Empty Net: Toni Aleo

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Definition of an Empty Net: When a team pulls the goalie for an extra attacker, desperately seeking a goal.

Audrey Parker was in a horrible place.
She hated her job, her sister was getting married and moving out, but worst of all, she was in love with a total jerk. No matter what she did, every guy she met hurt her. All she wanted was her happily ever after. Her Prince Charming. Her Lucas Brooks! She didn’t know how to change her life but she knew she needed too.
Feeling like she was about to hit rock bottom, Audrey wakes up next to Tate Odder.

Tate Odder had lost everything.
After being brought up from the Assassins’ farm team, the Florida Rays to the Nashville Assassins, Tate hopes he’ll forget everything he has lost. He doesn’t. Each day gets harder to live in a place he doesn’t know. Even being the first rookie goalie to shut out an opposing team three times during the Lord Stanley Cup Finals, he still felt empty. With the loss of his parents and sister still heavy on his heart, Tate isn’t sure how to live like everything is okay.

But when he wakes up beside Audrey Parker, things start to change. She turns his life upside down with her kooky sense of humor and her bright clothing. She is intelligent and beautiful, and for once, he doesn’t feel empty.
Will Audrey be the person to fill the holes in Tate’s heart, making him whole again?
Or will another player ruin everything, leaving him feeling forever like an empty net?

“You can't wait around for something to become good, it either is, or isn't.” 

Ugh, so once again the heroine ruins the first half of the book with her whiny hot and cold bitchy attitude. First half of the book a 2 maybe 3 star rating on a kind day, second half of the book a 4 star rating. Wasn't sure how I was going to rate this and then I hit the end, the last chapter or two alone made this a total 5 star read. So I am going with an overall 4 star rating, with a huge warning that Audrey will annoy the living crap out of you! Seriously be prepared to want to slap a bitch for the first 50%, then brace and prepare to change direction because you will find yourself falling and rooting for one Audrey Parker.

As you can see, I was not an Audrey fan for about 50% of the book, the only reason I hung in there was for Tate. He is the typical written Toni Aleo male. Sweet as all get out, patient, charming, sexy, hilarious, devoted, persistent, knows what he wants and goes after it. He is my favorite by far; he melted my heart on many occasions in this book. I have no clue how such an amazing young man held out for such a wretched woman. I found myself yelling at him to move on when Audrey told him she didn't want him or she kept him on the friends only shelf. There were other girls more deserving, ones who would appreciate him more. However, something about Audrey just did it for Tate, he couldn't look anywhere else. She was the only woman he wanted, he looked past her bitchy attitude to see the woman underneath. And in all honesty I am somewhat glad he did.

The writing in the second half of the book is exactly what keeps me coming back for more of Toni's awesomeness. Her character development throughout the book strengthens the connection between her two main characters allowing you to get past that wretched part and fall in love for the first time with both of her new characters while soaking up the moments you get to spend with some of your past favorites. I am not ashamed to admit that I am a total glutton for punishment, as I know way beforehand that the heroines in this series will totally make me want to pull my hair out and scream. I can't help myself her hero's suck me right in and hook me from the very first sentence. And Tate didn't fail to blow my mind. I was totally fascinated with one Swedish twenty-one-year old goalie. I am sunk hook line and sinker. Once Tate and Audrey were on the same page they were absolutely perfect for each other, age difference be damned. I began to devour their story, loving the older woman with a younger man angle you never see that. Tate was amazing in the fact that he didn't care one iota about Audrey being 7-years-older than him. He patiently waited through her indecision and worries convincing her he was serious in his intentions, he wanted to spend his life with her.

I loved the way Audrey flourished and grow into her confidence with the help of Tate's attention and love. I found that by the end of the story I was wicked invested in their outcome and even grew to adore her character. I feel hard for her and Tate as a couple. I couldn't help but smile and chuckle when they were in the same proximity as each other. Tate and Audrey were so flirty and fun when everything between them began to relaxed and flow on the same level. It was easy to see the intense chemistry they shared. I am looking forward to seeing them in future books.

AND I am also looking forward to Erik and Piper's story! I know I know I will probably hate the chick the first half of that book too, BUT as I said earlier I am a glutton for punishment. I am holding out for Piper to be the sweet and innocent one while Erik turns out to be the biggest jerk ever. If this happens then everything will be alright in my world.

Thank you Toni Aleo and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of Empty Nest in exchange for my honest opinion.


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