Thursday, January 2, 2014

Review: Blue Lines, Taking Shots, Trying to Score, and Empty Net by Toni Aleo

Blue Lines
by Toni Aleo
Published:  December 9, 2013
Publisher:  Loveswept - Random House

Opposites do more than just attract in Toni Aleo’s latest Nashville Assassins novel about a very bad boy and the good girl he can’t resist.

The instant Piper Allen sees Erik Titov, she wants him—wants his rock-hard body, sure, but the strength and mystery that lies behind that superstar hockey jock demeanor, too. So when he sidles up to her at a bar and slinks his arm around her waist, she’s lost. What follows is the wildest night of her life . . . followed by inevitable heartbreak the next morning. And then, a few weeks later, a very big surprise: two blue lines on a pregnancy test.

Only a check to the head could make Erik fall for a nice girl like Piper. But since their crazy-sexy night together, he’s been trying to forget about her alluring body by falling into bed with every woman in Nashville, and it’s not working. So when Piper shows up at his house with a baby-bomb to drop, it doesn’t take much for Erik to suggest the nuclear option: marriage. While it’s supposed to be all for show, the second they say “I do,” the ice between them starts to melt into sizzling steam. 

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: Taking Shots, Trying to Score, and Empty Net.

Links to Find Books:   Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble

My Thoughts:  The Assassins series by Toni Aleo has become one of my favorites and I look forward to each new installment and to seeing what the author has in store for her fans with the next romantic installment of this outstanding series.  Blue Lines is Piper and Erik's story, who we've met in previous installments.  I really liked Piper.  I do have to say that Erik Titov is the first guy in this series that I haven't automatically fell in love with.  In fact, he is quite the jerk and I could have slapped him on more than one occasion.  However, that is exactly the way he is meant to be portrayed and it adds a whole new facet to the series.  Not only does Erik have to play his part in the story, he has to win over the reader's heart as well, which is something that I really enjoyed seeing unfold as the story progressed.  

Erik has issues, big issues  He has been through a lot in his life, but he is also very arrogant, selfish, and is quite the man-whore.  He doesn't understand his attraction to Piper.  That combined with his fears that stem from his past, as well as his fear of letting anyone in. play a big factor in his royal jerkdom and the meanness, both intentional and unintentional that he dishes out.  That said, he does grow on me and despite it all, I did come to forgive him and root for him by the end of the story.  Piper, I loved her the whole time, though I did feel sorry for her at times, and at other times I wanted to shake or or at least take control of her foot and make her kick Erik in the rear or somewhere else even more painful.  She endured so much in this book, and the hurt she went through is more ran deep, as did her love.  She has her own insecurities to work through, but she really is an amazing person. 

The relationship that developed between these to was intense and dramatic to say the least.  The chemistry between the two is hot and the sex is even hotter.  Blue Lines is quite an emotional read also, at least for me, because I was so felt so protective of Piper.  It was nice to see the person Erik developed into, however.  I also loved getting to see the rest of the characters that fans of the series have come to know and love, which is always a wonderful part of reading the Assassins series.  Toni Aleo has delivered another hot, sexy, and wonderful installment in this series and I can't wait to see what she has in store for her fans next.  

Taking Shots (Assassins #1)

by Toni Aleo
Published:  April 23, 2013
Publisher:  Loveswept

Elli Fisher has never thought she was good enough, let it be her job, her weight, her love life, nothing. That is until she meets Shea Adler. After doing a promotional shoot for the NHL team, the Assassins, she meets the hunky hockey player who shoots a puck, shattering her world.

Shea Adler was tired of the life he was living outside of the rink. The girls, the money blowing, the drinking, everything had to stop and it all did when he met Eleanor Fisher. He had never met anyone like her. She was feisty, witty, shy, and simply gorgeous. When he laid eyes on her, it was as if he was taking the hardest hit of his life into the boards, and he had to have her. Elli is a little skeptical of Shea, but he knows that they were meant to be together, and he needed her in his life. 
Can Elli throw her insecurities out the window and love Shea with everything inside of her, or will she let a past relationship, and her family ruin any chance of her being happy.

My Thoughts:  Taking Shots is the story that started it all and officially caused me to fall in love with hockey, or at least the hot players of the game.  Toni Aleo has delivered a contemporary romance that is engaging, romantic, very hot, and the beginnings of an outstanding and addictive series.  I came to love both Elli and Shea, and despite her insecurities, I really liked them both and enjoyed watching their relationship develop.  The romance was great, and the book has the right mix of humor, drama, romance, and steam.  I love sports themed books and this was another draw to this series for me.  If you love contemporary romance then then is one series you won't want to miss.  I can't wait to see what else this author has to deliver her fans in the future.  

Trying to Score (Assassins #2)
by Toni Aleo
Published:  April 23, 2013
Publisher:  Loveswept

In a captivating novel of second chances and healing hearts, the newest member of the Nashville Assassins pulls a power play to make things right with the one that got away.

Fallon Parker’s dream has always been to turn her family’s wine company into a runaway success and eventually start a cellar of her own. Since graduating from college, she has worked relentlessly to make that dream a reality, especially after taking a chance on love—and losing. By the time Fallon becomes an official sponsor of the Nashville Assassins, she feels like all her hard work is finally paying off. And then the man who broke her heart skates back into her life.

On the ice, Lucas Brooks is the NHL’s leading scorer—at least when he’s not in the box. Off the ice, he’s a mess, with all his anger and misery bottled up inside. He threw away the most important person in his life and has regretted it ever since. But when Lucas returns to Nashville in a trade, he’s determined to convince Fallon that he’s a changed man. The attraction is still there. The tension is electrifying. But the odds are stacked against them—especially after Lucas finds out that Fallon has been keeping a devastating secret.

