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Twenty-Two Chapter Reveal

 

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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.

The Brooks Family

“I want to watch SpongeBob!”

“No! Ariel!”

“Yeah! Mermaid! I wanna watch Ariel!”

Lucas Brooks covered his face with his hands before he yelled from his bedroom, “There are nine TVs in this house! Separate!”

“But she has the popcorn!”

“And he has the milk!”

“Daddy, I want to be with Asher!”

“Why are they eating popcorn at seven a.m.?”

Groaning, he looked over at his wife, who was cuddled deep into the bed, her dark brown hair covering her face as her thick, plump lips pursed out toward him. He almost leaned over and kissed her, but he was exhausted. “I don’t know. Where is Aiden?”

“I don’t know.”

“What’s the point of having an older kid if he isn’t going to care for the crazy little ones?”

“I don’t think that’s why we had them so far apart.”

Lucas scoffed. “Says you.”

Fallon giggled as she scooted over toward him, cuddling into his shoulder. Both of them knew the real reason for the big age gap between their children, though they never talked about it anymore. In their eyes, they did this on purpose and, really, it didn’t matter because they were happy.

“Mom! Asher won’t give me some milk!”

“Stella backwashes!”

“Mommy! I’m thirsty! Can I have some sweet tea?”

“Daddy, I want tea!”

“What in the hell?” Lucas muttered, staring at the ceiling as Fallon continued to giggle.

“Why are they up so early? The game was late.”

“Who knows? I’m exhausted.”

“So am I,” Lucas groaned, and he was. He felt the pain all over his body from the big win over St. Louis that advanced the Assassins to the second round. His whole body was aching. He wasn’t like his young self that bounced back after a hard-fought game. No, Lucas Brooks needed a good week after a game like the one the night before. It had gone into overtime, and the Blues had been playing desperate hockey. But by the grace of God, Jensen Monroe didn’t let any in, and Vaughn Johansson scored the winning goal. Vaughn had wanted to make his night even better since he had just proposed to his girlfriend and found out she was pregnant. So last night’s win was a biggie for everyone. Though, Lucas wished he had a solid month to recuperate before the next one. But he didn’t. He only had a few days of rest before the second round started.

“But, really, where is Aiden?”

“I have no clue.”

“Text him.”

“That means I have to move,” he complained, and she rolled her eyes before throwing her arm behind her to find her phone. Bringing it to her face, she dialed their son’s number, putting the call on speaker.

“Hello?”

 

Lucas closed his eyes. Aiden’s manly voice still was like a punch to the gut. His baby was growing, fast, and it was killing him slowly. “Baby, where are you?”

Aiden let out an exasperated breath. “Out front, where I always am. Where are you?”

Fallon looked to Lucas as he looked back at her. “Excuse me?”

“Oh my God, Mom, did you forget I had training for summer league this morning?”

Throwing the blankets off, she sat up. “Not at all. I’m running late.”

“You forgot!”

Lucas laughed as Fallon shot daggers from her eyes. “I did not! I’m coming.”

“If you would let me drive, this wouldn’t be a problem,” Aiden reminded her.

“If you cut your hair, maybe we’d buy you a car,” Lucas called out, and Aiden laughed.

“You’re just jealous I have hair!”

“Hush it, both of you. I’m coming,” she said, hanging up the phone and throwing on some sweat pants. “I can’t believe I forgot.”

“I can’t believe he went after not getting home until midnight last night.” She shot Lucas a deadpan expression. “Okay, I can. I would have.”

“Exactly. He’s his daddy’s son.”

Lucas grinned. “He is.” Then he glared, running his hands along his thinning hair. “I have good hair, right?”

She laughed. “Yes, baby, lots of great hair.”

“He has more.”

“He’s going through puberty.”

He raised a brow. “I think he’s past that.”

 

She shook her head. “I don’t know if we can wait till his birthday to give him a car, Lucas,” she said, pulling her hair up as she glanced back at him.

“That’s all you, babe. I told you to give him mine, and I’ll go get a new truck.”

“He wants a sports car.”

“And I don’t give two fucks. That kid isn’t going to be driving a better car than what I had. He can have a nice Ford and be happy, or he can walk—if his momma would let him.”

“What does that mean?”

“You’re overprotective as hell.”

“I am not.”

“You are.”

She glared. “But he is a good kid, Lucas.”

“The best, and he’ll be happy with my Ford.”

