Thursday, August 13, 2020

One Old, One New: The Ilsa Madden-Mills Edition

One Old, One New features two books - one old, one new, which are connected in some way. Today, I am sharing two books 
Not My Romeo
Ilsa Madden-Mills
Series: The Game Changers, #1
Age/Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Montlake
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills delivers a smart and sexy romance about a professional football hottie and the small-town girl he can’t resist.

We start off with a lie on Valentine’s Day.

My blind date isn’t the studious guy I expected. Nope, he’s a drop-dead gorgeous player with sinful amber eyes and a killer body. Somehow we end up at his penthouse. I blame the gin and tonic.

The next day I learn he’s Jack Hawke—bad-boy professional quarterback with a murky past.

The NDA he had me sign should have been a warning that he isn’t a regular person. Please. I signed it Juliet Capulet, so goodbye, famous football player with abs of steel, and good luck tracking down this small-town librarian.

But Jack keeps showing up in places I least expect him. Just when I’m sure he’s gone, he waltzes into my community theater and wins the part of Romeo to my Juliet. How’s a plain, mostly innocent girl like me supposed to resist a man like him?

Is Jack my real Romeo…or will this gorgeous football player only break my heart?
She thought he was someone else, while he thought she was delightful. When the truth is reveled, will the accidental valentine have a chance of turning into something more?

I had so much fun reading this book! From the very first chapter, I knew it would give me the rom-com feels I was searching for. 

Like Jack, I thought Elena was delightful. She was refreshingly and unapologetically herself. She was charming and witty, but also a straight shooter. She was the perfect blend of sweet and sassy and never failed to bring great energy to whatever she was involved in. 

Jack was complicated. Though he was a famous NFL quarterback, he was rather shy. But his shyness was often misconstrued as aloofness and had earned Jack quite a reputation. He also experienced some really devastating things in his past, and though he was now surrounded and supported by some fantastic people, he has made the mistake of letting the wrong people into his circle at one point. This made him very slow to trust others, but he was fiercely loyal to those who earned it. 

Speaking of circles, both Elena and Jack had a great group of family and friends. I absolutely loved meeting them all, and as this is a series, I am hoping I get to know each and every one of them better. I already have two of them paired off for their own HEA, so I am hoping Ilsa Madden-Mills saw it the same way I did and writes their book. 

And you know what else? There's an epilogue, my friends, a jump ahead epilogue. It was so sweet and satisfying. I must confess, I was filled with so much joy from this epilogue, that I had all the happy tears flowing from my eyes. 

This book had everything I look for in my romances and more. The hero and heroine were fabulous, had great chemistry, and delivered the type of banter I live for. The small town setting was featured well, and all it's quirky inhabitants added to the fun. I know I will be returning to Daisy with bells on and anticipate more feels, fun, and laughs in my future.   

**ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

Flithy English
Ilsa Madden-Mills
Series: English, #2
Age/Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Little Dove
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
From Wall Street Journal best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills comes a new, full-length STANDALONE novel about HOT British alphas.

A smokin’ hot British player…
A jilted girl…
One night of mistaken identity…

Two weeks before her wedding, Remi Montague’s fiancĂ© drops her faster than a drunken sorority girl in stilettos. Armed with her best friend and a bottle of tequila, she hops a plane to London to drown her sorrows before fall semester begins at Whitman University.

She didn't plan on attending a masquerade party. She sure didn’t plan on waking up next to the British bad boy who broke her heart three years ago—the devastatingly handsome and naked Dax Blay. Furthermore, she has no clue how they acquired matching tattoos.

Once back at Whitman together, they endeavor to pretend they never had their night of unbridled passion in London.

But that’s damn hard to do when you live in the same house…

One night. Two damaged hearts. The passion of a lifetime.

*A modern love story inspired by Romeo and Juliet*
**no one dies in the writing of this novel**
I used to read a lot of new adult books back in the day, and Ilsa Madden-Mills was one of my go-tos. Lately I have been dabbling in the new adult world again, and it was really easy to fall back in all that angst and drama. If I'm being honest, I loved every second of it too. 

Dax and Remi had a passionate three-day stand, but Dax being not-yet-ready-for-commitment let Remi go. Fast forward a few years and Remi, wounded from her broken engagement, crosses paths with none other than the man she couldn't forget and who still could ignite fires within her. 

This book will having you both swooning and swearing. It's utterly frustrating at times, but also deliciously entertaining and satisfying. It was a book that allowed me to just settle in and let the story take me where it wanted to. This was absolutely the right book at the right time, and I loved indulging in it. 

The characters were my favorite kind - slightly damaged and flawed. Both Dax and Remi had been through their fair share of hardship, loss, and disappointments. One thing they shared was grief over the loss of a parent. Both were hit quite hard and their worlds were turned upside down when they lost their parents, and it was wonderful to see them find solace in each other. 

I loved watching these two frolic around England, but the fun really began when they returned home. Madden-Mills put them in one of those forced proximity situations, which just cranked up the tension. There were awkward moments and hostile moments, but there were some really hot and tender moments too. 

There were times that I was ready to throttle both Dax and Remi, but more often than not, I was rooting for them. Second chance romances are my favorites, and in my heart, I knew these two were perfect for each other. 

Overall: I found myself loving all the drama, while being happy for both Remi and Dax as they grew and finally allowed themselves to have the love they deserved. 

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