Release Day Blitz: Twenty-Two (Assassins #11.5) by Toni Aleo

Posted May 22, 2017 by bookstobreathe in Book Blitz/Promo, New Release / 0 Comments

Release Day Blitz: Twenty-Two (Assassins #11.5) by Toni AleoTitle: Twenty-Two
Author: Toni Aleo
Series: Assassins #11.5
Published by Self-Published
Release Date May 22, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Sports Romance
Pages: 70
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase From: Amazon US
Purchase From: Barnes & Noble
Purchase From: iTunes
Purchase From: Kobo
When Lucas Brooks was traded to the Nashville Assassins over a decade ago, he was a brash, brawling hothead without an anchor.

Well, four kids and a smokin' hot wife will weigh you down real fast, but Lucas wouldn't change a minute of his happily ever after.

During an epic, end-of-season quest for the Cup, changes appear on the horizon, and suddenly, there's a plot twist in Lucas's fairy tale.

Title: Twenty-Two

Series: Assassins #11.5

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Sports Romance

Author: Toni Aleo

Release Date: May 22, 2017

Chapter One

The Brooks Family

“I want to watch SpongeBob!”

“No! Ariel!”

“Yeah! Mermaid! I wanna watch Ariel!”

Lucas Brooks covered his face with his hands before he yelled from his bedroom, “There are nine TVs in this house! Separate!”

“But she has the popcorn!”

“And he has the milk!”

“Daddy, I want to be with Asher!”

“Why are they eating popcorn at seven a.m.?”

Groaning, he looked over at his wife, who was cuddled deep into the bed, her dark brown hair covering her face as her thick, plump lips pursed out toward him. He almost leaned over and kissed her, but he was exhausted. “I don’t know. Where is Aiden?”

“I don’t know.”

“What’s the point of having an older kid if he isn’t going to care for the crazy little ones?”

“I don’t think that’s why we had them so far apart.”

Lucas scoffed. “Says you.”

Fallon giggled as she scooted over toward him, cuddling into his shoulder. Both of them knew the real reason for the big age gap between their children, though they never talked about it anymore. In their eyes, they did this on purpose and, really, it didn’t matter because they were happy.

“Mom! Asher won’t give me some milk!”

“Stella backwashes!”

“Mommy! I’m thirsty! Can I have some sweet tea?”

“Daddy, I want tea!”

“What in the hell?” Lucas muttered, staring at the ceiling as Fallon continued to giggle.

“Why are they up so early? The game was late.”

“Who knows? I’m exhausted.”

“So am I,” Lucas groaned, and he was. He felt the pain all over his body from the big win over St. Louis that advanced the Assassins to the second round. His whole body was aching. He wasn’t like his young self that bounced back after a hard-fought game. No, Lucas Brooks needed a good week after a game like the one the night before. It had gone into overtime, and the Blues had been playing desperate hockey. But by the grace of God, Jensen Monroe didn’t let any in, and Vaughn Johansson scored the winning goal. Vaughn had wanted to make his night even better since he had just proposed to his girlfriend and found out she was pregnant. So last night’s win was a biggie for everyone. Though, Lucas wished he had a solid month to recuperate before the next one. But he didn’t. He only had a few days of rest before the second round started.

“But, really, where is Aiden?”

“I have no clue.”

“Text him.”

“That means I have to move,” he complained, and she rolled her eyes before throwing her arm behind her to find her phone. Bringing it to her face, she dialed their son’s number, putting the call on speaker.

“Hello?”

 Lucas closed his eyes. Aiden’s manly voice still was like a punch to the gut. His baby was growing, fast, and it was killing him slowly. “Baby, where are you?”

Aiden let out an exasperated breath. “Out front, where I always am. Where are you?”

Fallon looked to Lucas as he looked back at her. “Excuse me?”

“Oh my God, Mom, did you forget I had training for summer league this morning?”

Throwing the blankets off, she sat up. “Not at all. I’m running late.”

“You forgot!”

Lucas laughed as Fallon shot daggers from her eyes. “I did not! I’m coming.”

“If you would let me drive, this wouldn’t be a problem,” Aiden reminded her.

“If you cut your hair, maybe we’d buy you a car,” Lucas called out, and Aiden laughed.

“You’re just jealous I have hair!”

“Hush it, both of you. I’m coming,” she said, hanging up the phone and throwing on some sweat pants. “I can’t believe I forgot.”

“I can’t believe he went after not getting home until midnight last night.” She shot Lucas a deadpan expression. “Okay, I can. I would have.”

“Exactly. He’s his daddy’s son.”

Lucas grinned. “He is.” Then he glared, running his hands along his thinning hair. “I have good hair, right?”

She laughed. “Yes, baby, lots of great hair.”

“He has more.”

“He’s going through puberty.”

He raised a brow. “I think he’s past that.”

She shook her head. “I don’t know if we can wait till his birthday to give him a car, Lucas,” she said, pulling her hair up as she glanced back at him.

“That’s all you, babe. I told you to give him mine, and I’ll go get a new truck.”

