Monday 26 December 2016

✪ Face-Off At The Altar (Assassins #9) ✪ Toni Aleo ✪

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. 

ARC received for an honest review

You never know what you are going to get when you start reading a Toni Aleo book - well, you know you are going to get a world of hockey hotties, but other than that, it is like Forrest Gump said, it is like a box of chocolates.

I loved getting back in the Assassins world and getting to see more of the lovelies we have come to adore in the previous books. But Mekena and Markus' story just felt a little bit extra special to me.

Not sure what it was, maybe it was that I haven't read one an Aleo book for a while,  or whether it was how emotional this book made me feel, but it is definitely one of my favourite Assassin books.

Markus and Mekena have history, and that history is not all good.  Ms Aleo touches on some difficult - some might say taboo - subject in Face-Off At The Altar, and she does it so, so well.  My goodness the emotions she evoked in my whilst reading.  I know at times I had to read parts at least two times as I was trying to read through tears.

It has been a long, long time since I have felt such hatred for a character.  I don't say the who, what, when or where, but you will understand the why when you have read it.  I had such a visceral reaction to this person.

I adored that through it all, our lovelies fought.  Fought between their heads and their hearts, fought each other, but more importantly fought for each other.

There were plenty of laughs and smiles and good times as well as the mad, sad and bad times.

I completely enjoyed my time back in Assassins-Land, and can't wait to see what Ms Aleo brings us next.


Watching as Elli crossed the ice, saying hi to everyone she passed, Mekena knew she had to go. Standing, she wobbled a lot, but she still made it to the entry to the ice. She could do this. It wasn’t that hard. Just like walking—on water. No big deal.

Oh, God, she was going to die, and everyone was going to see it.

Swallowing hard, she stepped out on the ice and figured she could ride the side of the boards to him. Elli was already there, gushing over the kids and kissing all over the guy Mekena assumed was her nephew. And holy hot genes. Dark hair, bright blue eyes, and a jawbone that could slice the ice. He was beautiful, just like his uncle and his momma. Tall, too, and thick. Obviously a hockey player. That should have given her a little more confidence to skate over there, but instead, her fingers dug into the siding as she slowly made her way toward them.

When Elli looked up, Mekena let go of the sides and waved. “I’m a little slow. I’m coming!”
Elli said something to Ryan, whose eyes lit up when he looked over at her. As he detangled himself from the kids that were trying to climb him like a wall, she figured he was coming to help.

Oh, no, that was embarrassing.

No, she could skate. She had it!

Letting go of the siding, she went with ease. And at first, things were good. She was skating! But as well as it was going, it suddenly went very bad. She felt her knee bend funny and then her body start to fall. And as the ice came into view, she let out a cry, waiting for the ice to break not only her glasses but her nose too. Maybe her teeth.

But she didn’t fall.

No, instead, someone had her by her hips, pulling her up and to her feet.

“Whoa there, girlie. I thought you knew what you were doing?”


Everything inside her went hot. Not from embarrassment but from pure, burning desire. Trying to catch her breath, she looked up at him, his eyes so dark, his mouth so close to her cheek as he smiled.

Crap. Crap on a cracker.


“Yup, it’s me,” he said, grinning as he stood her on her feet. “Saving your life.”

My name is Toni Aleo and I’m a total dork.
I am a wife, mother of two and a bulldog, and also a hopeless romantic.
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?

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