Blog Tour: Delayed Call: Toni Aleo

Delayed Call (Assassins #11)
Toni Aleo
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Release Date March 20, 2017

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 her 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 is at his best under pressure. When the delayed call is in effect and he has no choice but to score, Vaughn always delivers.

Vaughn Johansson and Brie Soledad...we got a taste of them in Face-Off at the Altar. He is a cocky, outspoken, star player for the Nashville Assassins and she is their very attractive staff reporter.

The thin line between love and hate is barely visible with these two. Well, they do love to hate each other...and challenge and torture each other. And that just riles them up and gets them hot and bothered. And they hate having that strong reaction to each other. She thinks he's an a**. He calls her a brat. They can barely be professional on camera doing her interviews with an audience and now they are also living across from each other...and they hate that too. But mostly they hate their own lack of self control and dirty thoughts about their nemesis.

Vaughn comes off as an arrogant, brash, unfiltered playboy. He lives life on his own terms, but only lets a select few best friends know the real man. Underneath he has a big heart and does not seek attention for the good things he does. He can be generous, kind, supportive, and loving. But personally he is scarred by his past and fearful of having a real connection with someone.

Brie's life is chaotic and challenging. She not only has a busy work and travel schedule, but she also is responsible for her younger brother's care and well being. It is struggle to provide what he needs, let him try to be his own man, deal with his medical conditions. and to not be overbearing. She is smart, caring, independent, and a bit overwhelmed. Although she longs for someone to share her life with, she is scared of being hurt or left.

But eventually it's hard to resist the pull they have for one another. And they're volatile reactions combust in other areas. And once they allow themselves, they can actually admit that they do like each other. They maintain a fun rapport, and feisty and flirty banter. And their chemistry is hot. I really liked them together.

Both have tough outer shells, painful histories, and good hearts. They both have trust issues and fears. They have different ideas about relationships. But the only way to have a chance is to open up, be vulnerable, fight fears, and take a chance. But this is exceedingly harder for Vaughn than it is her for her. Even though they obviously enjoy each other and are getting closer, the feelings are messy, confusing, and panic inducing at times. It is not an easy road for them and it takes some time, drama, and deliberating to address issues and figure out what they both want and need. There were definitely times I wanted to smack Vaughn upside the head or tape his mouth shut, but there were also times he made me smile and swoon. And Brie was the perfect saucy match for him.

This is a feisty, funny, angsty, passionate, emotional, and heartfelt enemies-to-lovers story. There are fun cameos of other Assassins and I always enjoy getting more with old friends. Along with the Vaughn and Brie's story, we also get side stories. I adored Brie's brother, Rod. He was just so sweet and just wanted to be his own person and be accepted. Vaughn's best friend and team mate, Jensen has a story brewing, and so did their friend, Wells who plays for another hockey team. I loved these guys and their brotherly relationship with Vaughn. Wells' sassy sister, Wren was also part of their family and also had some issues going on. It is not a short book and there is a lot going on with all of these characters. I hope that we see more of these characters in future books or spin-offs. I am totally interested in the outcomes of their stories.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Vaughn Johansson and Brie Soledad clash often in their on screen interviews. Brie is the team reporter and regularly interviews the players during and after games, but something about Vaughn always makes her react poorly, even with the cameras rolling. Vaughn is easily annoyed by the questions he is asked during interviews and isn’t happy that Brie isn’t falling at his feet like other women.

Their antagonistic banter during interviews and off camera hid the attraction that was stirring between them. But Vaughn is used to being able to keep women at arms length and Brie doesn’t have time for anything, not even no strings. But the fire between them becomes too much to deny. As they begin to let down their walls, the banter continues, but shifts from the harsh, antagonism that it started as and moves to fun and flirty.

Vaughn is arrogant and cocky, keeping most people in the dark about his true nature. It quickly becomes clear that there are two very different sides to him, and it isn’t until Brie starts to see his hidden side that she feels she can trust him even a little bit.

Brie is used to being alone, working to keep things together not only for herself, but for her brother with Down syndrome as well. She is clearly focused on her job and on Rodney, with very little time for anything outside of work and Rod.

