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Wild Ride (ebook classic cover)

Wild Ride (ebook classic cover)

Rookie Rebels

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Note: If you order this version, you will get the classic cover ebook version, exclusively available in the Kate Meader store. Looking for the illustrated cover for the Wild Ride ebook? Order that version here. The content is the same, it's just an illustrated man on the cover instead of a real one! 


Chicago Rebels hockey player Dex O'Malley has been a naughty boy ... again. However will he get out of his latest mess? Enter a Satan-inspired puppy and a feisty single mom to put him on the straight and narrow ...

The latest Rookie Rebels book is completely standalone with Kate's signature humor, steam, and a guaranteed HEA. Download today!


  • Playboy
  • Single mom
  • Opposites attract
  • Hockey romance
  • Animal hi-jinks
  • Band of brothers


Chicago Rebels hockey player Dex O'Malley has been a naughty boy ... again. Only his latest stunt isn’t quite like when he was caught with his pants down at a nightclub or was cited for drag-racing on Lake Shore Drive or even that time he said a few critical things about his teammates on a hockey podcast. Oops. This time, Dex is in real trouble, the kind that could get him kicked off the team and out of the league. And that cannot happen. Hockey is the only thing he’s ever been good at. The only thing he cares about. He’ll do whatever it takes to rehab his rep, even if it means cleaning up dog poop and suffering the steely-eyed disapproval of his new no-nonsense “boss” at the animal shelter, Ashley Adams.

Ashley has enough on her plate between her low-paying job, her high-maintenance family, and a love life she’s trying to resurrect after her divorce. She’s already mom to an amazing nine-year-old; the last thing she needs is mothering a celebrity volunteer with more money than sense. But the troublemaking f-boy needs Ashley to sign off on his good deeds so he can get back to what he does best: lighting up lamps both on and off the ice. And while a guy like that could never interest her mind, it seems her body is not on the same page. Sure, Dex O’Malley is too young, too hot, too flighty for Ashley to take seriously, but maybe a brief ride on the wild side might fit the bill …

Only that’s not enough for Dex. What happens when this notorious player decides the older, single mom is the hottest woman he’s ever met and that he wants to light her lamp … forever?

Chapter One Look Inside

“Here we are, O’Malley. Again.”

Dex O’Malley raised his eyes to the stony gaze behind the big, oak table. He’d become accustomed to this setup. Unwieldy furniture, disapproving glares, crushing disappointment. Not Dex’s disappointment. God, no, that wasn’t an emotion he regularly indulged in. Instead, he let others carry the load and tell him he’d been a naughty boy. 

“This isn’t like the other times, Fitz.” The outcome might be inevitable, but it was expected that Dex make a token effort to defend himself.

“I can see that.” With a world-weary sigh, Hale Fitzpatrick put down the coffee cup labeled “Hottest General Manager Ever,” a gift from his wife. “The other times were more of an embarrassment for the franchise because you seem to be incapable of shame. It’s not every day I have to organize and manage a fake relationship for one of my players because he’s been recorded getting a blow job at a nightclub.”

More than the usual irritation had crept into Fitz’s voice. The boss evidently still held a grudge because that fake relationship had led to Dex’s five-minute engagement to Tara Becker, now Mrs. Fitz. Never mind that the man had scored the gorgeous wife and cute baby. Still a sore winner about it all.

“That was different,” Dex said, returning to explaining away his latest screw-up. “I can’t help it if people follow me around, looking to catch me out.”

“But you seem to be caught out more than the average player.” Fitz started a count on his fingers. “The two ladies at the nightclub—”

“Which we were able to fix with the help of your wife.”

A death-wish glare was Dex’s reward for that interruption with a bonus burn-in-hell gaze for the “your wife” addition. 

Dex was starting to enjoy himself.

“The multiple speeding tickets—”

“But I wasn’t drag racing like they said. That guy thought he could trick me into it with the red light rev.”

“Your comments about your teammates on Jordan Hunt’s podcast.”

Okay, not his finest hour. 

“All I said was they’re kind of boring. So loved up, never wanting to hang and have fun.”

“Most of your colleagues are family men, O’Malley. You’re a bit of an outlier, so I can understand why it’s tough for you to settle.”

So he hadn’t exactly gelled with anyone on the team. They were all good guys, but none of them were down for raucous nights at the club or a good session at the bar post-game. Everyone had to race home or to their hotel rooms to call the little woman (or man, in the case of Grey and Burnett). Team gatherings tended to be family-focused affairs with kids running around and everyone talking about the latest Disney shit or little Timmy’s science project. Don’t get him wrong: Dex liked kids, but he was a bit young to be calling it quits and hanging up his condoms.

A couple of new, younger players were on the roster this year, but they were still so green. Dex felt bad about leading them astray, or about as bad as a shameless troublemaker like him was capable. Like his eighteen months on the team and twenty-five years on this green earth had accorded him the status of pseudo-elder statesman. Instead he was stuck in this limbo. 

Too old for this shit, not old enough to know better.

“I’ve no problem settling,” he said, hating the defensiveness in his voice. So his history hopscotching around care homes and foster family situations meant “settling” wasn’t really his thing. But once he’d found hockey, he’d found his place. “I’m just not so good at staying still.”

Fitz looked almost sympathetic at that admission, and as Dex hated pity more than he hated censure, he was glad that the GM’s next words didn’t match that poor-little-orphan-Dexter expression.

“Or at keeping out of bar brawls with fellow hockey players.”

“Hardly a brawl. Plus he was the opposition.”

“Kyle Hughes was already penalized for wrist slashing during the game and now he’ll sit through the player safety hearing in a few days and get fined. That’s the process, O’Malley. But that’s not enough for you. Instead, you take your beef with him off the ice and turn it into a new problem. For us.”

“He had it coming.”

“Well, now you have it coming. Because unlike your other escapades, this has put you in legal jeopardy. Which puts your position on this team in danger.”

Dex sat up straighter. “But it’ll be a fine or something, right?” The court date was two months out, just before the playoffs. Plenty of time for the team lawyers to craft a good ole stay-out-of-jail strategy. What was the point in having millions if it couldn’t be put to use keeping the wealthy out of trouble?

“General counsel isn’t so sure. You broke Hughes’s nose.”

“After he assaulted a woman. I was defending her.”

Fitz narrowed his eyes. “And for once, given how cameras are usually magnetized to your ass, your good deed was not recorded. Rather, the only part that went viral was you playing fisticuffs with an opposing player.”

Fisticuffs. Dex almost laughed at the old-fashioned language, but the look on Fitz’s face dampened the bubbling threat of humor.

“But the girl? She’ll testify for me.” Damn, she had to.

The boss made a face. “Have you forgotten that Hughes is her boyfriend? I wouldn’t rely on that for your defense. No, we need something else. In the months before your court date, we need to rehab your reputation. Again.”

“Another fake it till we make it vanish sitch?”

Fitz’s hand white-knuckled around his coffee cup. He really did not like being reminded of that. 

“No going back to that well. This time, we’ll have to make you look purer than the driven snow. Sophie has some ideas.”

He pressed a button on his office phone and murmured a summons for Sophie, head of PR at the Rebels. Poor Soph was unfortunately well used to coming up with strategies to make Dex look like a choirboy, or maybe not so unfortunately. Job security for her, right?

“What if it doesn’t work?”

“You’d better hope it does. Because a conviction will put you on waivers, boot you off this team, and then it’s bye bye hockey.”

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