It’s cute and perky and perfect for contemporary romance readers. I actually suggest this whole series, as Meader’s writing is REALLY incredible and down-to-earth. Dante and Cade’s love story may be fast to progress, but the hints were definitely there in previous books. Their support, love, and selflessness towards each other was heartwarming to read about. I’m excited to see Violet’s story as well, because this girl is vibrating with energy and fun!
Thank you Netgalley and Pocket Star for the review copy!