Thursday, November 16, 2017

Spider by Ilsa Madden-Mills Blog Tour

From Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills comes a standalone romance about a flawed hero and the woman he can’t forget.

"She crossed my path and changed my whole direction."

He called himself Spider.

I just knew him as the sinfully gorgeous guy with eyes of fire that fate places next to me on the airplane.

I didn’t know who he really was… British bad boy… cocky rock star… my stepbrother.

He kissed me because he thought he’d never see me again. He would.

Everyone warned me about him.
They told me he was careless and ruthless and screwed up.
They said he’d leave me with a hole in my heart.

Maybe I should have listened.
Maybe I should have built a fortress to keep him out.
But I crumbled instead.

They say an unbreakable thread connects those who are destined to meet. If that’s true, then the moment he sat next to me, we were bound together forever.

He just had to figure it out before it’s too late…

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How can one human man be so hot?

Spider sits on my toilet, shirtless, while I dab at his swollen eye. I’m doing my best to keep my eyes averted from the ink on his body, the way his tattoos swirl underneath his jeans, the way his chest is carved from stone.

Of course, I’m the stupid person who suggested he remove his shirt so I could see if he has any bruising on his chest. A cracked or broken rib can cause a lot of pain, and I want to be thorough, that’s all—I swear to baby Jesus.

He grinned at my request and whipped it off—which is the reason I’m now a mess.

There’s hardly any room to breathe with him in my small bathroom.

I wipe at the spot of blood on his cheek as he watches me stoically, never taking his eyes off me, tracking my every movement.

“This will look worse tomorrow,” I murmur, just to ease the tension. I stand between his spread legs, acutely aware of his fresh scent, his pure magnetism. My hands shake and I have to focus to push an image of me straddling him, both of us naked, out of my head. I want to run my tongue over the tattoo on his neck. I want to bite him like an animal while he—

Good grief, Rose, stop the fantasy!

“You’d make a good nurse,” he says softly, his long black lashes fluttering softly against his chiseled cheekbones.

“Doctor of Psychology,” I correct him.

“Your dream?”

“Yes.” Although right now I’m dreaming of him…

“I know that feeling. That’s how music is to me.” His golden-brown eyes watch me as I reach over to the medicine cabinet for more antiseptic and antibacterial cream, my chest perilously close to his face. I swear my nipples are reaching for him.

“Why psychology?”

I nod, pretending like I’m not all discombobulated. “My granny mainly. She loved to read people—literally. She ran a little palm-reading business out of her home before she died. All the old ladies of the neighborhood would come to see her. She’d make them coffee and they’d just… talk. She’d tell them what they needed to hear while I sat on the floor next to her and listened. There wasn’t any magic involved of course.” I laugh. “But… she was incredibly intuitive. She just got people. If someone twitched or looked left or right while they were talking, she’d have a reason for it and she’d tell me all about it after they left.”

“I think I would have loved your granny.” He curls an arm around me, tugging me close until my chest is a hair’s breadth away from his face. I recall our epic kiss on the plane. I feel the pressure of his taut thighs and my breath quickens as desire unfurls inside me.

A hum warms my blood. I want him—desperately.

And it’s entirely foolish.

He’s my stepbrother.

He doesn’t call girls back.

“Why does it seem like I’ve known you forever?” I ask, feeling myself gravitating closer.

He thinks about it, pushing a piece of hair out of my eyes. Cupping my nape, he pulls me in tighter until our noses meet. The back of his hand caresses my cheek and the heat from his touch burns, yet there’s a tautness in the roped muscles of his arms, as if he’s holding himself in check.

“Because I am you,” he says softly. “We’re so much alike, it’s staggering.” He pauses and stares deep into my eyes.

I nod. I can’t think. He’s so close to me, his eyes burning into mine.

He closes his eyes and exhales. “I want you, Rose. You’re intoxicating.”

I suck in a sharp breath, our lips inches apart.

Is he going to kiss me? I want him to.

His eyes open after the silence has gone on too long, a smirk forming around his mouth. “You scared of me, Rose?”


“I’m scared you’ll rip my heart out.”

He stares at the LOST tattoo on his hand. “I probably will.”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Reading about Spider, what little there was, in other stories made me want to read this one without reading the blurb. And knowing who the author was, I jumped at the chance when it came up for a chance to read it for a review.

Spider is the up and coming rock star, his band just needs to break through. When he meets Rose on a plane, he knows there is something different about her. He could fall for her and lose himself in her and not care about anything else but her. But Spider doesn't do relationships, he breaks hearts before he gets his broken. That is, until the plane lands and he finds out just who Rose is.

Rose is on her way home after visiting a cousin in New York and she ends up sitting by Spider. Band member of Vital Rejects, the band she saw the night before, and just looking at him makes her feel things she has never felt before. She would like to see where those feeling might lead, but after Spider’s little stunt on the plane, Rose hates him and isn't afraid to tell him. After all, she will never see him again, at least that is what she thought until she sees him talking to her stepfather and adoptive mother.

It seems that Spider is her new stepbrother. But Rose isn't sure she can be nice to him after what happened on the plane. She may be able to forgive him, but she can forget. He has hurt her and he doesn't seem to care. But he is always showing up wherever she is. He tells her things one minute that make her heart skip a beat, and the next minute he is breaking her heart. Then his father sends him to LA and Rose goes to New York to college, never hearing from Spider again. She has to move on because it seems that Spider has moved on without her.

Now, four years later, she is living with Oscar, dating Trenton, and her life seems perfect until she sees Spider. And everything falls apart. Can Rose make him leave her alone as he wanted her to do all those years ago? Will Spider tell her the truth of why he left and broke her heart? Will Rose ever be able to forgive him for what happened?

This story is fantastic and I loved everything about it, even the tears I cried for Rose. It will have you laughing and crying, it has all the feels that make a story great. So get yourself a favorite drink, blanket, quiet place, and read it. You will not be disappointed.

4.5 stars

This is an interesting book to place in a genre, as it has elements of rock star, young adult, and a very clever stepbrother relationship. In fact, the familial connection between Spider and Rose is perfectly tenuous and so strong that it affects their short-term future dramatically. Luckily the story is set over a number of years, so there is time for all to be resolved.

I love that this book channels Jane Eyre – it works brilliantly for anyone who knows the story, and is a nod to romance writers everywhere. Never mind the time, the path to true love rarely is smooth. Whilst not a direct parallel, the links are strong enough, and explained well enough in the book that we get a great steer as to the possible direction of the story.

I loved the epilogue, and that Oscar remains a strong part of Rose's life. Good friends are invaluable. Very satisfying read, which I would happily read again. 

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.

She's addicted to dystopian books and all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword-wielding females. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Instagram, Ian Somerhalder (seriously hot), astronomy (she's a Gemini), and tattoos.

She has a degree in English and a Master's in Education.

When she's not pecking away on her computer, she shops for cool magnets and paints old furniture.

Connect with Ilsa

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Spider by Ilsa Madden-Mills to read and review for this tour.

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