In the Crease (Assassins #12) by Toni Aleo
Jensen Monroe is a unicorn. As handsome as any model, as polite as can be, a goalie of unmatched skill, and the best friend anyone could ask for. But he longs for a particular special someone to make his life complete. He’s been in love with Wren since he was a teenager, but as his best friend’s sister, she’s always been off-limits.
Wren Lemiere has prided herself on being a love ’em and leave ’em girl her whole life. She’s all about equal opportunity in the battle of the sexes. Why should guys like her brother and his best friends get to be the only ones allowed to play the dating game? One wrong move, however, and she finds herself in violation of her own rules.
In need of a fake husband and baby daddy for her unexpected bundle of joy, Wren finally accepts Jensen is the logical one to ask for help. Except he has a counteroffer…one with so many strings attached, they may just find themselves wrapped up in ties that bind. Forever.
l will admit, I started this book not liking Wren. She pulled some seriously shady shit in Delayed Call, with Vaughn, so she had some ground to make up before I ever even got into her story.
But, I want to start with Jensen. He’s one of my top three favorites as far as Assassins go. He is just an all around good guy with a wicked sense of humor. He has to have one with best friends like Vaughn and Wells just to keep up. Everyone loves him and are vocal about protecting him. And, he’s just helped the Assassins bring home the cup. I couldn’t think of a single thing that turned me off about Jensen. Even when he was making excuses for the way Wren acted, he did it because he loved her. The man had a level of devotion that I just didn’t understand, but he owned it.
It was hard for me to find any sympathy for Wren. I got past the shady play she made with Vaughn. She had limited choices, she discovered she made poor life choices, and she was trying to make the best of the situation she found herself in that would allow her save the trust set up for both her and Wells. But, that’s kind of where my understanding stopped. She was completely focused on the money and she came off like the baby was a secondary consideration. I also get that she has some self confidence and body issues. We all do. But, the constant self-trashing started to wear on me pretty quickly. She had a dedicated cheerleader in Jensen and I just kept waiting for the time when he finally threw in the towel. She was almost zealous about listing all her faults at every opportunity and she was quick to judge how others would act before ever giving them a chance to prove her either right or wrong.
So, I was stuck. I kept reading because I wanted Jensen to find his HEA. He deserved one! I fought my irritation with Wren and hoped she pulled her head out before she lost the best thing that happened to her. And, I hoped that she found some way to be happy with her life. She had so much to lose if she fucked up her chance with Jensen. She seemed pretty set on never seeing how he felt about her, so I had that hope, but those hopes were not high.
Then something cool happened. At around 75% in, Wren started to find her happiness. I’m not going to say in what way because, no spoilers. But, she turned my opinion of her on it’s head and I became totally invested in Wren finding her HEA. I didn’t think it was possible. I have to commend Aleo for pulling me back into the story when I was pretty sure that wasn’t possible. Now, she just needs to bring the same happiness to Wells.