Hooked by Love (Bellevue Bullies #3)

By: Toni Aleo

Things are out of control for the Sinclair boys! With two already in the NHL, Jace Sinclair is ready to follow in his brothers’ HUGE skates in the last Bellevue Bullies novel…

Jace Sinclair here, and I’m amazing. There is no other way to describe me. I am the leading scorer for the Bellevue Bullies, I’m the captain, and people love me: my family, my teammates, my coach, and the NHL. This is my last year in college–I already have one foot in the draft. Hockey keeps me warm even when it’s freezing. It’s always there when nothing else is. And it pushes me to be the best I can be. It’s my one and only love.

That is, until I see her against a tree with a guitar.


The last thing I wanted was to meet anyone. My heart is on the bench because of what happened with my parents, and I don’t want that for myself. I don’t want to be hurt by anyone. I can’t give them that power.

But my heart is begging for ice time, and I can’t control it around her.

I’ve always been in the background. No one has ever had time for me and that’s fine; I’ve learned to cope. Coming from a family where hockey is life, the last thing I want is some big, burly hockey player charging at me. I don’t have time for it, but Jace Sinclair isn’t one to be deked around.

I didn’t want to meet anyone. I didn’t want to end up freezing the puck with him. It’s not what I want.

I have demons.

I have issues.

Living in the shadows, no one even knew until it was too late. But Jace wants to know.

He wants me.

And that scares me the living hell out of me.

We were so worried about what would happen if we fell, but we never thought what could happen in the process of falling. We never saw it coming. But it’s here, and the repercussions are not pretty. We should have known that there is no way out of the zone when you are being Hooked by Love.

There are moments in your life when you know you’ve made a friend for life.

That’s what happened to me when I met Lisa Hollett.

I was blessed to find her, first as my editor. She came in and took charge, and from the moment she edited Boarded by Love, I knew no one would ever touch my books but her. Our working relationship then turned into a lifelong friendship. She is there to talk me down, there to pick me up, and I honestly love her.

So, Lisa, this book is for you.

I love you. I’m thankful for you, and I owe ya, girl.

Especially if PayPal doesn’t work for me.

Thank you.

I hate waiting.

Like, seriously.

I’m the least patient person in the world.

And my boy Markus is getting on my last nerve.

“Dude, we are going to my mom’s. The party isn’t until tonight,” I complain as Markus runs his comb through his unruly black curls. Catching my gaze in the mirror, he rolls his eyes.

“I know, but this saves me getting ready later. I can focus on setting up then,” he throws back at me. I understand his logic, but my mom is waiting on me.

While she may think it’s a good idea to have a family dinner, I feel she’s wrong. Yes, I understand that my brother Jude and his wife Claire are in town, and Mom wants everyone to eat together, family time and all that shit. But doesn’t my mom realize the first weekend of school is always party weekend for the Bellevue Bullies? That it is my job to put on a banging party for my teammates? My brothers went to this school too; she should know this by now. Apparently, she missed the memo. And according to the text I just got from my other brother Jayden, he and his wife Baylor are already there, and everyone is waiting on me. Well, us, since I invited Markus.

I am realizing that was a big mistake.

“True, but we gotta go. My brother just texted me, my sister has texted me four times, everyone is hungry, and Mom won’t start without me.”

“I’m coming!” I roll my eyes at his assertion, leaning against the doorframe to check my phone. I have billions of messages from everyone asking about the party tonight and, really, I don’t know how my brothers did this without a hitch the years they went to Bellevue University. I am already stressed-out, and the party hasn’t even happened yet. This is supposed to be fun, the greatest year of my life, since I am more than likely going to go into the draft this year. I am not supposed to be stressed, but here I am.

