Jude Sinclair is a captain of his college hockey team the Bellevue Bullies. He is the ultimate ladies’ man, never even considering a relationship until he meets Claire Anderson. Claire has trust issues as a result of a difficult life. She is also keeping a secret that she’s not sure how Jude will react to.
I fell in love with Claire in Breaking Away (Assassins #5). I was so happy that we got to hear her story. This was really a great way to start a spin off series. There are quite a few professional hockey romances out there. I like the idea of this series revolving around a college hockey team. Especially if it includes Jude’s brothers.
Claire is a wonderful heroine. We learn more about her difficult childhood in Boarded by Love. You do not need to read Breaking Away to understand what is going on, but if you are like me and have read it, you will already be invested in Claire before even starting this book. I enjoyed watching her further grow and mature. I understand her need for independence but was a little frustrated with her not wanting to rely on the people that love her, especially her uncle, Phillip. She is a strong character that deserves a break and good things to happen to her.
I enjoyed Jude. His dad is a total jerk. I’m glad that Jude’s personality didn’t suffer as a result. The rest of his family is awesome. I appreciated that his family is important to him. I like that Jude recognized his flaws and took ownership of them. He is definitely confident and a heartwarming hero who was very likeable. I also, loved that Claire’s multiple Nashville Assassin protectors didn’t scare Jude away, because they are intimidating.
I found the whole social media aspect of the story fascinating. I adored their texts. When I was in college, no one even carried a cell phone so things were a lot different than they are today. Didn’t date myself there, did I?
I wasn’t sure what I thought of the team mascot. When I heard Bellevue Bullies the first thing that came to mind was a bully or tormentor; when it is actually a bull, complete with horns. It makes much more sense and works with Bellevue. I could totally picture to logo on their hockey jerseys.
I love that the story is written in multiple viewpoints. I think it really adds to the story hearing both Jude’s and Claire’s sides of the situations.
The plot was very original and carefully thought out. So many different things happened that I did not want to put the book down. Not once did I want to skip ahead, every page held me captivated.
I loved the reason for the hockey fight at the end of the story. I thought the entire scene was amusing, and I could totally see something like that happening in real life.
Toni Aleo created a fantastic new series in Bellevue Bullies. This is one series I already put on my wish list for future books. I can’t wait for the next book, Clipped by Love, to be released in 2015.