My Thoughts:  I have to say that this is one of the hottest books I have read lately. Lucas Brooks has been traded to the Assassins and is moving to Nashville. Fallon Parker, also lives in Nashville and her family's wine company sponsors the Nashville Assassins. Fallon and Lucas have a past history together, and she really doesn't want to see him again. It has been seven years since she left Lucas Brooks, seven years since Lucas Brooks broke her heart, but there is another secret that Fallon doesn't want Lucas to find out about, and its a big one.   Lucas would give anything to have a second chance with Fallon. He does everything he can to win back her trust, but the secret she's kept all these years could destroy any hope of that.   

As desperately as Fallon tries to stay away from Lucas, she can't. Lucas Brooks is one super smoking hot guy, and he's a charmer. The chemistry and sexual tension between Lucas and Fallon is intense. The romance is passionate and very sexy. I loved the relationship that develops between Lucas and Aiden, and the ups and downs of the relationship between Fallon and Lucas took me from laughing, to crying, to fanning my face...a lot. I fell in love with this couple and found myself routing for their relationship as they faced one hurdle after another. The story kept me turning pages to see what was going to happen next, and then having to stop and catch my breath in other parts. I thoroughly enjoyed this contemporary romance and I am looking forward to reading more in this series. Trying to Score is a great read and if you like contemporary romance, then you will love this. 

Empty Net (Assassins #3)
by Toni Aleo

Audrey Parker is up against the boards. She’s stuck in a job she hates and pining for a total jerk. Meanwhile, her sister Fallon is moving out and getting married to hockey star Lucas Brooks. Where is Audrey’s Prince Charming? Nothing she does has ever seemed to be good enough for any of the men in her life. Audrey’s about to hit rock bottom . . . until she wakes up next to Tate Odder.

The thrill of moving up from the minors to the Nashville Assassins was a welcome distraction. But not even becoming the first rookie goalie to tally three shutouts in the Stanley Cup Finals alleviates the pain. With the loss of his parents and sister weighing as heavily on his soul as ever, Tate Odder can’t keep pretending he’s okay. That’s when he meets smart, sexy Audrey. Her gentle warmth and quirky sense of humor make him feel whole for the first time in too long. But to stay that way forever, Tate must find a way to accept his past and learn to live for love.

My Thoughts:  I am such a fan of Toni Aleo's Assassins series.  OMG, talk about hot.  This is the kind of hot that just putting your face in the freezer or taking a cold shower does nothing to quench.  This requires a bigger distraction, like several screaming kids.  After giving us two super hot hockey players to lust after, Toni has given us yet another in Tate Odder.  He is so hot and will bring out every woman's inner cougar.  We were first introduced to both Tate and Audrey in Trying to Score.  Tate is the young newbie from Sweden.  Audrey Parker, is Fallon's sister.  Trying to Score, the second book in the series, was Fallon and Lucas Brooks story.  Empty Net is Tate and Audrey's story.  

Audrey Parker has had one dead end relationship after another with men who didn't love her or appreciate her.  After being in a relationship with the deadbeat Levi for 8 months, she finds herself dumped yet again.  Always a glutton for punishment, she still wants him back.  Tate Odder is 21 years old and still trying to get over the tragic death of his mother, father, and sister.  In a bar one night he lays eyes on Audrey Parker and he's done for.  He's got to have her.  Needless to say when she looks at him, the feeling is mutual.  The chemistry between these two has sparks flying and the next thing Audrey knows she is waking up in bed in a hotel room next to Tate after one of the most amazing nights of her life.  She immediately leaves, saying it's a mistake, and from that moment on Tate is like Prince Charming with the glass slipper desperately trying to find his Cinderella, more affectionately known as Tate's runaway lay. Tate  finally finds his Cinderella again, and when he finds out who she is and where she lives, things get even more complicated.  

I love Audrey, she has the best sense of humor and she and Tate just click and fit together like peanut butter and jelly.  Ah Tate, such a hottie, yet just as damaged on the inside as Audrey.  He loves her fiercely and despite everything, wants nothing more than to be with her.  I really loved this story.  It is filled with humor, romance, some intense drama, and some sizzling sexy scenes.  I'll never look at hockey the same way after reading Toni's books.  I experienced a gamut of emotions in this book, laughing, crying, holding my breath, fanning my face, and wanting to slap somebody.   There are some real nail biting moments in this book also.   This hot adult contemporary romance, which has the added benefit of some hunky hockey players, is one book you won't want to miss.   

Toni Aleo is the author of the Nasvhille Assassins series: Taking ShotsTrying to ScoreEmpty Net, Falling for the Backup, and Blue Lines.

When not rooting for her beloved Nashville Predators, she’s probably going to her husband’s and son’s hockey games and her daughter’s dance competitions, taking pictures, scrapbooking, or reading the latest romance novel.

She lives in the Nashville area with her husband, two children, and a bulldog. Read more about Toni here.
Website † Facebook † Twitter † GoodReads  


  1. This sounds like a really interesting series. New to me. But your review is persuasive :)

    1. It is really good. Thanks for stopping by Shane.

  2. I've been seeing a lot of this author lately. Pretty impressive that you've read so many to review in one post, that says a lot about her. It's not really a series I would probably pick up on my own but I'm open minded enough to consider it.

    1. Thanks Candace. I am not sure this would be your type of series, but I have enjoyed it.

  3. Love this series! I think Empty Net may be my most favorite of them all.

  4. So glad to see that you are loving this whole series!

  5. So glad to see you enjoyed Blue Lines, Ellen. I adored the first three books, and can't wait to give this a try!

  6. I LOVE this series! :) So glad that you are enjoying it also :)

  7. I love this series too. I need to get to Blue Lines soon. Trying to Score is still my fav. ;)


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