REVIEW: KATE MEADER – FOREPLAYER

REVIEW: KATE MEADER – FOREPLAYERForeplayer by Kate Meader
Also by this author: Irresistible You, So Over You
Also in this series: Good Guy, Instacrush
Series: Rookie Rebels #4
Published by Indie on December 29, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance, sports romance
Tropes: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Childhood Cancer
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on AmazonBuy on Audible
Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
Cliffhanger: No

Goodreads
four-stars

After a very public breakup and a viral post that declares him the villain, power forward Cal Foreman is taking a timeout from women and relationships to focus on hockey. When Chicago Rebels captain and old friend, Vadim Petrov, “volunteers” him to help train Vadim’s sister Mia, Cal figures he can do a favor for a pal and get ready for the season with his new team. But the imperious Russian would slice a skate blade through Cal’s internal organs if he knew what lessons Mia really wants.

Yeah, not that kind of stickhandling.

Hockey phenom and Olympics hopeful Mia Wallace needs help seducing the man of her dreams. That man is most definitely not Cal Foreman: notorious playboy, thorn in her side, and her brother's bestie. But surely a guy with his reputed skill set has a few tips on how she can nail her target—which makes him the perfect foreplayer.

Cal knows Mia sees him as merely the warm-up act in her grand plan to win another man, but as they spend more time together, he wonders if that’s enough.

If they could be more.

And if he could convince her he’s worthy of the starting line-up... in her heart?

I love when characters start out as enemies, become friends and then lovers. That’s something I can totally see happening in real life. Mia and Cal’s story is like that and their progression is so natural. Cal’s character was perfect – he was this good man, thoughtful, sexy, funny, but also a tiny bit troubled and with flaws that made him seem human rather than a jerk. I loved how he tried to be a good person. As a commitment-phobe the last thing on his mind is love or relationships so while Cal and Mia know one another from the outset he leaves a not so stellar first impression while breaking up with his girlfriend on his team mate’s wedding.

“The end was nigh, another one in the books. Fun while it lasted, but no woman would be depositing a spare toothbrush in Cal Foreman’s mug. Never again.”

Famous last words.

Mia one of the NWHL’s best players had to leave professional hockey after being painfully wronged by her ex-boyfriend. She’s now trying to return to the world of skating via a backdoor by being accepted on the Olympic team. And no other than Callum Foreman is supposed to help her. Balking at first she soon sees the benefits and an easy camaraderie evolves between them. I think this was my favorite part, they had such a strong friendship and even when they became lovers they maintained it.

Too bad that Mia has her sights set on another man. And here is where Mia’s character soured a little for me. I thought she was so wise at times and so immature at others. In her mind she kept going on how Cal didn’t fight for her, how he only wanted her as a friend when she did nothing but remind him that she wants another man. And in the end, she said the exact same things I was thinking throughout their turbulent times.

“How would he know that she was falling for him unless she told him? As intuitive as Cal was, could she really expect him to be a mind reader on top of it all?”

Yet, I really liked her. She was funny, sweet, wicked smart and full of mischief. And so, so resilient, she was the personified queen, who fell, got up, adjusted her crown and marched on. Together they were a power couple I only could root for.

“The man who shouldn’t mean a thing had suddenly become the man who meant everything.”

Vadim Petrov, who’s one of my favorite characters in this world, plays a big part in FOREPLAYER. Not surprising, he is Mia Wallace’s brother and I adored their relationship. Vadim also happens to be Cal’s best friend so, AWKWARD, when Cal and Mia become lovers and they both want to keep it on the down-low. But if you’ve met Vadim you know that there is more to him than it first seems. We didn’t get to catch up with the characters from previous books so much this time – I missed that because I need a dose of Remy, Dante, Cade and Bren. Hopefully next time!

Although some books by her work better for me than others I love Kate Meader. She has this way of writing that is so easy to fall into. With FOREPLAYER she promised to give us a fun, light story. Did she succeed? Not completely – there were themes that made it deeper than I excepted but she did make good on the promise of it being fun. This was an entertaining, fast read that kept me invested until the end. Now I’m excited to see what she has for super-grump Reid Durand in store.

“Mia.”
Her breath stalled, and she had trouble getting ahold of it. How’s that friends plan going, idiot?
“There you go again with the name thing. Like it’s an answer to something.” 
“It is.”
“What’s the question?”
“I don’t know, only that your name’s the answer.”

four-stars

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