Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Review - - Superstar

by Kate Meader
Rookie Rebels
Publisher: Kate Meader LLC
Release Date: April 11, 2023
Reviewed by PJ

He never saw her coming...

After almost a year away from hockey, Bastian Durand’s return to the game should be a triumph.

Instead he’s taken down by the Chicago Rebels mascot.

It can’t get worse. Or maybe it can. Because the human inside the Rowdy Rebel costume is none other than Pepper Calhoun.

His friend’s sister.
His coach’s daughter.
And the woman Bastian has wanted for the longest time.

Pepper has always been a magnet for bad luck and now she’s ruined superstar Bast Durand’s big comeback. So that tracks. Everyone, from her father and brother to the fans and press, heck, even the NHL commissioner, hates her.

Everyone but the one guy who should.

Hiding away is the only thing she can think of, except Bast has the same idea. To her utter dismay, he’s determined to protect Pepper from anyone who dares breathe a word against her.

And to convince her that crashing on the ice isn’t all that different from … falling in love.

PJ's Thoughts:

Is it wrong of me to hope Kate Meader never runs out of stories to tell within the Chicago Rebels universe? I have fallen hard for these characters and love the way they weave in and out of one another's books, offering up friendship, support, and unwanted relationship advice (meddling hockey players - who knew?) If you're new to this series, Meader has written each book in such a way that you could begin at any point without feeling lost. But, if you're a fan (like I am) it's a special pleasure to see favorites pop up following the conclusion of their own book (I'm looking at you, Kershaw). I love tagging along as earlier couples live out their happily-ever-afters.

After meeting Bastian in his brother's book, Dear Roomie, I immediately wanted to know more about him and was beyond excited when Meader announced he would be getting a book of his own. Tack on a snowed-in-only-one-bed trope (yes, please!) and my excitement knew no bounds. I'm pleased to report that this one had all my happy reader vibes dancing. 

Meader is a master at creating complex, well-developed characters and then weaving them into a fun, steamy story without sacrificing emotional depth. Strategically placed humor keeps things on the light side while complicated relationships (family and romantic) and obstacles ground her stories in reality. I adored Bast and Pepper. I loved how protective Bast was of her, even when they were at odds, and eventually how protective they both became of the other. Their chemistry was off the charts but the quiet, talking times were just as significant. Both characters evolved individually over the course of the book, making their growth as a couple even more solid, relatable, and heartfelt. Yes, I cried during the epilogue. Yes, they were happy tears. Yes, I'm already counting the weeks until the next Rookie Rebel finds his own happily ever after. 

The relationship between Bast and Pepper plays out entirely within Superstar and can be enjoyed on its own without having read the earlier books in the series. However, Bast's relationship with his brother, Reid is a significant part of his character arc in this book. Because of that, and to better understand the history and layers of their sibling relationship as well as the complicated family dynamic with their father, I would suggest reading Reid's story, Dear Roomie followed by Bast's story in Superstar


  1. Well, you have done it again. I am a huge fan of hockey, we are nearly into playoffs right now. Thanks for this review and thanks for telling me I need not one but two books.

  2. I love this series! Great review and warning...

  3. I'm with Kathleen: I love these books and am so happy she's keeping them coming. Now to find a moment to interrupt my regularly scheduled next on deck lineup!

  4. I love this whole series, as well as the Chicago Rebels before it! Dear Roomie was one of my favorites, especially the audio version, with the French Canadian accent! I am so looking forward to this new one. Hopefully my paperback will be here by tomorrow. Thanks for the review, PJ! Sharlene W.