Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am an avid reader and will read just about anything I get my hands on as long as it seems interesting and the cover catches my eye. My closest friends can tell you that I am also a MAJOR hockey fan. So when a close friend of mine told me about this Assassin series written by Toni Aleo, I thought I would check it out. Normally, I am quite selective in the types of books I read and sports romance never made the list but what more could a woman want,a book about hockey, check…..and a romance…check! Sold…put me in the penalty box with my Kindle, I will watch the game from there.
It took me a while to getting around to reading even one of these books in the series because 1. I have NEVER read a sports romance book in my life and 2. I am selective about the types of books I read. I would rather watch hockey than read about it but read it I did.
Taking Shots was a huge disappointment in more ways than one. There was no scoring here, it did not even hit the post or the cross bar. I only gave it one star on Goodreads because no other option was available. There were so many problems with this book that when I first gave my thoughts on Goodreads, I did not know what to say. Then I did what I always do, which is to give my honest opinion. This will be like the review I have on Goodreads with some additional detail in some areas.
Problem number one: There was not nearly enough HOCKEY! This was not supposed to be just a romance novel(or so I thought) but about hockey, something one of the main characters was passionate about. Surely, a fan of hockey can give us more than ‘the warms-ups’ and being decked out ‘in hockey gear’. I love hockey and wanted to read about some puck and stick action and lots of it too! I wanted to read about how it feels to walk into the arena, how the smell of the ice effects the fans and players alike and the sound of the skates on the ice and the stick hitting the puck.
The roar of the fans getting the players into the game and revving them up for action. The players yelling commands to each other,the action of hockey was totally missing from the book. Blue line to blue line, icing, offsides, two line passes, hand passes, faceoffs, none of it was there! It read like how I feel the hockey groupies AKA Ice Bunnies must think. It all seemed so immature.
Problem number two: The grammar was awful. Past tense was used when present tense was called for and vice versa, words that should have been included were missing. When I write my blog posts or my writings, most of the time I go over them with a fine-toothed comb and have someone else do the same before they are published. Now, that is not to say that my blog posts have not had mistakes but they are not the same ones in every post. This book was full of the same types of problems and a good editor/beta should have caught them but the author should have known better in the first place. A reader should not have to work so hard when trying to enjoy the book. A reader should not have to second guess the writer or try to determine what he/she is trying to say. In other words, a reader should not have to decipher the sentence in order for it to make sense.
Problem number three: The main character was not likeable at all as she became very wishy-washy and unreliable. It was as if the author kept changing her mind on the kind of person she wanted Elli to be. One minute she was a character with low self-esteem and no confidence who believed she was fat and no one of Shea’s caliber would want her, like ever! Then the next, she was this confident woman who wore very daring, stylish, designer and expensive clothes who was rich, very,very rich. This does not sound like a girl with low self-esteem to me. Girls with no confidence in themselves and who think they are fat, hide their bodies, not flaunt it. Elli was not believable in this instance. Near the end, (actually throughout the book) I was rooting for Shea to dump her ass.
Bottom line is that Elli was too many things in the authors head and it could have been toned down in order for the reader to get behind her and root for her.
The many faces of Elli
1.Multi-millionaire heiress (on er father and uncles side)
2.Formerly battered girlfriend
3.Former Broadway star
4.Woman with an ongoing medical condition
5.Former member of the fat girl club (due to ongoing medical condition)
6.Woman with a high Couture fashion sense
8.Awesome photographer with a successful business
9.Co-owner of a hockey team
She is all that and a bag of chips and we are supposed to believe that she has ZERO confidence in herself? I don’t think so! As I said before, a woman with no confidence and who thinks she is fat, DOES NOT wear the kinds of clothes that Elli did in this book. It was as if the author had no clue as to what kind of person she wanted Elli to be and in the end, it made me not like her. I still find myself wishing Shea (no doubt named after Shea Weber) would have found someone that was more worthy of him.
Speaking of Shea, my only complaint about him (other that the Elli business) was that he did not seem to live and breathe hockey as I first thought. I have met many a hockey player in my day and let me tell you, they eat, sleep, drink and breathe the game, even though they always had a backup plan, which included hockey in some capacity. The author got that right as he said he would coach but no hockey player that lives the game will retire at the age of 29 (or even have it in their mind even if children came into the equation) unless forced too by a major injury and it would have to be VERY major.
Problem number four: The immature writing style reminded me of how I was as a teen and how I looked at and spoke about things. ‘He kissed me!’ SQUEE! ‘I gave him head!‘ GASP! ‘And he fingered me’ GASP! Not that I did those things but that is how teens talked about things of that nature, maybe because they think it sounds cool. Who knows? Point is, that grown women do not speak of those things in that fashion. A romance book is not supposed to sound trashy, even if it does involve hockey players and ‘ice bunnies’.
I am quite certain the author has read romance novels that were full of sex but I bet she did not read the sentence ‘he fingered me’ in it. Then again, some of the writings today! It seems as if publishers will take anything these days and call it a book.
The Author should have been put in the penalty box for 2 minutes for bad grammar, a ten minute misconduct for lack of a decent plot and originality and a game misconduct for immature writing!
I don’t know how far the author went with this Assassins series or plans on going but I know (from the books I do have) that she has at least written four of them. I can only hope for others sakes that they got better as time went on but I am not going to read them to find out. Personally,I want more for my buck. Excuse me but I have some things to get done before some playoff hockey tonight.