Friday, June 28, 2013

REVIEW: FALLING FOR THE BACKUP BY TONI ALEO

Title: Falling for the Backup
Author: Toni Aleo
Published: June 24th, 2013
By: Loveswept - Random House
Source: NetGalley
Available At: Amazon | B&N | Kobo
Find Toni Aleo: Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

After serving as a dutiful bridesmaid in the wedding from hell, Aynslee Shaw just wants to slink home to Nashville and forget the whole trip. That is, until the hottest guy she’s ever seen is seated next to her on the flight and dazzles her with his easy laugh and killer smile. But just when she thinks things are getting good, he vanishes, leaving Aynslee wondering, was that guy the one? And did she just let him slip through her fingers?

Former superstar goalie Jordan Ryan is back on the ice—finally. After a crippling knee injury that had him wondering if he’d ever play pro hockey again, he’s got his full attention on rebuilding his career. So a pretty—okay, beautiful—girl on a plane shouldn’t be a distraction. But Jordan is very, very distracted. And when Aynslee crosses his path again, he’s not sure any job in the world is worth missing his second chance with a woman like her.

So I am vain enough to be one of those people who say "I read and loved Toni Aleo before it was cool to read and love Toni Aleo!" Haha! I am so very happy that things are going so well for her! What Shelley and I do best is recommend books to one another, so I found a way to get this to happen a little bit sooner...since our reading list is epically long! Falling for the Backup being a novella was my sure thing! (P.S. I think it worked!) It did! As soon as we have a break in our reading, I'm downloading these babies!

Jordan Ryan is mentioned a few times in the other three books or the series as obviously being the injured goalie, therefore setting up for Tate in Book 3 to step in and take over. We don't get a lot of other info on him in those, but I was sufficiently curious. Jordan is my idea of a really good guy. He is sweet, he's hot and a hockey player to boot...but his injury has brought forth insecurities that hadn't probably plagued him, ever. All of my thoughts were how much I wanted this to be a full length novel!!! (Sorry, we always want more!) 

Yeah, Courtney, he's totally crushing on Aynslee but he lost his confidence when he was injured. Plus he's worried about starting a relationship with someone when he may be moving to play for another team. So instead of seeing if she's even worth this worry, he just shuts down or runs off before ever asking her out. It's kind of sweet that he's so insecure and worried--I guess we tend to equate physical strength with overconfidence but he's lost his. Once they finally hook up (for lack of a better way to explain it) he's so sweet in how he dotes on her and is definitely swoon worthy. As the time nears for the book to be over and for him to be transferred, he makes a decision NOT to ask her to go with him to his new job. He cares enough about her to not want to make her change her life for him...but FAIL--since he never even gives her a choice. He cares...to a fault.

While it sucked for Aysnlee...I was like, Awwww I can't believe he isn't being a douche and sleeping with her anyways! He was such a genuinely good guy. I hated his bad luck, but I thoroughly enjoyed being in his head. He had to do what was best for him, and was so thoughtful of what she would want to do and think of his decisions. I may've loved him even more because he was the opposite of the usual playboy/starts out a womanizer/has to grow up and almost lose what he wants to realize he's in love. Jordan knew what he wanted and was ready to take the next step with someone. 

Anyslee...is great. She just goes for it. When Jordan doesn't ask her out the first time, she decides to go find him because she just knows she felt the sparks. When the 2nd meeting doesn't go well...the third time she decides to take the bull by the horns and third time is most definitely a charm! Anyslee is so strong and independent. She moves away from home to go to school and when a relationship isn't working after 7 years she breaks it off and moves to a new city all by herself. Wow! I don't know if I would've been so brave as a 20-something. When it looks like he's going to leave for a transfer...once again SHE mans up...and tells him that she will move because he was too scared to ask. 


Aynslee is truly an inspiring girl. She knows what she wants in life, and I think a lot of her independence comes from being a middle child of 8 siblings. As a fellow middle child, I think it sort of makes a difference on how you're able to strike out on your own. You have a guide to see what not to do, but then you also have someone looking up to you to be responsible for your actions. That may have nothing to do with it, but I always ponder a little bit too much. And it gives me faith that I do not have middle-child-syndrome! (Hah!) My favorite parts of the entire story, which was just not long enough...was their conversations. Especially on the airplane when they first meet. Having amazing communication skills with someone is the key to it...so the fact that they discovered it early was special. 


This is a very short and quick read and people who have read the series will enjoy it. I know I did and I hadn't read any of the previous books in the series. If I had any issue with this book, it would be that it's a novella and everything just happens in warp speed and I'm a girl who likes the build up. That being said, I'll definitely read the full length novels in this series because I have a feeling that I will really, really like them.


I agree...I know it was supposed to be a novella, but since I enjoy Toni's writing so much...and the entire Assassin's world...I needed more desperately. I think I will try to re-read the series with you Shel, as you do for me so many times...because they are that good! 


A final favorite scene--when Jordan is at Anyslee's parents' bar and she's on speaker I laughed out loud because that is something that happen to me. Read it and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about! Haha! I loved his reaction too! :-P


I am impatiently, desperately waiting for the next installment Blue Lines...I may have a heart attack on release day! Shel...it will require some hand holding...FYI. I got your back, sistah.


Shelley: 3 1/2 Stars
Courtney: 5 stars

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