Blogger Wife Chat Review ~ Breaking Away ~ Toni Aleo #RAREParis

Posted 23 January, 2019 by Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 12 Comments

Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Blogger Wife Chat Review ~ Breaking Away ~ Toni Aleo #RAREParisBreaking Away by Toni Aleo
Series: Nashville Assassins #6
Published by Selfpublished on June 9, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 299
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Freebie
4.5 Stars

BREAKING AWAY is a story of loss, healing, and love… where unexpected turns and heartache lead to passion.

To Nashville Assassins’ leading scoring center Phillip Anderson, playing hockey has always been easy… as natural as breathing. His life is no different. That’s until his world is turned upside down by the death of his sister. While mourning his loss, Phillip has to find a way to make his very angry sixteen-year-old niece, Claire, happy. Now, as her guardian, he discovers the only thing that seems to heal her lonely heart is dance class. But what he didn’t count on was the attraction he’d feel towards her drop-dead sexy dance teacher.

For Reese Allen, dancing has always been part of her soul. After having her heart broken in New York, she comes home with the determination to make her dance studio one of the best in Tennessee and succeeds. When she sees Claire dance for the first time, she knows the girl is bound for greatness and takes the troubled teen under her wing. Using dance as therapy, she suddenly finds herself bound to the young woman… and her hot-as-sin uncle.

However, Phillip and Reese are happy in their single lives. It’s simple. They do what they want, who they want, and how they want, but from the moment they meet, the attraction is undeniable. Soon, they are more than willing to spend just one night tangled in the sheets. But, one night turns into two, and two turns into three, until they find themselves in a repeated dance of “One Last Time” that has the potential to be something more… if only Reese and Claire allow it.

Can Phillip find a way to thaw the hearts of both the women in his life, or will he be forever trying to break them away from their pasts?

Adult - (un)Conventional Bookviews Contemporary - (un)Conventional Bookviews Hot, hot, hot - (un)Conventional Bookviews Sport - (un)Conventional Bookviews

As you may or may not know, Denise and I are traveling to Europe in late March to visit Lexxie and to attend RAREParis. In an attempt to prepare, at least for RARE, the three of us decided to buddy read books from RARE authors. This is the first of our chat reviews for this amazing list of authors!

FYI – Breaking Away is currently #free!


Brandee: Breaking Away was a great introduction to the series despite it being #6 in the Nashville Assassins series. TAleo never made me feel as if I was missing something while at the same time making me curious enough about the other characters to want to go back and read from the beginning.

Lexxie: I agree! I didn’t feel as if I was missing something, but I sure want to read the five books that were released before this one. 🙂

Denise: I actually never realized it was number 6 until Brandee said something. Definitely did not feel I was missing anything and agree with Lexxie that I want to read more.


First of all, HOCKEY! I liked how TAleo incorporated hockey. Being in the training facility and at the games gave that element depth. I enjoyed how the guys’ dynamics were conveyed as well as how they accepted playing for a female owner. Lex – you have personal experience with hockey. Did TAleo get it right? Denise – did you have fun with the hockey element? Do y’all think hockey players are as hot as I do?!? 😉

I think she got things right, yeah. And you know I love hockey romances. *winks* And of course, having a female owner just brings a little more equality to the plot 🙂

Yes, the hockey element was fun and yes they are very hot. Not sure why hockey as well as other sports stories are so hot.


Dance balanced the sport element. I’m not terribly familiar with dance but Reese – her talent, her studio and students, even the intense competition – it all felt authentic to me. Did y’all the like dance element?

Reese was awesome! And like you, I’m not all that familiar with dancing, apart from loving music, and enjoying watching other people dance 🙂 I thought Reese brought something more to the story, and she was also a great addition for Claire! Because of her passion, and her compassion, she just managed to get other people to open up around her. 

I felt the dance element brought a balance between the characters, they are both athletes just different sports. They both have the discipline and dedication which gives them somewhat of the same base. With Reese, she has an added characteristic of as Lexxie said passion and compassion. Reese brought the calm that Claire needed at that time in her young life.


