Friday, December 13, 2013

Blue Lines by Toni Aleo

The Basics:
Blue Lines by Toni Aleo
Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept
A Book in The Assassins Series
Published December 9, 2013

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Opposites do more than just attract in Toni Aleo’s latest Nashville Assassins novel about a very bad boy and the good girl he can’t resist.

The instant Piper Allen sees Erik Titov, she wants him—wants his rock-hard body, sure, but the strength and mystery that lie behind that superstar hockey jock demeanor, too. So when he sidles up to her at a bar and slinks his arm around her waist, she’s lost. What follows is the wildest night of her life . . . followed by inevitable heartbreak the next morning. And then, a few weeks later, a very big surprise: two blue lines on a pregnancy test.

Only a check to the head could make Erik fall for a nice girl like Piper. But since their crazy-sexy night together, he’s been trying to forget about her alluring body by falling into bed with every woman in Nashville, and it’s not working. So when Piper shows up at his house with a baby-bomb to drop, it doesn’t take much for Erik to suggest the nuclear option: marriage. While it’s supposed to be all for show, the second they say “I do,” the ice between them starts to melt into sizzling steam.

What worked for me:

The language, though foul, seemed pretty realistic to me, and Aleo didn't shy away from some of the realities of pregnancy and labour. 

I was intrigued by Piper's relationship with her family. While on the one hand, she seemed to help out all over the place, they still seemed to treat her like a screw-up because she hadn't settled on a career. I'd like to think that this attitude - that we have to settle into a single career - is a throwback at this point because in today's economy - who stays in the same industry for long?  That she had to cope with it, and with her family treating her in a really negative fashion, intrigued me. I was definitely on her side when she was pointing out that she was a functioning adult and didn't need anyone's permission or approval. 

What didn't work for me:

There was nothing redeeming about Erik. After the first hundred pages, I would have quit reading if I wasn't committed to reviewing the book. He was a jerk, through and through. His behaviour was completely unforgivable - not only was he a 'man-whore,' as pointed out to him in the book (and usually I can forgive this as in the past), but he was also completely self-involved to the point of mistreating Piper. Telling her that she owed him because she got pregnant? Really? REALLY???  He was so oblivious to her needs and so focused on not hurting her in the one way that he didn't want to hurt her that he cut her in million other ways.

He was also patronizing - every time Piper stood up to him, his internal monologue - and sometimes his responses to her! - were that she was so sassy and such a spitfire. It completely wrote off his bad behaviour, which irritated me. Yes, he had a terrible upbringing and I felt some sympathy for that, but not enough to forgive the way he treats Piper. His gut reaction to so much of what happens in the book is so off-putting. 

I didn't love Piper either, but Erik was the real downfall of the book for me. I couldn't get behind this romance because I couldn't understand why she was so love with him in the first place!

Bottom line:

I definitely did not get this book at all, so take this review with an extra grain of salt. There wasn't enough time spent with Erik when he was likable to override or redeem the many ways in which he was *not* likable.

Going to have to recommend you skip this one - but if you don't, please let me know what you thought, or what it was that I missed! Because I feel like I had to have missed *something*. 

1.5 stars
For die-hard fans of hockey-themed romance.

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