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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Review: Blue Lines by Toni Aleo

Title: Blue Lines
Series: Assassins #4
Author: Toni Aleo
Published: December 9, 2013 - Loveswept RandomHouse
Format: Egalley - Thank you Loveswept!

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.

Well, this book was not only the first I’ve read in the Assassins series, and it was also my first from author Toni Aleo. I had sort of an odd experience with this book. I mostly hated the hero, Erik, for about 99% of the story, but I really enjoyed the story itself. That’s a kind of a weird experience for me. Let me explain.

Erik is an asshole!!!!! Seriously. Through most of the book he remains this way. He has a one night stand with Piper (I’ll get to her in a minute) and then calls her a week later to drop the “I’m not the guy for you” speech. On top of that, they attend family and friend get togethers often where they see each other. So it’s a messy situation to begin with. But then this book is partly in Erik’s POV, so you get to see over and over again that he doesn’t want a relationship, doesn’t want a baby, and doesn’t want a family. He’s adamant about it, in fact. Sometimes I’d even say he was whiney about it. I don’t know, maybe you can’t fault a guy for knowing what he wants – or doesn’t want, but the way he treated Piper was definitely uncalled for. There is a classy way to handle these situations, and an asshole way. He definitely chose the asshole way.

As for Piper… I liked her for the most part. She had this one-time thing with Erik, whom she loved for years. And a baby was made because of it. She was set on being a single mom, and hey, you can’t fault her for that. I felt like she was a strong character with bad choices in men. In short, I could definitely relate to her! She was nice and strong, and understandably hurt over and over by Erik and his antics. I do wish she had been a little stronger where Erik was concerned, but hell, I wish countless women would be when it comes to *that* guy that breaks into their heart.

“Believe me; I am not worried about your sex life.” 

“Good, you should be worried about yours, “Phillip pointed out. 

“Ah, you know mine is nonexistent. Even though I wish it wasn’t. God, Piper is so hot, “Erik groaned. 

“She sure is. You got lucky in the wife pool there, dude.” 

“Have you ever had sex with a pregnant woman?” 

“Ew, fuck no!” Phillip said with a disgusted look. “But I think it is different when it is with the baby momma. You know, you made that kid, so it’s okay if you want to poke it in the face.” 

The storyline was interesting. Jilted woman, playboy man, and a fake relationship to save face. Neither of them wants to be in the situation they find themselves, but for their own reasons they plod forward. Personally, I think they could have all made different choices, but that wouldn’t have made for much of a book. One thing I REALLY did appreciate about this story? It’s a romance that is closest to real life than I’ve ever seen. Toni Aleo’s writing is really great with a smooth flow and a great pace. The supporting characters are really terrific and well defined, I felt like I knew them all. There were some notable heated moments that I really thought were great – very spicy and sexy. There were even several scenes that were downright funny or even sarcastic, which I loved. I’m definitely interested in the rest of the series and wouldn’t discount it just because I didn’t care for this hero. And hey, if you like sports romance you definitely can’t go wrong with hockey!