Taking Shots
by Toni Aleo

Series: Nashville Assassins #1
Published by Random House Genres: Contemporary, Sports
Source: Publisher

Reviewed by Talia Ricci

In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Toni Aleo’s exhilarating Loveswept debut, the first in a series featuring the hockey hunks of the Nashville Assassins, a reformed bad boy helps a charming, willful woman face off against the demons of her past.   No matter how hard she tries, Elleanor Fisher never thinks she’s good enough, from her job to her weight to her love life. After enduring years of abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, Elli has been drifting through life in a daze. Until, that is, she meets Shea Adler on a promotional shoot for the NHL’s Nashville Assassins. Before Elli knows what’s happening, the gorgeous Shea breaks the ice and shatters her world.   A brilliant athlete inside the rink, Shea Adler is tired of the life he’s living outside of it: the women, the money, the drinking. But everything changes when he meets Elli. After laying eyes on this feisty, witty, beautiful woman, he feels like he’s just taken the hardest hit of his life. No matter how skeptical she is, Shea knows they are meant to be together—if only he can convince Elli to put her insecurities aside before she misses out on a shot at love.

Elleanor Fisher is basically happy with her life now.  Once a star on Broadway, Elli is now content to be one of the most sought after photographers in Nashville.  When the owner of the Nashville Assassins hires Elli to photograph a team shoot, she has no idea that her presence on the ice will garner the attention of the man of her secret dreams, Shea Adler.  Having been burned harshly once before by a man she thought loved her, Elli refuses to believe that someone that looks like Shea could want a woman like her.  Lucky for her, Shea is persistent.

Shea Adler is sin on a stick.  Used to women flocking to him like flies on honey, he has grown a bit tired of the superficial life he often leads.  When he sees the cute photographer on the ice during his team’s photo shoot, he knows that he has to somehow see her again.  She is nothing like anyone he has ever dated before and his feelings for her soon turn to love. 

What Shea doesn’t realize is that his love might not be enough for the complex woman that is Elleanor Fisher.  He has to win her trust. 

Toni Aleo’s debut novel, Taking Shots, is one of the best books I have read this year.  First released as a self published title, it has gone through extensive edits and re-released by Loveswept. The results are simply awesome.  Shea and Elli are made for each other.  Both have hangups that have shaped them into the people they are today and while Shea’s emotions are wide open and all over the place, Elli is a bit more reserved. Their connection to each other leads to extremely hot love scenes with plenty of passion and poignancy.  I found their romance refreshing and very satisfying as both a reader and reviewer. 

Ms. Aleo’s next novel, Trying to Score, promises to be just as engaging and I can’t wait!

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