Trying to Score by Toni Aleo

trying to scoreTitle:  Trying To Score

Series:  The Assassins Series, Book #2

Author:  Toni Aleo

Genre:  Romance

BlurbIn a captivating novel of second chances and healing hearts, the newest member of the Nashville Assassins pulls a power play to make things right with the one that got away.

     Fallon Parker’s dream has always been to turn her family’s wine company into a runaway success and eventually start a cellar of her own. Since graduating from college, she has worked relentlessly to make that dream a reality, especially after taking a chance on love—and losing. By the time Fallon becomes an official sponsor of the Nashville Assassins, she feels like all her hard work is finally paying off. And then the man who broke her heart skates back into her life.                    

     On the ice, Lucas Brooks is the NHL’s leading scorer—at least when he’s not in the box. Off the ice, he’s a mess, with all his anger and misery bottled up inside. He threw away the most important person in his life and has regretted it ever since. But when Lucas returns to Nashville in a trade, he’s determined to convince Fallon that he’s a changed man. The attraction is still there. The tension is electrifying. But the odds are stacked against them—especially after Lucas finds out that Fallon has been keeping a devastating secret.

Thoughts:  Having read the first book in Aleo’s Assassins series, Taking Shots, I was very excited to read this installment – and I was not disappointed!  She has once again managed to write a story that really connects you with the characters and is almost impossible to put down!  The story between Fallon and Lucas is heart-wrenching, and you can really feel the heartache, the loss, and the desire to re-capture what they once had.

Lucas has never been able to forget Fallon – and he doesn’t want to.  He wants another shot at a life that includes her in it.  He knows that he’s messed up, and he’s willing to atone for his mistakes to win back the woman he loves.  On the other hand, Fallon – while she hasn’t been able to move on – has written Lucas off.  She isn’t willing to open herself up to another round of heartbreak.  Can this charismatic man convince her otherwise?

Even though Lucas has messed up his relationship with Fallon, Aleo manages to maintain a balance with his character.  He’s immensely likable – a strong alpha male who has a few weaknesses of his own that he struggles against every single day.  You really feel a connection with him, a sympathy that makes you really root for him.  You can feel his desperation and desire to get Fallon back throughout the novel.

Fallon was a strong female character, and Aleo kept her realistic.  She didn’t automatically cave in to Lucas when he re-appears in her life.  Lucas is in the fight of his life to earn her forgiveness – and you really are wondering if it will ever work out between them.  There are times that you want to actually reach through the book just so you can shake Fallon senseless!  Yet, even through your frustration, Aleo manages to make her a character that you can really feel for and like.

In the end, they have both made mistakes in their relationship.  They both have to work to get over past wrongs and forgive each other.  We, as readers, can really “feel” them working through their problems their intense desire and longing to be together.  This is another great book by Aleo that hits your heart spot-on!  Can’t wait to start on the next installment!

The first and third books from this series, Trying to Score and Empty Net, are also out now!  Blue Lines (book #4) has a tentative release date of August 12, 2013.

Rate:  A+

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