“He wants a sports car.”

“And I don’t give two fucks. That kid isn’t going to be driving a better car than what I had. He can have a nice Ford and be happy, or he can walk—if his momma would let him.”

“What does that mean?”

“You’re overprotective as hell.”

“I am not.”

“You are.”

She glared. “But he is a good kid, Lucas.”

“The best, and he’ll be happy with my Ford.”

“Ugh, okay,” she groaned before leaning down and kissing his lips. He savored her for a moment, grabbing her butt.

“Can we make him wait a bit longer to be picked up?”

She chuckled, desire flashing in her eyes. “I doubt you can move.”

He looked sad. “I can’t.”

She laughed as she kissed him again. “Can we give the car to him today?”

“Tomorrow.”

Her brows rose. “Why tomorrow?”

“Because I can’t move, and I have to go buy a new car for me.”

She laughed, smacking his chest, which made him wince. “I’ll be back.”

“Be careful,” he called as she headed out of the room just as Emery ran right into her.

Picking up their youngest, Fallon kissed her loudly on the lips.

“Be good.”

“Me?” Emery asked.

“You.”

“Why?”

“Because you want cake at sissy’s birthday, don’t you?”

“Oh! I’ll be good!”

Fallon rolled her eyes, placing their daughter on her feet before waving back at Lucas.

Emery ran to him, jumping on the bed and breaking his bones further. He groaned out as Emery cuddled into him, and he closed his eyes. “Daddy.”

“Yes, love?”

“I love you.”

He smiled into her hair, kissing her temple as his arms came around her, holding her tight. He’d never known he could love any child as much as he loved Aiden. Lucas could still recall the first moment he saw his son. Outside of Fallon’s house, begging her for a chance to reconnect after seven years of separation, but then Aiden walked out, and Lucas knew. Aiden was his son, and boy, did he fall in love. Head over heels for the kid. Lucas never thought any kid could come close to his love for Aiden, but then Asher came.

His spunky, dry-humored little geek. The kid was always on his computer, always busy making something, and damn smart. Asher was great on the ice, though Lucas didn’t think he’d go far with it. He was too obsessed with computers and rebuilding them. His first love wasn’t the ice; it was making things tick. But Lucas was proud nonetheless, especially considering the fact that Aiden’s drive to make it to the NHL was enough for the whole family.

In all reality, Lucas had been set with two great boys. But then, by the grace of God, came Stella. His little diva. She looked just like Fallon, breathtakingly stunning with big brown eyes and thick brown hair. She had her momma’s looks, and God help him, her mouth too. Those two went at it daily, mostly about clothes and hair, but his little girl had his heart, and of course, he was wrapped around her finger.

That was it…until Emery came. She was a complete surprise, but in a way, she was the missing piece in their lives. Their family had been off-balance and needed her quirky little brand of badass. While Emery favored both Fallon and him physically, she had his demeanor with Fallon’s mouth. It was a bad combination because while she was ruining your life, she was making you feel right about it. Unlike her sister, Emery didn’t care about hair or clothes. She cared about being a fairy princess, which, for an almost four-year-old, he figured was logical.

But she was daddy’s princess.

Holding his sweet baby, he couldn’t help the grin on his lips, though he was aching in spots he hadn’t even thought he could ache. He had taken a hard hit into the boards, coming down and slamming his head on the ice. Thank God for a helmet because his brain would have been scrambled eggs if not. But he was feeling every bit of it now. Though, he couldn’t think of that. All he could think about was how much his life had changed. He used to be a lonely bachelor, living life in the fast lane and enjoying the NHL. But when he moved to Nashville, everything changed. Fallon happened. And now, Lucas couldn’t imagine his life without her and their kids. Between playing and being his kids’ biggest fan, he didn’t see any other point to life.

Oh, yeah, and loving Fallon.

But that came naturally.

That woman was his world.

Everything was great in the Brooks household. Now, if only his body could stop hurting and aching, things would be grand. Oh, and if his kids could stop growing. And he needed the Assassins to bring home the Cup.

Yup, then Lucas Brooks would be a happy man.

“I love you too, love bug.”

“Can I still have cake if I’m bad?”

“What did Momma say?”

She pouted. “Do you love cake, Daddy?”

“I do.”

“Me too.”

He smiled, kissing her head. “I know, love bug.”

“Can we watch Ariel?” She sat up, her eyes wide and gray like his. She had Fallon’s lips, though, and the shape of her face. Her hair was in pigtails with big pink bows in them that he was sure Stella had put in. “Please. You’re my favorite daddy.”

“I’m your only daddy.”

She nodded. “And my favorite.”

He smiled. “Do I have to move?”

She thought that over. “No.”

“Then, yes.”