The hockey/dance elements certainly demonstrated the tenacity, passion, and competitiveness of Reese and Phillip. Were y’all worried that they wouldn’t be able to compromise because of those personality traits?

You’re right! Both the hockey and the dancing meant the characters had a lot of umph! I was not worried that Reese and Phillip might not be able to compromise. But I was worried Reese was going to be so stubborn she let Phillip go. 

I actually was a little worried about Reese. She had such a difficult past with love when she was young I was afraid she was not going to be able to let go and open her heart for another.


Phillip made my heart flutter with how he loved his niece, Claire. I hate the guilt he carried over not stepping in for her sooner because there really wasn’t anything he could have done. He was a kid himself trying to escape the clutches of a drug-addicted family. That he loved Claire so much and wanted to make it up to her made me gooey. And that he didn’t give up on her said a lot about him. How did y’all feel about Phillip’s situation with Claire and how the life they both came from affected them?

I so agree, Brandee! He was way too young! And afterwards, he was busy, competitive, and trying to make a name for himself. And I think that deep down, he wanted to believe his sister when she said that Claire was OK. I thought that the way he was able to put his own feelings aside to make sure that Claire felt loved, safe, and helped her trust again.

He was way too young to have to deal with all of it. He took his sister’s word and was broken when he found out it was not true. The love he showed Claire was soooo gooey. I was a little worried about Claire being able to recover from those years but his love and dedication to her allowed her to heal.


Both Reese and Phillip had suffered terribly when relationships went bad. They both became players in their own right. But meeting each other changed how they thought about commitment. Reese, however, fought her feelings much harder and longer than Phillip. Why do y’all think that is? Yes, they’d both been hurt but Reese had her parents and siblings as role models for loving, strong relationships. Phillip didn’t. I found it interesting. 

I found it interesting that they both were players. And that for the longest time, they were both so sure that they would just have something really casual. And I think that Reese truly thought she’d already had her one chance at love — and because it didn’t work out at all — she felt it was just better to not invest her heart again. Ever. I also really liked having a female character who made absolutely no excuses for her sexuality! That was very refreshing. 

Lexxie, that was my favorite part, the roles were reversed and it was refreshing. I think Reese was so young that when it all happened she just put a stone wall up and it took a lot of chipping to get it to tumble.


TAleo deftly drew complex characters and thereby created a tight-knit community between the hockey team and Reese’s family. I found myself invested in them all and I particularly delighted in the dynamics between Reese and her twin sister, Piper, Piper’s husband and son, and Phillip and Claire. Was there anything about the character development y’all found lacking? Did y’all like watching Reese and Claire grow close as much as watching Reese and Phillip fall?

I became very interested in the side characters too, and I really want to get to know them better, so I’m definitely going back to the beginning of the series.


Overall, I have to say I’m hooked. I definitely want to read the rest of the series…hopefully before RARE 😉 What about y’all?

I’m hooked too! And I want to read the rest, too. Not sure I’ll be able to do so before RARE, though. I’m really happy we’re doing these buddy-reads before you two come to Europe to spend some time with me soon, though 😉

Yes I want to read the series but not sure I will get to it before RARE, I want to read more authors so I know who I want to meet in Paris. I cannot wait till we go to Europe and get to see Lexxie again.


Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Brandee is a mom of 3 and a soon-to-be empty nester. She is also an avid reader, a genre omnivore, and a compulsive one-clicker - but she's in recovery. Besides being a reader, she's also a writer and hopes to divide the vast quantities of spare time she'll soon have between reading and finally publishing her first book.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,077 other subscribers

12 responses to “Blogger Wife Chat Review ~ Breaking Away ~ Toni Aleo #RAREParis

  1. I think I read the very first book in this series about a million years ago. I did a similar thing of trying to read all the authors I hadn’t before NOLA Storycon in 2016. I managed all but 5. It was a good experience. What a great trip – have fun! Anne – Books of My Heart

Thanks for commenting - chat soon!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.