Review: Wild Ride by Kate Meader (Rookie Rebels #9)

Note: An advance reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Give Me Books Promotions.

Wild Ride is the ninth novel in Kate Meader's Rookie Rebels hockey romance series. At its most basic, this is an opposites attract romance, but there is so much more to the story of Dexter O'Malley and Ashley Adams. He's twenty-five and a professional hockey player with the Chicago Rebels who's in quite a bit of trouble; she's thirty and a single mother to nine-year-old Willa alongside being the manager at the Riverbrook Animal Shelter. Dex already has a reputation of being a wee bit wild and reckless, but a physical altercation leads to him in far more trouble than usual. Not only is he facing legal ramifications, but the threat of him being kicked off the team is a very real one. In need of one heck of a public relations glow-up, Dex is sent to volunteer at an animal shelter, and it's there that he meets Ashley. She's not exactly ready and raring to babysit Dex, especially given that she has her daughter to take care of, aside from making sure the shelter is running smoothly and the animals are loved and ready for adoption. He needs her to sign off on his volunteer work; what Dex doesn't need is to not only have a fling, what more, fall in love with Ashley. Well, these two better hang on tight; it's going to be a wild ride.

Single parent, a bit of a reverse age gap, hockey, AND fur babies? Yes, please! Dex and Ashley may have been opposites, but they were also two people in transition, confronting changes, whether they were ready for them or not. There was a lot of growth for these main characters, especially when it came to realizations as to their involvement with each other and whether this was something they were willing to go all in with. Dex's past provides a greater explanation as to why he was the way he was, and Ashley's failed marriage stirred up insecurities that had more to do with her louse of an ex-husband than with her. Willa, Ashley's daughter, was a sweetheart, and goodness, I couldn't get enough of all the fur babies, especially Bullet. Kate Meader doesn't scrimp on the hockey aspect of the story either, which is always a bonus considering there are quite a few books that label themselves "hockey romance" but barely mention anything to do with the sport. Most importantly, Wild Ride brought the swoon; it gets 4.5 stars!

Release Date: 26 March 2024

Date Read: 20 March 2024

Learn more about Kate Meader.

Pre-order Wild Ride on Amazon | Apple Books | B&N | Kobo.


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