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?
They pulled up outside Cade’s condo building in Riverbrook, about a five-minute walk to Rebels HQ. Dante kept the engine running—a form of threat, perhaps?
“In you go, Burnett,” Dante said softly. “Be a good boy for the rest of the night.”
This guy was definitely mixing his signals, because if he thought Cade wasn’t going to fuck him after that little tease, he wasn’t nearly as smart as he looked. Cade turned to look at Dante. The streetlight glinted off his hair, giving it a blue-black shine, casting his face half in shadow.
“We’ve got a game in New York in a couple of days, then a weekend off.”
“And you’re reminding me of the team’s schedule why, exactly?”
Cade took a breath. “I’d suggest meeting in your hotel room in New York, but it’s risky. When we get back, I want to spend that weekend with you.”
Dante snorted his disbelief. “So now it’s an entire weekend?”
Not a no. Not a screw you. Just a timing query.
Cade smiled, waited a beat. “I’ve had time to think. You should have talked to me on the ride home but you didn’t. You kept this surly, sexy, stoic act up, and it’s only turned me on more.”
He could tell Dante was torn on how to handle this. Faced with one of his players coming out and on to him, the man was likely weighing his managerial duty to protect against his human desire to give in. Cade just had to figure out what would tip the scales.
“Cade,” Dante started, his voice gentle enough to signal how this was going to go. Gay mentor Dante? Get in the rink! “I understand that this is tough for you. Your private life has suddenly collided with your public life, and that’s a lot to process. However, navigating this confusion should not—will not—involve an inappropriate hookup with your boss.”
Now probably wasn’t the time to tell Dante that the collision between private and public wasn’t so sudden. Better to pop a finger on the scales.
“I have a list,” Cade said, as if that was the most logical response to your boss telling you a hookup was off the menu.
“A list?” Dante was probably going for bored, but Cade heard it: curiosity.
“Things I’ve fantasized about doing to you. With you.”
“Jesus.” Dante—I kid you not—actually pulled on his tie. Like the car had become hotter than the hinges of hell in the last ten seconds and that stretch of silk was a noose. Fucking adorable.
Cade might be an excellent defender, but even he knew the best defense was a wicked offense. The shot was lined up. He just had to take it. “Want to hear more about the list?”
Nostrils flaring, Dante ground out, “There are ethical implications here. It might be a game to you, but this is my fucking job.”
Dante’s New York accent was unmistakable in how he said job like jawb. Getting a little agitated there, boss? He dipped his gaze down Dante’s body, his destination obvious.
Dante’s cock was currently engaged in an ethical cage match against the zipper of his pants. Perfect.
“Considering I’m the one propositioning you, then I think we can assume an even ethical playing field. We could both make a lot of trouble for each other if this were to get out.”
“The threat of blackmail is making me hard, Burnett.”
Oh man. Cade loved the way Dante talked. That clipped, lethal cut of every word.
“What I’m trying to say is that we both have a lot to lose. It’s dangerous”—he leaned in—“taboo”—so close he could see Dante’s flared irises and the dark flush flagging his cheeks—“and sexy as hell.”
Dante placed a hand on Cade’s chest, both pushing him away and holding him in place. It was the first time Dante had touched him, and Cade’s heart went hog wild.
“Aren’t you concerned I might play favorites after?” Dante murmured. “Or worse, want to trade out evidence of my indiscretion?”
“I guess it depends on how good of a fuck you are.”
Cade laughed heartily at that, enjoying Dante’s honesty and quick wit and—oh yes. The sardonic tilt to his lips that told him Dante was enjoying this just as much.
“Good night, Cade,” the hot Italian murmured, pushing him away gently.
Reluctantly drawing back, Cade gripped the door handle. “Think about it, Dante. No-holds-barred, pure, unadulterated pleasure. Best of all, no one will ever know.”
And then he exited that car, leaving the man wanting.
I haven’t read any of the previous books in this series, but jumped on this one when I saw it, and absolutely loved it. Cade and Dante really hit the spot for me.
Dante, being openly gay, and GM of an NHL hockey team can’t have been easy for him, but he moved forward, and didn’t let being gay define him. It didn’t define his work with the players either. It was clear he was respected, but Dante also was careful not to put anyone into a difficult situation. Not the owners, not the players, and (he tried very hard at least!) not himself.
Cade, I loved. He went after what he wanted. He walked into an exclusive gay club looking for what he wanted…Dante…and didn’t take no for an answer. He wasn’t worried about being too young for Dante, or even that he wasn’t out. He wanted the sexy GM, and was willing to step up and let him know.
This novella was sexy, seriously sexy. These two, once they found their middle ground, found themselves hitting the sheets whenever they could. However, it wasn’t just that. It was so obvious that they enjoyed each other’s company as well. Cooking together, hanging out, not just hitting the sheets. They found ways to connect that didn’t involve just sex.
The struggle to come out for Cade was heartbreaking. He knew what he was up against with choosing it, and Dante tried to impress upon him what coming out in the NHL could mean. And with Dante feeling like his job depended on not showing he was involved with a player, the feels were definitely there.
I just loved this one, and I hope that this author will continue to write m/m. She has really captured what is a difficult sometimes for authors that make the transition from m/m to capture. Keeping the strength and passion of the two men, while still showing their vulnerability. I cried a little during this one, laughed a little, and overall just wanted to read it again right after I put it down. 🙂
4.5 pieces of eye candy
I loved this book so much, I wanted to make sure someone else got a copy! So, leave a blog comment and we’ll draw a winner to receive an ebook copy of Undone by You.