***

Pulling up in front of Aiden’s private school, Fallon hit the brakes, slamming forward as she looked over to where Aiden was standing, shaking his head. Gone was her baby, replaced by a hormone-driven monster with long hair. Actually, he was the greatest kid in the world and she loved him more than anything, but God, she hated his hair. He looked like a damn fool, especially with that stupid man bun. But boy was he handsome. Just like his daddy, he had a strong bone structure, thick, dark brows, and dark gray eyes. He was beautiful, and if she didn’t know he was a good kid, she’d lock him up.

Opening the back, he threw in his bag. “Hey, Mom.”

“Hey, honey.”

“Hey, Aiden.”

Fallon about broke her neck trying to see who was calling her son’s name. She saw a pair of girls standing beside the stairs in what she felt were too short skirts. Sure, they were cheerleading skirts, but still. Fallon glared as Aiden turned, tipping his chin at them. “Hey.”

“Are you going to the dance on Friday?”

“Probably not, I’ve got a game.”

One of them puckered her lips. “Can’t you come after?”

He shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ll let you know. Have a good practice.”

“Okay, I’ll save you a dance.”

When he flashed her a grin, his dimples shining in all their precious glory, Fallon shook her head.

There was Lucas Brooks reincarnated.

“Cool. See ya.”

Closing the back, Aiden walked around, and she swore he had grown another inch or so.

Opening the door, he climbed in and looked over at her. “You know, being the oldest, I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to be forgotten. Emery is.”

Fallon glared. “Shut up. I’m exhausted. It was a late night. How did you even get here?”

“Brayden’s mom drove me, like you asked her to at practice.”

Fallon paused as she moved the shifter of her van into Drive. “I did, didn’t I?”

“You did,” he said dryly, throwing his legs up on the dash as he started to play on his phone.

“Hmm. Hey, at least I got that far,” she decided, hitting the gas.

“Thank God.”

“Practice was good?”

“Great. Coach is happy with me.”

“Good.”

“Heard Bellevue is looking at me.”

Fallon glanced over at him. “From whom?”

“Coach.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah, he said I should talk to my counselor.”

“For what?”

“I have enough credits to graduate this summer and start over there if I wanted.”

Fallon’s heart stopped. “You just turned seventeen.”

“Yeah?”

“Do you want that?”

“Yeah,” he laughed, looking over at her. “Mom, I want to go to college so I can go into the draft. The Sinclair brothers all went to Bellevue. I need that exposure before I enter the draft.”

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Too much. This was her baby. Her firstborn and he was ready to go.

He was itching for the NHL. He wanted to play like his father. He wanted to live his hockey dreams, and all she wanted was for him to go back to fighting hippogriffs. “Talk to your father about this. You’re making my head hurt.”

Aiden laughed. “Mom, I’m getting older. I’m practically a m—”

“Shut your dirty mouth, Aiden James Brooks.”

He laughed harder as she turned down the main road. “Where we going?”

“Audrey’s.”

“Why?”

“I gotta get some donuts she made for your father for winning last night, and then I gotta approve the cake she’s making for Stella’s birthday next weekend.”

“Do I have to go to that?”

She flashed him a dirty look. “You mean your sister’s birthday?”

“Yeah.”

“Of course you do. You’re the damn crab, Sebastian.”

“You’re kidding.”

“No,” she said simply. “I hope the costume fits.”

“Oh my God.”

“I even hired a photographer. So when you’re in the NHL and they need those pictures of you growing up, I’ll have that one.”

“You’re horrible.”

“I try.”

He scoffed, and she grinned over at him before pulling onto the road that held Audrey Jane’s. “So, who were those girls?”

“Addy and Melissa.”

“Your fans?”

“Everyone is my fan,” he said, waggling his eyebrows, and she laughed. “I’m practically a hockey-playing god, Mom.”

“All right, pump the brakes there, mister. You’re no Vaughn Johansson.”

Aiden laughed. “JoJo is amazing.”

“He is, but he’s cocky as all hell,” she said simply, pulling into Audrey Jane’s and

parking beside her baby sister’s car. Getting out, they went inside just as Fallon’s niece, Penelope, hollered out, “Welcome to Audrey Jane’s!”

Fallon beamed as Aiden ran after Penny, gobbling her up and tickling her before Audrey came out of the back, a grin on her face. “Hey.”

“Hey, you,” Fallon said, kissing the back of Penny’s head.

“You’re here early.”

“Yeah, I forgot to pick my kid up after practice, so here I am. Where is Philippe?”

“With Tate. He didn’t want to come in.”

Fallon nodded. “How’s Tate feeling?”

Audrey exhaled loudly since the subject of her husband, the Assassins’ starting goalie, Tate Odder, was a touchy one. He had a serious groin injury and had had surgery about two months ago, but he still wasn’t recuperating from it well. An infection had spread and knocked him down some more, long after the doctors had assumed he would be back on the ice. So it was easy to say the Odder family was very tense. “Lots of pain, but I guess he’s getting better. He doesn’t talk about it. He mainly asks me to make cupcakes. He’s pissed he missed last night.

Thank God Jensen did great.”

“Right?” Fallon agreed with a nod. “Well, hopefully, he’ll be up and at it soon.”

