Breaking Away by Toni Aleo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Hockey star, Phillip Anderson, life is upended when his sister dies leaving him the guardian of his enraged sixteen-year-old niece, Claire.
Dancer, Reese Allen, left her successful life in New York after her heart was broken. She opens a dance studio in Tennessee resolved to make it a success. She discovers a talented sixteen-year-old girl named, Claire, who she takes under her wing.
Phillip and Reese are undeniably attracted to each other but not wanting a relationship or to hurt Claire.
I adore Phillip. I have a blond-haired cousin/godson named Phillip, that just got a college hockey scholarship. I couldn’t help thinking about him every time I read his name. This being said, my Phil had a much better home life growing up. I sympathized for Toni’s Phillip. He managed to turn out okay considering his parental situation. It killed me that he didn’t get that much love. He is such a wonderful guy never wanting to give up on the people he cares about.
I love Reese; she is hard working, determined, and stubborn. She was hurt in the past, so she doesn’t let anyone in (other than family). Those that don’t really know her view her as cold but there is a lot more to her then meets the eye. Phillip and Claire attempt to chisel away her defenses. The three are really perfect together, obstacles and all.
I enjoyed reading about the dance aspect of the story. I don’t have a daughter, and I never danced so this was new for me. I do have many friends who have daughters who are serious dancers that compete throughout the country. My son plays travel hockey, and I always tell my dance friends that I feel like it is as intense as travel hockey. They all agree. I have always felt that the two activities are a lot alike although different. So I loved that dance and hockey were the passions of the main characters of this story.
Toni Aleo is such a terrific author. She has an incredible way of making you feel connect with all of her characters, completely investing you as a reader. I experienced every emotion while reading this book: I laughed; I smiled; I cried. Plus, previous members of the Assassins’ hockey family are always included making the story all the more powerful.
I can’t wait for Laces and Lace (Assassins #6). Between Phillips’s little chat with Karson King in this book and after reading Tangled in the Laces (Assassins #5.6) (found in the anthology, Seduced by the Game) I’m dying for Karson’s story. I have a feeling it is going to be very powerful.
If you are already an Assassins fan, you won’t be disappointed with Breaking Away. If you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for? It’s a great series, whether you like, hockey, sports romance, contemporary romance, or being emotionally invested in your characters. The books can stand alone, but I would read them in order. There is always something in a previous book that makes you enjoy the characters all the more.
Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review.
Expected publication: June 10th 2014 (first published June 2014)
series: Assassins #5
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