24 June 2014

Breaking Away by Toni Aleo

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?

When I’m not reviewing for the blog, I’m a mood-based reader. For the most part, I usually stick to romance genres but tend to read similar themes within that genre, whether it be rock stars, bikers, billionaires, athletes, etc. The last time I was in an athlete mood, I read Taking Shots – the first book in the Assassins series – and enjoyed it but fell out of the mood so I haven’t read anymore of the series. So when the opportunity came up to read and review Breaking Away (and it could be read as a stand-alone), I jumped at it and I am so glad I did. Taking Shots was good but Breaking Away was awesome.

Phillip. How can you not love this man? He finds himself in a tough situation when he takes his niece Claire to live with him after her mother’s death. He does everything he can to try to make her happy and prove to her that he loves her. Thankfully, his teammates and their wives are his family and they step in to help him out as he tries to balance raising Claire and being on the road with the team. This turns out to be a blessing in disguise as it leads Reese to Claire and Claire to Reese’s dance program – a place where Claire can lose herself in the music and dance and begins to heal her heart. This also means the Phillip and Reese began to spend time together and find out that their chemistry is OFF. THE. CHARTS! Good lord when those two get together even my Kindle got hot. As two single people who insist on keeping it light and staying single, they have some seriously hot, no-holds-barred sex that will make you squirm. As would be expected, the more time they spend together, in and out of bed, the closer they get to one another. But nothing worth having is ever easy and their relationship is no different, so there is plenty of drama, lots of laughs, nerve wracking competitions, some heartbreak and steamy sex scenes that will keep you entertained from beginning to end.

I haven’t read books 2, 3 & 4 in the series, but thanks to Breaking Away I will remedy that as soon as possible; in fact, come payday, they will be added to my library so that when my next athlete-reading mood hits, the Assassins will be at the top of the list as I am looking forward to reading about how the other couples got together. Does knowing that they end up together ruin the read for me? Absolutely not. I pick up certain authors expecting a happy ending because it is the journey to that happy ending that makes the read worthwhile and enjoyable for me and Ms. Aleo does not disappoint.


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