J. U. D. E.
He has stolen my heart, and I don’t even want it back.
I try really hard to make sure my reviews are somewhat cohesive and kinda sorta make a bit of sense. Not happening with this one. I’m just going to fangirl for a second and let loose. Wanna know what I loved about this book? EVERYTHING. But let’s assume you might want to know more than that. Let me tell you the pieces that I specifically loved about Boarded by Love.
First and foremost, the connection between Claire and Jude. It’s the epitome of an intense, serious first love. It’s the butterflies. It’s the sweet moments that make you swoon. It’s the first time you KNOW you can’t live without that person. It’s the nervousness knowing your first fight is coming, and terrified of what might come of that. It’s how completely head over heels in love you can fall without even trying. They have that sort of relationship. I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s what I want in a book. Does it get a bit cheesy? Absolutely, and I ate it up. Every single second of it. I wouldn’t change a single thing.
Let’s talk about Jude because he makes my tummy flutter. So I have a list of my top 5 book boyfriends. That list has been pretty set for coming up on 2 years now. I can’t seem to let go of those original guys I met when I started reading this genre. One book switched things up a bit a few months ago, so I assumed that was it for a while. I didn’t see Jude coming because he just demolished that list. I’m so in love with this character. He’s everything you hope for. He’s the hot college playboy. He’s great at everything he does, whether that’s as the star of the hockey team or bedding 75% of the female population at the University of Bellevue. He’s cocky and has reason to be. On top of that, he adores his family. He’s so loyal and protective. He calls his mom because he’s worried about her! I mean, come on! But then you add in that powerful emotion of love and bam, totally different guy. And meeting THAT Jude? Swoon. Heart = Melted into a puddle on the floor. I can’t even. He’s perfection. He’s not afraid to change and welcomes it. He’ll proudly show how in love with Claire he is, and that just makes my little feelings tingle. I. Love. Him. That’s all there is to it.
I also love Claire. I love how determined she is, whether that’s in her relationship with Jude or with her career choices. The girl knows what she wants and that’s what she gets. There is no middle ground, and I think that’s pretty amazing. Granted, part of her reasoning for her career is sad and stems from her horrible past, but she still stays headstrong, and I love that. She’s a fighter and has overcome so much. To see her finally let go and enjoy just being in love was so heartwarming. I wanted to stand up and cheer for her throughout so much of this book. She’s definitely one of my favorite book heroines.
And and and…it’s Toni Aleo. Toni Aleo writing HOCKEY! Is there honestly anything better? I’m gonna say no. I had heard that this was her best book yet. Not to say those people are liars, but I had a hard time accepting that Claire and Jude could be better than Shea and Elli, or Phillip and Reese. Those books blew me away. The reviewers that stated that? Dead. On. It IS her best yet. And what’s even better is that not only is the story her best yet, but you still get all of those Assassins we love as well. Phillip looks great in the fatherly role. To see him in this book, as well as the other characters, was so much like coming home. I loved how protective he was of Claire’s heart. He’s a hard ass towards Jude, but knowing how much Claire means to him and how much he cares…sigh. And he wasn’t the only one protecting her. This quote was one of my favorites:
“I just got threatened by Shea Adler.
That is so fucking cool.”
Love it. I was hoping there would still be plenty of cameo’s from the old gang in this story since it’s a spin-off, and I wasn’t disappointed. Lots of the girls, their hunky players, and their personalities.
Another unique and memorable part of this book is the music. She weaves different songs into certain scenes and it enhanced the entire experience for me. It’s almost like a soundtrack to the book. You won’t be able to help but look up the songs you don’t know, or listening to the ones you do, as soon as it’s mentioned. Not a Bad Thing by JT is now owned by Toni Aleo as far as I’m concerned. You may have remembered a post from me late at night a few days ago that mentioned giggling like a little girl in the middle of the night? It was that scene with that song. You’ll know it when you read it, and it’s as sweet as it gets.
Overall, in my opinion, this is what romance novels are made of. Those picture perfect, romantic moments? Check. Anxiety and heartbreak? Check and check. The warm and fuzzies throughout the entire book? So many checks. It’s tied for my favorite book of the year. I can’t get enough of Toni Aleo hockey players, and she has outdone herself with Boarded by Love.