Sep 3, 2014

*Review* Boarded by Love by Toni Aleo

Jude Sinclair here, hockey player for the Bellevue Bullies and lover of all ladies. Hockey’s in my blood, and not to sound full of myself, but I’m good at it…really good. The draft is within my reach—it’s mine to take—but that’s not the only reason people know my name. They know me because of my way with women. They know the score, and I aim to please. I just tend to stay away from repeat performances. In other words, I don’t do relationships beyond my family and friends. I’m happy with life. However, I should warn you that my story and how I see it playing out is about to change due to a certain redhead on campus.
She’s beautiful. Stunning. Breathtaking.
She’s my game changer.
He’s trouble from the moment I see him. I don’t know what I’m thinking, but from the moment I meet his gaze, I’m his. It’s a scary feeling.
I’ve never trusted anyone outside my aunt and uncle—and even that took months. I didn’t have it easy growing up. My mom was usually strung out, and she didn’t give me a second thought. Drugs and the men who paid her were more important to her. It was horrible, but I’m stronger today. Because of my past, security is what I need most. Money assures me that I can take care of myself today, tomorrow, and next month. I don’t want to ever be hungry or go without again, so I work hard for every penny.
Oh, by the way, I’m Claire Anderson. I’m a hard-studying sophomore at the University of Bellevue, dancer for the school dance team, and a burlesque dancer at a club, but that’s my secret.

You may think you know how our story ends, but you have no clue. It’s not easy falling in love… or living happily ever after. At first it may seem so, but when is anything worth having ever won without a fight?
Especially when you’re boarded by love.
I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this story for an honest review.
Cocky hockey hottie + slightly damaged but resilient heroine with steel resolve = winning swoon worthy romance that hooked me quick and took me on one heck of a ride.
Claire Anderson has two passions in life - dance and building a stable future for herself. Her loving uncle may have saved her from a childhood of hunger and men all to eager to use and abuse a young girl, but people leave and Claire wants to be prepared. She'll do what it takes, even if that means spending her days as a normal college kid and her nights strutting her stuff on stage as a burlesque dancer.
Jude Sinclair has two passions in life - hockey and girls. Well maybe one passion and one hobby. With the NHL draft looming and his pick of any girl on campus, Jude shouldn't be wasting time on the one girl who doesn't want to give him the time of day. But Jude Sinclair doesn't know how to lose and he thinks Claire Anderson may be his best victory yet.

What I Loved: Toni Aleo has created some fantastic couples with stellar chemistry in her Nashville Assassins series but I think Claire and her Hey Jude in the Bellevue Bullies series may be the best pairing yet. The passion the characters have not only for their talents (hockey and dance) but for each other was palpable and consuming. I needed these characters to find happiness both professionally and romantically. I love getting so wrapped up in characters I'm almost yelling at my Kindle "No damn it - you will be HAPPY!!!" Boarded by Love blends heat, romance and angst with big splashes of wit and humor. The banter between Claire and Jude flows and I found myself with about 20 quotes highlighted by the end of the read.
What I Didn't Love: Boarded by Love is a great romance and I don't have much negative to say. The one small nitpick that kept this from being a completely perfect read for me would be Claire benefiting from counseling. Claire briefly mentions getting therapy when she was younger to deal with her painful past. Nineteen is still young and I think it would have been great for any of the characters that loved Claire (familial love, romantic love, friendship love) to encourage her to get help with her trust issues instead of being upset that she wasn't "fixed" or trust them to "fix" things for her.

Favorite Quotes:
"I need her. On me. Beneath me. Anywhere on me. Now."
"I still taste you, Claire, and I know that has to mean something."
"I know you've been hurt, and I know that people have not been the greatest to you, but I want to change that. I want to be good for you. Worthy of you. I want to make you proud."
Boarded by Love got me straight in the feels and I'm not ashamed to say I've already snuck in a re-read of the story so I could revisit Claire and Jude. I can't wait to check out more of the Bellevue Bullies series and I hope you'll check it out too. If you're new to Toni Aleo and nervous about checking this story out - don't be. This is a great jumping in point and you don't need to have read any of the Nashville Assassins series to follow along (but I hope after reading this you'll circle back because those books rock).
Happy reading.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this book and Toni Aleo in general! I can't wait to see more from her! I also reviewed Boarded By Love. Have you read any of her other books?


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