Blue Lines (Nashville Assassins #4) 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.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: Taking Shots, Trying to Score, and Empty Net.
This is only the second book that I have read in Toni Aleo’s popular Nashville Assassins series, and, although I’m sure it’s best to read the series in order, I did not have any problem with picking up the series after only reading Taking Shots (Assassins #1). Couples featured in previous books continue to play minor roles in Blue Lines, but Aleo provides just enough of their backstories to help me understand their relevance and connection to the main characters in this book, Piper and Erik, and with the details she provides, I do want to go back and read the last two books when I have the opportunity.
The plot of this book uses the familiar trope of a guy and girl who have lusted for each other from afar and who spend one drunken night together that leads to an unplanned pregnancy. Even though main elements of the plot are predictable, Aleo does a great job in enveloping you in the tumultuous love story between Piper and Erik. She’s created complicated characters with depth, and it did not take long for me to become invested in the outcome of their relationship.
Erik is one of the most deeply wounded heroes I’ve encountered in quite a while. The horrific trauma he experienced as a child has left him emotionally damaged, and he has erected some pretty thick walls around his heart to keep anyone from getting too close. Erik is depicted as a “man whore” and his reputation only gets worse after one intense night with Piper, a woman who makes him feel more than he thinks is possible or that he deserves. After their night together, he tries to get as far away from her as possible, and he succeeds until Piper finally gathers to courage to tell him about the pregnancy. Let’s just say that scene is anything but pretty and the truth coincides with his discovery that his coveted career is in jeopardy. A pretend marriage is the only solution he can think of at this point to help redeem his career. Erik is one of the most selfish heroes I’ve met, and his lack of concern for Piper is appalling at times. At the beginning, I just shook my head, thinking that Piper certainly has her work cut out for her if she thinks she can tame this wild bad boy.
Fortunately, Piper has a special super duper sledgehammer that might just do the job, if she is patient enough to wait for Erik. However, after the way he treats her in the first half of the book, any other woman would most likely have left him in the dust, but not Piper. Because of her family connection to Erik, she has had the opportunity to observe this superstar hockey player off the ice and outside of the party scene over the past two years. She sees beyond the playboy façade that he uses to keep his emotional distance. She’s been “in love” with Erik from the first moment she saw him, and it’s those strong feelings that help her cling to the hope that maybe, just maybe, Erik will see what he’s been missing with her.
In reality though, they know very little about each other and the baby they have conceived lays the main foundation for any serious relationship they can build. They already have a strong physical attraction that Erik keeps fighting, but they need time to build emotional intimacy and trust if they have any chance of being a family. I experienced a range of emotions as I followed Piper and Erik’s journey: anger, pity, frustration, and hope, but watching this couple’s change and growth over the course of the book was well worth the read.
I received a ARC copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
Enjoy a Teaser from Blue Lines!
“I see you moved in pretty well.”
Piper let out a startled shriek before turning to see the culprit. Harper smiled as she came over to hug her tightly. The fact that Piper didn’t hear her coming down the dock really proved how deep in thought she was. The house was in a secluded area with a huge yard and trees, so it was easy to get lost in time while enjoying the beautiful day.
Putting a smile on her face, Piper contemplated if now was the time to tell her sister about the baby. Fortunately she had worn a huge T-shirt over her maternity shorts this morning, thus hiding the bump of her belly.
“Yeah, the house was pretty much done when I moved in—all I needed were my things and a few other odds and ends. Fortunately it all fit in the truck. I did bring those gray sofas from the apartment, though. Dad brought those over . . . ,” she answered with a shrug. In reality she should have burned one of those sofas.
Toni Aleo is the author of the Nashville Assassins series: Taking Shots, Trying to Score, Empty Net, and Blue Lines. When not rooting for her beloved Nashville Predators, she’s probably going to her husband’s and son’s hockey games and her daughter’s dance competitions, taking pictures, scrapbooking, or reading the latest romance novel. She lives in the Nashville area with her husband, two children, and a bulldog.
Blue lines Playlist can also be found on www.Spotify.com under Blue lines – Assassins by Toni Aleo
FIVE Digital Copies of BLUE LINES,
One Swag Pack w/ Digital Copy of BLUE LINES,
Swag Pack w/ All ASSASSINS Series in Digital)