End Game - Toni Aleo

Toni Aleo leads the league with END GAME, the fourth book in the Bellevue Bullies series. Senior, Ryan Justice, is hoping to make the NHL draft. Sofia Castilleja is a freshman on Bellevue’s new gymnastics team. Neither one of them planned on letting a relationship distract them from their goals. END GAME takes place in Nashville, Tennessee. This contemporary sports romance is suitable for new adult audiences.

Ah, Ryan Justice swoon. Ryan is Shae Adler’s nephew (Assassin’s series). He is the son of Shae’s twin sister, Grace. He goes through a great deal emotionally in this story. He does some soul searching. He is a great big brother and cousin. He is the oldest of the Adler/Justice kids. As a result, he wants to set a good example, and not disappoint anyone. He is protective, thoughtful, and smart.

Sofia is Ryan’s younger sister, Amelia’s roommate/teammate. She was once destined to be in the Olympics, but an injury shattered that dream. Now she is at Bellevue on a full gymnastic scholarship. I enjoyed her character. She never really had good friends growing up. Her life was all about gymnastics. She is hard working and determined. She is very concerned for her mother who has MS. She wants to make sure she is successful, so she can help provide for her.

I like how the story starts out on Halloween. The matching Halloween costumes of the Adler/Justice clan is classic. It shows how close the two families are.

I love when Sofia and Ryan meet. Ryan is not used to girls not throwing themselves at him. Sofia has no experience with boys and is nervous around them. Ryan is very determined to get Sofia to go out with him. They are adorable together. They have a lot in common and make each other stronger.

The plot was skillfully executed. I love how Sofia’s sponsorship played out. Ryan had some interesting obstacles. I swear Toni Aleo always makes me cry. Her stories are heartfelt and meaningful. This story is a good example of how life doesn’t always take you on the path you wanted but your life can be just as rewarding or possibly more so. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.