Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review: Taking Shots (Assassins #1) by Toni Aleo

Our 4 star review

One of the things that interested me about this book was it is about hockey.  I am a big hockey fan and well, who doesn't love a hot and sexy hockey player?  This is the first book in the Assassins series by Toni Aleo and I loved it. 

Eleanor Fisher is a photographer, a huge hockey fan and definitely a character that most woman can relate to.  Elli isn't happy with who she is on the outside and doesn't feel like she deserves love and happiness.  Most of her self esteem issues stem from the  abuse that she received from her ex-boyfriend and the way her family treats her as well.  She is like an outsider to her family,  especially her mother and sister who are so cruel and mean to her, and take every chance they get to hurt Elli.  The only two people that she can count on are her father and her uncle who adore her and love her unconditionally.  They want nothing more than for her to be happy. When Elli agrees to take professional pictures of her favorite NHL team she comes face to face with the captain of the team, Shea Adler, who also happens to be Elli's favorite player.  When Shea shows an interest in Elli she can't help but wonder why the sexy captain of The Assassins, who can have any woman he wants, would want to date her.

"Don't you understand that I'm here, and there is no way I'm leaving?  I love you Elli.  I don't know how you were loved before, but I'm going to love you more than anybody ever will or ever has.  I'm here for you because I love you, not your money......
That's not what drew me to you, it was your eyes...and your ass."

Shea Adler is hot and sexy but also has a sweet and caring side to him.  His life consists of hockey, drinking and women, but lately he seems to be getting tired of living this life and wants more.  When he meets Elli at a team photo shoot he knows that Elli is everything that he wants in a woman and has every intention of getting to know her better.  Shea has never had a girlfriend or been in love before, so he's not exactly sure what love feels like.  But what he does know is that he is falling for Elli hard and what he feels for her is unlike any feelings he has ever had for a woman before.  The biggest hurdle in their relationship though is Elli.  She will never feel that she is good enough for Shea.  After all he is an NHL captain who can have any woman he wants.  And Elli just can't seem to believe that she is the only woman that he wants.

Shea knows that they are meant to be together and he will do what it takes to show Elli how much he wants her, and loves her just the way she is.  As time goes by Elli begins to see how much she is loved by him.  When she is with him she feels loved, and beautiful and for the first time in a long time she is happy.   But what happens when your jealous mother and bitch of a sister team up to ruin the happiness that you have finally found?  Will they be able to tear Shea and Elli apart and will Elli let them?  Elli has been scarred from her past with her ex-fiance and she has a hard time letting go of that.  Will she realize that letting go of the past will allow her to have the happily ever after that she deserves?  Can she separate her past from her future and believe in the man that she fell in love with?

She loved him.
She loved Shea.
She loved him so much it hurt her chest.

I loved Shea and Elli together.  Everyone needs a Shea Adler in their life.  Aside from the fact that he is a hot and sexy hockey player he is sweet, warm and caring.  He made Elli feel like the most beautiful and cherished girl in the world.  The way he took care of her when she was sick and sang to her will completely melt your heart. I really liked Elli and could relate to her on some level.   Yes, she frustrated me at times, but knowing where her fears and insecurities came from helped to understand her actions better. 

Toni Aleo did such a wonderful job with this story.  You will feel the emotions that Elli goes through when you see the way she is treated by her family.   There is some drama and angst that will leave you feeling  heartbroken for Shea.   I wanted to just jump in and give him a hug.  Shea's twin sister and nephew were such a wonderful addition to the cast.  I loved the relationship he had with her and support they had for each other.  And I cannot forget Elli's best friend Harper.  I loved her spunk and her "tell it like it is" attitude.  This book will make you laugh, cry, cause a little bit of heartache but in the end it will melt your heart and make you smile.  The ending was beautiful.  I cannot wait to meet the next Assassin!!  Job well done by Toni Aleo. 

We received a copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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