“I don’t know, Fal, I just don’t know.”

“What does that mean?” Aiden asked. “Uncle Tate’s okay, isn’t he?”

Audrey faked a grin. “Of course. Come here. You want a cupcake?”

Aiden laughed. “You know, I’m seventeen, you can’t distract me— Whoa, are those cookie dough?”

Audrey smiled happily at Fallon as she shook her head, and Aiden took the cupcake.

“Come on, I’ll show you the cake for Stella, and your donuts are right there.”

Aiden looked at the donuts. “Can I have one?”

“Save one for your dad.”

“Okay,” he said with a mouthful as she followed Audrey to the back.

“Kid has a tapeworm, I swear. He’s always eating.”

Audrey laughed. “He’s always been an eater. It’s not fair.”

“Agreed.”

As Fallon followed her into the kitchen, Audrey looked back at her sister. “I think he might have to retire.”

“Who? What? Tate?” Fallon’s eyes widened. “Never.”

“Yeah, he is grief-stricken about it and things are bad, but he can’t seem to get better. I don’t know. I told him he needs to decide.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah, it’s not good. We’re fighting a lot, and he’s withdrawn because he feels like a failure. Shit’s so bad, he started to go see Wren Lemiere, the team’s therapist.”

“Good for him,” Fallon said, exhaling hard. “I hate that for him, though.”

Audrey nodded as she turned on her computer. “Me too. At least you don’t have to worry about that. Lucas’s got at least nine more years in him.”

Fallon shot her sister a wry smile. “He creaks when he walks. I’m waiting for him to tell me he’s done.”

“He won’t.”

“I know, which makes me nervous.”

“Yeah, but you know, Lucas would be okay. Tate…he’s not, and I just want my happy husband back. I’m worried he won’t be happy without hockey.”

“No, he has you guys. He loves you three. So much.”

“I know he does, and he is the best father ever. Sucky in the husband department right now, but I get it. We’ll be okay.”

“You will,” she said, wrapping her arms around her sister. “Don’t worry.”

“Thanks.” Audrey hugged Fallon back as the computer came on. “Okay, so here it is. The best Ariel cake for my niece.”

Fallon grinned as she took in the perfect seven tiers of Ariel-themed cake. “She’ll flip her shit.”

“That’s my goal.”

“It’s perfect.”

“Awesome,” she said, shutting her computer lid. “I’ll be over next Saturday morning to set everything up.”

“Cool.” Fallon leaned her hip to the counter as she met her sister’s gaze. Audrey had changed so much over the years. She used to be obsessed with her weight. Now, she stayed healthy, even if she was rounder than she used to be. Kids would do that, though. One thing was for sure. Even with all the shit going on, Audrey had a grin on her face that Tate and the kids had put there. Her sister was complete, and like she’d said, she would be okay. Fallon just knew it.

But Fallon was pretty sure she was going to have her own mini heart attack. “Aiden told me his coach said he could probably graduate early and that Bellevue might want him.”

Audrey’s jaw dropped. “What?”

“Yeah.”

“What did you say?”

“For him to talk to his father!”

Audrey laughed. “Fallon.”

“What?”

“It would be great.”

“He’s a baby.”

“He’s seventeen. He’s a great kid. Smart and talented as hell.”

“Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t think I want him to do it.”

“If it’s going to be what’s best for his career, then he has to, you know?”

Biting her lip, Fallon nodded. “We’ll see what my husband says. If he can even move.”

Audrey smiled. “He’s sore today?”

“Yes, bless him. I don’t know if he’ll make through the whole series in one piece.”

“He is old now.”

“He isn’t a spring chicken, for sure.” Fallon grinned. “Except in the bedroom.”

“Ew!”

Fallow snorted as Audrey shook her head and then smiled. “I think they’re going to go the whole way. I feel it.”

Fallon nodded. “I do too. Rumor is, Elli was in the locker room crying last night. She’s so emotional.”

“Think she’s pregnant again?”

Fallon laughed. “Lord, I hope not!”

“Right? She’s already so damn busy.”

“I know.” Fallon shook her head. “Are you going to Lucy’s baby shower next Sunday?”

“Did you not check the group?”

Fallon just looked at her. “Obviously not, Audrey.”

“It’s been postponed until further notice.”

“Why?”

“Because of the play-offs.”

“That’s dumb. Why plan it around the play-offs, then?”

“I don’t have an answer for that, but they called me asking to hold off on the cake.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah. Which is good ’cause I can focus on Stella’s cake.”

“This is true. Ariel needs all your attention anyway.”

Audrey grinned as she leaned into her sister. “You know, you can come by more.”

“Same for you. Or come to the winery, and I’ll get you drunk.”

Audrey beamed. “That’s a plan.”

“Mom! Let’s go! Penny is going to make me fat.”

Penny’s giggles met them in the kitchen, and Fallon laughed. “Kid couldn’t get fat if he tried.”

“Right?” Audrey asked, shaking her head. “And what’s up with his hair?”

“I don’t know. I want to cut it, but he won’t let me.”