“Ugh, okay,” she groaned before leaning down and kissing his lips. He savored her for a moment, grabbing her butt.

“Can we make him wait a bit longer to be picked up?”

She chuckled, desire flashing in her eyes. “I doubt you can move.”

He looked sad. “I can’t.”

She laughed as she kissed him again. “Can we give the car to him today?”

“Tomorrow.”

Her brows rose. “Why tomorrow?”

“Because I can’t move, and I have to go buy a new car for me.”

She laughed, smacking his chest, which made him wince. “I’ll be back.”

 

“Be careful,” he called as she headed out of the room just as Emery ran right into her.

Picking up their youngest, Fallon kissed her loudly on the lips.

“Be good.”

“Me?” Emery asked.

“You.”

“Why?”

“Because you want cake at sissy’s birthday, don’t you?”

“Oh! I’ll be good!”

Fallon rolled her eyes, placing their daughter on her feet before waving back at Lucas.

Emery ran to him, jumping on the bed and breaking his bones further. He groaned out as Emery cuddled into him, and he closed his eyes. “Daddy.”

“Yes, love?”

“I love you.”

He smiled into her hair, kissing her temple as his arms came around her, holding her tight. He’d never known he could love any child as much as he loved Aiden. Lucas could still recall the first moment he saw his son. Outside of Fallon’s house, begging her for a chance to reconnect after seven years of separation, but then Aiden walked out, and Lucas knew. Aiden was his son, and boy, did he fall in love. Head over heels for the kid. Lucas never thought any kid could come close to his love for Aiden, but then Asher came.

His spunky, dry-humored little geek. The kid was always on his computer, always busy making something, and damn smart. Asher was great on the ice, though Lucas didn’t think he’d go far with it. He was too obsessed with computers and rebuilding them. His first love wasn’t the ice; it was making things tick. But Lucas was proud nonetheless, especially considering the fact that Aiden’s drive to make it to the NHL was enough for the whole family.

In all reality, Lucas had been set with two great boys. But then, by the grace of God, came Stella. His little diva. She looked just like Fallon, breathtakingly stunning with big brown eyes and thick brown hair. She had her momma’s looks, and God help him, her mouth too. Those two went at it daily, mostly about clothes and hair, but his little girl had his heart, and of course, he was wrapped around her finger.

That was it…until Emery came. She was a complete surprise, but in a way, she was the missing piece in their lives. Their family had been off-balance and needed her quirky little brand of badass. While Emery favored both Fallon and him physically, she had his demeanor with Fallon’s mouth. It was a bad combination because while she was ruining your life, she was making you feel right about it. Unlike her sister, Emery didn’t care about hair or clothes. She cared about being a fairy princess, which, for an almost four-year-old, he figured was logical.

But she was daddy’s princess.

Holding his sweet baby, he couldn’t help the grin on his lips, though he was aching in spots he hadn’t even thought he could ache. He had taken a hard hit into the boards, coming down and slamming his head on the ice. Thank God for a helmet because his brain would have been scrambled eggs if not. But he was feeling every bit of it now. Though, he couldn’t think of that. All he could think about was how much his life had changed. He used to be a lonely bachelor, living life in the fast lane and enjoying the NHL. But when he moved to Nashville, everything changed. Fallon happened. And now, Lucas couldn’t imagine his life without her and their kids. Between playing and being his kids’ biggest fan, he didn’t see any other point to life.

Oh, yeah, and loving Fallon.

 

But that came naturally.

That woman was his world.

Everything was great in the Brooks household. Now, if only his body could stop hurting and aching, things would be grand. Oh, and if his kids could stop growing. And he needed the Assassins to bring home the Cup.

Yup, then Lucas Brooks would be a happy man.

“I love you too, love bug.”

“Can I still have cake if I’m bad?”

“What did Momma say?”

She pouted. “Do you love cake, Daddy?”

“I do.”

“Me too.”

He smiled, kissing her head. “I know, love bug.”

“Can we watch Ariel?” She sat up, her eyes wide and gray like his. She had Fallon’s lips, though, and the shape of her face. Her hair was in pigtails with big pink bows in them that he was sure Stella had put in. “Please. You’re my favorite daddy.”

“I’m your only daddy.”

She nodded. “And my favorite.”

He smiled. “Do I have to move?”

She thought that over. “No.”

“Then, yes.”

