Review & Excerpt: Face-Off at the Altar (Assassins #9) by Toni Aleo

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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.

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EXCERPT

“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?”
“Sure.”
“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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REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Markus messed up big time with Mekena. That guilt has been weighing on him all this time, even messing with his game.

A chance to play for the big leagues, he realises he needs to get his act together, on, and off the ice.

Reconnecting with Mekena at Lucy, and Benji’s wedding is only the first step. He needs a second chance. I really loved how he owned up to his mistake. Even though big twist there. And I swooned seeing how much he still felt for Mekena.

Keeping Mekena though will be a whole new challenge. I definitely don’t blame her for being skittish. Though I kind of wished she listened to him in the first place.

Ugh. Mekena’s sister is one big mess. Toni Aleo really loves her dysfunctional families, hitting us with a couple of surprises.

Sweet is the word I would use to describe Face-Off At The Altar. When Markus, and Mekena are happy, they become one of those who make you almost nauseous with how blissful they are. I’m mostly just very happy they got their happy ending.

3.5 stars

Assassins – Reading order and purchase links

*All books can be read as a standalone, but have interconnecting characters*

taking shots  trying to score  empty net  falling for the backup

Taking ShotsAmazon US – Amazon UK – Book Depository

Trying To ScoreAmazon US – Amazon UK – Book Depository

Empty NetAmazon US – Amazon UK – Book Depository

Falling For The BackupAmazon US – Amazon UK

4 & counting  blue lines  breaking away   laces

4 & Counting (FREE)

Blue LinesMy review – Amazon US – Amazon UK – Book Depository

Breaking AwayMy review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

Laces & LaceMy review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

  Very-2BMerry-2BHockey-2BHoliday-2Bhigh  wanting to forget  overtime  rushing the goal

A Very Merry Hockey HolidayMy review – Amazon US ($0.99) – Amazon UK (£0.99)

Wanting To ForgetAmazon US ($0.99) – Amazon UK (£0.99)

OvertimeMy review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

Rushing The Goal: My review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

pucks-sticks-and-diapers-assassins-8-5-by-toni-aleo  review-excerpt-face-off-at-the-altar-assassins-9-by-toni-aleo

Puck, Sticks, and Diapers: Amazon US ($0.99) – Amazon UK (£0.99)

Face-Off At The AltarAmazon USAmazon UK

Connect with Toni AleoGoodreads – Website – Twitter – Facebook – Amazon – Signed Books