Audrey laughed as they went out of the kitchen to find Penny feeding Aiden cookie after cookie. “Mom,” he whined, and Fallon laughed.

“Hey, boogey butt—”

“Audrey!” Aiden complained, and they all laughed since he hated his nickname. “I told you about calling me that.”

She feigned hurt. “You are my baby, and I will call you that if I want. Even when you’re a big, hotshot hockey player, I’ll be in the stands hollering, ‘That’s my boogey butt!’”

“Mom,” he groaned, and Fallon just kept laughing.

“Anyway, if I throw gum in your hair, will you let me cut it?”

He glared. “Stay away from me.”

“It’s so long. And dirty,” Audrey said, coming toward him, and when Fallon saw the scissors in her hand, she tried to stifle her laughter.

“I washed it like ten minutes ago!” he said, slowly stepping back from his aunt.

“It’s ugly. Let me cut it.” She went for the bun, but he deked around her, running to Fallon and hiding behind her. Which was pointless since he was practically seven times her size.

“Leave me alone! Mom! Tell her to leave me alone.”

“We’re leaving.” Picking up the donuts…well, the three that were left, Fallon shook her head. “Bye, Penny loaf,” she called to Penelope.

“Bye, Auntie!”

“Bye,” Audrey sang. “I’ll get you later, Aiden James.”

Going outside, Aiden looked over at Fallon. “You won’t let her cut my hair, right?”

“I mean, if she gets to you before I do, I’m sorry for ya.”

“I look amazing!”

“You look like a damn fool,” she said, opening the door. “But I love you.”

He shot her an exasperated look. “Do I really have to be Sebastian next weekend?”

“No,” she laughed, shaking her head. “Asher is Sebastian. You’re Flounder.”

“Mom!”

With a grin on her lips, she got in the car.

But she’d be lying if she said she wasn’t worried about Aiden.

Or Tate.

Or even her dinosaur of a husband at home, who might or might not make it through the play-offs.


Taking Shots

(Assassins #1)

Amazon US

1

In Toni Aleo’s exhilarating debut, the first in a series featuring the hockey hunks of the Nashville Assassins, a reformed bad boy helps a charming, willful woman face off against the demons of her past.

No matter how hard she tries, Elleanor Fisher never thinks she’s good enough, from her job to her weight to her love life. After enduring years of abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, Elli has been drifting through life in a daze. Until, that is, she meets Shea Adler on a promotional shoot for the NHL’s Nashville Assassins. Before Elli knows what’s happening, the gorgeous Shea breaks the ice and shatters her world.

A brilliant athlete inside the rink, Shea Adler is tired of the life he’s living outside of it: the women, the money, the drinking. But everything changes when he meets Elli. After laying eyes on this feisty, witty, beautiful woman, he feels like he’s just taken the hardest hit of his life. No matter how skeptical she is, Shea knows they are meant to be together–if only he can convince Elli to put her insecurities aside before she misses out on a shot at love.


Trying to Score

(Assassins #2)

Amazon US

2

In a captivating novel of second chances and healing hearts, the newest member of the Nashville Assassins pulls a power play to make things right with the one that got away.
 
Fallon Parker’s dream has always been to turn her family’s wine company into a runaway success and eventually start a cellar of her own. Since graduating from college, she has worked relentlessly to make that dream a reality, especially after taking a chance on love–and losing. By the time Fallon becomes an official sponsor of the Nashville Assassins, she feels like all her hard work is finally paying off. And then the man who broke her heart skates back into her life.

On the ice, Lucas Brooks is the NHL’s leading scorer–at least when he’s not in the box. Off the ice, he’s a mess, with all his anger and misery bottled up inside. He threw away the most important person in his life and has regretted it ever since. But when Lucas returns to Nashville in a trade, he’s determined to convince Fallon that he’s a changed man. The attraction is still there. The tension is electrifying. But the odds are stacked against them–especially after Lucas finds out that Fallon has been keeping a devastating secret.


Empty Net

(Assassins #3)

Amazon US

3

In Toni Aleo’s award winning third novel in her hot Assassins series, the chiseled men of this Nashville hockey team can make anything happen when they go all out for the women they want–even turn a one-night stand into a happily ever after.

Audrey Parker is up against the boards. She’s stuck in a job she hates and pining for a total jerk. Meanwhile, her sister Fallon is moving out and getting married to hockey star Lucas Brooks. Where is Audrey’s Prince Charming? Nothing she does has ever seemed to be good enough for any of the men in her life. Audrey’s about to hit rock bottom… until she wakes up next to Tate Odder.

The thrill of moving up from the minors to the Nashville Assassins was a welcome distraction. But not even becoming the first rookie goalie to tally three shutouts in the Stanley Cup finals alleviates the pain. With the loss of his parents and sister weighing as heavily on his soul as ever, Tate Odder can’t keep pretending he’s okay. That’s when he meets smart, sexy Audrey. Her gentle warmth and quirky sense of humor make him feel whole for the first time in too long. But to stay that way forever, Tate must find a way to accept his past and learn to live for love.


