Thursday, August 24, 2017

In the Crease by Toni Aleo Blog Tour

Jensen Monroe is a unicorn. As handsome as any model, as polite as can be, a goalie of unmatched skill, and the best friend anyone could ask for. But he longs for a particular special someone to make his life complete. He’s been in love with Wren since he was a teenager, but as his best friend’s sister, she’s always been off-limits.

Wren Lemiere has prided herself on being a love ’em and leave ’em girl her whole life. She’s all about equal opportunity in the battle of the sexes. Why should guys like her brother and his best friends get to be the only ones allowed to play the dating game? One wrong move, however, and she finds herself in violation of her own rules.

In need of a fake husband and baby daddy for her unexpected bundle of joy, Wren finally accepts Jensen is the logical one to ask for help. Except he has a counteroffer… one with so many strings attached, they may just find themselves wrapped up in ties that bind. Forever.

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Book 12
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Brie snickered as Vaughn went on. “I know this is going to be hard. Like, really hard on you. But, buddy, I’m sorry to say, we bought a house.”

Jensen just stared back at him. “Okay? Why is this hard?”

“Because you’re not moving with us.”

He rolled his eyes. “Jo, we haven’t lived together for six months since you moved in with Brie.”

“I know, but we were across the hall.”

Jensen laughed. “I’ll be fine without you guys—”

“Now, I know this comes as a shock, but we’re having a baby, and we need space for us and the baby.”

“I know—”

“Now, Jenny, I know this is going to be difficult, putting space between us—”

“You know we lived apart for years, right?”

But Vaughn went on. “Just know I will always and forever love you as my brother, and nothing will change. Not the space, the new ball and chain, or the baby.”

“Are you done?”

Brie apparently thought this was hilarious since she was basically choking she was laughing so hard. Which wasn’t anything new. Vaughn might be an idiot, but he was a funny one. As always, Vaughn was unaffected as he said, “We’ll never be done, Jenny, never.”

“Okay,” Jensen said, rolling his eyes again. “Listen, this is awesome. I’m happy for you guys, and let me know when we need to start moving stuff.”

“You’re such a good man,” Vaughn proclaimed before clapping his hands together. “This weekend good for you?”

Laughing, he just shook his head at Vaughn’s antics. “Yeah, man.”

“Thanks, Jensen.”

He smiled over at Brie. “Anytime.”

Rolling his eyes, he went back to eating as a grin played on his lips. He wanted nothing more than for his friend to grow and be in love. Brie was that for Vaughn. They were moving and having a kid, and it was great. Vaughn needed that. So did Wells, who was getting married the following month. Both his best friends were living life, happily and to its fullest. Meanwhile, Jensen was stuck.

He didn’t know how it happened, or even why, but it had. He wasn’t interested in anyone he met, and he didn’t just want to fuck around. He wanted someone to love him for him. The quiet, weird guy in the corner. The one who would lay down his life for anyone he loved. He had redeemable qualities, but for some reason, no one wanted them. They just wanted to have sex.

He didn’t want Netflix and chill; he wanted Netflix and breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and more.

Hmm, he should copyright that.

Taking a huge bite of his chicken, he felt his phone start to vibrate. He pulled it out, seeing that it was a text from Wren, as he chewed. Like always when she texted him, his heart sped up, and his palms went clammy as a lump formed in his throat. Or maybe that was the chicken, he wasn’t sure. Either way, he slid the notification over so that his text thread with her opened up before he read her message.

Wren: Are you free anytime this week?

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
Growing up in a family that's all about hockey, it was easy for Wren to get lost. Her brother, Wells, and then his friends, Vaughn and Jensen, loved hockey and her parents did everything they could to support his dreams. Did it really matter than Wren felt lost? Not really; after all, she knew how to take care of herself.

Jensen agrees to help Wren, but only if she truly gives their relationship an honest try. Wren doesn't understand why Jensen wants this until after all her friends tell her that he's been in love with her for years. With her self-confidence issues, she doesn't believe that Jensen will want her for the long-term, especially if he finds out the truth about the baby's paternity.

The issues that face both Wren and Jensen seem to be insurmountable, but as Ms. Aleo shows once again, with love anything is possible.

4.5 stars of sexy, sensual, and supportive hotness

This may be book 12 in an established series, but do not be afraid to pick it up and read it as a standalone. It will probably tempt you to go back and read more, but it will not spoil the enjoyment of this series at all.

All the characters who appear are given enough back story to become real to a new reader, but give subtle details to the seasoned fan too. There are some lovely touches – like Elli being at every team members' big day, even though that means a lot of travel post season. We get a really good sense of the team spirit and particularly the camaraderie between Jenson, Vaughn, and Wells since they were teenagers... and Wren.

As the plot unfolds and the drama ramps up between Jensen and Wren, it is fascinating to watch a story which reverses the norms and gives us a very different view of things when stereotypes are destroyed. It is powerful in that message, but also hugely romantic and heartwarming. There are a lot of times when I really wanted to sit them both down together and have a word... but even when their friends tried to do just that, they were still stuck in their own realities. Wren being a therapist and overanalysing things so much was a great twist in the tale.

Be prepared for some frustrating moments, some heart wrenching ones, and some truly blissful ones... but definitely pick this up and give in to the call of a very enjoyable read.

Thank you, Ms. Aleo, once again for a great new installment of Assassins magic.

My name is Toni Aleo and I’m a total dork.

I am a wife, mother of two and a bulldog, and also a hopeless romantic.

I am the biggest Shea Weber fan ever, and can be found during hockey season with my nose pressed against the Bridgestone Arena’s glass, watching my Nashville Predators play!

When my nose isn’t pressed against the glass, I enjoy going to my husband and son’s hockey games, my daughter’s dance competition, hanging with my best friends, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and reading the latest romance novel.

I have a slight Disney and Harry Potter obsession, I love things that sparkle, I love the color pink, I might have been a Disney Princess in a past life… probably Belle.
… and did I mention I love hockey?

Connect with Toni

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of In the Crease (Assassins #12) by Toni Aleo to read and review for this tour.

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