Ryan Justice is more than the little boy we met in Taking Shots. He is now a man in his senior year in college, hoping to make it into the NFL, much like his Uncle Shea. Sophia, once an Olympic hopeful, finds herself on the new gymnastics team at Bellevue. When these two meet, sparks instantly fly. They are determined not to engage in relationships, both determined to stay the course of their lives, but fate has other plans. This was such an amazing story, one I didn’t want to end. If you haven’t read the other books in this series, you won’t miss anything. I definitely recommend End Game, and it’s one of my top reads this year.
Oh. My. Heavens the feels in this story!! If you’ve been a fan of Toni Aldo’s Assassins Series, then you are gonna LOVE this new Bellevue Bullies story! Ryan James Justice stole a piece of my heart as the adorable nephew to Shea Adler in Taking Shots. As an adult coming into his own, Ryan brought so much emotion. He’s all the best of his parents and his uncle. Smart, talented and handsome he’s a full package. He has goals for sure, and back ups for the goals. But nothing prepares him for the spitfire that is Sofia Castilleja. This ultra driven gymnast rocks Ryan’s world, and he rocks hers albeit reluctantly. There was so much beautiful about this pairing. So much that reflected both Shea and Elli’s love as well as Grace and James. I love these people! They are crazy and wonderful. Toni Aleo did a fantastic job crafting not only Ryan and Sofia’s love, but also their struggles. It was real and heartfelt and I loved every word!!
Toni is back and I am one happy camper! I loved everything about this book. I was behind excited knowing we got another Bellevue Bullies book and it didn’t disappoint.
Ryan and Sofia’s story was perfect. Watching these two discover so many firsts with each other is what made this story for me. You saw them each grow and learn about love, relationships and life outside of their sport. You felt their heartache and you felt their joy. I couldn’t get over how perfect they were for each other. Everything about them for each other perfectly, as if they were made for each other.
I might have to say this is my book, but then again every book of Toni’s is my favorite.
Quite possibly my favorite Toni Aleo book!! I love the strength that all of the characters possessed. It’s not easy to make some of the choices that they did. But they knew what they wanted. I can’t wait for the next one.
I love that Toni is finally starting to give us the kids of the The Assassins series. Ryan is the nephew of Shea Adler who we meet in the first book, Taking Shots.
Ryan is now a senior in college trying to make it to the NHL, also attending his same college is his sister, Amelia who is a gymnast. Sofia is also a gymnast and Amelia’s roommate.
When Ryan sees Sofia for the first time, he’s hooked. He has this need to know her and know everything about her, but there is a slight problem. She wants nothing to do with him.
I thought this was a sweet story about first love. I loved getting the glimpses of Shea and Elli and all their kids in the book too.
The meaning of ‘end game’ varies based on its context. If someone asked a high school senior what his/her end game is, I’m sure they would respond with the college they plan to attend and the degree they plan to achieve. But in the sports’ world, a place where possibilities seem endless, the ultimate end game for any athlete is to reach the professional level…to get paid for a sport s/he loves and to reap the benefits of everything that s/he gave up and endured in order to reach that pinnacle of success.
The end game for Ryan Justice who’s a senior in college and Sofia Castilleja who’s a freshman in college, while slightly different due to their collegiate level, center on the sport that they’ve dedicated their lives to, making the ultimate goal for Ryan – the NHL – and for Sofia, a solid four years as a gymnast for the Bellevue Bullies and a chance to take her gymnastic skills to the highest level.
Due to Ryan and Sofia’s goal driven game plan along with their determination and ambition to succeed, neither one wanted any form of distraction to invade their life, but sometimes, the best kind of complication is the one that no one sees coming, and while it makes that person question what s/he wants out of life and if his/her dreams are worth sacrificing, ultimately, what matters most is what that person can’t live without, and for Ryan and Sofia, even though it takes them a bit to realize what their heart was telling them from their very first encounter, their end game changes and expands to include more than just the sport they love, which offers more opportunities to live, to love, and to be happy.
I really enjoyed how Toni Aleo set up Ryan and Sofia’s story line. Aleo does a great job of illustrating who these two dynamic athletes are, but she also allows readers to see who they are as human beings as well. Their attraction to one another was instantaneous, but they both fought it, which I think adds realism to the story; Ryan and Sofia have been focused on their sports 100%, so a distraction of someone who intrigues them…someone who they seem to connect with…someone who they have chemistry with could take their eyes off of their end game, and at the beginning, they don’t know much about each other, but once they get to know each other, all bets are off and things between them start to heat up, forcing them to take a hard look at their goals…at their desires…at the idea that maybe there’s more to life than a sport and the need to be the best at it.
