FTC Disclosure: The publisher, author, book tour company has provided me with a copy of this book for review or I have purchased it with my own funds. The opinions I share are mine and not influenced by the publisher, author, or book tour company if received for review.
Series: Bellevue Bullies #1
Published by Self Published Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Sports
Do you love Toni Aleo’s Nashville Assassins series as much I do? Well you won’t want to miss Boarded by Love, the first book in her new spin off series, Bellevue Bullies and you guessed it, it’s about Phillip’s niece Claire Anderson. She is no longer the sourly teenager we met in Breaking Away. Claire is now a college woman with the whole world ahead of her, including catching the eye of campus playboy and team captain, Jude Sinclair.
Claire still has trust issues because of her past, which doesn’t always cause her to make the best decisions, but the support she gets from Phillip and Reese really help her along. She has tested them in many ways to make sure they would always love and support her. She finally realizes that no matter how she acts out, they are a family and will stand by one another.
I have to be honest, the only reason I wanted to read Boarded by Love was to see how Claire turned out. I know that might not be a reason to read a book but I liked her and was hoping she would find love and be a successful dancer. Some spin off series are really hit or miss with me but to my surprise I ended up really enjoying Boarded by Love. I was completely satisfied with how Aleo had the story play out. Plus, hello!, more hockey players was also an added bonus.
Jude and Claire go from zero to sixty in like 4.5 seconds … okay maybe it takes a little longer but the moment they catch each other’s eye it’s definitely a game changer for the both of them. They have spectacular chemistry and I just loved how they came together. While Jude was a player on and off the ice, I thoroughly enjoyed how completely smitten he was with Claire from the very beginning.
While the romance blooms with Jude and Claire, it was a bit rushed for me. Toni fleshed out these characters so well that I felt their emotions and could “see” all the happenings as if I was there. What I really liked was although there was a little drama, which is always needed in a good romance, the secret was the big issue. Not only was Claire keeping a secret from her family but she was also keeping it from her new boyfriend. I knew when the secret came out, things could go either way, it was swoon worthy when Jude finally comes to his senses.
Boarded by Love is a very emotional story, so much that I was totally tearing up at certain moments as well-being equally humorous. When Phillip and Jude met was very funny and of course since Phillip pretty much raised Claire, I felt how protective he was of her. Jude handled the situation well and really won me over in that scene. Jude respects Phillip but is also falling for Claire and wants to stand by her and her decisions. Seeing Phillip like that was different since when he was introduced into the Assassins series he was a player and the fun guy, now he is all settled down being the father that Claire needs.
I believe the whole point of a spin off series is to have some guest appearances by previous characters. While there were numerous ones that did appear from previous Assassins books, I was happy to catch up with the ones that did make special appearances. Phillip and Reese finally tie the knot and do it Assassins style with the whole team there to help support them. One of the cutest moments is when Jude is sitting next to Shea and threatens that if he ever hurts Claire he will have the entire hockey team out to get him. They were one big happy family and I loved it!
Boarded by Love strongly starts the Bellevue Bullies series off and I’m excited for Jude’s bothers and his sister upcoming stories. Yes, each of them will be getting their own story! I fist bumped at that news, because not only do we get more hot men, but more hockey! The Sinclair’s are definitely an interesting group and I’m hoping the series gets even better as more Bellevue Bullies books are released.