Face-Off at the Altar (Assassins #9) 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.

Pet’s $0.02

For anyone who doesn’t remember…. Markus was the best friend of Baylor, who’s married to Jayden and Makena was best friends with Avery, who’s married to Jace.  To be honest I have struggled with the Sinclair siblings. Jace is my favorite of the brothers, and I really liked Avery so I wanted to find out what happened with her bestie Makena. Things did not end well for them after Markus fucked up by cheating on her with her sister, Skylar.

I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for Skylar. I know we’re supposed to feel bad for her since she’s fallen victim to addiction but I just couldn’t get there.  The girl was a whore who reveled in trying to get with everyone else’s man way before her becoming a drug addict. That girl was messed up way before fucking over her sister. And she’s a whore not because she slept around but because she didn’t care who she hurt by her behavior.  I felt that Avery was completely justified in hating her. But Makena’s a lot better person than I am…I could not have forgiven her.

Up until this book Lucy was probably my second favorite Sinclair sibling. What you get a feel for in this Assassins installment is that Markus really feels like he’s part of the Sinclair brood…  I liked Markus and I loved that he found a family with the Sinclairs, but because of that his relationship with Lucy skeeved me right the fuck out…so, no, just no…  Any happy feelings I had for Lucy took a hit with that little revelation. And Lucy…WTF? You told Benji there had been no one since Rick…I think Benji may need to start questioning the shit you tell him since you are obviously leaving out some pretty important details.

As for the relationship between Markus and Makena…I liked them together. Things were not as they seemed with Markus. He was a good guy. Everyone loved Markus so for him to go that far outside of his normal behavior with Skylar should have been a huge red flag that something was not right. I was glad that Makena finally gave him the chance to tell her what happened. Although I thought maybe Makena had pegged his lying ass correctly with the secrets that just kept pouring out of everyone during Benji and Lucy’s wedding weekend.  

While the Sinclair’s will never be my favorites of the Assassin/Bellevue Bullies family, Markus and Makena’s story is a sweet story of two people who actually belonged together.  Neither of them deserved the shit they were put through to get to their HEA but I believe they truly appreciated it once they got there.

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