Thursday, February 7, 2013

Book Review: Taking Shots by Toni Aleo

Taking Shots
(Assassins, #1)
by Toni Aleo
Adult Realistic Contemporary Romance
Released on: October 5, 2011
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.07
Pages: 478

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis available on Goodreads:

Elli Fisher has never thought she was good enough. Let it be her job, her weight, her love life, nothing, she was convinced she couldn’t do anything right. She had walked through life for the past six years in a daze, never thinking that life could be good again after the abuse she endured from her ex boyfriend. She is lonely, sad, and depressed, that is until she meets Shea Adler. After doing a promotional shoot for the NHL team, the Nashville 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 is 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. But Elli just doesn’t understand what Shea could see in her. She is overweight, loud, and not even that pretty, so why would someone so gorgeous and so amazing want to be with her? It seemed that no matter how hard she tried to shake Shea off, he wasn’t going anywhere, and for the first time Elli didn’t feel alone.

But could 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?

Would Elli miss her shot at love?

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

An Overview of the Novel: Elli has suffered from severe self-esteem issues for awhile and just doesn't feel good enough. And she's definitely not good enough for her crush Shea Adler. Shea is the captain of the hockey team Assassins and he would never like somebody like her. But she's happy enough. She's living her dream of being a photographer and that's good enough right.

Shea is happy with his life. His hockey career is going great. It's just his life outside of the rink is getting old. Then he meets Elli. He's never met anybody like her and to say he's attracted to her is an understatement.

But Elli is scarred and scared of loving Shea. She knows that there is no way she can make him happy. She's too overweight and too loud to attract him. Shea is determined to make Elli realize he loves her, but in the end her fears and the secrets she's keeping from him might just be enough to keep them apart. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I received the third book in the series for review and enjoyed it so much that I decided to go back and read the first one in series. I'm glad I did. My review of the third novel is here.

I remembered loving how Toni set up a hockey teams as the backdrop of her series and remembered loving the series. All of that was confirmed when I read the first installment of the series.

I loved how Toni developed her characters and how she set up her world. Her writing drew me in from the beginning and the characters fascinated me. Elli and Shea's relationship was one that I could relate to, oddly enough.

It was definitely a little bit of insta-love, but Toni did a great job at developing the relationship between them.

There were a few moments where the novel seemed to drag and moments that I felt could have been cut out, but on the whole, it was a really enjoyable book.  

So Why 3.5 out of 5 stars? I really enjoyed the novel, but it dragged in some places. Elli's self-esteem and medical issues gave it more depth than a lot of the novels I read, but I still felt like the novel could have had more depth. Basically it lacked that extra something to be a 4 star book, but it was still a good read. 

In Summary: Toni Aleo creates a fascinating world set against the backdrop of a hockey team where romance blossoms. The characters in Taking Shots were compelling and the plot was intriguing. Fans of romantic novels will definitely enjoy this one. 

Warnings/Side-notes: This book is aimed for adults and contains language and sexual references/scenes that are not suitable for younger teens. It's not explicit, but it's definitely adult. 

The Wrap-up: If you don't really like romances or insta-love novels, then this one might not be for you. However, if you like romance novels, then definitely give this one a shot. It's an intriguing series and one that is well-written. 


Danica Page


  1. Good review. I like the story.

    1. Thanks. I'm glad you liked my review and yes the story is cute.


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