Delayed Call by Toni Aleo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Vaughn Johansson is the Nashville Assassins' star player. He's brash, cocky, and talented. And he isn't afraid to let anyone know it. He lives his life on his own terms, never forming romantic attachments, and only allowing his very closest to see his true, caring self.
Brie Soledad has the weight of the world on her shoulders. As the staff reporter for the Assassins, she balances her high-profile job and its heavy travel schedule with being the sole provider for her adult brother with Down syndrome. Sure, she'd like to find love. But who has time for that when there are bills to pay?
Brie has been the match to Vaughn's gasoline since the day she first held out her microphone to him. They strike sparks off each other, keeping their friends, the team, and the Assassins fans in stitches. Brie’s refusal to fawn over Vaughn sets his teeth on edge and his blood boiling. Especially in that body part...
Brie's been let down by love before, but she knows she deserves nothing less than real, forever love. Vaughn's past has left deep, hidden scars, and there are some secrets he cannot bear to reveal. As much as Brie wants him, Vaughn may be too big a risk for her wary heart to take. But he is at his best under pressure. When the delayed call is in effect and he has no choice but to score, Vaughn always delivers.
I absolutely love this series! I'm an avid hockey fan, and I've read all of the books in this series so when I say that they keep getting better and better - that's a compliment to the author. I love when a story doesn't just throw hockey in there as an afterthought. So many books nowadays do that as a trope, and I hate that because hockey is an excellent sport. It's not talked about as much as football and basketball, but it's just as hard to play and just as fun to watch. When you write about it - you need to know what you're talking about because real fans will pick up on something as inconsequential as what icing is or slicing. What I love about Toni Aleo is that she comes from a hockey background and knows how to write it. You can tell she's gone to games and she's studied the in's and out's of the sport. Reading about Vaughn and Brie, I could just imagine every scene in my head as it was happening and at no point did I feel like putting this book down to pick up another one. If a book can keep my attention for hours, then it's a fabulous book. The things that came out of Vaughn's mouth, I could see a hockey player saying because I've been around them and heard them talk. It's something that you're left going "Did he really just say that?"
Every book I read of Toni's, I'm left with this feeling of "how can she get better than this?" It's a difficult question because her books are that good and that spot on. I loved the way that she worked in how do you deal with having a sibling that has Down Syndrome? It's a touching and thought-provoking scenario that not many authors want to tackle. They would rather throw a lot of sex into a novel and call it a plot. Toni doesn't do that...she has a slow build up and a lot of plot which I found refreshing. Buy this book and settle in for a great read. Each book is a stand-alone but I would recommend the whole series just because they're all good books. I would say this is probably my favorite of hers so far in the series.
I was given a copy of this ARC from the publisher on NetGalley for an honest review. All of the above comments are my express opinions and no one else's.
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