Face-Off At The Alter
The Assassins Series
By Toni Aleo
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.
Watching as Elli crossed the ice, saying hi to everyone she passed, Mekena knew she had to go. Standing, she wobbled a lot, but she still made it to the entry to the ice. She could do this. It wasn’t that hard. Just like walking—on water. No big deal.
Oh, God, she was going to die, and everyone was going to see it.
Swallowing hard, she stepped out on the ice and figured she could ride the side of the boards to him. Elli was already there, gushing over the kids and kissing all over the guy Mekena assumed was her nephew. And holy hot genes. Dark hair, bright blue eyes, and a jawbone that could slice the ice. He was beautiful, just like his uncle and his momma. Tall, too, and thick. Obviously a hockey player. That should have given her a little more confidence to skate over there, but instead, her fingers dug into the siding as she slowly made her way toward them.
When Elli looked up, Mekena let go of the sides and waved. “I’m a little slow. I’m coming!”
Elli said something to Ryan, whose eyes lit up when he looked over at her. As he detangled himself from the kids that were trying to climb him like a wall, she figured he was coming to help.
Oh, no, that was embarrassing.
No, she could skate. She had it!
Letting go of the siding, she went with ease. And at first, things were good. She was skating! But as well as it was going, it suddenly went very bad. She felt her knee bend funny and then her body start to fall. And as the ice came into view, she let out a cry, waiting for the ice to break not only her glasses but her nose too. Maybe her teeth.
But she didn’t fall.
No, instead, someone had her by her hips, pulling her up and to her feet.
“Whoa there, girlie. I thought you knew what you were doing?”
Everything inside her went hot. Not from embarrassment but from pure, burning desire. Trying to catch her breath, she looked up at him, his eyes so dark, his mouth so close to her cheek as he smiled.
Crap. Crap on a cracker.
“Yup, it’s me,” he said, grinning as he stood her on her feet. “Saving your life.”
This time of year may be hectic but it is also joyful. Most people are taking the time to reconnect with family and friends. They are celebrating life and making new goals for the new year. The release of Face-Off At The Alter by Toni Aleo was perfectly timed. I felt like I was reconnecting with my old friends from The Assassins series and The Bullies series.
It all begins with Lucy Sinclair and Benji Paxton’s wedding. The wedding has turned into a week long event. It’s time for family and friends to reconnect and enjoy one another’s company. Markus Reeves is heading home to Nashville from Florida spend time with his adoptive family, the Sinclairs.
Markus Reeves has spent the last couple of years in Florida playing hockey for the Assassins farm team. His life has spun out of control and his dreams are no longer within reach. He always dreamed of playing in the NHL for the Assassins. His game has tanked since his move to Florida. He hates his coach, his teammates, and his life. The only thing he’s looking forward to is returning home to Nashville for Lucy’s wedding. He’s looking forward to spending time with his friends. He also knows it’s time to face the music and face the girl he destroyed. The girl that sent his life in a downward spiral.
Lucy’s wedding must be his good luck charm. Ellie Adler has come to Jacksonville. He’s being brought up on conditional terms. It’s his second chance and opportunity to prove his worth as a player and teammate. He’s going to do everything in his power to make a place for himself on the Assassins team. He’s going to become the man he was supposed to be before his world imploded two years ago. The man he was before he destroyed Mekena Preston.
Mekena Preston has returned to Nashville to photograph Lucy and Benji’s wedding. She left Nashville two years ago after Markus and her sister betrayed her. She’s not the same girl she once was. Her heart is full of anger and hate. Taking this job means she will have to face Markus Reeves. Although she is not looking forward to seeing him, this time around she is in control. This time around she is going to push back.
Mekena and Markus were both destroyed when he slept with Skylar Preston ( the Bullies series). The betrayal destroyed them both as individuals. Two years later they are both finally going to get closure. They can finally move on in life. They can finally reach their full potential. Fate is once again going to intervene and change both of their destinies. Fate is going to right some wrongs but will come at another high price.
Toni Aleo once again did a wonderful job writing a powerful and emotional book about love, life, friendship, and family. The pure honesty is what makes her books beyond exceptional. Readers have become deeply connected to all her characters and their stories.
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?