***

 

Pulling up in front of Aiden’s private school, Fallon hit the brakes, slamming forward as she looked over to where Aiden was standing, shaking his head. Gone was her baby, replaced by a hormone-driven monster with long hair. Actually, he was the greatest kid in the world and she loved him more than anything, but God, she hated his hair. He looked like a damn fool, especially with that stupid man bun. But boy was he handsome. Just like his daddy, he had a strong bone structure, thick, dark brows, and dark gray eyes. He was beautiful, and if she didn’t know he was a good kid, she’d lock him up.

Opening the back, he threw in his bag. “Hey, Mom.”

“Hey, honey.”

“Hey, Aiden.”

Fallon about broke her neck trying to see who was calling her son’s name. She saw a pair of girls standing beside the stairs in what she felt were too short skirts. Sure, they were cheerleading skirts, but still. Fallon glared as Aiden turned, tipping his chin at them. “Hey.”

“Are you going to the dance on Friday?”

“Probably not, I’ve got a game.”

One of them puckered her lips. “Can’t you come after?”

He shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ll let you know. Have a good practice.”

“Okay, I’ll save you a dance.”

When he flashed her a grin, his dimples shining in all their precious glory, Fallon shook her head.

There was Lucas Brooks reincarnated.

“Cool. See ya.”

 

Closing the back, Aiden walked around, and she swore he had grown another inch or so.

Opening the door, he climbed in and looked over at her. “You know, being the oldest, I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to be forgotten. Emery is.”

Fallon glared. “Shut up. I’m exhausted. It was a late night. How did you even get here?”

“Brayden’s mom drove me, like you asked her to at practice.”

Fallon paused as she moved the shifter of her van into Drive. “I did, didn’t I?”

“You did,” he said dryly, throwing his legs up on the dash as he started to play on his phone.

“Hmm. Hey, at least I got that far,” she decided, hitting the gas.

“Thank God.”

“Practice was good?”

“Great. Coach is happy with me.”

“Good.”

“Heard Bellevue is looking at me.”

Fallon glanced over at him. “From whom?”

“Coach.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah, he said I should talk to my counselor.”

“For what?”

“I have enough credits to graduate this summer and start over there if I wanted.”

Fallon’s heart stopped. “You just turned seventeen.”

“Yeah?”

“Do you want that?”

 

“Yeah,” he laughed, looking over at her. “Mom, I want to go to college so I can go into the draft. The Sinclair brothers all went to Bellevue. I need that exposure before I enter the draft.”

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Too much. This was her baby. Her firstborn and he was ready to go.

He was itching for the NHL. He wanted to play like his father. He wanted to live his hockey dreams, and all she wanted was for him to go back to fighting hippogriffs. “Talk to your father about this. You’re making my head hurt.”

Aiden laughed. “Mom, I’m getting older. I’m practically a m—”

“Shut your dirty mouth, Aiden James Brooks.”

He laughed harder as she turned down the main road. “Where we going?”

“Audrey’s.”

“Why?”

“I gotta get some donuts she made for your father for winning last night, and then I gotta approve the cake she’s making for Stella’s birthday next weekend.”

“Do I have to go to that?”

She flashed him a dirty look. “You mean your sister’s birthday?”

“Yeah.”

“Of course you do. You’re the damn crab, Sebastian.”

“You’re kidding.”

“No,” she said simply. “I hope the costume fits.”

“Oh my God.”

“I even hired a photographer. So when you’re in the NHL and they need those pictures of you growing up, I’ll have that one.”

 

“You’re horrible.”

“I try.”

He scoffed, and she grinned over at him before pulling onto the road that held Audrey Jane’s. “So, who were those girls?”

“Addy and Melissa.”

“Your fans?”

“Everyone is my fan,” he said, waggling his eyebrows, and she laughed. “I’m practically a hockey-playing god, Mom.”

“All right, pump the brakes there, mister. You’re no Vaughn Johansson.”

Aiden laughed. “JoJo is amazing.”

“He is, but he’s cocky as all hell,” she said simply, pulling into Audrey Jane’s and

parking beside her baby sister’s car. Getting out, they went inside just as Fallon’s niece, Penelope, hollered out, “Welcome to Audrey Jane’s!”

Fallon beamed as Aiden ran after Penny, gobbling her up and tickling her before Audrey came out of the back, a grin on her face. “Hey.”

