Author: Toni Aleo
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Copy: ARC courtesy of Random House
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: After serving as a dutiful bridesmaid in the wedding from hell, Aynslee Shaw just wants to slink home to Nashville and forget the whole trip. That is, until the hottest guyshe’s ever seen is seated next to her on the flight and dazzles her with his easy laugh and killer smile. But just when she thinks things are getting good, he vanishes, leaving Aynslee wondering, was that guy the one? And did she just let him slip through her fingers?
Former superstar goalie Jordan Ryan is back on the ice—finally. After a crippling knee injury that had him wondering if he’d ever play pro hockey again, he’s got his full attention on rebuilding his career. So a pretty—okay, beautiful—girl on a plane shouldn’t be a distraction. But Jordan is very, very distracted. And when Aynslee crosses his path again, he’s not sure any job in the world is worth missing his second chance with a woman like her.
Falling For the Backup is a novella in Toni Aleo’s Assassins series. A few characters from her earlier books make an appearance or are mentioned, but if you’ve never read the books, don’t fret because Falling for the Backup easily stands alone. If you’re worried about spoilers for the other books in the series, you have nothing to worry about.
Aynslee Shaw has had a terrible day and she can’t wait to go home. To make matters worse her suitcase is stolen and she’s stuck wearing a dreadful bridesmaid dress. Jordan Ryan is having a difficult day and the only thing on his mind is his hockey career. When he spots Aynslee he’s intrigued, but he quickly realizes she’s the type of girl that deserves it all and he can’t offer her anything without knowing his career prospects. Jordan walks away from Aynslee, but when a chance encounters bring them together will Jordan take what he wants or will he walk away?
Ah, let me fangirl for a bit! I loved Jordan! Every time he walked away from Aynslee I wanted to shake him, but I realized his inner turmoil because he wanted to be worthy of her. Characterization is a bit weak, but it is a novella and there’s only so much character development you can do. That being said, I do feel as if I got to know Aynslee and Jordan pretty well as a couple. We find out early on what Jordan’s disappointment is and what he wants for the future. As for Aynslee, I was left trying to figure her out. It was pretty clear Jordan wanted a family and someone to come home to, but I didn’t feel Aynslee’s need for someone. Aleo tends to develop her female characters early on and you feel like you know them, but I didn’t get that with Aynslee. She’s also the first character Aleo has given us that doesn’t have excessive baggage and problems opening up. I did like that and it was a breath of fresh air and I liked that she was independent.
My favorite scene by far has to be Aynslee learning about hockey from Sadie. Ask any hockey fan and they’ll be able to tell you the first game they attended because watching it on television doesn’t count as your first game. I loved that Aleo was able to bring back such a precious memory not only to myself and I’m sure any female fan will agree. There’s also a hilarious scene that gives a whole new meaning to “meet the parents!” I won’t go into details, but you’ll be laughing your butt off.
I really enjoyed Toni Aleo’s Falling for the Backup. Her writing has improved from her first book, Taking Shots and it’s wonderful to see her grow. If you’re looking for a hockey romance and have a couple of hours to kill, I recommend Falling for the Backup. The only complaint I have, I wish it was longer and I hope Aleo brings back Jordan Ryan in a future book.
Toni is hosting a tour wide giveaway! Prizes include digital copies of Falling for the Backup and swag!
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