Blue Lines

(Assassins #4)

Amazon US

4

Opposites do more than just attract in Toni Aleo’s latest Nashville Assassins novel about a very bad boy and the good girl he can’t resist.
 
The instant Piper Allen sees Erik Titov, she wants him–wants his rock-hard body, sure, but the strength and mystery that lie behind that superstar hockey jock demeanor, too. So when he sidles up to her at a bar and slinks his arm around her waist, she’s lost. What follows is the wildest night of her life… followed by inevitable heartbreak the next morning. And then, a few weeks later, a very big surprise: two blue lines on a pregnancy test.

Only a check to the head could make Erik fall for a nice girl like Piper. But since their crazy-sexy night together, he’s been trying to forget about her alluring body by falling into bed with every woman in Nashville, and it’s not working. So when Piper shows up at his house with a baby-bomb to drop, it doesn’t take much for Erik to suggest the nuclear option: marriage. While it’s supposed to be all for show, the second they say “I do,” the ice between them starts to melt into sizzling steam.


Breaking Away

(Assassins #5)

Amazon US

5

Breaking Away is a story of loss, healing, and love… where unexpected turns and heartache lead to passion.

To Nashville Assassins’ leading scoring center Phillip Anderson, playing hockey has always been easy… as natural as breathing. His life is no different. That’s until his world is turned upside down by the death of his sister. While mourning his loss, Phillip has to find a way to make his very angry sixteen-year-old niece, Claire, happy. Now, as her guardian, he discovers the only thing that seems to heal her lonely heart is dance class. But what he didn’t count on was the attraction he’d feel towards her drop-dead sexy dance teacher.

For Reese Allen, dancing has always been part of her soul. After having her heart broken in New York, she comes home with the determination to make her dance studio one of the best in Tennessee and succeeds. When she sees Claire dance for the first time, she knows the girl is bound for greatness and takes the troubled teen under her wing. Using dance as therapy, she suddenly finds herself bound to the young woman… and her hot-as-sin uncle.

However, Phillip and Reese are happy in their single lives. It’s simple. They do what they want, who they want, and how they want, but from the moment they meet, the attraction is undeniable. Soon, they are more than willing to spend just one night tangled in the sheets. But, one night turns into two, and two turns into three, until they find themselves in a repeated dance of “One Last Time” that has the potential to be something more… if only Reese and Claire allow it.

Can Phillip find a way to thaw the hearts of both the women in his life, or will he be forever trying to break them away from their pasts?


Laces & Lace

(Assassins #6)

Amazon US

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Tangled in the Laces

In Tangled in the Laces, Karson King is on the fast track to the NHL. Lacey Martin is coming back from a hard fight against cancer and is terrified of him but the attraction is too much to ignore. Soon their love is so intense, neither of them see the rest of their lives without the other. Will Karson prove that he will protect her heart at all costs, or will he leave Laceyto pick up the pieces of her life once again?

Laces and Lace

Nine years ago, things were perfect. Lacey and Karson had found their happily ever after in each other…or so they thought. How do two people who were meant to be move on from that once-in-a-lifetime love?

Lacey has a strength inside her that comes alive with the things she’s most passionate about. She’s a fighter, a survivor, and has everything she’s ever wanted but the one thing that matters most—love.

Karson is doing the one thing he loves most—playing hockey for the Assassins, yet he knows regret. He knows his life has been missing the one thing he walked away from so many years ago—Lacey.

Nine years later, and neither has been able to succeed in moving on from what was, what could have been, and who each of their hearts still beats for. When a chance encounter during a fateful night has their paths crossing again, will the tether still attaching their souls allow them to face the past, present, and a possible future?

Can two people with fate on their side find a way back to each other? Overcome all the obstacles in their way to finally live life together to the fullest?

Or will they let those around them and the circumstances they face, along with questions and doubt, ruin a second chance at the life they both deserve?

Two books for one price and a dollar of your purchase will be donated to the Nashville Predators Foundation for Pediatric Cancer research.


Overtime

(Assassins #7)

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Down and out with an injury keeping him away from the game, Assassins’ defense-man Jordie Thomas lives for the blades of his skates on the ice and the feeling of oblivion off it. With no choice but to heal, he’s forced away from the sport that runs through his veins. With everything at stake and darkness setting in, he quickly finds himself spiraling even further out of control. As his life begins to come crashing down around him and his contract with the Nashville Assassins on the line, he’s given an ultimatum. Ready or not, Jordie is forced to face his past, the fears that consume him, and the one woman he let walk away.

Kacey King had her professional dreams come true, yet her heart was battered and broken. With an Olympic gold medal around her neck, she’s ready to look forward to the future but without the one man she wanted in it. She’s missing the key pieces of her heart she left months ago with the only person who was capable of destroying it, causing her to falter in all her plans to move on.

