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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.
Being a huge hockey fan and a lover of all things Assassins, I was so excited to hear that readers were going to be able to catch up with Lucas and Fallon Brooks, gaining new insights into how things have changed and grown both on the ice and at home and what their future looked like when it came to their kids and Lucas’ career with the Assassins franchise, and that is exactly what Toni Aleo delivers in Twenty-two.
Lucas and Fallon had to overcome quite a few obstacles to get where they are now in their lives, but without those struggles, they wouldn’t be the couple or the family they are today, so despite the uphill battle, this couple means everything to one another, and that bond has never been more evident than in this novella.
Lucas and Fallon’s story allows readers to check back in with them and their kids, finding out just how much Aiden takes after his dad and the love and affection that the Brooks’ kids have for their father, especially when he’s travelling for hockey. Lucas might always define himself as a hockey player, but he’s so much more than that – he’s one hell of a loving husband and father and he works his ass off to be a positive role model for his kids, even when his bones and muscles ache because he’s “not a spring chicken” anymore.
Fallon is definitely the backbone of the family. She holds the family together and puts her whole heart into everything that comes to her kids and her husband. She’s the perfect partner for Lucas and their connection is what allows them to conquer any hurdle, whether it be their kids growing up, the time spent apart due to the hockey season, or the craziness that always follows them around due to their brood of kids – there’s nothing the Brooks family can’t do as long as they stand by each other, cheering one another on and reveling in the fact that their lives couldn’t be any more imperfectly perfect than they are.
4 Poison Apples
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?”
“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.
About the Author
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?