I’m a sports romance fanatic and each and every time I read one of Toni Aleo’s hockey romances, I’m reminded of just why I love this troupe. Ryan and Sofia’s story is a great read that explores people’s goals and dreams and what they’re willing to do when they’re end game becomes about so much more than they ever thought it would.
4.5 Poison Apples (The Fairest of All Book Reviews)
Ryan Justice is etering into his senior year at Bellevue, focusing only on making it into the NHL draft. Enter Sofia Castilleja, a gymnast on the new Bellevue gynastics team and his sister;s (Amelia)new best friend/roomate. While Ryan maybe questioning himself anout his hockey kills and ability to get into the NHL, he doesn’t waver in his interest in Sofia form the moment he lays eyes on her. Sofia rebuffs him in the beginning, unsure of herself becasue of her lack of experience with guys up to this point. Luckily, Ryan is persistent ans had Amelia on his side to her wim Sofia over.
Sofia came to Bellevue for one thing only, get an education to allow her to open up her own gym. She wants noo distractions and Ryan is a major distraction that becomes more enticing with every interation she has with him.
These two together compliment each other so well. They are sweet, considerate and encourage each toher, This is a couple that is stronger together, balancing each other out and truly listening to each other. Will these two be able to make it work while achieving their individual dreams or will they be each other’s first love but not the last?
Get ready for all the feels that Toni Also always brings to her books.
Another great addition to the Assassins/ Bellevue Bullies Series!
This book The End Game took my breath away...I guess I was among the readers who cried in the beginning, not going to lie. I would recommend reading the author’s first book Taking Shots in the Assassins series. That will help you know who Ryan Justice is. I have to say I really loved this book. I had always wondered about Shea Adler’s nephew Ryan after reading Twenty-Two, now I’m so glad to hear his story. Ryan is a senior and a hockey player on the Bellevue Bullies hockey team. His dream, ever since his “unka” Shea Adler suited him up when he was 3 years old, was to be a hockey player in the NHL. But for some reason his coach doesn’t seem to be behind him. Ryan meets Sofia Castilleja at his gymnast sister Amelia’s first competition for Bellevue GymBulls. Ryan is not ready for a serious girlfriend but he has the hots for her. Sofia is at Bellevue on a full ride scholarship from a sponsor and all she wants to do is compete on the new gymnastics team, get great grades, and open up a gym to train future gymnastics after she graduates. She is not ready for a boyfriend and makes him work for a date. Ryan’s life could be better. He feels stressed playing hockey but loves the internship on his Aunt Ellie Assassins hockey team as a trainer. He is really excelling at being a trainer, but he feels guilty he enjoys it better than being a hockey player. So while Ryan and Sofia are getting close, Ryan has so many decisions to make. All I can say this was an excellent book with all the twists and turns and what we expect will happen. Please try it out, it will make you cry and laugh.
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review*
As a long time fan of Toni Aleo's books, I figured I would enjoy this book, but I was really unprepared for how much I would love it, as well as for how it really touched me.
To be honest, I was a little concerned with how I would feel about Ryan Justice getting hot and heavy when previously I had known him as the cute little boy from Taking Shots who idolized his "Unky Shea." However, I quickly forgot about that and Ryan is now my book boyfriend. Not only is he a sexy hockey player, but he is probably the most caring and sweetest man I have ever read about. He is so easy to fall in love with that you have to admire how Sofia managed to hold out on him for as long as she did! If he would have set his sights on me in college, I would not have resisted one bit! It took me a little longer to like Sofia, but soon I realized how strong she really was and that she was the perfect match for Ryan. If you are a gymnastics fan, then you will really love reading about her.
It was great to catch up with the Adler/Justice family (even if it did kind of make me feel old seeing all the kids grown up), and I am really hoping for a book about Ryan's sister, Amelia. She is a force to be reckoned with and I can't wait to see what is in store for her!
Whether this is your first Assassins/Bullies book or you have been reading the series since the beginning, this book is going to break your heart. It will heal you by the end but first it will hurt a bit. At the same time, you will also laugh and enjoy every part of it!