“Hey, you,” Fallon said, kissing the back of Penny’s head.

“You’re here early.”

“Yeah, I forgot to pick my kid up after practice, so here I am. Where is Philippe?”

“With Tate. He didn’t want to come in.”

Fallon nodded. “How’s Tate feeling?”

Audrey exhaled loudly since the subject of her husband, the Assassins’ starting goalie, Tate Odder, was a touchy one. He had a serious groin injury and had had surgery about two months ago, but he still wasn’t recuperating from it well. An infection had spread and knocked him down some more, long after the doctors had assumed he would be back on the ice. So it was easy to say the Odder family was very tense. “Lots of pain, but I guess he’s getting better. He doesn’t talk about it. He mainly asks me to make cupcakes. He’s pissed he missed last night.

Thank God Jensen did great.”

“Right?” Fallon agreed with a nod. “Well, hopefully, he’ll be up and at it soon.”

“I don’t know, Fal, I just don’t know.”

“What does that mean?” Aiden asked. “Uncle Tate’s okay, isn’t he?”

Audrey faked a grin. “Of course. Come here. You want a cupcake?”

Aiden laughed. “You know, I’m seventeen, you can’t distract me— Whoa, are those cookie dough?”

Audrey smiled happily at Fallon as she shook her head, and Aiden took the cupcake.

“Come on, I’ll show you the cake for Stella, and your donuts are right there.”

Aiden looked at the donuts. “Can I have one?”

“Save one for your dad.”

“Okay,” he said with a mouthful as she followed Audrey to the back.

“Kid has a tapeworm, I swear. He’s always eating.”

Audrey laughed. “He’s always been an eater. It’s not fair.”

“Agreed.”

As Fallon followed her into the kitchen, Audrey looked back at her sister. “I think he might have to retire.”

“Who? What? Tate?” Fallon’s eyes widened. “Never.”

“Yeah, he is grief-stricken about it and things are bad, but he can’t seem to get better. I don’t know. I told him he needs to decide.”

 

“Wow.”

“Yeah, it’s not good. We’re fighting a lot, and he’s withdrawn because he feels like a failure. Shit’s so bad, he started to go see Wren Lemiere, the team’s therapist.”

“Good for him,” Fallon said, exhaling hard. “I hate that for him, though.”

Audrey nodded as she turned on her computer. “Me too. At least you don’t have to worry about that. Lucas’s got at least nine more years in him.”

Fallon shot her sister a wry smile. “He creaks when he walks. I’m waiting for him to tell me he’s done.”

“He won’t.”

“I know, which makes me nervous.”

“Yeah, but you know, Lucas would be okay. Tate…he’s not, and I just want my happy husband back. I’m worried he won’t be happy without hockey.”

“No, he has you guys. He loves you three. So much.”

“I know he does, and he is the best father ever. Sucky in the husband department right now, but I get it. We’ll be okay.”

“You will,” she said, wrapping her arms around her sister. “Don’t worry.”

“Thanks.” Audrey hugged Fallon back as the computer came on. “Okay, so here it is. The best Ariel cake for my niece.”

Fallon grinned as she took in the perfect seven tiers of Ariel-themed cake. “She’ll flip her shit.”

“That’s my goal.”

“It’s perfect.”

 

“Awesome,” she said, shutting her computer lid. “I’ll be over next Saturday morning to set everything up.”

“Cool.” Fallon leaned her hip to the counter as she met her sister’s gaze. Audrey had changed so much over the years. She used to be obsessed with her weight. Now, she stayed healthy, even if she was rounder than she used to be. Kids would do that, though. One thing was for sure. Even with all the shit going on, Audrey had a grin on her face that Tate and the kids had put there. Her sister was complete, and like she’d said, she would be okay. Fallon just knew it.

But Fallon was pretty sure she was going to have her own mini heart attack. “Aiden told me his coach said he could probably graduate early and that Bellevue might want him.”

Audrey’s jaw dropped. “What?”

“Yeah.”

“What did you say?”

“For him to talk to his father!”

Audrey laughed. “Fallon.”

“What?”

“It would be great.”

“He’s a baby.”

“He’s seventeen. He’s a great kid. Smart and talented as hell.”

“Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t think I want him to do it.”

“If it’s going to be what’s best for his career, then he has to, you know?”

Biting her lip, Fallon nodded. “We’ll see what my husband says. If he can even move.”

Audrey smiled. “He’s sore today?”

