Publication Date: September 5, 2012
Source: Received from author for review.
Definition of an Empty Net: When a team pulls the goalie for an extra attacker, desperately seeking a goal.
Audrey Parker was in a horrible place.
She hated her job, her sister was getting married and moving out, but worst of all, she was in love with a total jerk. No matter what she did, every guy she met hurt her. All she wanted was her happily ever after. Her Prince Charming. Her Lucas Brooks! She didn’t know how to change her life but she knew she needed too.
Feeling like she was about to hit rock bottom, Audrey wakes up next to Tate Odder.
Tate Odder had lost everything.
After being brought up from the Assassins’ farm team, the Florida Rays to the Nashville Assassins, Tate hopes he’ll forget everything he has lost. He doesn’t. Each day gets harder to live in a place he doesn’t know. Even being the first rookie goalie to shut out an opposing team three times during the Lord Stanley Cup Finals, he still felt empty. With the loss of his parents and sister still heavy on his heart, Tate isn’t sure how to live like everything is okay.
But when he wakes up beside Audrey Parker, things start to change. She turns his life upside down with her kooky sense of humor and her bright clothing. She is intelligent and beautiful, and for once, he doesn’t feel empty.
Will Audrey be the person to fill the holes in Tate’s heart, making him whole again?
Or will another player ruin everything, leaving him feeling forever like an empty net?
Audrey and Tate are both in a bad place. Audrey is coming off of a bad, bad romance with Levi (who gives me stabby rage) and feels that she'll be alone forever. Tate actually is alone, having lost his entire family in an accident and being recently traded to Nashville. After a steamy hook-up, Tate wants more, but Audrey is convinced they aren't meant to be. But Tate won't give up so easily and is willing to do whatever it takes to convince Audrey to take a chance on love.
Audrey and Tate are both introduced to the series in book two, Trying to Score. With his boyish charm and shy nature, I was looking forward to reading Tate's story. And he definitely made the wait worth it. He's just so sweet that I want to squeeze him! Seriously, any woman would be lucky to have a guy like that. I was also looking forward to getting to know Audrey. She was such a great sister, aunt and all-around supporter in Trying to Score. But man, does she have terrible taste in men. And though I understand why she would be a little hesitant to get involved with Tate, I wanted to shake Audrey and tell her to "wake up!". But really, Audrey is a super fun, extremely dramatic character and is very entertaining at times.
Empty Net started nicely, but the first half of the story seemed to move fairly slow, in my opinion. I was aware of Audrey's hesitations and issues, and I understand, but I was ready for things to go ahead and move forward. Call me impatient. The second half of Empty Net did move at a nice pace, particularly the last twenty-five percent. And talk about DRAMA. I'll give Toni Aleo some major credit, she knows how to deliver the drama.
Empty Net was a story that I liked, though not as much as the Taking Shots and Trying to Score. I think that I just didn't connect as much to the characters and passion as I did in the others, but Lucas Brooks is pretty hard to top. I think if you're a fan of the series, or of funny and passionate adult romance, you should give Empty Net a try.
(Tate and Audrey talking about the family winery.)
"...they all think that since Fallon loves it, that I do too, but really I hate that place. I don't like wine, I hate grapes, and I think being a customer service rep blows.'
Tate chuckled, leaning against his knees, 'Tell me how you really feel, Audrey.'" (eARC, 21%)
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