Author: Toni Aleo
Title: "Taking shots"
Book 1 in series Assassins
Main characters: Shea Adler and Eleanor "Elli" Fisher
Ok, guys... it's really weird for me to write this review... and hard... because it's the first time, since I started doing this officially on my blog, when I will write that I don't recommend this book to you, cause I didn't like it... and I'm not really sure how to proceed with everything... I've tried to write it three times already, so maybe the fourth one will be the charm... ;) but I have to say, that it is my first review when I have to constantly erase stuff and write it again because I can't seem to make up my mind how to put my thoughts into words... :) so I'm just gonna go ahead and try to explain to you why this book started out really great, and then took a dive right into "never again" category... so it may be a little different that what I usually write, but just go with me :)
Our main couple is Elli, a photographer, and Shea, team captain of the Assassins, a hockey team from Nashville... Elli is a huge hockey fan, and guess who is her favourite player? :) she even named her dog after him, a lovely, although slightly big pug, Adler :) she has her own business, which is doing really great and a bunch of friends... but she's very insecure about herself and the way she looks... and although I can understand why many people thought that this was annoying, I didn't have a problem with that... at least in the beginning... because it is very easy to judge, when you are in a good place in your life, or if you were surrounded by positive people in your life... but after what she went through with her family (more about that in a bit) and her ex I can't really blame her for feeling that way... or for doubting Shea and his interest in her... and about Shea... <sigh> he's really dreamy... his got tattoos, a body to die for and he wears glasses... which I find very hot on a guy ;) he's patient and understanding and all that... he gives her time and seduces her without pressuring her into anything... but it all starts to go into this unbelievable category at some point... and I know that we are talking about fictional characters in a romance book, but hey... you have to draw the line somewhere :)
She catches his eye on the team photoshoot and from that moment he is smitten with her... and it only grows stronger with each date... but while he starts to fall for her, she constantly doubts herself and his intentions, because what can he possibly see in such a fat cow as her? her words, not mine... so he gives her time and constant assurances how beautiful she is to him and how much he enjoy their time together... and this dynamic didn't bother me at all at the beginning... first of all, because if suddenly a sexy as hell hockey player would follow me around I would be insecure about my little things too ;) and second of all, after the awful way her ex has been treating her, and the way her mother still treats her... I am talking about constant talk to loose weight and all sorts of condescending and horrible comments, I would be hesitant too... but after some time it gets really old... and it starts to get really annoying... I mean freaking out after weeks of going out, about your guy seeing a stretch mark on your stomach... <gasps> oh, the horror... <--- that was sarcasm, by the way :) I feel the need to point it out, since I can't read you my review personally, so you might miss it without the ability to hear my voice ;) and don't get me wrong, I have my insecurities too but come on... enough is enough... and it's especially annoying since she has also this really fun and sassy side that I loved... and then suddenly it's like you flip a switch... and she goes to this insecure little girl freaking out over a sliver of skin...
I have to say that I really enjoyed the secondary characters in this book :) Grace, twin sister of Shea was super fun :) not to mention Ellie's friend and co-worker Harper, who by the way has her own little story with Jakob, Shea's teammate... and their story is actually really cool, I'd love to be able to read more about it, but they get their own little happy ending in this one, so that's not gonna happen... which is a shame considering how long this book is... because you could easily edit out like 20% of it without hurting the plot whatsoever... but I was doing ok, I was reading it, and even though it would never be a fantastic book I was still curious about the rest of the series... until something happened... and at this point I'm giving you a warning, the rest of this paragraph WILL BE full of SPOILERS so if you don't want to know the details, skip to the next one... ok, ready? it's your last chance to avoid SPOILERS :) ok, so my biggest problem came towards the end... we all know that there has to be some drama before the big happy ending, and I'm used to it by now... but what really pissed me off is how it was handled here... they were dating for about six months, living together and everything, and all was going so well... I really thought that they both matured and move forward... but then we got to the "drama" part of the book... long story short, her sister was helping him with something and when they got home to the apartment, she kissed him and then promptly slapped him for coming onto her... and of course all of that so Elli could see it... and she immediately freaked out, grabbed her stuff, moved out and denied any contact with him for like two months... not to mention that she slapped him, when he tried to stop her, so they could talk about it... and I would really try to understand this reaction if she would have a good relationship with her sister... or even an ok one... but no... her sister was a truly awful human being throughout the whole book... she insulted Elli on every occasion she got, so why Elli immediately assumed it was Shea who was guilty is beyond me... after all her growth as a character she came back to square one in a second... and after that I was so angry that I barely flipped through the rest of the book to see how it will end...
I hope you all know that this is my personal opinion, and I read many others who claim it's the best book ever and they will be re-reading it from time to time... and that's totally ok, I have no problem with it... just don't make me do it ;) my biggest problem with this book was the bad writing style... because when I start to edit stuff in my mind while I'm reading that is not a good sign... and at first I was thinking that maybe I had a bad day or something, but then I had to edit some other review and that included quotes from another book, which were awesome :) so it just proved that it was the book that was the problem... add to that all the things I mentioned in my review and I will not be going back to this series or this author ever again... I have way to many other books to check out, or so many others that I loved and would like to re-read at some point :) so if you are looking for some sports themed books, instead of this one I would like to point you in the direction of some others ;) if you want NA hockey series, go check out Off-campus series, where book #1 is to die for ;) if you prefer some NA / contemporary football, Game on series is the way to go :) if you want some contemporary hockey romance, Cold fury hockey series is absolutely amazing :) and if you can't decide on one sport, check out Play by play series :) all of them have fantastic writing styles, hilarious and emotional moments in them and awesome characters... :) so whatever you choose, it will be definitely a time better spent, than hours you would waste on reading this one... ;)