BLOG TOUR: REVIEW AND EXCERPT: Delayed Call (Assassins #10) by Toni Aleo


 #NewRelease #DelayedCall #Assassins #ToniAleo #SportsRomance 

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


“Strength is what we gain from the madness we survive.”

No truer words spoken could depict the main characters’ methods of survival in Toni Aleo’s newest Assassins’ release, Delayed Call. Brie Soledad and Vaughn Johansson have dealt with and endured life altering events that have shaped who they are and how they live their life, and while those trials have scarred them and changed how they view relationships and love, it’s clear that both have the propensity to give their heart to one who deserves it, but they have to be strong enough to battle their fear and realize that life is meant to be lived boldly with the possibility of heartbreak instead of simply running away when things get too tough to handle.

Brie and Vaughn would definitely be considered enemies when their story begins. It’s almost like they are the banes of each other’s existence simply because they have to associate with one another due to Brie’s reporter position with the hockey team that Vaughn plays for, and because he’s one of the faces of the team, he’s asked to talk to the media way more times than he would like to, especially because of his forced interaction with Brie.

But the saying there’s a thin line between love and hate is one that epitomizes Brie and Vaughn’s “professional” relationship because as much as they tear one another down, busting each other’s metaphorical balls, the heat and lust between them builds every time they get in one another’s face and spew nasty and hateful words that for some reason gets both of them sexually amped up.

Vaughn Johansson is quite the entertaining and intriguing character. On the surface, Vaughn seems like a man who knows how to have a good time and loves to razz his friends and teammates every chance he gets. But there’s so much more to Vaughn than his athletic ability and his profane mouth, and Toni Aleo demonstrates those qualities through his interaction with Brie and her brother, Rodney, as well as through philanthropic acts and his hands-on approach when it comes to helping those with special needs and ensuring they have everything they need to live a full life.

Vaughn hasn’t been the relationship kind of guy for a long time, and while he has no plans to change that, once he gets to truly know Brie and understand that her bitchiness is a shell of protection, he finds himself wanting to risk his heart with her…wanting to be a part of every aspect of her life because the “fiery little blonde bundle of sass” makes him happy and whole even while scaring the absolute crap out of him.

Brie is absolutely the sassy woman who can shake-up Vaughn’s lonely life. She’s ready to love again…to find a man who deserves her and who will give her every part of him. Interestingly enough, Brie wants that man to be Vaughn but for that to happen, he needs to let go of his past and see Brie for who she truly is not for what she represents simply because she’s a woman.

Delayed Call illustrates that when a person’s back’s against the wall and the pressure is on, he can either give up because there are too many obstacles to go through, or he can fight to get everything he desires, taking a chance of epically failing or epically succeeding. This is the situation that Vaughn finds himself in when it comes to what he wants to have with Brie and what she wants to have with him, and as the story progresses and Vaughn and Brie’s relationship changes and grows into something they both want to continue, it all comes down to whether or not they can fight the ghosts of the past together or if there’s just too much for Vaughn to work through in order to give Brie what she’s always wanted – a love of a lifetime.

4.5 Poison Apples


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.”



Watch the trailer HERE

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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