Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Review: Empty Net (Assassins #3) by Toni Aleo

Source: Received an egalley from the author for an honest review. 
Release Date: Already released.
Number of Pages: 353 (Kindle edition)

Blurb from Goodreads:
Definition of an Empty Net: When a team pulls the goalie for an extra attacker, desperately seeking a goal.

Audrey Parker was in a horrible place.
She hated her job, her sister was getting married and moving out, but worst of all, she was in love with a total jerk. No matter what she did, every guy she met hurt her. All she wanted was her happily ever after. Her Prince Charming. Her Lucas Brooks! She didn’t know how to change her life but she knew she needed too.
Feeling like she was about to hit rock bottom, Audrey wakes up next to Tate Odder.

Tate Odder had lost everything.
After being brought up from the Assassins’ farm team, the Florida Rays to the Nashville Assassins, Tate hopes he’ll forget everything he has lost. He doesn’t. Each day gets harder to live in a place he doesn’t know. Even being the first rookie goalie to shut out an opposing team three times during the Lord Stanley Cup Finals, he still felt empty. With the loss of his parents and sister still heavy on his heart, Tate isn’t sure how to live like everything is okay.

But when he wakes up beside Audrey Parker, things start to change. She turns his life upside down with her kooky sense of humor and her bright clothing. She is intelligent and beautiful, and for once, he doesn’t feel empty.
Will Audrey be the person to fill the holes in Tate’s heart, making him whole again?
Or will another player ruin everything, leaving him feeling forever like an empty net?

I've mentioned that I love sports romances before, and Toni Aleo definitely writes ones that I enjoy. I love how she actually includes hockey in the story, and how she alternates between the male and female leads....oh, and I definitely enjoy those steamy sex scenes, too...can't forget those. ;)

I've been really looking forward to Empty Net ever since I finished Trying to Score, especially after learning that this one was going to be Audrey's book! :D Audrey is Fallon's sister, and we met her in all her fabulous-cupcake-glory in the last Assassins book. :) She's quirky, fun, and all-around awesome in my opinion...her one downfall in Trying to Score was Levi...needless to say, he was the one feature of Empty Net that I didn't enjoy, although I definitely understood his purpose as the nasty, typical-a-hole type that Audrey dated in the past....scratch that he was by far the worst of the worst out of all the guys that she dated...so like I said, I get his presence. He makes Tate seem even more awesome when he appears, and they act almost like opposites to each other...so Tate=awesome, and Levi=not-awesome. Plus, Levi is creepy and Tate is Sexy...yes, with a capital S. ;)

Out of all of Toni Aleo's heroines in the Assassins series so far, Audrey is my favourite. :) She had flaws yes, and I'm sure her flaws will annoy you, too. They did annoy me, but I could understand where she was coming from, and what I loved most was that she evolved in this book. She moved past her flaws, and I felt like she changed, or rather her attitude changed, in the book, and that made me like and appreciate her even more. I also, as I always do with this series, loved seeing the past main characters pop up....especially when they end up being so happy! :D It makes me thrilled to get to see Elli and Shea popping out babies, and Fallon and Lucas continually arguing then of course, 'making up'. You don't see it in the same context as you do in their own stories, but it's awesome to get to see where these characters are, especially after going through some tough times with them. :)

Now...to the part I've been saving for last (after all...the best is saved for last, isn't it? :P)...the romance! :D I absolutely loved the romance in Empty Net! I loved how Tate and Audrey met, and how the tension was a lot different because they totally got their sexual tension out of the way....but, that didn't stop there from being tension, and boy...oh, boy, did that tension continue build as the story progressed! I also just have to say that I loved absolutely everything about Tate. :D He was adorable, yet hot and sexy at the exact same time...and I loved it! Tate's persistence was also something I absolutely adored. He knew that he and Audrey were good for each other...and he wasn't willing to drop it just because she was afraid. :) I also adored how Tate and Audrey both grew so much as characters...and mostly because of each other, it's one of the things that made them so great together...they were both awesome people, kind of happy...but not really, and then you put them together and they were even better! :D So...obviously, my favourite part of Empty Net was the romance between Tate and Audrey. I loved the emotional connection between them...and their physical connection, too...Tate and Audrey steam up the pages, and let me just say that no cupcake is safe in their presence (I'll let you infer about that as you will :P).

While this series has had editorial issues in the past, I definitely think that they were a lot better in Empty Net, and I've been told that they've been improved in the previous books as well. I actually think that this has been my favourite book in the series so far....although, I still have a serious soft spot for the first Assasins book, Taking Shots, and a serious soft spot for Shea...oh, Shea. *sigh* ;) I definitely recommend Empty Net, and the previous two Assassins books to sports romance fans, or to fans of HEAs who think that they'd be a fan of guys with sexy athletic bodies getting sweaty...and also sensitive, with their lucky ladies. ;)

Previous Books in the Assassins Series:
Taking Shots (Assassins #1) | Goodreads Page
Trying to Score (Assassins #2) | Goodreads Page

Have you tried out a sports romance yet?
Any recommendations that you'd like to share?
Personally, I really enjoy Jaci Burton's Play-by-Play series (can't wait for my copy of Playing to Win to come in the mail!!!). I'm also a fan of the Assassins series, as I've mentioned in this review, but I'm always open to suggestions for more. :)


  1. I hadn't heard of this series before, but I am seeing reviews of this one everywhere. They are all pretty good reviews too so I may have to check them out for myself. Happy to hear that the editing has gotten better as the series has worn on. Great review Ambur!

    1. I really enjoy it! :D I'd recommend it definitely, especially if you're a romance fan. :D Me too! I felt bad for Toni before, she had some serious problems with past editors, so it's nice that she's not having such a hard time with it anymore. :) Thanks, Jenni! :D And thank you for your comment!

  2. I don't tend to read a lot of adult romance books, though if I do they tend to be historical, especially regency. I think if I read contemp romance I'd definitely want it to be a sports romance like this, where there's a whole other level to the story. Glad you've been enjoying this series!

    1. I can understand that. I have a soft spot for historical novels as well, romances included. :D Especially after I first read The Other Boleyn Girl (before the movie though :P). They're really fun stories when they're done well, and I like when there's actual sports in the story, not all of them have that. Thanks, Ashley. :) And thank you for your comment. :)

  3. I've been in the mood for a good contemporary romance and this sounds like it might hit the spot. Though I can't start in the middle of a series so I'll have to look out for book 1.


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