I loved Rodney and the part he played in this whole plot. The added connection gave a softer side to Vaughn, even as he puts on a hard front.

Parts of this story were fantastic, while others were just ok. I love this Assassin’s family though and will always keep coming back for more. Favorite Assassin characters are present as the team is a big focus of the book, but there is also a lot of activity from Wells, Vaughn’s buddy who plays for another team, and Wells’ sister, Wren. I’m hoping Wren is the center of the next book, because she has a lot going on in the background here (at times stealing the focus from Vaughn and Brie) and I can’t help but wonder how she will adjust to the changes coming for her.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
When Tricksie started to bark more frantically as he put his hat on, he looked down at her. “Two seconds, baby.”

She continued to bark as he grabbed his keys before reaching for the door, which she took off out of. He went to tell her to calm down, but before he could, he heard a woman’s voice, “Oh, my goodness! Hello!”

Peeking his head out the door, he found Brie on the ground. On her back, her arms around Tricksie as she jumped and licked her to death. “Oh, my God! Hello. My name is Brie. You are the cutest little dog I’ve ever seen in my whole life. Yes, you are. What is your name? Tricksie? Oh, my goodness, I just love you, I do. Is that your name because you are a three-legged baby and your daddy thinks he’s awesome at scoring hat tricks? I bet so.”

“For your information, yes.”

Brie just grinned as she continued to kiss and love on Tricksie. Which Tricksie was eating up like mad. “Do you want a treat? Treat? Ah, come on.”

Then she yanked the leash out of Vaughn’s hand before picking Tricksie up and kissing her head. “Hey, that’s my dog.”

“I know,” was all she said before pushing her door open and taking his dog into her apartment.

“Can I have her back?” Peeking his head in her door, he watched as she went to the kitchen, grabbing a treat bag before putting Tricksie on the counter and feeding her.

“Don’t worry, they’re all-natural treats. The guys across the hall in my last building had four French Bulldogs, and I used to give them treats until they went into food comas.”

Tricksie was going crazy, obviously falling for the blond-haired beauty who stood before her. Like the day before when they had moved Rodney in, she was wearing jeans and a shirt that he assumed said something witty. He couldn’t see because she was still cuddling Tricksie as she fed her. “You shouldn’t give treats to other people’s dogs.”

She looked up from Tricksie, her lips still curved in the most beautiful grin he had ever seen on her face. “You’re right. I’m sorry. Is it okay if I continue to feed her?”

Why did he find her so lovely at that moment? Her hair was a mess, tucked into a knit cap, yet she looked like someone he could cuddle with. If he cuddled. Not that he cuddled. Unsure of his feelings, he shrugged. “She needs to pee.”

“Okay, one more,” she said sweetly before feeding Tricksie and then kissing her hard on the head. “You can come in.”

He didn’t like how she was making him feel. It was weird. Like he wanted to go behind her, bury his nose in her hair, and just hold her. She looked so damn gorgeous, snuggling his dog and making her feel like the princess she was. Vaughn’s hands itched to touch Brie, and he didn’t understand that. He never itched for anything. He fucked women and moved on, but watching Brie as she acted a fool with his dog, he wanted to…cuddle.

Why did he keep thinking that?

Grumbling at his stupidity, he entered, shutting the door but staying right by it. “She really does need to pee.”

“Oh, yeah, sorry,” she said, kissing Tricksie again. “I really love dogs. I never got to have one growing up. Rodney is allergic to them.”

He nodded. “Yeah, Jensen said he had to put her up when Rod came over the other day.”

“It sucks, but I love them so much. They’re so much fun, and bless her, she’s gorgeous. What happened to her leg?”

“Hit by a car. I adopted her like that. She came in hurt, and they fixed her up.”

Her eyes lit up. “That’s sweet you adopted her. She looks happy as all get-out.”

“She’s spoiled, that’s for sure.”

Click on photo to learn more about each title from the author's website
They are all about different Assassins players and couples but the characters do cross over.

    http://amzn.to/101H3l6   http://amzn.to/1xVr2s8
Falling for the Backup(#3.5), A Very Merry Hockey Holiday (#6.5), and Wanting to Forget (#6.6) are novellas.
Toni Aleo

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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