One of my favorite hockey sports romance series is Toni Aleo's Assassins. I love how each story is so different while retaining the quality I've come to expect from her. I do have my favorites from the series and I'm happy to add Breaking Away to that list.
Author: Toni Aleo
Series: Assassins #5
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication: June 10, 2014
BREAKING AWAY is a story of loss, healing, and love… where unexpected turns and heartache lead to passion.
To Nashville Assassins’ leading scoring center Phillip Anderson, playing hockey has always been easy… as natural as breathing. His life is no different. That’s until his world is turned upside down by the death of his sister. While mourning his loss, Phillip has to find a way to make his very angry sixteen-year-old niece, Claire, happy. Now, as her guardian, he discovers the only thing that seems to heal her lonely heart is dance class. But what he didn’t count on was the attraction he’d feel towards her drop-dead sexy dance teacher.
For Reese Allen, dancing has always been part of her soul. After having her heart broken in New York, she comes home with the determination to make her dance studio one of the best in Tennessee and succeeds. When she sees Claire dance for the first time, she knows the girl is bound for greatness and takes the troubled teen under her wing. Using dance as therapy, she suddenly finds herself bound to the young woman… and her hot-as-sin uncle.
However, Phillip and Reese are happy in their single lives. It’s simple. They do what they want, who they want, and how they want, but from the moment they meet, the attraction is undeniable. Soon, they are more than willing to spend just one night tangled in the sheets. But, one night turns into two, and two turns into three, until they find themselves in a repeated dance of “One Last Time” that has the potential to be something more… if only Reese and Claire allow it.
Can Phillip find a way to thaw the hearts of both the women in his life, or will he be forever trying to break them away from their pasts?
★★★★ 1/2 stars
For everyone who is new to this series, you've been missing out! Luckily for you and me, Toni writes her books so they can be read as stand alones. I'm still playing catch up with this series having read only 3 out of the 5 currently available. There are some minor spoilers for the two books I missed, but I still can't wait to read them. They're an incentive to find out what all happened before the HEA.
Back to Breaking Away, I really liked how both Reese and Phillip protested so strongly about staying single and how each time was the "last time" through out most of the book. Coming to Reese and Phillip them, I liked them but together, I loved them. Both are witty and funny. I love how Reese was with her nieces and nephews and how confident she was in herself and skills. That's why I was a little disconcerted when something from Reese's past was revealed. However, my admiration was solid again in no time. With Phillip, how can you not love a man who is trying so hard to make things right with someone he wronged? In the beginning I didn't really like Claire but as information came to light, that changed too. It was also great to see see familiar faces from previous Assassins books and how they were doing. The Assassins have become quite a tribe!
It's funny but I really feel like I flew through this book. Once Reese and Phillip gave in to their attraction to each other, I was fanning my self with one hand from all the heat they were giving off and turning pages as fast as I could with the other. I think of all the Assassins books I've read so far, Breaking Away is my current favorite. It has just the right amount of drama, laughter, heat, and emotions to make for a great sports and family romance. Yes I said emotional. I teared up but didn't sob. Some were happy tears and others tears of empathy. If you're looking for a great summer read, don't forget to add Breaking Away to your list!
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Toni Aleo is the author of the Nasvhille Assassins series: Taking Shots, Trying to Score, Empty Net, Falling for the Backup, and Blue Lines.When not rooting for her beloved Nashville Predators, she’s probably going to her husband’s and son’s hockey games and her daughter’s dance competitions, taking pictures, scrapbooking, or reading the latest romance novel.She lives in the Nashville area with her husband, two children, and a bulldog. Read more about Toni here.