“Yes, bless him. I don’t know if he’ll make through the whole series in one piece.”

 

“He is old now.”

“He isn’t a spring chicken, for sure.” Fallon grinned. “Except in the bedroom.”

“Ew!”

Fallow snorted as Audrey shook her head and then smiled. “I think they’re going to go the whole way. I feel it.”

Fallon nodded. “I do too. Rumor is, Elli was in the locker room crying last night. She’s so emotional.”

“Think she’s pregnant again?”

Fallon laughed. “Lord, I hope not!”

“Right? She’s already so damn busy.”

“I know.” Fallon shook her head. “Are you going to Lucy’s baby shower next Sunday?”

“Did you not check the group?”

Fallon just looked at her. “Obviously not, Audrey.”

“It’s been postponed until further notice.”

“Why?”

“Because of the play-offs.”

“That’s dumb. Why plan it around the play-offs, then?”

“I don’t have an answer for that, but they called me asking to hold off on the cake.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah. Which is good ’cause I can focus on Stella’s cake.”

“This is true. Ariel needs all your attention anyway.”

Audrey grinned as she leaned into her sister. “You know, you can come by more.”

“Same for you. Or come to the winery, and I’ll get you drunk.”

 

Audrey beamed. “That’s a plan.”

“Mom! Let’s go! Penny is going to make me fat.”

Penny’s giggles met them in the kitchen, and Fallon laughed. “Kid couldn’t get fat if he tried.”

“Right?” Audrey asked, shaking her head. “And what’s up with his hair?”

“I don’t know. I want to cut it, but he won’t let me.”

Audrey laughed as they went out of the kitchen to find Penny feeding Aiden cookie after cookie. “Mom,” he whined, and Fallon laughed.

“Hey, boogey butt—”

“Audrey!” Aiden complained, and they all laughed since he hated his nickname. “I told you about calling me that.”

She feigned hurt. “You are my baby, and I will call you that if I want. Even when you’re a big, hotshot hockey player, I’ll be in the stands hollering, ‘That’s my boogey butt!’”

“Mom,” he groaned, and Fallon just kept laughing.

“Anyway, if I throw gum in your hair, will you let me cut it?”

He glared. “Stay away from me.”

“It’s so long. And dirty,” Audrey said, coming toward him, and when Fallon saw the scissors in her hand, she tried to stifle her laughter.

“I washed it like ten minutes ago!” he said, slowly stepping back from his aunt.

“It’s ugly. Let me cut it.” She went for the bun, but he deked around her, running to Fallon and hiding behind her. Which was pointless since he was practically seven times her size.

“Leave me alone! Mom! Tell her to leave me alone.”

 

“We’re leaving.” Picking up the donuts…well, the three that were left, Fallon shook her head. “Bye, Penny loaf,” she called to Penelope.

“Bye, Auntie!”

“Bye,” Audrey sang. “I’ll get you later, Aiden James.”

Going outside, Aiden looked over at Fallon. “You won’t let her cut my hair, right?”

“I mean, if she gets to you before I do, I’m sorry for ya.”

“I look amazing!”

“You look like a damn fool,” she said, opening the door. “But I love you.”

He shot her an exasperated look. “Do I really have to be Sebastian next weekend?”

“No,” she laughed, shaking her head. “Asher is Sebastian. You’re Flounder.”

“Mom!”

With a grin on her lips, she got in the car.

But she’d be lying if she said she wasn’t worried about Aiden.

Or Tate.

Or even her dinosaur of a husband at home, who might or might not make it through the play-offs.

 

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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The Hot Shot

 

the hot shot AN

 

 

TheHotShot Amazon-2First we were friends. Then we were roommates. Now I want more…

What can I say about Chess Copper? The woman is capable of bringing me to my knees. I know this about five minutes after getting naked for her.

No one is more surprised than me. The prickly photographer my team hired to shoot our annual charity calendar isn’t my usual type. She’s defense to my offense, a challenge at every turn. But when I’m with her, all the regrets and darkness goes away. She makes life fun.

I want to know Chess, be close to her. Which is a bad idea.

Chess is looking for a relationship. I’ve never given a woman more than one night. But when fate leaves Chess without a home, I step up and offer her mine. We’re roommates now. Friends without benefits. But it’s getting harder to keep our hands off each other. And the longer we live together the more I realize she’s becoming my everything.

