Monday, January 11, 2016

Review: Taking Shots by Toni Aleo

Taking Shots by Toni Aleo
(Assassins #1)
April 23, 2013
545 pages
Genre: Sports Romance 18+
Contains: strong language, explicit sex
Source: Personal purchase

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.

I actually bought this book quite a while ago, but as any e-reader knows, it's very easy to one-click books, but not as easy to stay caught up on your reading pile. So I was randomly looking through my e-books, alphabetically by author, and this one popped up. I was actually hoping for a sweet read, and lucked out. 'Taking Shots,' Shea and Elli's love story, was just the sweetness level I was looking for, but with the right dosage of hotness as well.

I waivered between rating this 3 or 4 stars. Back and forth. Until the end. Here's a brief breakdown of my likes and dislikes:

1. SHEA. Actually, I loved Shea! He's the best part of this book. If the authors was trying to write an amazing book boyfriend, she hit the nail on the head. Sexy? check. Geeky glasses? check. Sweet and attentive? check. Loves kids? check. Loves dogs? check. Hockey Captain? check. Awesome family? check. Loves a curvy gal? double check.

2. Elli. For much of the book I actually did like her. I could relate with her shyness, though her reasons for her deep insecurties were beyond my experience. But I liked how she encompassed the everyday girl, and also the deep insecurties that many women face. She had a unique sense of style, and when she got out of her head, she was a blast.

3. Shea's family. I especially liked his relationship with his sister. They felt like real life characters. They gave each other crap. They gave each other unconditional love. They were spot on. Then the nieces and nephews were the super bonus.

4. Harper and Jakob. I really liked them.. Really, really liked them. I liked them as a couple. And I liked their friendships with Elli and Shea. I only wished we got more of them. Because the two of them seemed to have a great backstory, and I would have loved more of them.

5. Love story. I did not expect to read this one as quickly as I did considering its length, but I got really sucked into Shea and Elli's love story. Since I genuinely liked them, it was easy to get absorbed into their lives. I even got a bit emotional at one point, and I was not expecting that at all.

1. Book length. This one got a little too down in the details, into the minutiae of everyday life. Did it make me feel like I was living right alongside Shea and Elli? Yes. But it also dragged the pace down, to the point where I found myself skimming. And I hate skimming. I like living inside a book when I'm reading. This one could have been edited down in length.

2. Elli. I know I said I liked her. But there came a point where I simply wanted to strangle her. I even thought, yes, you're right, he is too good for you. Oh, the crazy coming out of that girl drove me crazy. The denial. The lies. The therapy she should have been getting all these years. Oh, Elli, Elli, Elli. Why you gotta drive us all crazy? And why on earth would you believe your insane family? Serously, this girl was so dang prideful and stubborn and pigheaded!

3. The ending. Now this may be misleading, because I did like the ending and liked where the characters were at in the end. I just felt like there should have been groveling or begging or something. Am I just mean? I don't know. I just felt like after all the crazy, there should have been something more. And then, I wanted an epilogue. Which makes no sense since I thought the book was already too long. But I wantedone. And I wanted it to include Harper and Jakob, too.

So overall, I did enjoy 'Taking Shots.' I loved Shea, and like Elli, until I didn't, until I did again. Fortunately, Shea makes everything better.

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