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Review is now available below.  And don’t forget to enter the contest here!

cover28946-mediumTaking Shots is the first book in Toni Aleo’s sexy hockey series.  Photographer Elleanor Fisher loves the Nashville Assassins, so she’s thrilled to have the opportunity to do publicity shots …. and stunned to have caught the eye of her favorite player, super-hot Shea Adler.  Elli can’t believe that someone like Shea could be interested in someone like her.  Shea’s tired of his playboy lifestyle, ready to find someone settle down with, and he’s floored by super-sexy Elli.  Can he convince her that his feelings are real?

Elli was in a serious relationship that left her devastated.  He was only interested in her money, not her, and he broke her – cheated on, lied to, and abused her.  But this was just one in a long line of people who mistreated her.  Even her mother and siblings beat her down emotionally, so it isn’t any surprise that she has very low self-esteem and serious doubts about her appeal.  Shea has a serious battle in front of him to convince her that he isn’t like her ex and that he can be trusted.  I really enjoyed getting to know both Elli and Shea.  She is sweet and spicy, but with some long-standing issues.  He is charming and fun, willing to take on Elli and all her baggage, knowing that she is worth it.

But this book absolutely tied me up in knots.  I’m cruising along, thinking that these two were finally getting it together – they’d had their issues but they seemed to be working it out and moving toward an HEA.  Then I see this “They were in love, and nothing would ever come between that”.  Oh, red flag!  With about 100 pages left to go, this is the point I realize I should have paid more attention to all of those flashing signs introduced earlier because they were going somewhere I probably wasn’t going to like (yes, yes, they are obvious but I was just hoping for something different to happen), so I put down the book and walked away for a little bit (not in a bad way, but because I was so invested in their relationship that I knew it was going to break my heart).  I’m very happy that I came back.  Although it hurt to have this one last conflict between them, the resolution made me smile.  Yes, they both are a couple of idiots with too much pride (mostly Ellie) but when they are together they can melt the rink ice.  It made all the difficulty worth it to see them happy together.

For lovers of sports romances, Taking Shots is a must read.  And you’ll be ecstatic to know that this is part of a series so you’ll get to see more of Shea and Elli later, along with new sassy heroines and the sexy athlete heroes that love them.