Trick is… Now that I’ve made her believe I’m a bad bet, how do I convince her to give this player a true shot at forever?

AMAZON | iBooks | B&N | KOBO | Paperback

 

 

 

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KCauthor

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal , best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Review: Kristen Callihan usually hits it out of the park with her books and The Hot Shot is no exception! Finn and Chess have excellent chemistry and their relationship progresses from friends to roommates to much, much more. Once they hit the roommate stage, it is clear that Finn wants more from their relationship but he respects Chess and her hesitation. Both have personal issues from their past to overcome and with the support of each other, they work towards a future together. This book runs parallel to The Game Plan and does have some plot spoilers from that book. However, it could just as easily be read as a standalone. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait for Kristen Callihan’s next book!

 

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Delayed Call

Delayed Call (Assassins #11)Delayed Call by Toni Aleo

Description: 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.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As usual, Toni Aleo knocks it out of the park! This was a true enemies-to-lovers story with scorching tension and attraction between Vaughn and Brie. Honestly, every fight they had felt like foreplay! However, underneath the attraction, the trust between them took a while to grow. Vaughn had to overcome the losses and betrayals in his past. Brie had to learn to trust Vaughn and depend on him. Overall, an excellent story and a good introduction to new Assassins’ players!

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*Received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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The Hot Shot- Cover Reveal

the hot shot release date

 

TheHotShot Amazon-2

 

 

 

TheHotShot Amazon-2First we were friends. Then we were roommates. Now I want more…

What can I say about Chess Copper? The woman is capable of bringing me to my knees. I know this about five minutes after getting naked for her.

No one is more surprised than me. The prickly photographer my team hired to shoot our annual charity calendar isn’t my usual type. She’s defense to my offense, a challenge at every turn. But when I’m with her, all the regrets and darkness goes away. She makes life fun.

I want to know Chess, be close to her. Which is a bad idea.

Chess is looking for a relationship. I’ve never given a woman more than one night. But when fate leaves Chess without a home, I step up and offer her mine. We’re roommates now. Friends without benefits. But it’s getting harder to keep our hands off each other. And the longer we live together the more I realize she’s becoming my everything.

Trick is… Now that I’ve made her believe I’m a bad bet, how do I convince her to give this player a true shot at forever?

 

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KCauthor

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal , best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

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Drive You Wild

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Drive You Wild


Love Between the Bases #3

By: Jennifer Bernard

Releasing June 28, 2016
Avon

 

DriveyouWildCoverBlurb

It’s game on for love in the third novel of USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Bernard’s sexy, baseball-themed series.

Kilby Catfish left-fielder Trevor Stark is a ballpark legend. With his good looks, hitting records, and played-for-the-fans arrogance, Trevor makes women lose their minds and men lose their cool. But every time the major league team comes calling, Trevor purposely keeps himself in the tiny Texas town. Why is heart-tuggingly top secret. Until the team owner’s daughter comes to Kilby . . . trying everything up her sexy sleeve to make Trevor talk.
Divorced and disillusioned at twenty-four, Paige Mattingly Austin Taylor is suddenly starting fresh as an intern at Catfish Stadium. She should want nothing to do with the sinfully hot ballplayer her dad warned her to stay away from. But when she discovers what Trevor is hiding from everyone, she realizes there’s much more to him than his face and multi-million-dollar arm. There’s a heart she seriously hopes to win.

 

Link to Follow Tour:  http://www.tastybooktours.com/2016/05/drive-you-wild-love-between-bases-3-by.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27161181-drive-you-wild

Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/136342-love-between-the-bases

 

Buy Links:      Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo

 

Author Info

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Jennifer Bernard is a graduate of Harvard and a former news promo producer. The child of academics, she confounded her family by preferring romance novels to … well, any other books. She left big city life for true love in Alaska, where she now lives with her husband and stepdaughters. She’s no stranger to book success, as she also writes erotic novellas under a naughty secret name not to be mentioned at family gatherings.

 

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Link to Rafflecopter Page, http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/521ac4c81073/?

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Excerpt

“Are you afraid of the mighty Crush Taylor?” She took another step closer. “He’s not as bad as he seems, you know.”

“I’m not afraid of him.” He placed his hands on her shoulders to keep her from coming any closer. Her warmth carried into his skin, into his being, as if it was igniting him from within.