It doesn’t help that this year is so important. It is basically my last year as a kid. This is my year to have a blast while working hard for my spot on the team and in the draft. After a nasty hit last year that ended my season because of a broken clavicle bone, I missed my chance to go into the draft with Jayden as we had planned. But nothing will keep me from going in this year. I have been training hard, working on my puck handling and shooting more than once a day. My shoulder is great, and everything is in place for me to succeed. I’m going to show how freaking amazing I am, get my captain position, and then rock it. I will follow in the footsteps of my brothers. I will be in the NHL like them, living my dream. There just isn’t any other option.

Because I can’t be left behind. Jude and Jayden would tease me relentlessly. I have lived in their shadows my whole life, and I’m ready to shine. Add in the fact that it’s my dream to be in the NHL, and my drive is unstoppable. I have wanted this since I was a kid, and I’m not really sure why it’s weighing so heavily on me, but it is. I’m ready to get my life started; I’m ready to tear up the ice with my brothers. Beat their asses, show them how awesome I am. But first, I just have to get to this dinner and then throw the party.

And the only thing holding me up is my best friend.

Making a disgruntled noise, I answer some of the messages, mainly from my teammates, as I wait. Camp is finishing up, the cuts have been made, and we have our team. It is a new team since most of our older guys—oh, and Baylor—went into the draft last year. I’m a little worried about the team. After only a few practices together, it is obvious we aren’t the team we were last year. But Coach Moore has been preaching that new blood means a new foundation and that is good. So we will see. All I know is that I don’t lose. So I’m going to need people to step up and play hard.

Because this year will be the year that is featured in the highlight reel of my life. It may sound silly, but when I was younger, my brothers and I would do stuff and scream, “Highlight reel!” which meant it was the sort of play that would be featured on ESPN. Since life is one big ESPN show for me, I want this year to be showcased as the best. I want to look back on my last year in college and know that I worked hard, that I partied harder, and that I enjoyed my life before my dreams came true.

I just need Markus to come the hell on.

“Dude, let’s go!”

Turning to me, he glares, rubbing some oil together in his palms before running it through his curls. “Dude, chill. I’m coming now.”

Rolling my eyes again, I tuck my phone into my pocket and push off the doorframe to go up the stairs. Since Markus and I are going for the captain positions, we already claimed the room I had last year when I shared with Jayden. Since he was the captain last year, he got to choose his roommate and he chose me. More because my mom worries about me twenty-four seven, but also because I’m his favorite sibling. I mean, if I had to choose between Jude, our older sister Lucy, or me, I would choose me.

I’m fucking amazing.

When I hear the door slam, I let out a sigh of relief as I listen to Markus running up the stairs behind me. He is a junior and also two years older than me since he started school late when he was a kid. He’s a cool dude and a really great friend. We clicked from the beginning and have been inseparable ever since. As the left wing to his right, we just work, on and off the ice. He’s basically my brother from another mother, and since we both have parents who have gotten divorced, we provide that support for each other.

“What’s your mom cooking?” Markus asks as he falls into step with me once we get outside. The house is empty; no one has moved in yet and won’t until Sunday, but I plan on getting my bags and stuff tonight so I can move in early. I think Markus is going to do the same thing. I’m not sure, though. I kind of hope so, because I don’t want to be in that house alone. I will more than likely be hungover tomorrow when I move in, but still, the Bullies’ house freaks me out when it’s empty.

Probably doesn’t help that Jayden convinced me it’s haunted. Asshole.

A shiver runs down my spine as I glance over at him. “Steak and potatoes, probably.”


“Are you moving in tonight or tomorrow?”


“Awesome.” My voice is full of relief, which makes Markus laugh.

“What, scared the boogeyman who wears a hockey helmet and carries a pointed stick will gut you?”

Glaring, I push Markus away. “Fuck off.”

His laughter is easy and his light caramel eyes fill with mischief as we cross the Bullies’ yard to the quad to get to my car. I left it over by the communications building after my last class.

“Why did you leave your car over here again?” I glance at him, annoyed since I already told him why.

“Because I was following these two girls, trying to get their numbers, and inviting them to the party tonight.”

He laughs. “But you failed?”

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