Empty Net (Assassins Series #3)

Empty Net (Assassins Series #3)

by Toni Aleo

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Overview

Empty Net (Assassins Series #3) by Toni Aleo

In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Toni Aleo’s third novel in her hot Assassins series, the chiseled men of this Nashville hockey team can make anything happen when they go all out for the women they want—even turn a one-night stand into a happily ever after.
 
Audrey Parker is up against the boards. She’s stuck in a job she hates and pining for a total jerk. Meanwhile, her sister Fallon is moving out and getting married to hockey star Lucas Brooks. Where is Audrey’s Prince Charming? Nothing she does has ever seemed to be good enough for any of the men in her life. Audrey’s about to hit rock bottom . . . until she wakes up next to Tate Odder.
 
The thrill of moving up from the minors to the Nashville Assassins was a welcome distraction. But not even becoming the first rookie goalie to tally three shutouts in the Stanley Cup finals alleviates the pain. With the loss of his parents and sister weighing as heavily on his soul as ever, Tate Odder can’t keep pretending he’s okay. That’s when he meets smart, sexy Audrey. Her gentle warmth and quirky sense of humor make him feel whole for the first time in too long. But to stay that way forever, Tate must find a way to accept his past and learn to live for love.

Praise for Toni Aleo’s Nashville Assassins romances
 
“Aleo melts the ice and hits it into the net with her Assassins series.”—Award-winning author Jami Davenport
 
Taking Shots is really the whole package. You get romance, humor, steamy sex, drama, and then it all wraps up with a great conclusion. I am amazed that this is Toni’s first book. She has come out in a huge way. I can’t wait to read more from her. Don’t hesitate for a moment to grab this book.”—Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
 
“A little steamy, a little heartbreaking, and a whole lot of fanning yourself are in order this time around, readers. Are your cheeks feeling a little pink yet? Get used to the feeling.”—Dreaming in the Pages, on Trying to Score
 
Empty Net is an honest, heartwarming, endearing story. . . . Toni Aleo doesn’t just write a story. She gives you the ability to experience the journey of her characters right along with them. Her stories are enveloped with passion, emotion, humor, love; and let me tell you, that girl knows how to write a sex scene that just makes you sweat!”—Guilty Pleasures Book Review
 
“Sexy and riveting . . . the perfect combination of love and lust.”USA Today bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin, on Blue Lines
 
“Funny, charming, sweet, sexy . . . [Falling for the Backup] has everything you want in a story.”—Blushing Reader
 
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: Taking Shots and Trying to Score.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781300759201
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/02/2012
Series: Nashville Assassins Series , #3
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 38,439
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Toni Aleo is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Nasvhille Assassins series: Taking Shots, Trying to Score, Empty Net, Falling for the Backup, and Blue Lines. When not rooting for her beloved Nashville Predators, she’s probably going to her husband’s and son’s hockey games and her daughter’s dance competitions, taking pictures, scrapbooking, or reading the latest romance novel. Aleo lives in the Nashville area with her husband, two children, and a bulldog.


From the Paperback edition.

Read an Excerpt

“Someone as beautiful as you shouldn’t be sad.”

Audrey looked over and then up, locking with a pair of ocean blue eyes. She blinked as she took in the hotness that stood beside her.

Wow.

A strong, square chin was covered in blond stubble, his nose had a pronounced bump, his top lip thin, while the bottom lip jutted out a little, just begging to be bitten. His hair was in a messy, tousled cut, and reminded her of the sparkling vampire she often fantasized about. While “Flightless Bird” by Iron & Wine instantly played in her mind, her eyes drifted down his neck to his broad shoulders. She could see he was strong, but not overly muscular. What he was—was perfect. Her eyes met his again and she couldn’t breathe. He oozed sex. She couldn’t believe how quickly she got turned on just by looking at him.

She breathed in and out a few times before croaking, “Excuse me?”