“And I’m not afraid of you.” She ducked underneath his hands in a quick move right out of the NBA. He took a step back and his calves hit the bench situated next to the lockers. She reached out in apology and suddenly they were right smack against each other, chest-to-chest.

Fire flashed down his spine, hot and urgent. He hauled her against him—oh, sweet Lord, she felt good. Soft and firm and shapely and alive and fresh and . . . then her mouth was under his, her lips parting, her breath warm, her flesh lush and sweet. It wasn’t a kiss so much as a head rush.

~~

Paige posted the first series of “Baseball’s Hottest Outfield” photos on the team’s Facebook page the next day. A few hours later a thousand people had clicked Like. Not only that, but the viewership of the page soared. It was shared all over the Internet, on Pinterest, on Twitter, on Instagram. It wasn’t just that the three men were criminally gorgeous. A big part of the appeal came from their racial mix and the blend of personalities. Trevor the stone-cold badass, Dwight the dynamic charmer, and Shizuko, the soulful rock star.

Paige knew it was all a crock, of course. Trevor wasn’t stone cold, Dwight wasn’t playful all the time, and Shizuko could outcrude most of the clubhouse, and that was saying something. But once those identities became set, people loved them. They were like cartoon characters instead of real people.

At the next game, the crowd roared when the outfielders took their positions on the field. Fans held up even more signs than they normally did. From the owner’s box, Paige scanned the crowd with her binoculars and read the signs out loud to Crush.

“ ‘Kilby Hearts Baseball’s Hottest Outfield.’ Thank you very much, we heart you too! ‘We make ’em hot in Kilby, Texas.’ That might be taking a little too much credit. None of them are from here.”

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Review:

I enjoyed reading this book. To be honest, it took me a little while to get into it but once I did, it was a quick and fun read. Paige was an intriguing heroine, a young woman fresh out of a divorce. It could have been easy for Trevor to be a rebound but their relationship developed past that. It took me longer to warm up to Trevor. He was too adapt at letting past scars control his life. However, it was extremely satisfying to see both characters overcome their past and form a loving relationship.

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For The Win

For The Win by Sara Rider

27778685Description: What happens when you fall for your biggest competition? Sara Rider scores with this charming romance about soccer stars battling their tough opponents and playing the field of love.

Lainey Lukas has sacrificed everything—sleep, family, carbs, a life—to earn her spot as the top player and captain of the Seattle Falcons women’s soccer team. She’s determined to lead her team to a national championship and finally earn the sport the respect it deserves—and nothing will throw her off her game. When Lainey’s hero Gabe Havelak, star of the Seattle Surge, crashes her team’s first press conference—making the Falcons look like a joke to the local media and humiliating Lainey in the process—she’s hell-bent on revenge.

Charming, confident Gabe is practically a god to Seattle soccer fans, but he doesn’t mind a little friendly competition from tough-as-nails Lainey, with her top-notch athletic skills, her mile-long legs, and her girl-next-door freckles. But when he learns the Falcons are booting the Surge from their coveted practice space to the notoriously cursed Cricket Field, those warm feelings give way to crippling superstition. With his contract up for renewal and his thirty-fourth birthday just weeks away, Gabe will risk anything to protect his position with the Surge.

The rivals agree to settle their differences in a Battle of the Sexes competition—a test of skills, fitness, and willpower. At first the situation seems win-win: Gabe gets the chance to earn back the Surge’s practice space, and Lainey’s team will finally get some much-deserved media attention. But as the friction between them becomes hot enough to spark and smolder, Lainey and Gabe are entering new territory—and with both of their careers on the line, love might just be the toughest opponent of all.

Review: 

Last summer, I spent almost every day glued to my TV, watching the Women’s World Cup. It helps that I’m from New Jersey, where basically everyone played soccer growing up. Some of the best American players, both female and male, come from the Garden State, i.e. Carli Lloyd, Tobin Heath, and Tim Howard.  So when I saw a book about female soccer players, I immediately jumped to read it. This book was an extremely lively read. Both Gabe and Lainey were interesting, well-written characters. Lainey is the captain of her Seattle female soccer team. She scored the winning goal at the Women’s World Cup but in doing so, received a head injury and took a while to recuperate. She is a determined, devoted player whose whole life revolves around soccer. She is desperately trying to drum up support for the new female soccer league and her team. There are clear echoes of real life and as a fan of women’s soccer, the challenges they face are real and difficult. Currently some of the top USA women’s players are suing against wage discriminationThe difference between men’s and women’s soccer are seen clearly throughout the book. Lainey and her teammates are forced to take second jobs to supplement their salary while Gabe is able to drive an expensive sports car. 

