Thursday, April 23, 2015

Breaking Away by Toni Aleo Review

BREAKING AWAY is a story of loss, healing, and love… where unexpected turns and heartache lead to passion.

To Nashville Assassins’ leading scoring center Phillip Anderson, playing hockey has always been easy… as natural as breathing. His life is no different. That’s until his world is turned upside down by the death of his sister. While mourning his loss, Phillip has to find a way to make his very angry sixteen-year-old niece, Claire, happy. Now, as her guardian, he discovers the only thing that seems to heal her lonely heart is dance class. But what he didn’t count on was the attraction he’d feel towards her drop-dead sexy dance teacher.

For Reese Allen, dancing has always been part of her soul. After having her heart broken in New York, she comes home with the determination to make her dance studio one of the best in Tennessee and succeeds. When she sees Claire dance for the first time, she knows the girl is bound for greatness and takes the troubled teen under her wing. Using dance as therapy, she suddenly finds herself bound to the young woman… and her hot-as-sin uncle.

However, Phillip and Reese are happy in their single lives. It’s simple. They do what they want, who they want, and how they want, but from the moment they meet, the attraction is undeniable. Soon, they are more than willing to spend just one night tangled in the sheets. But, one night turns into two, and two turns into three, until they find themselves in a repeated dance of “One Last Time” that has the potential to be something more… if only Reese and Claire allow it.

Can Phillip find a way to thaw the hearts of both the women in his life, or will he be forever trying to break them away from their pasts?

My Review: 5 Stars
Breaking Away is the 5th book in the Assassin Series by Toni Aleo and oh my goodness I couldn’t get enough of this book. Phillip and Reese have played small parts in the previous books (Phillip being the party guy that likes to annoy Shea and is Erik’s best friend and Reese being Piper’s taller, b*tchy twin sister), but this book is all about them (and Phillip’s niece, Claire). You find out why Reese is so “cold” and you find out that really she is a very passionate person (not just about Phillip). She loves her family and will do anything in her power to help them. She loves dance, doing it, choreographing it, and teaching it, everything about dance (minus the crazy dance parents). She uses her passion for dance to help Phillip’s niece heal.

Phillip, it turns out isn’t just a party guy, always up for a good time. He is a guy that had a rough start and he worked hard to get away from it, but in his getting away he left someone behind, his young niece Claire. Since Phillip’s sister died towards the end of Blue Lines his aunt was taking care of Claire, but then he finds out that things aren’t so great so he gets Claire and brings her back to Nashville with him. When things finally get too bad Claire ends up moving in with Harper (you get to see most of the characters at some point in this book) while Phillip is on the road with the Assassins. This is where Reese first sees Claire dances and in having Claire join her studio what brings Phillip and Reese together.

From here on out there is a LOT of sexy times but also moments of tenderness and heartache. Reese helps Phillip with his niece, being an ear when he needs it and giving advice when he asks. Overall it is a really great story of overcoming past hurts and trusting that not everyone will let you down. I loved the interaction between Phillip and his niece. He really loves her and wants to be there for her, but she has been through a lot and feels like he left her when he should have helped get her out. The relationship they develop is beautiful and it was beautifully written. I love the push and pull of Phillip and Reese’s relationship. Their chemistry is off the charts but they also can talk to each other (most of the time). They both love fiercely but because of past issues have a hard time accepting love. I will say this book is a little (or a lot if you do the math) sexier than the previous books in the series. I’m pretty sure if I was as busy as them I would be exhausted, all the time. But it was written in true Toni Aleo style with the right amount of sass, wit, fun, sexy and heartfelt emotions that I have come to expect from her books. She is an author that always makes me feel (and I felt my heart break a few times). If you have read her books previously and loved them, you will love this one. If you haven’t read any of Ms. Toni’s books I highly recommend you pick them up.

About the Author:

Toni Aleo is the author of the Nashville Assassins series: Taking ShotsTrying to ScoreEmpty Net, Falling for the Backup, and Blue Lines.
When not rooting for her beloved Nashville Predators, she’s probably going to her husband’s and son’s hockey games and her daughter’s dance competitions, taking pictures, scrapbooking, or reading the latest romance novel.
She lives in the Nashville area with her husband, two children, and a bulldog. Read more about Toni here.
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