She watched as his lips moved. “I was wondering why someone so beautiful, looked so sad,” he said.

Audrey’s eyes left his mouth, to gaze into his eyes. “I’m not sad,” she lied.

“Yes, I think you are.”

He had an accent.

Sexy.

“I’m fine. My sister is getting married, that’s probably why I look sad.”

He shook his head. “Isn’t a wedding a good thing?”

She smiled again. “Of course it is, but I’m losing my sister.”

He nodded. “Yes, but you are gaining a brother.”

Her smile grew as she gazed up at him. He was tall, really tall. She had always been with little guys, since she was so short herself, but at that moment she liked being with the giant who stood in front of her. “I think you’re right,” she said.

He chuckled, a deep throaty sound that made Audrey’s stomach flutter. Oh, he was sexy. “I am always right.”

She giggled at his cockiness. It was totally something Lucas would say, and thinking of him made her smile. “Is that right?”

“Yes. I’ve been watching you, and I’m glad I came over to talk, because honestly, you are the most gorgeous woman I have ever seen.”

Oh, wow.

* * *

Tate Odder was nervous.

He wasn’t lying to the beautiful brunette when he said he had been watching her. He was sitting at the bar when she walked in with her phone at her side, looking so gorgeous it took his breath away. There was something about her that had him begging to know her name. He’d spent the last hour or so watching her with her friends. He recognized the team’s owner, Eleanor Adler, and assumed that one of them was Fallon, the soon-to-be wife of his good friend Lucas Brooks, but he wasn’t sure which one. Not that he cared. He had eyes only for the curvy brunette and had to figure out a way to approach her. He was not one of those guys who would mess with another man’s woman, but from where he’d been sitting, he saw that her ring finger was bare.

Since coming to Nashville eight months ago, he still hadn’t adjusted to dating in the Music City. There was something different about the girls here than in his Swedish homeland. Maybe it was their accents, or his, but he always felt like an idiot. No matter how much Lucas coached him on the art of picking up women, Tate couldn’t do it. He was worried they would make fun of his accent or the gap between his teeth.

He was just becoming popular in the National Hockey League. Even though he was ranked fifth in the NHL in goalie saves, he still wasn’t confident enough to walk up to a woman.

But that was about to change.

When the beauty walked to the bar alone, he’d channeled his inner Lucas and made his way toward her.
Tate couldn’t help but notice how sad she looked. She was petite, but he loved that. After dating nothing but tall Swedish women, he was ready for a change. He liked that she wasn’t bone thin either, and that she had hips and a nice round tush. When his eyes fell on her large breasts, he was in heaven. There was something about big breasts that did it for him. Call it cliché, but he loved big-breasted women.

As his eyes met her heavy-lidded, bright brown ones, he couldn’t help but smile. They sparkled as a bright smile crossed her luscious, glossy lips. “Watching me, huh?” she said now.

There was something uncommonly beautiful about her. Maybe it was the shape of her face. Maybe it was her big beautiful eyes. Or maybe it was the absolute perfection of her breasts. What it was, he didn’t know. All he knew was that he wanted her.

Now.

Nothing was said as the two stood gazing into each other’s eyes. When Tate asked Lucas to help him pick up women, he thought Lucas’s advice was going to make it easier for him. He was completely wrong. He had spent the last four months listening to every pickup line his friend gave him, but now he couldn’t think of even one. All he could do was stare into the depths of her brown eyes. They were mesmerizing.

“You’re beautiful,” he finally said.

She bit into her bottom lip, and Tate’s grip on the bar tightened. “Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me. I should be thanking you for gracing this world.”

Good one, he thought, as a blush dusted the beauty’s cheeks.

“Oooh, that was smooth,” she whispered. She lightly brushed her hand against his, and Tate was convinced his hand was on fire. She must have felt it too, because she gasped, moving her hand away quickly before looking up at him.