In the game of life, there are winners and losers, and neither Jordie nor Kacey want to be on the losing bench. If only Jordie could convince Kacey he’s a changed man and that he wants her right by his side as his MVP for the biggest and best parts of a life they build together. With emotions running high and the game on the line, can two proud people find happiness with each other, or will their hearts and souls be left in the cold? Will they see that sometimes having someone by your side who knows the good, bad, and broken is better than going it alone and losing everything through the back of the net? They are out of time on the game clock and fighting for the win of their lives.

But overtime was made for an Assassin like Jordie.


Rushing the Goal

(Assassins #8)

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Lucy Sinclair was no stranger to pain.

She grew up with three younger brothers, met a bad boy, got pregnant by him, married him, and then suffered through a nasty divorce from him. Pain. That was pain. To top it off, she even had to go through the heartbreaking divorce of her parents. Through it all, she survived. All she cared about was making sure her daughter was happy and taken care of. Despite an ex-husband hell-bent on ruining her life, she fought to overcome. She’s gotten to the point that she’s okay with being just okay. She never cared about herself because she never had the time. It was Angie and only Angie she focused on, but that all changed when Benji Paxton offered to help her daughter on the ice.

Benji knew the moment he saw Lucy, he’d never be the same. Especially when she came with the bundle of crazy that was her daughter. His heart wasn’t ready for them. After years spent sobering up and finding who he was without the alcohol, he never forgot he was being punished for not appreciating the love he had when he was younger. Because of his past, he had gotten used to being alone, a recluse, but even he had to admit it was getting old. He was lonely. Hockey wasn’t enough anymore. He wanted a family; he wanted his true love.

And Lucy and Angie were just that.

They were just two lost souls.

Floating through life with no purpose.

But finding each other gave them direction, a chance at a future.

And had them both Rushing the Goal to be together.


Pucks, Sticks, and Diapers

(Assassins #8.5)

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First came love, then came the NHL, then came Baylor and Jayden with a baby carriage.


Face-Off at the Altar

(Assassins #9)

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Markus Reeves is sucking. Big-time.

Toiling away on a minor-league hockey team hundreds of miles away from home, he’s watching his dreams of an NHL career fade away. Add in the lingering guilt he has over the dramatic demise of his relationship with college girlfriend, Mekena, and he’s a mess on and off the ice.

But the family of his heart, the Sinclairs, won’t let Markus suffer any longer. When he arrives himself back in Nashville for a trial run on the Assassins, it feels like his life may be making a turn for the better. If only he could get Mekena to forgive him…

Mekena Preston has been hurting since fleeing Nashville following the horror of Markus’s betrayal with her sister. Now a professional photographer, Mekena finds herself in the same place at the same time with Markus to celebrate Lucy and Benji Paxton’s wedding. Neither of them has been able to move on—and they’re starting to wonder if they really want to.

They’re headed for a face-off at the altar unless they can confront their past and unearth the truth about what really happened on that fateful night.


Delayed Call (Assassins #11)

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Vaughn Johansson is the Nashville Assassins’ star player. He’s brash, cocky, and talented. And he isn’t afraid to let anyone know it. He lives his life on his own terms, never forming romantic attachments, and only allowing his very closest to see his true, caring self.

Brie Soledad has the weight of the world on her shoulders. As the staff reporter for the Assassins, she balances a high-profile job and its heavy travel schedule with being the sole provider for her adult brother with Down syndrome. Sure, she’d like to find love. But who has time for that when there are bills to pay?

Brie has been the match to Vaughn’s gasoline since the day she first held out her microphone to him. They strike sparks off each other, keeping their friends, the team, and the Assassins fans in stitches. Brie’s refusal to fawn over Vaughn sets his teeth on edge and his blood boiling. Especially in that body part…

Brie’s been let down by love before, but she knows she deserves nothing less than real, forever love. Vaughn’s past has left deep, hidden scars, and there are some secrets he cannot bear to reveal. As much as Brie wants him, Vaughn may be too big a risk for her wary heart to take. But he’s is at his best under pressure. When the delayed call is in effect and he has no choice but to score, Vaughn always delivers.


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Boarded by Love

(Bellevue Bullies #1)

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From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Toni Aleo, comes a spin off series from the Assassins: The Bellevue Bullies!

Jude Sinclair here, hockey player for the Bellevue Bullies and lover of all ladies. Hockey’s in my blood, and not to sound full of myself, but I’m good at it… really good. The draft is within my reach—it’s mine to take—but that’s not the only reason people know my name. They know me because of my way with women. They know the score, and I aim to please. I just tend to stay away from repeat performances. In other words, I don’t do relationships beyond my family and friends. I’m happy with life. However, I should warn you that my story and how I see it playing out is about to change due to a certain redhead on campus.

She’s beautiful. Stunning. Breathtaking.

She’s my game changer.

*****

He’s trouble from the moment I see him. I don’t know what I’m thinking, but from the moment I meet his gaze, I’m his. It’s a scary feeling.

