Boarded by Love (Bellevue Bullies, #1) by Toni Aleo
Publisher: Toni Aleo
Publication Date: September 6th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Sports
Pages: 355
Format: kindle book
Source: purchased

"Jude Sinclair here, hockey player for the Bellevue Bullies and lover of all ladies. Hockey’s in my blood, and not to sound full of myself, but

I’m good at it…really good. The draft is within my reach—it’s mine to take—but that’s not the only reason people know my name. They know me because of my way with women. They know the score, and I aim to please. I just tend to stay away from repeat performances. In other words, I don’t do relationships beyond my family and friends. I’m happy with life. However, I should warn you that my story and how I see it playing out is about to change due to a certain redhead on campus.

She’s beautiful. Stunning. Breathtaking.

She’s my game changer."

"He’s trouble from the moment I see him. I don’t know what I’m thinking, but from the moment I meet his gaze, I’m his. It’s a scary feeling.

I’ve never trusted anyone outside my aunt and uncle—and even that took months. I didn’t have it easy growing up. My mom was usually strung out, and she didn’t give me a second thought. Drugs and the men who paid her were more important to her. It was horrible, but I’m stronger today. Because of my past, security is what I need most. Money assures me that I can take care of myself today, tomorrow, and next month. I don’t want to ever be hungry or go without again, so I work hard for every penny.

Oh, by the way, I’m Claire Anderson. I’m a hard-studying sophomore at the University of Bellevue, dancer for the school dance team, and a burlesque dancer at a club, but that’s my secret.You may think you know how our story ends, but you have no clue. It’s not easy falling in love… or living happily ever after. At first it may seem so, but when is anything worth having ever won without a fight?

Especially when you’re boarded by love."

This was my first Toni Aleo book and I can see why she has a big following.  The writing was good and the characters were fun.  And, for anyone who’s read her other books, they get to meet up with previous characters and see how they’re doing – always exciting for those who’ve committed to a series of books.  This was my first, but that didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story.  And, even though the plot of the book wasn’t new, playboy hockey hero falls for a girl with a secret, there was a lot to enjoy here.

I liked how Jude and Claire impacted each other’s lives and, even though this was definitely an insta-love story, there were enough other elements to keep me interested.   There was some light, romantic banter between these two, and their chemistry was strong.  Jude was fully committed to Claire and, even though she was keeping a very large secret, I was fairly sure he’d figure out how to make things work.  Claire’s life hasn’t always been easy and, even though she’d gotten passed that, thanks to the caring and kindness of her uncle, it’s still difficult for her to let go of the past.  Old wounds take a long time to heal and she’s doing what she thinks she needs to to never go back to her past life.  In the end her insecurities could have cost her her most prized relationships but, even with all the angst, cooler heads prevailed and love won out.

This will likely not be my last Toni Aleo book.  I love that she writes about sexy hockey players and strong women…and, of course, I’m a sucker for a love story.  Overall, this was a good start to this series and a good introduction for me to a new author.  Now I just have to decide what to read next.

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