FACE-OFF AT THE ALTAR (Assassins #9) by Toni Aleo-Review and Book Tour
FACE-OFF AT THE ALTAR
by Toni Aleo
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, hockey romance
Release Date: December 26, 2016
Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / ibooks
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date December 26, 2016
Add to your GOODREADS shelf.
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.
REVIEW: FACE-OFF AT THE ALTAR is the ninth installment in Toni Aleo’s contemporary, adult ASSASSINS erotic, hockey romance series focusing on the members of the professional hockey team the Nashville Assassins. This is Assassin’s rookie twenty five year old Markus Reeves, and twenty year old photographer Mekenna Preston’s story line. FACE-OFF AT THE ALTAR can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from previous story lines is revealed where necessary but I caution new readers to the series that many of the previous couples featured in the series, and from the Bellevue Bullies series (e.g. Sinclair family and siblings) play secondary and supporting roles, and some of the history and backstory are mentioned throughout.
Told from dual third person perspectives (Mekenna and Markus) FACE-OFF AT THE ALTAR focuses on the rekindling romance between Markus Reeves, and Mekenna Preston-a romance and love destroyed by betrayal and lies. Approximately two years earlier Mekenna walked in on her then-boyfriend Markus Reeves, in bed with her sister Skylar. With her heart destroyed, Mekenna moves to Florida in the hopes of starting anew. Fast forward to present day Mekenna is contracted to photograph Lucy and Benji Paxton’s wedding (Rushing The Goal #8) knowing that the man who broke her heart would be front and center in the wedding action. What ensues is the rebuilding of a friendship and relationship that was all but destroyed by lies, deceit, and betrayal; and Markus’s rise from the Assassin’s farm team to rookie star in the NHL.
FACE-OFF AT THE ALTAR looks at friendships, fractured family dynamics from jealous siblings, drug abuse, and racism; as well as a second chance for two people who never stopped loving one another. There is plenty of humor, heartbreak and tears; frustration and resolution; and a wonderful back and forth banter between siblings, couples and friends. Mekenna’s pain and anger towards Markus bleeds heavily into the story line premise but new revelations open Mekenna and Markus’s eyes to the truth about what happened years before beginning the healing process for our story line couple.
FACE-OFF AT THE ALTAR is dramatic and intense; humorous and fun; heartbreaking, tragic and fated. There is plenty of history between our story line couple; demons from the past that must be addressed, and demons from the present that will continue to haunt far into the future. Toni Aleo ASSASSINS series is has a little of everything for the sport romance lover in all of us.
Copy supplied for review.
Reviewed by Sandy
“You are, by far, the most patient man I know.”
Baylor grimaced as she took Dawson from Markus’s outstretched hands. He smiled as Dawson looked at him innocently. He knew the little guy didn’t mean to puke all over him and he wasn’t upset, but he was trying to figure out a way to get to the house and shower before he had to talk to Mekena. He highly doubted that baby puke would be an aphrodisiac. Maybe it would be? Huh.
He wasn’t going to try, though.
As Baylor cuddled Dawson against her, Markus waved her off. “It’s no big deal. He’s a baby.”
She smiled shyly. “Yes, but Ashlyn pooped on you too.”
He grinned as he shrugged, trying not to laugh. It was a tough rehearsal for Dawson, Ashlyn, and Markus. Puke and poop were big-time stars during the hour of watching the Sinclairs and Grace Justice try to put together a wedding. He wasn’t sure what was funnier, Jace glaring as Jordie walked with Avery, or Ashlyn farting and then realizing she had just shit all over him. It was a toss-up, but then Dawson decided to puke down the front of his shirt, and he figured he was now a substitute for a baby rag. “I volunteered.”
“Still, we’re really sorry,” Avery said, holding Ashlyn close as she rocked her back and forth. “I understand if you don’t want to watch her ever again.”
“Nonsense,” he said, laughing as he tucked his hands into his pockets and looked around. He spotted Mekena at the front of the altar, taking pictures of random things. He wasn’t sure if she was done, but maybe he could slip away. “How much longer until y’all are done?”
“We’re done, but Lucy and Benji have some pre-wedding pictures they’re having done with Angie.”
“So Mekena isn’t done?”
Avery smiled. “Nope, she’s got a bit.”
“Can you pass a message for me?”
“Let her know that I went back to the cabin to shower and clean up?”
“Yeah, of course. I’ll tell Jace to tell her since I’m taking Ashlyn to bed.”
“Cool, thanks,” he said, kissing her cheek and then Baylor’s, before rubbing Dawson’s head. “I’ll see you guys in the morning.”
Before he could get far, though, Baylor smiled. “Thanks again.”
“Anytime. I mean that.”
Avery smiled. “Thanks.”
“Also, good luck,” Baylor added.
Flashing them both a big grin, he nodded. “I need it.”
Heading out the back, he made it back to the cabin quickly. When he entered, though, Mr. Right was sitting on the windowsill howling. “Whoa, man. What’s up?”
Meoooooowwwwwwww, he wailed, with his mouth wide open as his hair stood on end.
“Bro, I don’t know what to say. I don’t speak your language. Are you singing? Do you want me to sing too? Meoooowwwwww,” he said, and Mr. Right looked back at him, almost with a glare. “We should add some beat to that and make a remix,” Markus joked as the cat wailed. Deciding that was a good idea, he pulled out his phone and started to beatbox as the cat wailed, recording it on his SnapChat. The cat must have realized what he was doing because he looked back, scowling, and Markus hid his phone. He didn’t want to admit it, but Mr. Right kind of freaked him out.
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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?