Kate Meader steps into the world of contemporary sports romance with the heartfelt, sexy, entertaining, and refreshingly different Irresistible You, the first book in her Chicago Rebels series. You will not find the often-characterized hockey playboy in this engaging love story, but rather a mature and level-headed man who respects women and isn’t overly impressed with himself. Neither will you find a heroine who is in awe of a professional athlete, because she’s his boss and a damn good businesswoman. These two variations on some of the norms of the sub-genre make Irresistible You unique and a particularly interesting and enjoyable read.
Remy DuPrue is a veteran hockey center with the unfortunate nickname Jinx. He’s considered the unluckiest guy in the NHL, because he’s never been on a team that’s won the Stanley Cup although he’s an amazing athlete, reliable teammate and has been playing for seventeen years. At thirty-five, he knows this might be his last year on the ice, and he believes he finally has a chance to win the championship with a team he’s helped build, the Boston Cougars. Well, at least he had a chance of finally achieving his ultimate career goal – until he was traded to the worst team in the league, the Chicago Rebels. The charismatic, easygoing Louisiana native and proud Cajun is angry about the move and pissed at his new boss, Harper Chase.
Harper just inherited the Rebels along with her two estranged sisters, who are not particularly interested in running the organization. Harper loves the team and has worked for them for years, and she’s committed to seeing them succeed. She’s acting as the general manger and she needs Remy’s leadership and teambuilding skills to get the team on track and into the playoffs this year; and if she can’t get them that far the team will be sold, as stipulated by the terms of her father’s will.
Remy acts out his outrage by missing his first practice and playing with subpar effort in his first game, which angers and frustrates the strong-willed Harper. The two begin a feisty battle of wills, their instant and intense mutual attraction complicating an already difficult situation.
Notwithstanding his initial juvenile behavior, Remy is reasonable and thoughtful when he candidly explains his stance and feelings about the trade to Harper and asks for a quid pro quo that might allow him to return to Boston before the end of the season so he can get his Stanley Cup. They agree to work together, and their new partnership ignites the unrelenting chemistry building between them to a fever pitch. They also begin to get to know, like, and respect each other, and Ms. Meader progresses their sexual relationship in parallel with a developing emotional connection.
Harper understandably struggles with the idea of getting involved with a player and employee, but Remy isn’t as concerned about mixing business with pleasure. He turns on the full force of his Southern charm to win her over, and readers will find him irresistible. Jovial and persuasive, Remy is extremely likeable and makes for a wonderful break from the cocky, man-whore athlete so often found in this sub-genre. He’s all-around swoon-worthy, except I sometimes found his Cajun-isms a bit overdone – accurate but a bit much. I’m a little Cajun myself, so perhaps my tolerance level is a bit lower than most reader’s.
Both Remy and Harper’s families are included and make for enjoyable secondary characters and an entertaining addition to the story, especially Remy’s. He’s an only son with four sisters and seven nieces, and their interactions are endearing and fun. His family’s dynamic explains a lot about his respect for women and his wholehearted acceptance of female boss in the male dominated world of professional sports.
Irresistible You is a feel-good sports romance with steamy interludes, tender moments, humor, and an interesting story that is distinguished from the typical sports romance by the use of refreshingly non-stereotypical characters.