Undone By You by Kate Meader
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

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?

Note: this is a long-ish novella of approximately 40,000 words set in the Chicago Rebels world.

Welp! This is awkward. It always is when almost everyone of your friends loved the book and you didn’t.

Undone by You is the third book off of Kate Meader’s Chicago Rebels series. I was looking forward to this book ever since we got a hint of Dante and Cade’s relationship in So Over You. I enjoyed that book and the first book as well so I was expecting to love this book. And I loved Kate Meader. Her writing style and author voice is something that I thoroughly enjoyed in the past.

Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy Undone By You that much. This book lacked the emotional heft that’s usually present in Meader’s previous works. There are times when the story goes there but maybe because of the length, it immediately moves on to the next story beat without giving it a chance to simmer.

Another complaint I have is the character development or the lack of it. Again, there are some of it but the book moves so fast, it doesn’t really register. One example is how Dante is supposed to be Italian so every single cliched Italian things are in this book because of course, nothing shows how Italian the characters are than cannoli and smattering your speech with tesoro. This worked for me in the previous book and I didn’t mind it as much but here it’s so obvious and feels more like a substitute for some real character development.

While this book was steamy and hot (Kate Meader always excels in this), the romance itself felt rushed and underdeveloped. It didn’t really had time to breathe in a way. I didn’t feel invested in it. And I wish we got that coming out scene. I normally look for it in my m/m book but Cade being in the closet and his relationship with his dad was part of his character arc. So it was disappointing when we only heard about it through Violet which was disappointing. I did like that scene with Bren though so I guess there is that.

Despite my less than glowing review for this book, I’m still looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Violet and Bren’s relationship has been built up since book one, and I gotta tell you that my expectations are high. I just hope it won’t bite me in the ass like I did this one.

An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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