Tuesday, May 28, 2013

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

Empty Net (Assassins #3)
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?
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: April 13, 2013
Kat's Review
This is the third book in the Assassin's series, and it's the one I've liked the most.  The book surprised me because in book two, Audrey is seen as a secondary character in her sister's love story, but she comes across as a bit of an irresponsible, immature mess.  Instead, in Empty Net, Audrey becomes a loveable main character stuck in a cycle of bad relationships due to a secret she's keeping from everyone in her life.  As her personality begins to shine through as the book progresses, I really came to like her character. 
Tate was another character introduced in the second book, as the rookie goaltender who spoke little English.  Now he's on top of the world as one of the best goalies around, and months of language training has improved his English.  Still, he's living far from home and has lost everyone who ever meant anything to him.  When he meets Audrey he feels a connection that keeps him coming back for more, but he can't seem to crack her shell. 
What I liked about this book was the way it tackled real issues.  Audrey and Tate are several years apart in age, with Audrey being older.  Having the younger male be the one looking for a relationship that lasts was a refreshing twist on the older man/younger woman stereotype so often seen in romance novels.  There's loss, and abusive relationships (NOT between Audrey & Tate,) and family pressures, and a whole host of other obstacles that those in the real world have to face, in addition to a sweet romance that builds over time and provides the strength each needs to face their demons. 
Rating: A Good Read
This book is a romance, but also provides strong secondary storylines that make the series interesting.  Tate and Audrey are both sweet, complicated characters.  If you like your romance novels to have some depth, and also enjoy a good sports storyline, this series might be for you. 
I was provided a complimentary copy of this title from NetGalley & the publisher in return for an honest review.

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