I’ve never trusted anyone outside my aunt and uncle—and even that took months. I didn’t have it easy growing up. My mom was usually strung out, and she didn’t give me a second thought. Drugs and the men who paid her were more important to her. It was horrible, but I’m stronger today. Because of my past, security is what I need most. Money assures me that I can take care of myself today, tomorrow, and next month. I don’t want to ever be hungry or go without again, so I work hard for every penny.

Oh, by the way, I’m Claire Anderson. I’m a hard-studying sophomore at the University of Bellevue, dancer for the school dance team, and a burlesque dancer at a club, but that’s my secret. You may think you know how our story ends, but you have no clue. It’s not easy falling in love… or living happily ever after. At first it may seem so, but when is anything worth having ever won without a fight?

Especially when you’re boarded by love.


Clipped by Love

(Bellevue Bullies #2)

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Things are heating up for the Sinclair boys! With one already in the NHL, Jayden Sinclair is hoping to be next!

This has been the toughest year of my life. I watched my brother go into the draft without me, my mom got divorced, and the weight of my family’s issues is heavy on my shoulders. I feel like it’s my job to fix everything while working my butt off in school and trying to make my game better. I have to go into the draft. It will give my family the support they need, and it will prove that I’m good enough. But to get there, I have to show I can be the best captain for the Bellevue Bullies. The spot is mine—no one can take it. First though, Jude is making me go on a brother’s weekend. Innocent enough, I guess…until I see her. She’s the biggest competitor I’ve ever faced. Not only for my spot but also my heart. It’s hard to ignore someone like Baylor Moore.

*****

I don’t lose. I can’t. My dad has bred me to be the best in anything I do. I am driven, I am smart, and I am going to be the first woman in the National Hockey League. No two ways about it. I’ve worked too hard. I’ve been through too much not to have what I want. I know I can do it. I will make my dad proud, and no one will stand in the way of that. That is, until I let him in. He scares me. He makes me feel. And he could very well be the one person who can make me want more than just to win.

We both have the same goal. Victory. But how do you compete against the person you want to win? It’s not easy. Love isn’t something you can control. It isn’t like a puck that can be handled by a stick. No, it has a mind of its own and does what it wants.

Neither of us saw it coming, and we really don’t know if there is a way to score, especially when you’re being Clipped by Love.


Hooked by Love

(Bellevue Bullies #3)

Amazon US | My Review

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Things are out of control for the Sinclair boys! With two already in the NHL, Jace Sinclair is ready to follow in his brothers’ HUGE skates in the last Bellevue Bullies novel…

Jace Sinclair here, and I’m amazing. There is no other way to describe me. I am the leading scorer for the Bellevue Bullies, I’m the captain, and people love me: my family, my teammates, my coach, and the NHL. I already have one foot in the draft and I’m ready. This is my last year in college–it’s basically a conditioning year to get me ready for the NHL, to further my game, and I have to be focused. But then, it’s also my last year to have fun and not give a damn before my life really starts. Which means I’m gonna run through every girl I meet. That’s my plan. Because my one and only love is hockey. It keeps me warm even when it’s freezing. It’s always there when nothing else is. And it pushes me to be the best I can be. It’s my love.

That is, until I see her against a tree with a guitar.

Avery.

The last thing I wanted was to meet anyone. My heart is on the bench because I’ve watched my mom get broken by the person I call my father, and I don’t want that for myself. I don’t want to be hurt by anyone. I can’t give them that power.

But my heart is begging for ice time, and I can’t control it around her.

*****

I’ve always been in the background. No one has ever had time for me and that’s fine; I’ve learned to cope. Coming from a family where hockey is life, the last thing I want is some big, burly hockey player charging at me. I don’t have time for it, but Jace Sinclair isn’t one to be deked around. The thing is, I came to the University of Bellevue for one reason and one reason only. To make my dreams of being a singer/songwriter come true. To work in the industry and pay my dues. Become who I really want to be.

I didn’t want to meet anyone. I didn’t want to end up freezing the puck with him. It’s not what I want.

I have demons.

I have issues.

Living in the shadows, no one even knew until it was too late. But Jace wants to know.

He wants me.

And that scares me the living hell out of me.

We were so worried about what would happen if we fell, but we never thought what could happen in the process of falling. We never saw it coming. But it’s here, and the repercussions are not pretty. We should have known that there is no way out of the zone when you are being Hooked by Love.

About Toni Aleo

My name is Toni Aleo!
I am a wife, mother of two and a bulldog, and also a hopeless romantic.
I have been told I have anger issues, but I think it’s cause of my intense love for hockey!
I am the biggest Shea Weber fan ever, and can be found during hockey season with my nose pressed against the Bridgestone Arena’s glass, watching my Nashville Predators play!
When my nose isn’t pressed against the glass, I enjoy going to my husband and son’s hockey games, my daughter’s dance competition, hanging with my best friends, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and reading the latest romance novel.
I have a slight Disney and Harry Potter obsession, I love things that sparkle, I love the color pink, I might have been a Disney Princess in a past life…probably Belle, and did I mention I love hockey?

So, what did you think? :-)