Monday, April 4, 2022

Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Beauty and the Baller. Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author. Ilsa Madden-Mills.

An NFL quarterback turned small-town coach gets sacked by a Texas beauty queen in this swoony, passionate romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills.

Gorgeous, talented, and brilliant, NFL quarterback Ronan Smith has the world in his hands. But after losing his career and his fiancée in a car accident, he falls into a pit of grief and bad choices. When a mysterious girl shows up to his party, he feels drawn to her and makes her his… for one night.

Former beauty queen Nova Morgan is on a mission. Scantily clad as a princess from a galaxy far, far away, she sneaks into a high-profile party to capture the attention of her favorite quarterback. But her hopes crash after an awful one-night stand.

Fast-forward two years. Broke and desperate, Nova returns home to Blue Belle, Texas, where, by a cosmic twist of fate, her broody neighbor is none other than Ronan, the shiny new football coach everyone adores. But he has no idea who she is.

The booster club keeps shoving women at Ronan to keep him in town. His solution? He proposes fake dating to Nova. But things heat up for real under these Friday-night lights when he realizes she’s the one who slipped away.

Has this jaded beauty found her forever baller, or will his past keep them apart?


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Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Audiobook (US)  ~  Paperback (US)
~ Also Available with KindleUnlimited ~




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

4.5 stars

If you have read this author before, you know that it is going to be a great story. Nova and Ronan met a few years back at one of his parties; she really wanted to meet him, but he was grieving the death of his girlfriend. Drinking at the time and he wasn't sure the night happened at times, and he doesn't remember her.

Now she is back home in Blue Belle, Texas and her neighbor is the last person she wants to see, Ronan Smith. When he sees her, he is drawn to her and doesn't know why, and she doesn't want anything to do with him.

As these two grow close, due to a fake dating scheme to keep the town from pairing him off on one of the women in town to keep him around, Nova is falling for him; but Ronan can't get past the pain and guilt from his past to move forward and he is leaving town after this school year.

This story is great, the fun and banter between Nova and Ronan will have you laughing until you cry. Then there is her cat, and you can't forget their friend. This group of friends and family is so fun, you will love this story. I can't wait for the next book from this author.

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/F Romance

Nova is living a whole new life. She is now responsible for her sister, after her mom dies much too young. She also lost her father at a very young age. When she finds herself back home, she can’t help but be sucked into the high school community again. Nova thought that she had outgrown these people, but being back home, she realizes that while she has, these people still might hold some power over her.

Ronan is trying his best to love his best life after football. Since his accident, he hasn’t been able to let anyone else in his heart. He misses her. There just isn’t another way to put it. His heart broke when she was lost, and he’s never truly gotten over it.

Living in a small community where high school football is life. He didn’t expect to have to beat the women off with a stick. He just wants to concentrate on the game.

When his new neighbor stomps over and gives him what for, Ronan is intrigued. Nobody has really ever talked to him like that. She isn’t scared of him, and she cares a lot about her sister. When he realizes that she is the one woman from his past who might have gotten through a crack after his accident, he comes up with a plan to help both of them.

Nova thinks Roman’s plan is slightly crazy, but she also knows it will work. Nova and Ronan lay out ground rules to help guard their hearts. He will help her with her old high school folks, and she will help him avoid the grabby hands of the local women. Ronan knows he doesn’t want to stay in this town forever. His ultimate goal is back in the NFL. Nova knows she has to stay for her sister’s sake. Can these two figure out whether or not their chemistry can be more?

This is a sweet story with fun young adult aspects to it. It’s sweet and lighthearted.

This is such a lovely read, fun, romantic and full of goodness, with a dash of crazy.

We first get a view of Ronan soon after the accident which ended his career and killed his beloved fiancée, drunk and seeking escape with a woman dressed as Leia – as a Star Wars geek, and unexpectedly attracted to her, even in his sadness he could not resist. But a terrible misspeaking means she leaves, and he realises that he has to turn himself around.

Inevitably, a couple of years later they meet again – he is convinced that he has met her before but cannot remember exactly when or how – and are now neighbours.

Nova has given up her New York life to come home and care for her also newly orphaned, teenaged sister. Whilst she is not really disappointed to leave New York behind, she is worried about getting a suitable job to be able to support them both. When she discovers that her neighbour is the man who she spent one sadly memorable night with, she really doesn't know how to react. Her regular walks with her hairless cat, Sparky, on a lead seem to be her chance to think on how to proceed.

As the two of them navigate around the life that they are living, and try to make the best of every opportunity, we get to see what good people they are. Ronan is in need of a buffer from the constant suggestions of a suitable girlfriend and persuades her to help him out – which they both know is a recipe for a closeness they will be hard pressed to escape. And they do do very close rather well!

I loved the school time – both the interactions with students, and the hiding in supply closets by teachers to have a chat, a smooch, or an e-cigarette fix. Lots of fun, as well as reminders of the more difficult parts of being that age.

A very engaging and happy read.

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
I do love me a good football story, and this one doesn't disappoint.

When the reader first meets Ronan, he's depressed and blaming himself for an accident that killed his fiancée and ruined his NFL career. When Princess Leia walks into a party for the New York Titans he believes it's a figment of his imagination, but his best friend tells him to save the pretty lady who is probably lost. Little does he know that Nova is there for him.

Fast forward two years and Nova has returned to her hometown with her tail tucked firmly between her legs. Life in the big city wasn't as easy or glamorous as she hoped it would be. Now, she's back home and living next door to her one-night stand with a man who doesn't remember her – just the outfit she was wearing that night.

I enjoyed this book immensely and it will definitely pull at your heart strings.



Author Bio

Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today best-selling author ILSA MADDEN-MILLS is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.

Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Bestseller List:
Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things
Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She's addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online

Connect with Ilsa Madden-Mills

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Unicorn Girls




Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Beauty and the Baller (Strangers in Love #1) by Ilsa Madden-Mills to read and review.

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