Delayed Call (Assassins #11) by Toni Aleo

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.

Pet’s $0.02

YES! I cannot tell you how happy this book makes me.

Toni Aleo and the Assassins have returned and I’m so damn excited. You may be thinking….but the Assassins haven’t left…hell, the last book Face-Off at the Altar was about the Assassins. Right? Well, when I say they’ve returned I mean Toni has revived this series for me in a big way. I was almost ready to say that it was time for me and this series to part ways.

Before you start burning things and throwing shit my direction, let me explain…

I’ve been a fan of the Assassins and of Toni Aleo’s writing for a long time, but I don’t think I’ve made any secret of the fact that the Sinclair’s as a whole were not my favorite people (I’m giving a pass to Jace in that statement). I also hated Jordie Thomas with an unholy passion… I know a lot of people loved Jordie…he just pissed me right the fuck off… a lot. Let’s just leave it at I was starting to worry that the Assassins draw may have been coming to a close for me.

But, I have to give fucking kudos to Toni. She has resurrected my love for the Assassins with this story of Vaughn and Brie. I am in awe yet again and my faith is restored. I loved this book from beginning to end. I’m not saying that Vaughn didn’t have his issues…don’t we all. But the whole background for this story was what convinced me to give the Assassins one more chance. And I’m so glad I did!

Brie is my newest favorite heroine. She is such a great character to read. She is what we should be raising our daughters to be. She holds herself to an incredibly high standard in her job, in how she takes care of her brother Rod and how she allows herself to be treated by others. The scene with the speed dating had me laughing out loud. There was a time or two that I thought she might have been edging into fighting her attraction to Vaughn a little too hard, but she never fell into where I thought she was just fighting it to be stubborn. She had some legitimate concerns.

Vaughn on the other hand, did actually make me cuss him out a few times. I get he’s not had the best history with people he’d chosen to trust, but it’s pretty obvious that Brie is nothing like the people in his past. I was a little irritated that he was ruining a fantastic thing with Brie just because he was gun shy. And he fought those feelings for Brie hard. Only the depth of his love for his brother and how he chose to express it was what kept the balance between what seemed like two separate personalities and ended up just making me love him more. But damn, that man is a stubborn bastard.

Like a lot of Aleo’s books, this book sets up a whole cast of new characters I can honestly say that I am looking forward to meeting again. I haven’t been this excited for a new book in this series since Laces and Lace. Fantastic writing, fun banter between Vaughn and Brie and a list of other characters who are lovable to the extreme. I’m not so patiently waiting to find out what happens from here. Delayed Call has breathed new life into this series for me.