Blue Lines (Assassins #4)
by Toni Aleo
Published December 9th 2013 by Loveswept – Random House
Opposites do more than just attract in Toni Aleo’s latest Nashville Assassins novel about a very bad boy and the good girl he can’t resist.
The instant Piper Allen sees Erik Titov, she wants him—wants his rock-hard body, sure, but the strength and mystery that lies behind that superstar hockey jock demeanor, too. So when he sidles up to her at a bar and slinks his arm around her waist, she’s lost. What follows is the wildest night of her life . . . followed by inevitable heartbreak the next morning. And then, a few weeks later, a very big surprise: two blue lines on a pregnancy test.
Only a check to the head could make Erik fall for a nice girl like Piper. But since their crazy-sexy night together, he’s been trying to forget about her alluring body by falling into bed with every woman in Nashville, and it’s not working. So when Piper shows up at his house with a baby-bomb to drop, it doesn’t take much for Erik to suggest the nuclear option: marriage. While it’s supposed to be all for show, the second they say “I do,” the ice between them starts to melt into sizzling steam.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: Taking Shots, Trying to Score, and Empty Net.
Piper is a young woman who has always had a thing for Erik Titov. One night they get a little carried away and she has the night of her life with him. He is everything she dreamed of and more. She is completely ruined for all other men. When he leaves, he leaves behind a piece of himself. A few weeks later Piper discovers that she is pregnant.
Erik Titov is a hockey player with the Nashville Assassins. He has been working his way through every woman at every layover along the way. He has a troubled past and he knows he will never settle down. He won’t allow it. So he sits back and lets the ladies swoon.
But the General Manager is not having it. Erik’s conquests are having a negative impact on the team. He is under strict orders to keep it in his pants and to be discreet.
For Eric, this is easier said than done. He and his roommate and team member, Phillip, are used to a string of women. They have a revolving door of women in their apartment.
So when Piper shows up several months later and very pregnant, Erik is completely taken off guard. She has made attempts to contact him but he never returns her calls. Eventually she decides that Erik has a right to know and the only way she can make him listen is to show up on his doorstep. Piper knows she will get hurt. She cares deeply for Erik and sho knows her feelings may never be reciprocated.
Erik offers her a solution to both her and his problems. He will marry her and then after the baby is born he will leave and she can file for divorce. Piper gets in way over her head. She is still drawn to Erik and she wants their farce of a relationship to be real.
This is the point in the book where I start to struggle. Erik can be a complete ass. He begins warring with himself about what to do. He wants her, but he doesn’t want a commitment. He can’t see himself as anything other than a product of his genetics. And his parents were both terrible.
Erik struggles to contain himself, but his body knows what his mind won’t acknowledge.
When it is finally time for the baby to come, Erik has to make a decision. Will he stay or will he go?
This one is going to be a hard one for me to review. I loved Piper. I loved the premise. I loved the progression of the story but I struggled with Erik. I didn’t feel like his inner dialogue was authentic. I just can’t see a guy having the thoughts that he was having, they were very woman-like. It is hard to say that without sounding misogynistic, but women tent to analyze things and think about feelings. The inner dialogues of men that seem more authentic to me focus more on actions and on desires. Not someone who thinks about his feelings and analyzes them, repeatedly.
Having said all of that, I still rated this book in the high 3 range rounding up to four stars. MANY people loved it and gave it four and five-star reviews. Perhaps it was just me. Don’t let my rantings dissuade you from reading this one.
This book had so many good parts. There are absolutely touching and beautiful moments. Piper is a free-spirited artist who never dreamed she would be a mother so soon. Erik is a tough guy hockey player who can’t commit. Put them together and amazing things can happen. That is, if Erik can realize that he is not his father. He can be a better man, the man deserving of Pipers affection and love.
Overall, I would give this one 3.8 stars. Despite my irritation, I still really liked it. The book is told from both Erik and Pipers perspectives. I would definitely recommend giving this one a try if you like sports romances. There was a good amount of steam in there to spice things up and Erik is seriously hot!
***A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. ***