Book Review: Breaking Away by Toni Aleo

by Jac on July 2, 2014

Book Review: Breaking Away by Toni AleoBreaking Away by Toni Aleo
Series: Nashville Assasins #5
Published by Toni Aleo on June 10, 2014
BREAKING AWAY is a story of loss, healing, and love… where unexpected turns and heartache lead to passion.

To Nashville Assassins’ leading scoring center Phillip Anderson, playing hockey has always been easy… as natural as breathing. His life is no different. That’s until his world is turned upside down by the death of his sister. While mourning his loss, Phillip has to find a way to make his very angry sixteen-year-old niece, Claire, happy. Now, as her guardian, he discovers the only thing that seems to heal her lonely heart is dance class. But what he didn’t count on was the attraction he’d feel towards her drop-dead sexy dance teacher.

For Reese Allen, dancing has always been part of her soul. After having her heart broken in New York, she comes home with the determination to make her dance studio one of the best in Tennessee and succeeds. When she sees Claire dance for the first time, she knows the girl is bound for greatness and takes the troubled teen under her wing. Using dance as therapy, she suddenly finds herself bound to the young woman… and her hot-as-sin uncle.

However, Phillip and Reese are happy in their single lives. It’s simple. They do what they want, who they want, and how they want, but from the moment they meet, the attraction is undeniable. Soon, they are more than willing to spend just one night tangled in the sheets. But, one night turns into two, and two turns into three, until they find themselves in a repeated dance of “One Last Time” that has the potential to be something more… if only Reese and Claire allow it.

Can Phillip find a way to thaw the hearts of both the women in his life, or will he be forever trying to break them away from their pasts?

Back in January I was introduced to Toni Aleo’s Nashville Assassins series, and I was so in love with this series that it inspired me to read a book a day (mostly hockey/sports romance) for January and February!! When I picked up Taking Shots, Toni Aleo gained a fan–girl for life! I have been anxiously awaiting Breaking Away – Phillip and Reese – and literally dropped everything as soon as it was released!

We’ve gotten to know Phillip as Erik’s wild best friend – always looking for a good time, so I have to admit I was nervous for this story. But almost immediately, I fell for Phillip. This story has the added plot of Phillip becoming guardian to his 16 year old niece, Claire. The relationship between Phillip in Claire was a game-changer for me, it showed the softer side of Phillip and just made me fall in love with him.

Reese? I don’t even know where to start with Reese. She is such an amazing and unique character, and her stubbornness is one of the things I loved the most! (Even if I wanted to smack her into seeing just how great she has things with Phillip at one point! The two of them agreed to only have fun – no complications – because both had been burned by love before.

Toni Aleo has a way of making her characters take up residence in your heart. This world she has created is so real, it’ll have you forgetting that you can’t actually cheer for the Nashville Assassins in the Stanley Cup playoffs! (Which is a shame, because I would totally be wearing a Shea Adler jersey!)

I’ve struggled with writing this review, staring at the blank screen for far longer than I ever have before. Simply because Breaking Away is the best book I have read during 2014 (and it’s the 115th book, so that is definitely saying something!)


I'm a homeschooling hockey mom from southern Colorado! I spend my free time blogging and reading (when I'm not at the ice arena or hiking in the Rockies!) and I have a crazy addiction to water bottles!

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