Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Taking Shots: An Assassins Novel by Toni Aleo


No matter how hard she tries, Elleanor Fisher never thinks she's good enough, from her job to her weight to her love life. After enduring years of abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, Elli has been drifting through life in a daze. Until, that is, she meets Shea Adler on a promotional shoot for the NHL's Nashville Assassins. Before Elli knows what's happening, the gorgeous Shea breaks the ice and shatters her world.

A brilliant athlete inside the rink, Shea Adler is tired of the life he's living outside of it: the women, the money, the drinking. But everything changes when he meets Elli. After laying eyes on this feisty, witty, beautiful woman, he feels like he's just taken the hardest hit of his life. No matter how skeptical she is, Shea knows they are meant to be together—if only he can convince Elli to put her insecurities aside before she misses out on a shot at love.

Review by Rochelle Weber:

Although I’m not a hockey fan by any stretch of the imagination, Taking Shots was a pleasant, somewhat-engaging read. However, it was way too long, and the dialog was extremely stilted. In fact, you can see a sample of the stilted dialog right here in the blurb; “…Shea knows they are meant to be together…” A hockey player would “…know they’re meant…” I can’t begin to list the number of times in Taking Shots where people fail to use contractions. Even Shea’s four year-old nephew says something like “his Unky would not do that.” Really? It’s as though the book’s populated by relatives of Data. There were also spelling issues and misused words.

It’s so sad. I share many of Elli’s issues. My mother, too, was an emotionally abusive alcoholic. When I got engaged, she said, “It’ll never work. He’s too good for you.” I, too, have thyroid issues and have finally lost over a hundred pounds but still have some body image issues; although Elli’s expectations are rather unrealistic. She’s upset that she’s a size ten, and not the size two she was when she was eighteen. I was happy with a fourteen. I was a twelve when I was eighteen, although I’m told sizes have changed since then, so I don’t know what size I would have worn in today’s sizing. At any rate, I’m in my sixties and more comfortable in my skin than Elli. The fact that even I wanted her to just get over it, already, and accept Shea says a lot about the problems in Taking Shots.

As I read the book, I was sure it was self-published. I was wrong. Taking Shots is published by Random House—the “Big Leagues” of publishing. I can’t believe I could look forward to such a poor level of editing if I finally made it to that level of success. Where were Ms. Aleo’s editors? Did they sleep through this manuscript? Half way through the book we knew what Elli’s issues were and even Elli was convinced Shea was in love with her and was in it for the long run. But, somehow, Ms. Aleo managed to draw the story out for another three hundred pages of angst. I finished the book, because I was curious to see what else could possibly happen, but it was put-downable. I really am sorry, Ms. Aleo. You need a better editor. I don’t suppose Random House is hiring sixty-four year-old graduates of Columbia College, Chicago who require their authors to use a whole lot more contractions, drop redundancies, and cut superfluous angst.

Length:  592 Pages
Print:  $11.21
Digital:  $3.99
Audibel Unabridged:
MP3, CD:  $31.49
Wispersync for Kindle:  $2.99

Thanks for visiting. Rose, Julie, Donna, & Rochelle

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