“I have to tell you,” she said with a shy grin, “it’s usually not this easy.”

He looked down at her. “Easy how?”

“This easy to pick me up. I usually make guys work for it.”

He grinned, and her smile widened. “So you want me too?”

She moved closer, her eyes dark with lust as she said, “I do, but I don’t even know your name, though you do look kinda familiar . . . “

“Do you want to know my name?” he asked with a cocky grin. It was another line out of Lucas’s book, and Tate couldn’t believe he remembered it. He was drunk and horny, not a good combination when trying to pick up a woman. Especially one as gorgeous as this one.

He expected her to nod, so when she shook it, stepping closer to him, he mentally prayed he was ready for what she was about to say. Things were so much different in the States than in Sweden. Back home all he would have to do was nod at a female and she would be on him quicker than he could blink. He was a hockey god there. But not here. He wasn’t used to feeling like he wasn’t good enough or that he couldn’t succeed, and hated it. He knew his confidence would be broken if she told him to f*** off, so he took a deep breath as she went toe-to-toe with him, her head only reaching to his chest before she looked up.

“All I want to know is when you can leave,” she said. “I have a room not even a mile from here.”

A slow grin spread across Tate’s face as his hands came to rest on her hips. She inhaled sharply and brought her bottom lip between her teeth as she gazed up into his eyes. He had never felt such a connection with a woman before. He wanted to push her up against the bar and have his way with her right there.

Fast. And hard.

He had never in his twenty-one years felt the need to completely devour a woman, but he did now. And if they didn’t leave fast, he was going to lose all control.

He didn’t hesitate, or even think, for that matter. “Let’s go.”

As they walked through the crowded bar together, hands locked, Tate couldn’t help but thank God for Lucas Brooks.

