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.
Man Down (Rookie Rebels, #3) by Kate Meader
Series: Rookie Rebels #3
Published by Kate Meader LLC on July 28, 2020
Buy on Amazon
I received a complimentary ARC from Author's Review Crew in exchange for an honest review.
MAN DOWN by Kate Meader
Gunnar and Sadie’s love story in Man Down by Kate Meader, book 3 in the Rookie Rebels series, was an emotional, intriguing, sexy, and enjoyable tale. I will warn to keep tissue nearby while reading.
Gunnar Bond has barely existed since the car crash, three years ago, that took his wife and twins from him three years ago. Hiding away in a cabin in the woods and off grid, he gave up professional hockey and was drinking himself into oblivion. One more thing was texting his dead wife about his days without her. How sad that he had become that crazy person. He thinks it’s therapeutic that these messages are they only thing keeping him from spiraling down even further. Then he receives a reply; an understanding and sarcastic woman, replying to his messages and thoughts; basically his saving angel.
Sadie Yates is working for the worst boss in LA, a wannabe instagram star. When her estranged father is sent to prison she becomes the guardian of her little sister, who she hardly knows and a misbehaving dog, she has to return to Chicago, take charge, and try to do her job long distance. Then there’s her sister’s hockey camp counselor, a judgment type telling her she stinks at this parenting gig.
Thank goodness for her sweet, sensitive text buddy who seems to always know the right thing to say. Since they are in the same city at last, maybe they can meet up and see if their online chemistry crosses over to real life. Neither one expected the fireworks caused by a meet up or the consequences to them and her sister.
Ms. Meader wrote an emotional, amazing, sexy sports romance that should not be missed. She provided a tale rich with emotions, sizzling chemistry, sarcasm, revealing conversations, and endearing characters giving Gunner and Sadie a chance at love and the chance for a future together. I highly recommend Man Down to other readers and look forward to the next book in this series.
Excerpt of Man Down by Kate Meader
“Lauren, I’m so sorry! I didn’t take the rush hour traffic into account and—”
“Doesn’t matter,” her sister cut her off. She turned to the giant. “Thanks for waiting with me.”
The giant nodded, all his focus on Lauren, and helped load her gear, a big bag and a hockey stick, into the trunk. He even opened the back door, watched while Lauren clambered in, and cast a beady eye over the seatbelt situation, making sure her sister was suitably restrained. Okay. He muttered something too low for Sadie to hear, but whatever it was made her sister smile. A real honest-to-God smile! Closing the door, he turned to Sadie.
The full-on view was even better than the profile. He wore black sweat pants and a gray tee with the slogan “I like hockey and maybe like three people.” Cute. Thick forearms were currently getting a nice flex on as he fisted his hips. Blue eyes rimmed with a hazel-gold fire stared back at her. His mouth was set in a stern seal that matched the scarring along his cheek, only partially covered by that hot beard. A story there, no doubt.
“Miss, we need to talk.”
Miss? That sounded rather sexy coming from those forbidding lips. “Okay.”
Of course today she looked like one of Cooper’s turds. If she’d realized she’d be meeting some hottie hockey camp guy, she’d probably not have gone with the baggy, spaghetti-sauce splattered tee that pronounced her CUPCAKE WHISPERER. Not that it was even that baggy, or inaccurate. In fact, it clung to her generous hips and did not cover nearly enough of her ass, which were lovingly hugged by yoga pants. (The most action she’d seen in months.) The different-colored flip-flops were the perfect finishing touch.
If she’d shown up to work like this, Allegra would’ve fired her on the spot.
To compensate for her just tumbled out of a bag of Doritos appearance, she smiled at the hockey camp guy. It was her best feature and usually got her out of trouble.
The harshness of his tone took her off guard. “Excuse me?”
“You’re twenty five minutes late.”
She couldn’t argue with that. “Are you one of the camp counselors?”
His eyebrow raise had a rather superior inflection, she thought. “Something like that.”
“Well, Mr. …” He left her hanging. Charming. “I actually have multiple demands on my time these days so I’m going to drop the ball on occasion. I’m here now, so thanks for your time.” Shaken by his attack, she turned to leave. He might be hot, but she didn’t need this level of aggravation.
“I’ll have to report this.”
She pivoted, annoyed as all hell he was still speaking to her. The waves of judgement rolling off him almost flattened her.
“Report it? What business is it of yours?”
“When one of these kids is in harm’s way, it becomes my business.”
She could feel her mouth gaping. “Harm’s way? I was twenty minutes late, you asshole. I know it’s not cool but I’m juggling a lot of balls here.”
“Boyfriend one of those balls? Or is he home ignoring the other kid?”
“The other …” Boyfriend? Harm’s way? She shot a look over her shoulder to Lauren, who was nose-deep in her phone, oblivious to whatever she’d put in motion. Or completely aware.
The lying minx.
When Sadie turned back, the giant was closer. He leaned in ever so slightly, which would have been pleasant if he wasn’t such a dick, and … sniffed. It wasn’t one of those inhaling the fragrant scent of my lover sniffs, either. More like “is that an open sewer I smell?”
“What are you doing?”
He stopped suddenly. Cast a sharp glance at Lauren, who was doing a stellar job of avoiding his gaze. Back to Sadie. Surprising emotional range was showcased as he parsed a number of thoughts flying around his hockey-lug brain.
She helped him get there. “Believe every word out of a twelve-year-old’s mouth, do you? I guess training for the camp counselors is slacking big time.”
He rubbed his beard, aw-shucks embarrassment transforming his expression from stern to sexy.
Then he spoke and ruined it. “Maybe I jumped to a conclusion or three there.”
Worst apology ever.
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Reviewer: Eileen is a retired high school teacher who has loved reading all of her life and goes everywhere with a book. She enjoys reading Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense, Women’s Literature, YA, NA, Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Cozy Mysteries. She likes strong heroines, hot heroes and a story that draws her in, not letting go until the last page is turned. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, pup, and near her four adult children.