06 November 2013

{ARC Review} Blue Lines by Toni Aleo

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.
4.5 wonderful stars!!

This has been my favorite Assassins book yet. Granted, I wasn't so fond of the previous books, I still requested this based on the blurb alone. Boy, I am so glad I did because I ended up devouring this book and enjoying Piper and Erik's story.

Eric Titov is a real bad boy. And when I say bad, I mean BAD. He uses women and doesn't care much for them at all. Plus, he had this really fucked up childhood which involved a lot of physical abuse that culminated in a horrific tragedy where Erik witnessed his father killed his mother and then killed himself afterwards. All of these happened in front of Erik, which messed him up real good. Thankfully, he was adopted by his aunt and uncle and was able to come to the US and finally had a semblance of a normal childhood. But that particular incident affected Erik's view on relationship. He was convinced that he couldn't be a husband and father material for fear that he might end up like his biological father.

Piper Allen is a nice girl and is known as the flighty one, career-wise, in her family. She's been in love with Erik since forever even though he hardly notices her. I loved Piper. She's the best Toni Aleo heroine to date. I remembered reading the previous books in this series and how much I disliked the heroines in those books but Piper was easy to like. I simply adored her vulnerability and the way she fought for Erik and her baby.

Story-wise, Blue Lines had the depth and character development I was looking for. I was so annoyed with Erik for more than half of the book. I didn't know whether or not he could be redeemed but I was wrong. Ms. Aleo has written his redemption beautiful. It wasn't abrupt, it was slow and sweet and very convincing. I believed it. It was a gradual change although, he still had his doubts, you can clearly see that Erik has changed. And for those of you who are wondering there is no cheating in this book. Erik hooked up with other girls after Piper but once they got married, he didn't cheat.He was afraid he would and he was tempted but he didn't cheat. I was really afraid the author might resort to the cheating trope for the drama but she didn't! I was very happy that she didn't take that direction.

I also loved Erik's adoptive family especially his relationship with Cooper, his adoptive father. It was one of the highlights in the story for me. It really showed that in spite his reputation, there is actually something good hiding behind the bad boy facade. And it also supports Piper's intuition that Erik isn't as douche as he might have been. I would have been very disappointed in Piper for falling in love with jerk but as it turns out, she was right. Erik is a good man.

I definitely, definitely recommend this one. And I also think that this can be read as a standalone. The other couples from previous books appeared here but you don't have to read their books to enjoy Erik and Piper's story. So no worries there.

ARC is provided by Random House Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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