Toni Aleo scores with JUICY REBOUND, the first book in the IceCats series. I had been looking forward to reading Amelia Justice’s story since reading WHEN YOU'RE READY, which was released in the Hockey Holidays Anthology. WHEN YOU'RE READY is Amelia’s parents’ book. The ending of the novella started Amelia’s story prior to JUICY REBOUND. In JUICY REBOUND, Amelia runs into her college crush and brother’s best friend, Chandler Moon, who is a defenseman for the South Carolina IceCats. Amelia’s brother is Ryan Justice from book four in the Bellevue Bullies series, END GAME. Both, Amelia and Chandler are in that story.
I loved JUICY REBOUND. Amelia and Chandler are both divorced and scarred from their previous marriages. They were interested in each other in college but since Chandler is Ryan’s best friend, Amelia was off limits. I love that these two get a chance together. Ryan and Amelia are the perfect people to help each other heal.
The character development was noteworthy. Amelia is the niece of Shea Adler (TAKING SHOTS, Nashville Assassins book #1); needless to say a lot of the characters have been around for a while and made many appearances in multiple books and series. Toni Aleo does a fantastic job of making the characters feel believable and grow throughout the series. They are not perfect. They are relatable. The characters have weaknesses and strengths. They have high and low points. In this story, Amelia is trying to come off a low point. She hasn’t spoken to her family in four years. She’s embarrassed and trying to make a new life for herself. Chandler is at a high point in his career but not in his personal life. Chandler is an amazing guy. He is patient and kind. Amelia has lost her confidence and on the journey to healing.
The plot was relevant and skillfully executed. I love the similarities between Amelia’s and Chandler’s story and her parents’ life. Amelia is a lot like her mom and Chandler is like Amelia’s dad, James. It’s sweet and heartwarming. I don’t think I have read a book by Toni Aleo that hasn’t made me cry; JUICY REBOUND was no exception. I love that Toni Aleo’s books tug your heartstrings. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.