Customer Reviews

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Empty Net 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 124 reviews.
twimom101 More than 1 year ago
Sweet angels in Heaven. This book was beyond amazing. No kidding…I laughed, maybe snorted a couple times (it happens), I shouted at Audrey to get her head out of her rear, and of course with a ending like that…I cried. Oh my gosh did I cry. 12:45 in the morning and I am bawling my eyes out thinking of what just happened and what was to come. I was thinking heartbreak was sure to rear its ugly face again. Did it? Pssh, like I am gonna tell you. You have to read it to find out. Toni can write some books, lordy can that woman write some books. In fact I was head over heels in love with Shea and Elli’s story (Taking Shots) I didn’t think any of her other books would come close to that kind of perfection. Yeah Trying to Score was good, but not as great as Taking Shots in my opinion. So I figured I would get a good read, a little (ok who are we kidding, A LOT of) steamy action, and Shea would still be reigning king of Toniland. Nope, Tate came charging in and dethroned Shea boy and now there is a new king in town. And let me tell you, I likey me some Tate. Another thing I love about this series is the fact it is based in good ol’ Nashville. With me being only a few hours away, we try to visit often. So when Toni adds places, like the Opryland Hotel, it makes the story more real and come alive. And she continues to keep her old characters involved and they become like another family to the reader. And seeing Toni’s humor shine through in her work is another added plus in her books. Girl is something crazy and it shows. So here is what I am thinking...there is about 30 some odd guys on the Assassins Team right? And roughly guessing from what I gathered in the 3 books about 10 are probably married and/or taken. So I am pretty confident Toni can stomp out another 20 stories for us readers. Yeah, no pressure…just keep the yummy coming, ok? Empty Net is definitely one of my fav reads of 2012 so far and I am extremely excited to read the next book Blue Lines. And have a few theories that Hootie was none to pleased to heart about. So Toni...get to steppin' and get Blue Lines out in a hurry! *Pretty Please* If you haven’t done so already…READ THIS SERIES!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book would have been 5 stars but I just do not like the f word in these books. The story was good and easy to read. I just wish you writers would leave all these bad words out. 366 pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the series. This one started off rough with my apathy so strong I nearly stopped reading...which is unlike me. However glad I didnt as the last quarter of the book totally redeamed for the slow start. Well worth the journey!
Anonymous 12 months ago
Anothet great book in this series. It can be read alone but I think better in series.
hopofo More than 1 year ago
Empty Net may have become my favorite book in the Assassins series. There were so many times were I laughed out loud while reading it. This book had the perfect amount of humor, passion, and drama.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While not my favorite, still thought it was a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book in the series was better than the others. The lead charachters came across more as late teens than 20 somethings but I still found it enjoyable. The female (Audrey) was less whiny and came around quicker. Tate could have been a bit more masculine but he was 21 and that is still pretty young in my book. Anyhow, decent story. On to the next... s.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
srkromer More than 1 year ago
Another Hot Assassin Empty Net by Toni Aleo has everything you could want in a romance novel, hot men with a dramatic storyline.  Aleo’s Assassins series keeps getting better and better.  This is the type of series that you just cannot stop reading until you have read all the books.   In the third book of the series, we follow Audrey Parker’s life, book two’s leading lady, Fallon’s, sister.  In Trying to Score, we learned that the man, Levi, she was with was abusive to her.  In this book, we learn a lot more about Audrey, such as she can’t have children of her own from a botched abortion and that she has a dream of opening her own cupcakery.  Unfortunately, she works for her family’s winery, which she absolutely hates but her dad would be so mad if she even thought about quitting.  This is all until she meets her neighbor, Tate Odder.  Tate is the new goalie for the Assassins and is drop dead sexy.  Will Audrey ever be able to leave her abusive boyfriend?  Can she take a hold of her own life and dreams?  Could she even consider quitting her service rep job at the winery and open her own cupcakery? So far this is my absolutely favorite Assassin book.  I have been devouring this whole series and cannot wait to start the next one.  The great thing about this series is that you can read each book alone, even though I think it is better to read them in order, because you do learn about the other characters throughout the other books.  I would give this book a 5 out of 5 and would recommend it to any romance reader.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
## I've tried, I'm 100+ pages in, but just can't get into this book. The characters read like 16 year olds not 30 somethings. Glad I didn't spend much on this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved It. The best Assassins Series book so far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Who says age has to be an issue.  I loved this book "to the moon and back" 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Linda1944 More than 1 year ago
Empty nest was a very captivating book I thoroughly enjoyed reading it as a matter fact I went back and bought all the other books very entertaining I could not put the book down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Important to Read the four books and the Novella in this series in order... Loved every story starting with Shea and Ellie; Taking Shots,, Fallon and Lucus; Trying to Score,, Audrey and Tate; Empty Net,, Jordan and Aynslee; the novella - Falling for the Backup and finally Piper and Erik; Blue Lines... Characters and story lines were all unique and well done and I read all five books in three days... Lots of smiles and a few tears and hockey was always in the background... Emotions of the characters were right up front and I loved them...
Patriots12FG More than 1 year ago
I love the Assassins Series and I loved Tate and Audrey's story. It did take a while for her to some to her senses but when she did is was fantastic!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Piper and Erik were great characters....and each book gives a little insight to the past characters!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RomanticReadsandSuch More than 1 year ago
I should accept by now that these Assassins books are just going to be an emotional rollercoaster. I’ve read Taking Shots and Trying to Score and both of them broke my heart at least a couple of times. Empty Net proves to be no different. Audrey has some serious self-esteem issues that she has to work through and a pretty big secret that has caused her to seek out only bad relationships. We got a glimpse of how bad her latest one with Levi is in Trying to Score but we get a little bit more of it here. Unfortunately those issues cause her to fight her feelings for Tate for most of the book. There is a lot of back and forth on her part and that man has the patience of a saint to put up with it. But the nice thing is that once she gets everything straight in her head it goes much better for them. Full review available on Romantic Reads and Such on wordpress. (Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago