Friday, June 7, 2013

The Assassin's Series

Taking Shots by Toni Aleo

Taking Shots is hot new book starting off the Assassins Series.  This series is about the boys of the Assassins hockey team located in beautiful Nashville, TN.  Being a southern girl myself, yes I live in good ole’ Alabama, and living just over an hour south of Nashville I saw all the charm this book has to offer.  Nashville is a good day trip for me and I will be sure to be checking out some of the locations mentioned in this book.  Finally a book set in the south with southern charm and slang.  I love the authenticity of this book and will be devouring the rest of this series one at a time.

This book is a little lengthy, but around every corner was something new so it didn’t take away from the read that much.  I did, however, find myself at some points asking when will it end?  Like I already stated I loved the southern setting and that the female protagonist in this book was definitely a southern belle.  The fact that she had major flaws and not just your everyday stick skinny leading lady was refreshing.  But the major character flaws and over analyzing was a bit much, at times even nerve-racking.  I can say that in several scenes I just wanted to shake her and say “really wake up girl”, thus leaving me invested in this book which is somewhat hard to find these days in a southern romance.

The male lead, on the other hand, was a hot, sexy playboy who exudes confidence.  This is a nice balance with the flawed female. The character development of this guy comes full circle in his emotions as well as his lifestyle.  He does things like cry, serenade, and profess his undying love in front of thousands of hockey fans.

I loved that this story had playlists in it.  It helps to bring the scenarios to life and set the mood.  I love that it is a mix of country and pop.  Overall, I give this book a whopping 4 star review.

Shea Adler is the captain of the Nashville Assassins hockey team; he is also the resident playboy who usually gravitates toward the blonde Barbie type.  So when a team photo shoot leaves Shea looking at a different type of woman his interest in piqued.

Elli Fisher is first and foremost a photographer, but she is also a girl with a jaded past.  Her past relationship was a bust, she has a medical condition that has her feeling less than sexy, and her family is horrible.  On the plus side, she loves her job as a photographer and she is set to shoot the team shots for the Nashville Assassins; being an avid hockey fan and never missing a game this is a dream come true for Elli.  Her favorite hockey player happens to be Shea Adler; she has even named her dog Adler after him. 

Shocked when Shea asked her out after the photo shoot, Elli accepts thinking this will be a friend’s zone relationship.  But when Shea wants to pursue a relationship with Elli she feels not worthy leaving Shea wanting more. Through ups and downs, wins and losses, breakups and make ups can this couple can withstand the drama and win the game of love?

Trying to Score by Toni Aleo

 This review contains spoilers.

 Trying to Score is the second edition in The Assassin’s Series and it is sure to be a hit.  This book is exciting and introducing new characters as well as the characters we love from book one.

In my opinion this book is better than the first book.  Don’t get me wrong I loved the first book, but this one blows it out of the water.  If you are a fan of the series you know that the setting is in Nashville, TN and this time we have a transplant from California. 

The story line is different but the concept is the same with a broken female and a cocky hunky male.  This time it is a couple that were hot and heavy in college that broke up and are now working in the same arena years later. 

Move over Elli, Fallon is in town.  I have to say that I liked Fallon’s character better than the lead, Elli, in book one.  I felt like Fallon’s flaws were much more believable and realistic.  Ms. Aleo is so descriptive in her internal dialog that you feel like you are right there with these characters and struggling right along with them.  I was so invested in this story line that I wanted to bitch slap Fallon at times to open her eyes to what a great man Lucas is. 

Lucas Brooks, sigh, what can I say about this exquisite piece of man candy?   He is hot and cocky despite being dyslexic, loves to fight and bite, has been in love with Fallon for years and has a son that he has on idea about.  Lucas is definitely going on my list of book crushes.  He has abs to die for, a sweet side, and aggressive in bed; what more can a woman want.  The redemption factor that this character has along with the sexiness leaves you rooting for him all the way.

Fallon Parker runs her family business Rocky Top Wines who have an establishment in the Luther Arena which is also home to the Nashville Assassins hockey team and Fallon is friends with the owner Elli Adler.  She finds out the newest team member is Lucas Brooks.  The name alone brings back memories that Fallon has been trying to forget.

How can one night change your life?  This is the question that Fallon Parker has asked herself everyday for the last nine years.  Lucas Brooks walked into her life, gave her two good years and then threw it all away by sleeping with her college roommate.  Fallon feels betrayed and leaves California pregnant for her hometown of Nashville, TN.  Raising her son, and running the family wine business is difficult but with her sister’s Audrey’s help she makes it work. 

When Lucas finds out that the love of his life works in the arena, he pulls out all the stops, even befriending Audrey, to try and win Fallon back.  When that doesn’t work he follows her home to find a seven year old boy, mirror image of himself, at her house.  He immediately knows that Aiden James Parker is his son.  Crushed and wanting to know more, Lucas pursues a relationship with his son and Fallon.  Can Fallon get over the past to live in the present?

Empty Net by Toni Aleo
 The third book in the Assassin’s series is no doubt to be a hit.  The exciting next chapter in the Nashville Assassins hockey team really brings this team to light, showing not only a team but a family as well. 
This installment focuses on Tate Odder and Audrey Parker.  It also has beloved characters from previous book as well as new characters that tie into the family.  I absolutely love the promise of this story and could not wait until Audrey got her own book.  She was such a strong character in the last book, thus deserving her happy ever after. 
I did have a few issues with this book.  It starts off that Tate has broken English since he is from Sweden, but his dialog was spot on.  And the fact that he calls Audrey “love” makes him sound more British than Swedish. 
On the plus side, I did find it endearing that Tate was quite a bit younger than Audrey, and that he too had issues of his own.  This is the first male protagonist that Ms. Aleo has written in this series that has not been perfect; and the fact that he is still hot and sensitive makes me root for him more. 
I also felt that the issues Audrey had were believable making the character believable and the relationship realistic.  Her character flaws were not redundant making her a great addition to this series.  I don’t know if I could have handled another flawed female with an excess of issues.  That was kind of getting old. 
The foreshadowing this book was impressive.  The little hints along the way had me thinking to myself ok this is not over and what is coming next.
Overall, this was a great addition to this Assassins series and I couldn’t have asked for a better story line.  I can’t wait to see whose addition is next.  I hope Anderson get’s his chance, I would like to see him get knocked on his butt and taken down a notch or two.  I am giving this book 4 stars.
Tate Odder is a rookie goalie brought up in from the Assassins farm team in Florida.  He is from Sweden and has no family and friends in the US.  Lucas Brooks takes him under his wing and is showing him the ropes.  He is out one night and a girl takes his breath away.  He hits on her and the next thing he knows he is waking up in her hotel room.  She leaves before he can get her name.
Audrey Parker is a consult at her family’s wine business.  Her sister is getting married and she is stuck in love with a looser.  When she gets dumped at her sister’s bachelorette party, she finds herself sleeping with the first guy that comes along; but is on a downward spiral and doesn’t even want to know his name.
When either of them can not stop thinking about their one night stand and realize they are neighbors, the sparks fly.  But is Audrey strong enough to say away from her ex Levi and is the 7 year age difference too much for the twosome? And Tate is keeping a big secrete of his own.


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