Literary, etc is an eclectic blog where we talk & review books, films, & whatever strikes our mood.
Toni Aleo’s BLUE LINES is the fourth book in her Assassins series. If you haven’t read any of the books in the series, I don’t think it’s necessary to do so to enjoy BLUE LINES. Just keep in mind that Aleo does revisit past characters and touches upon past events, but no big spoilers that will impede you from enjoying the books at a later date.
I wasn’t sure how Aleo was going to redeem Erik because he’s a jerk of the first order and I admit to wanting to strangle him. Let me give Aleo a high-five for redeeming him when I didn’t think it was possible.
Character development is a little weak and I think it’s because we’ve known that Piper has a crush on Erik. It’s been said more than once in the previous novels and so I think it takes out a bit of the magic in meeting characters. Despite that, I loved Piper! She’s the free spirited Allen daughter and jumps from job to job. No one in her family takes her seriously and I don’t fault her for keeping things to herself especially keeping quiet about her pregnancy. I really liked that she wasn’t going to be dependent on a man to help raise her child and isn’t afraid to let Erik know how she feels. I mentioned wanting to strangle Erik and even though I wanted to, once you know his personal history, it is easy to be sympathetic towards him. Although at times you want to shake some sense into him. Erik was interesting because he’s had a difficult childhood that makes him not want to fall in love. I most enjoyed getting to know Erik and what makes him the person he is. We have a few secondary characters that make an appearance and they are past characters. I most particularly enjoyed getting to know Phillip a little more (he’s Erik’s best friend and teammate).
Narrative is third person and typical of Aleo’s writing. It’s been such a treat seeing her writing improve. My only real compliant is how Aleo handles Erik’s contract renewal. By the time Erik meets with Elli (readers familiar with the series know Elli is now co-owner of the team and married to the team’s captain) she knows about the pregnancy. I’m not going to go into details about it because I don’t want to give spoilers, but if Erik suspects it is because of Piper, no doubt you will too. It’s never resolved in terms of Erik’s suspicions and one has to assume that Elli would be professional and wouldn’t let personal politics factor into her decision.
What I really enjoyed about BLUE LINES is the relationship between Piper and Erik and how it develops. Plus I like how family is important to Erik and adored how he’s willing to sacrifice his own personal insecurities to make Piper’s relationship with her family a little smoother. In many ways, BLUE LINES is a marriage of convenience story and I do enjoy those because I love seeing the characters surprise at falling in love.
If you like your bad boys bad to the bone, you’ll love Toni Aleo’s BLUE LINES. Now I’m anxiously anticipating Phillip’s story.