Thursday, July 5, 2012

Taking Shots by Toni Aleo Book Tour Book Review and Giveaway (Ends 7/15) WW


Contemporary Romance
Title: Taking Shots
Author: Toni Aleo
Date Published: 10/5/2011
Elli Fisher has never thought she was good enough. Let it be her job, her weight, her love life, nothing, she was convinced she couldn’t do anything right. She had walked through life for the past six years in a daze, never thinking that life could be good again after the abuse she endured from her ex boyfriend. She is lonely, sad, and depressed, that is until she meets Shea Adler. After doing a promotional shoot for the NHL team, the Nashville Assassins, she meets the hunky hockey player who shoots a puck, shattering her world.
Shea Adler was tired of the life he was living outside of the rink. The girls, the money blowing, the drinking, everything had to stop and it all did when he met Eleanor Fisher. He had never met anyone like her. She is feisty, witty, shy, and simply gorgeous. When he laid eyes on her, it was as if he was taking the hardest hit of his life into the boards, and he had to have her.
Elli is a little skeptical of Shea, but he knows that they were meant to be together, and he needed her in his life. But Elli just doesn’t understand what Shea could see in her. She is overweight, loud, and not even that pretty, so why would someone so gorgeous and so amazing want to be with her? It seemed that no matter how hard she tried to shake Shea off, he wasn’t going anywhere, and for the first time Elli didn’t feel alone.
But could Elli throw her insecurities out the window and love Shea with everything inside of her? Or will she let a past relationship, and her family ruin any chance of her being happy?

Would Elli miss her shot at love?
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I really agonized over what rating to give this book.  When I began reading it, I was rather determined not to like the book at all.  After all, it was a typical romance.  It was about ice hockey.  And it was 700 pages long!  I agreed to review this book because I wanted to read something a little bit different.

What I have to say is that this book nearly received a 4-star rating from me.  Toni Aleo writes in a very easy-to-read style.  And the book is never boring.  She keeps the action moving so there is never a dull moment.  Her character dialogue often drives the story and is very well-done.

I loved Shea and Elli.  They were so cute, so sweet, and sometimes so dense!  The tale of their romance was packed with humor, spine-tingling romantic highs, and smoking hot sex.  I think it was nice for Elli to be an average woman rather than a super-skinny Barbie-doll type.  So often romance females protagonists are skinny and have the perfect everything.  Elli was a refreshing change.  And for once, the male hero was not looking for female perfection!  It is good to see a guy who was willing to wait till his girl was ready.

Another great thing the author did was put a little twist into the last one hundred pages.  I was looking for something, but what happened was a complete surprise to me.  And the reader does not find out the real story until the book is practically over!

I can imagine what you might be thinking about now.  If I have so many good things to say about the book, why did I not give it a higher rating?  This was where the agony came in.  I can say that the surreal nature of the romance was a little hard to stomach at times.  I do sometimes get tired of romances that seem to work out too easily.  This had some realism to it, but much of it seemed a little too good to be true.  Are there really men like Shea out there?  I sure have never seen any, but then I guess I have really only ever known losers.

The main thing that concerned me was the profanity and the sex scenes.  I know some of my readers get tired of hearing it, but if you have read my reviews for a while now, you will know that I have an obligation to comment on these two issues with almost every book.  I can handle some mild profanity.  I have spoken about such before.  I really did grow tired of seeing rampant profanity throughout the 700 pages of the book.  I can remember hoping that my daughter would not look over my shoulder and see the words I was reading.  And it is a pet peeve of mine when profanity is used so mindlessly.  I don't condone using profanity, but when characters get angry, profanity makes sense.  When the profanity is overused, it gets really old.  Of course, that is just my opinion.

I also grew tired of the detailed bedroom scenes.  Not only that, but the prevailing thought was that it had become acceptable for people to live together and have one-night stands.  Poor Elli was ridiculed when she admitted how long it had been since she had had sex.  Yes, marriage plays a part in this story, but I felt that the idea of living together was romanticized and even encouraged.  Elli's friend, Harper, was the absolute worst in this particular area.  I prefer bedroom scenes, when written about, that used veiled terminology and not detailed descriptions.  I prefer bedroom scenes between married couples anyway.  But in reality, are there couples who exist that have amazing sex like it is described in the book?  Or in any romance book, for that matter?  Just my opinion again.

So my review is mixed.  If you like hot romances and are not bothered by the issues I pointed out, you may find this a very enjoyable read.  If, however, you are somewhat more like me, you may wish to approach this book cautiously.  Part of me would love to read the second book, but I am not sure if I wish to paw through the same kinds of issues I did with this first book in the series.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated in any way, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

While I do not have an excerpt, the author has some book extras here on her blog.  Check them out!

About the Author:

I am a wife, mother, and hopeless romantic.
I have been told I have anger issues, but I think it’s cause of my intense love for hockey!
I am the biggest Shea Weber fan ever, and can be found during hockey season with my nose pressed against the Bridgestone Arena’s glass, watching my Nashville Predators play!
When my nose isn’t pressed against the glass, I enjoy going to my husband and son’s hockey games, my daughters dance competition, hanging with my best friends, taking pictures, and reading the latest romance novel.
I love things that sparkle, I love the color pink, and did I mention I love hockey?
Twitter: @tonilovesweber6
Amazon - Taking Shots
Barnes and Noble - Taking Shots
Amazon - Trying To Score
Barnes and Noble - Trying To Score

I have great news!  I am giving away an e-book of this romance to one of my international readers.  All you need to do is enter the rafflecopter by 9:00 P.M. Pacific time July 15.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and with special thanks to Charisma Media.
All opinions are mine and mine alone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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