Book Review: Toni Aleo’s Trying to Score

November 10, 2013 4 out of 5, Contemporary Romance, review 1 ★★★★

Book Review: Toni Aleo’s Trying to ScoreTitle: Trying to Score
Author: Toni Aleo
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: four-stars
My Copy: Library Copy
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Fallon Parker’s dream has always been to turn her family’s wine company into a runaway success and eventually start a cellar of her own. Since graduating from college, she has worked relentlessly to make that dream a reality, especially after taking a chance on love—and losing. By the time Fallon becomes an official sponsor of the Nashville Assassins, she feels like all her hard work is finally paying off. And then the man who broke her heart skates back into her life.

On the ice, Lucas Brooks is the NHL’s leading scorer—at least when he’s not in the box. Off the ice, he’s a mess, with all his anger and misery bottled up inside. He threw away the most important person in his life and has regretted it ever since. But when Lucas returns to Nashville in a trade, he’s determined to convince Fallon that he’s a changed man. The attraction is still there. The tension is electrifying. But the odds are stacked against them—especially after Lucas finds out that Fallon has been keeping a devastating secret.

I’m a big fan of lovers reunited and having read the first book in the Assassins series, Taking Shots, I couldn’t wait to read Lucas’ story. If you haven’t read Taking Shots it’s not necessary to enjoy Trying to Score.

Lucas Brooks hasn’t been the same since Fallon Parker walked out on him and he can’t blame her; however, he can’t remember what exactly happened in the moments leading up to Fallon discovering him in another woman’s arms. Seven years later, Fallon is living in Nashville where she works for her family. That family business serves wine at the arena where the Assassins play and she’s good friends with the team owner Elli Adler. Her world is turned upside down when she learns Lucas has been traded to Nashville and when she comes face to him she realizes she has to protect her heart and son from Lucas. Lucas still loves Fallon and will do anything to win her back, but when he discovers Fallon’s secret, he knows there’s no going back. Will Fallon be able to forgive Lucas’ past mistake or will she lose everything she’s worked hard for?

Character development is good and it’s always nice to revisit past characters from another book. Toni Aleo’s Trying to Score doesn’t disappoint since Elli and Shea make an appearance. Fallon was difficult for me to like because she just can’t let go of the past! I understand her reason for being angry, but that amount of anger is not healthy for anyone. Even after she learns the truth about Lucas’ betrayal she still can’t forgive him. For the life of me, I don’t see what appeal Fallon holds for Lucas even after he finds out about Aiden. I loved that he was a no questions type of guy and just took responsibility. What I loved even more? That he was willing to give Fallon the moon as long as he got to prove his worth. We have a few secondary characters that are important including Fallon’s sister Audrey and Lucas’ assistant Levi. I really liked Audrey and she doesn’t put with anything. Levi is a bit shady and I just don’t trust him. The real scene stealer? Aiden! I just adored that little guy and you’ll love him to bits.

As for the narrative, it’s third person and it is a really nice to see Aleo grow in her writing. I enjoyed Trying to Score, but do have a few problems with the book other than Fallon. The big one is the idea of hockey fans being able to buy bottles of wine after a game has ended to take home. Most arenas stop selling alcohol at a particular time to prevent fans from being intoxicated on their way home and many don’t allow alcohol to be removed off the premises. So while the idea of a wine cellar in a hockey area might appeal to high class patrons, I’m sure they can happily get a glass while sitting in their box seats. The other has to do with the Parker family dynamics. We’re told Fallon’s father disowns her and yet she’s still allowed to work in the family business?

I debated with the rating between a three and four. Even though Trying to Score falls short, I do have to commend Aleo for her ability to write flawed characters who are able to overcome their past and see the beauty of love. I know a few readers can’t get past the idea of Fallon complaining how she gives all her money to raise Aiden and is broke, but she wears designer clothes. We aren’t told exactly how big Fallon’s trust fund was, I have a feeling Fallon’s father is paying her more than average. Which again makes me wonder about the family dynamics! Of all her heroes, I just adore Lucas and for that reason alone along with Aiden, I decided on a four.

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