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.
Fallon held a half-eaten snow cone in one hand and her phone in the other with one earbud in as she watched Aiden rush down the ice, the puck under his control. He caught the defense on a change, somewhat of a breakaway, before he shot the puck hard toward the net, hitting the back of it with ease.
“Woot!” Audrey called from beside her.
“Yes!” Fallon fist-pumped as the girls stood by the glass, bouncing up and down in their way too big Brooks jerseys. Looking over to Asher, who was on his computer, she said, “Your brother scored.”
“Attaboy!” he called out, but he didn’t look up, which only made Fallon shake her head as she watched Aiden hug his teammates. “What’s the score on Daddy’s game?”
“Two-zip, Assassins,” she said as she waved her hand in the air when Aiden looked up at her, like he always did. Like he always had, and a part of her was excited about his future. But the other part just made her heart ache. When he was in college, would he be able to see her?
And in the NHL? Crap, she knew he wouldn’t be able to see her then.
“This is game four, right? They win, they go to round three?”
“Yes, baby. Emery! Get off there! Come eat this snow cone. It’s melting.”
Emery continued to climb on the rail of the bleachers as she looked up. “I don’t want it.”
“Then come get it and throw it away.”
She pouted. “I don’t want to.”
“Emery Elaine,” Fallon warned. “Get over here. Right now.”
“I want my daddy!”
“That’s new,” Audrey commented as Emery stomped up the stairs, her little brow
“That’s Emery, who has stayed close to her dad every moment he’s been home,” she muttered as Emery stopped in front of her. “Do you want that tail wore out?”
“Then what do you need to do?”
“Throw away the snow cone and watch my mouth?”
“Exactly,” she said, handing the snow cone to her trying child before looking down at her phone to see that the Assassins were on the penalty kill. They were probably playing the best hockey she had seen them play in her many years of supporting and loving the team. She was excited, but her gut was in a knot, not only for the Assassins but also for Aiden. Because across the rink, she could see the Bellevue representatives, watching her little boy with intent.
“Aiden is playing great,” Audrey said then, and Fallon nodded.
“I know, the best he’s ever played. Just like the Assassins.”
Audrey beamed. “We’ll close out tonight and then get a nice break before round three.
They need it.”
“They do.” Looking down at her phone, Fallon watched as the second period ended, and she let out a long sigh. One more period. Twenty more minutes, and if the Assassins could hold the Hawks, they’d move on to round three. She couldn’t believe it. This would be the first time the Assassins had swept anyone in the play-offs, and according to Facebook, Elli was coming out of her skin.
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*
It seems ages since we’ve read anything about Lucas and Fallon, so I’m pleasantly surprised with this novella. Lucas has become the oldie of the Assassins. While still an excellent player, he’s getting up there in age (relatively), and he doesn’t remember the last his body didn’t ache.
Still, hockey is his life, and the Cup is so close he can pretty much taste it. Meanwhile life around is not standing still. I don’t know when it happened, but Aiden has become a young man, ready to explore his college, and more professional hockey options. Let’s just say, I’m really looking forward to his story.
The one person who might have the most trouble with all the changes is Fallon. Aiden growing up so fast, the insecurity around Lucas, and the other hellions keeping her on her toes. Though she supports them to her best abilities, and I love that about her.
Twenty-Two is definitely a novella for the Assassins fans. A quick check in, in the lives of the Brooks family, and filled with little hints, I feel, for the next generations books. I thoroughly enjoyed reconnecting with Lucas, Fallon, and Aiden.
Assassins – Reading order and purchase links
*All books can be read as a standalone, but have interconnecting characters*