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In the Crease (Nashville Assassins Series Book 11) Kindle Edition
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Each book in the amazing Assassins series has a unique storyline with a truly new couple. Toni Aleo doesn't recycle characters. Every new character has their own personality and backstory, so it's not like you read the same story with different people after a while. Ms Aleo will take you for a ride and what a great ride it is. Every time. I feel like every book stays with me and every couple is special and I love that previously featured characters appears in new books, but always in a relevant way. This couple and especially this leading man will stay for a long while. He is special.
Jensen Monroe was the star goalie for the Nashville Assassins. Not only was he gorgeous but he was loved by everyone. He was the quintessential good all around guy. He had loved his best friend’s sister since childhood, but they had never been anything except close friends. He had never pursued anything different out of loyalty to her family and also because she had never shown any interest.
Wren Lemiere was the team’s therapist. She had a brother in the NHL on an opposing team and his two best friends, her quasi-brother’s, were part of her Assassin’s team. She was always close to the guys and was the female version of a player. She never got close to anyone and only looked for sex buddies. She crushed on Jensen but that’s all it was, an appreciation for his looks and who he was as a person. When life brought her an unexpected surprise and she needed a huge favor, she turned to Jensen, thus the start of the plot.
In the Crease was written with a dual POV. Typical for Aleo, it was well written with a solid storyline that provided depth and dimension. Aleo also dove into the secondary characters that we’ve grown to love over the series, providing a secondary plot which brought even more depth to the storyline.
Additionally, Aleo was creative and did the reverse approach for the premise of the story versus the standard approach. She wrote the story from a sightly different angle than it’s typically written.
As to the characters, I loved Jensen. How could I not? I do wish he had just a little more backbone, but I loved him anyway. However, I really disliked Wren. And the more the story progressed, the more I disliked her. In the end, I never really connected with her. To me, she remained cold, whiny, unemotional and clueless - none of which endeared me to her. At the end, I was beginning to see some redeeming qualities, but I preferred more sooner. Aleo wrote her well, I just didn’t like her.
With that said, Aleo wrote another successful addition to the series with In the Crease. The book itself was a 5 star, the heroine was a 3 (my taste only), so I have rated it as a 4 star overall. I’m now headed off to read Two Man Advantage, a spin off novel, which highlights Wells Lemiere, Wren’s brother. We got a teaser throughout this book and I can’t wait.
Wren Lemiere, the team psychologist finds herself pushing thirty, happily single, and unexpectedly pregnant. She never wanted to get married let alone become a mother. She can deal with the unexpected pregnancy and becoming a mother but what she cannot deal with is the circumstances it leaves her in. She could lose her inheritance if she has a child out of wedlock before she turns thirty. She's depending on this inheritance not only to make her life better but also give her brother the share he lost when he openly declared he was gay. The baby daddy is out of the question. He is a douche. She has to find a husband fast. When she turns to her childhood friend Jenson Monroe for help, her life once again takes an unexpected direction.
Jenson Monroe agrees to marry Wren but on his conditions. He's loved her most of his life and sees this as his only opportunity to prove his love. Wren has serious issues and she's going to be hard nut to crack. He wasn't named the top goalie in the league because he backed down, he's focused, determined, and willing to wait for the right moment.
Wren and Jenson both have their issues from the past but Wren's are emotionally paralyzing her. Jenson has his work cut out for him but he's determined to win the happily ever after.
This is not the typical contract marriage with a baby in the works kind of romance. This is a story of two very real people struggling with issues from their past. One is much more well adjusted and the other is denying it all. Add other family dynamics such as a gay athlete marrying the wrong man, a father denying his son's sexuality, a mother trying to fix it all with the perfect wedding, parents with health issues, and a best friend who is also a hockey player that has no filters and the book gets much more interesting. In the end the happily ever after becomes a choice for them all. Toni Aleo has another winner in the Assassin's playbook.