Gabe, the hero, is a famed male soccer player at the end of his career. He’s in his 30s and it is clear that his time playing professional soccer is running out. He is immediately attracted to Lainey, whose press conference he interrupts. Soon the main characters and their teammates are pulled into a Battle of the Sexes competition over playing field. In the midst of enjoyable banter and competitions, the relationship between Lainey and Gabe begins to bloom. There’s also great scenes with pranks and a soccer camp for kids which help round out the book. Can’t wait for the next book!  

Rating: 4 out of 5!

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Received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Spinning Out

Spinning Out by Lexi Ryan

29547264Description: Once, the only thing that mattered to me was football—training, playing, and earning my place on the best team at every level. I had it all, and I threw it away with a semester of drugs, alcohol, and pissing off anyone who tried to stop me. Now I’m suspended from the team, on house arrest, and forced to spend a semester at home to get my shit together. The cherry on my fuckup sundae? Sleeping in the room next to mine is my best friend’s girl, Mia Mendez—the only woman I’ve ever loved and a reminder of everything I regret.

I’m not sure if having Mia so close will be heaven or hell. She’s off-limits—and not just because she’s working for my dad. Her heart belongs to someone else. But since the accident that killed her brother and changed everything, she walks around like a zombie, shutting out her friends and ignoring her dreams. We’re both broken, numb, and stuck in limbo.

Until I break my own rules and touch her.
Until she saves me from my nightmares by climbing into my bed.
Until the only thing I want more than having Mia for myself is to protect her from the truth.

I can’t rewrite the past, but I refuse to leave her heart in the hands of fate. For this girl, I’d climb into the sky and rearrange the stars.

Review:

For a sports book, there’s actually no sports played within it. Arrow, the hero, is a football player who ends up under house arrest after a semester of drugs and alcohol. He lost control after his best friend was injured and left in coma. Adding to that, his best friend’s girl, Mia, has moved in to be a nanny to his younger sister. Both characters have faced a great deal of trauma throughout the book. Mia has been in a fog since the accident which killed her brother and injured her ex-boyfriend. Arrow is trying to deal of the guilt of his friend’s injury and attempting to resist his attraction to Mia at the same time. This book jumps between the present and the time before the accident. The time jumps allow the reader to more completely understand the relationship between Arrow and Mia. The attraction between them is burning but yet the past restricts their ability to be together. This was the first time I read a book by Lexi Ryan and it won’t be the last. I really enjoy books that make me cry and the emotional distress both characters experience certainly provoked tears.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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Received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

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As Good As New

As Good As New by Jennifer Dawson

As Good As New (Something New, #4)Description: He was the high school hottie. She was the teacher’s pet. But in private, none of that mattered…

At the tender age of six, Penelope Watkins fell for her best friend’s brother, Evan Donovan, future hunk. By the time they were teenagers, they were having heart-to-hearts…and hot and heavy top secret make-out sessions. All that changed when Evan’s father suddenly died. Abruptly, Penelope lost him to grief—and to his true love: football. But now an injury had ended Evan’s NFL career. The notorious bad boy was in a depression no one could penetrate, except maybe the one woman who still knew him best—and still wanted him most…

Penelope is the last person Evan wants to witness the wreck he’s become. So when she shows up at his door he’s less than welcoming—even though the sight of her brings back the same old rush of desire. As a teenager, the emotions overwhelmed him. Now, when he wanted to be overwhelmed, Penelope wasn’t playing. She was telling the golden boy it was time to man up. It may have taken a concussion for Evan to realize it, but that’s exactly what he wants to do—starting with her…

Review:

I was so excited when I saw this book was available on Netgalley. I loved Jennifer Dawson’s entire series and I couldn’t wait for Penelope and Evan’s book! Guess what? It fulfilled all of the expectations and more! Dawson provided the steamy sexual tension of a high school love affair gone horribly wrong. I loved watching Evan and Penelope navigate their new relationship and figure out how to have an adult relationship. The chemistry between them was oh so steamy and sensual. By the time they finally slept together, I was mentally cheering!

Final note, I really like seeing Penelope as a successful and intelligent business woman. It was really the icing on the cake of a delicious book!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

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Received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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