Monday, April 15, 2013

Taking Shots Review

Book Review April 10th

Taking Shots

by: Toni Aleo

★★★★ 4 stars

BLURB: No matter how hard she tries, Eleanor Fisher never thinks she’s good enough, from her job to her weight to her love life. After enduring years of abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, Elli has been drifting through life in a daze. Until, that is, she meets Shea Adler on a promotional shoot for the NHL’s Nashville Assassins. Before Elli knows what’s happening, the gorgeous Shea breaks the ice and shatters her world.

A brilliant athlete inside the rink, Shea Adler is tired of the life he’s living outside of it: the girls, the money, the drinking. But everything changes when he meets Elli. After laying eyes on this feisty, witty, beautiful woman, he feels like he’s just taken the hardest hit of his life. No matter how skeptical she is, Shea knows they are meant to be together—if only he can convince Elli to put her insecurities aside throw her insecurities out the window before she misses out on a shot at love.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley for an honest Review*
Can I just say how much I absolutely, to-die-for loved Taking Shots. So why only 4 stars???? Well, I loved it all until the last few chapters that is. Then at that point I hated it. Well, not the story but Ellie just grated on my last nerve and her insecurities became so overwhelmingly annoying that I wanted to throttle her. Up until Ellie's error in judgment (which don't worry inst cheating or anything as horrendous it's more ridiculous) I loved the entire story. Shea is beyond wonderful and I thought the two were perfect together. Until Ellie proved that She was too good for her. Dumb-ass needs to have her head examined. It was as if she was the hockey star and had either too many pucks to the face or too many crashes into the wall.
Ellie has some weight issues. Who doesn't.?? But what's annoying is lately all these books have to excuse the characters weight issues. Can't anyone be fat anymore just because???
The most annoying thing I found with this book was Shea’s name. Over and over again, I had to re-read lines because visually it kept appearing like ‘she’ and it was ‘she this, she that,’ only it wasn’t and I was like she what, oh wait, SHEA…..

Ellie is an A+ photographer and it is because of her profession and family that she meets Shea while doing a photo shoot. Sparks immediately fly and Ellie is hesitant to start anything with Shea because of his looks, celebrity and total denial that he could ever really be interested in her. However, Shea is not one to mess around and his mind gets set on Ellie. Never one to think of females in the long term sense, Shea immediately knows Ellie is different, even if it takes her awhile to realize his behavior is and always has been genuine.
Shea is such a romantic dream. He literally brings her fantasies to life and makes dreams come true as corny as that may seem.

At times the two are so unsure of their ‘relationship,’ it’s like they are little kids. Shea was a bachelor living the life until Ellie came along and he decided to change his ways. What I appreciated is he didn’t come off as too much of a man-whore and surely wasn’t cocky even though he was captain of the team. No cliché hockey captain here. He is actually a bit of a sweetie though, I’m sure his teammates would tease his endlessly if they knew. Shea is very accommodating in the relationship and even goes out of his way to do nice things such as listen to music he claims to strongly dislike and send her a video of “Just a Kiss,” just because. 

The dialogue is often funny and the interactions between many of the characters is interesting enough to suck you in. Shea and Ellie are both so scared of being in ‘love’ that neither knows how to handle it. In some ways it’s like they are each other’s first relationship and have to go through all the dating/relationship faux pas to understand it. Neither wants to admit  their feelings for one another too soon, or even be the first to do so.  
Shea’s family is great and is a large part of the book. He is extremely tight with his twin sister and there is nothing the two will not do for each other. Ellie’s family, well her mother, is a trip. It’s easy to understand Ellie’s low level of self confidence after one meal with her mother who constantly bombards her with negativity and harsh remarks. No parent should ever treat their child the way she does. I almost wish something more horrible would have befallen her but she still gets hers, eventually in a way that truly is fitting for someone of her high-ranking, social status. Aside from her mother, Ellie’s father and grandfather are remarkable. She’s their pride and joy and that clearly conveys through their interactions. Even when they try to put fear of God into Shea if he ever hurts Ellie, they remain jovial but understanding. 

I loved Ellie’s dog and the fact that he was named Adler. So fitting since it was Shea’s last name and she was his number one fan in a non-creepy stalker sort of way. I thought Shea would act weird when he learned about her fandom and even the dog, but he embraces it with eyes open and realized that Ellie separated him as a player and a person and wasn’t just with him because of who he was. 

“Do I mean a lot to you?” “Of course you do.” “You never say I do, and I’m bursting with feelings for you. I feel like a damn girl.” – Shea and Ellie

Harper, Ellie’s best friend is great. Through Ellie, we get to watch her character go through a whole transformation all due to love. I almost wish we saw more of the interaction between Jakob and Harper but even from what we see and hear it’s a nice companion relationship to Shea and Ellie.
I was disappointed in the ending as well. When Ellie finally comes to her senses everything happens to quickly. It didn’t feel as satisfactory as it could have been especially if there was an epilogue, which there was not… 

I enjoyed Taking Shots and would definitely continue reading the series. All sports fans would love this because there are a lot of hockey mentions. But even those of you on the outside like me won’t feel left out. There is enough romance, hot bodies and occasional tension to stir things up and make Taking Shots a truly ice-scraping read.

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