Blog Tour: Twenty-Two: Toni Aleo

TWENTY-TWO (Assassins #11.5)
Toni Aleo
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Release Date May 22, 2017

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.
This is a novella about one of our favorite Assassins couples, Lucas and Fallon Brooks, who we watched fight and fall in love in Trying to Score (Assassins#2). Lucas has been playing for the Assassins for ten years now but he is getting older and his body does not bounce back like it used to. He and Fallon are busy with their careers and four kids. But Their life in Nashville is good.

Their oldest, Aiden, is now seventeen and has some great opportunities on the horizon. The kids are all growing up and keep them on their toes. Fallon keeps it all together while also running a successful business of her own.  But both of them are struggling with their babies growing up.

Lucas and the Assassins are making their final push for the cup and can taste it. But as the players mature, there is more potential for injuries and change. Competition is fierce, and nothing is predictable or a sure thing. How will Lucas and some of his team mates fare? 

I loved checking with Lucas, Fallon, the kids, Audrey, Tate, Ellie, Shea, Vaughan,  Brie, and  Jensen. It is also a great transition novella for young Aiden as we have the opportunity to see him start looking towards his future. Hopefully we will see more of him as he matures. 

This was a short, sweet, crazy slice of life for a busy sports family. 
It brings change, challenges, and some surprises. But it shows the love that these characters have for each other. Assassins fans will enjoy this "little bit more" with this group. And I am looking forward to the next Assassins book, In The Crease. I just cannot seem to get enough of this series and these beloved characters. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Twenty-Two offers a fun, fast glimpse at the crazy lives of Lucas and Fallon Brooks during the playoff series as they deal with team travel, four crazy kids, and their own futures.

Lucas is getting older and beginning to feel his age in lingering aches and pains. But he is determined to play through, even as he wonders if it is time for some of his teammates to call it rather than continue to stress about injuries. Chasing another Cup, his focus is on the Assassins and his teammates.

Fallon has her hands full with their gaggle of kids and the winery. Knowing the kids are happy and settled in Nashville, she loves the life they have built, but knows things are bound to change. Their oldest, Aiden, is 17 and facing his own decisions about the future -- decisions that will change everything Fallon and Lucas thought his path would take.

There was one part of this novella that truly surprised me and left me feeling just a little bit nostalgic. But while I was a little down about that event, ultimately I finished the story feeling a bright hope for each of the characters in the Assassin’s world.
This was a fun return to the Assassin’s family. Many favorites pop in, either at game time or as the extended family gathers for various events. I always look forward to seeing what is next for this family oriented team and that is no exception as I finished Twenty-Two. I can’t wait for the next full length novel in the series and seeing more from this team.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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?”
“No, ma’am.”
“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.
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.

**Note: Book 2: Trying to Score was Lucas and Fallon's first book. Twenty-Two is a new novella featuring them.

    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
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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?


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