Blog Tour: Fake Fiancée : Ilsa Madden-Mills


Fake Fiancée 
Ilsa Madden-Mills
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Expected February 6, 2017

A new standalone romance from Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Ilsa Madden-Mills...

They say nothing compares to your first kiss,
But our first kiss was orchestrated for an audience.
Our second kiss…that one was REAL.
He cradled my face like he was terrified he’d f*ck it up.
He stared into my eyes until the air buzzed.
Soft and slow, full of sighs and little laughs,
He inhaled me like I was the finest Belgian chocolate,
And he'd never get another piece.
A nip of his teeth, his hand at my waist...
And I was lost.
I forgot he was paying me to be his fake fiancée.
I forgot we weren’t REAL.
Our kiss was pure magic, and before you laugh and say those kinds of kisses don’t exist…
Then you’ve never touched lips with Max Kent, the hottest quarterback in college history.

Get ready for breathtaking kisses, dreamy football players, a heroine
who yearns for the guy she can't have, and a hero who will do anything for the girl he loves...

After an unpleasant incident, the smart, artsy girl finally meets the popular, playboy quarterback who also happens to  be her neighbor. She throws attitude at him that intrigues him. She has her own rules about dating jocks, and he could be the poster boy for why. But before they know it, they are pretending to be a couple to get back at their exes and then forge a deal in both of their best interests. But that sends them down a path neither expected to get so out of control.

Soon they are spending more time together. But it is hard to know what is fake and what might be real. She's got her guards up and he does not need real distractions from his goal at winning the Heisman. They find themselves actually liking each other and becoming friends. But lines get blurred, priorities start shifting, and things get out of hand. She never thought it would escalate to being a fake fiancée. But now they are two people in the spotlight trying to figure out the truth for themselves. 

Max has only really cared about football and being the best. He's cocky, funny, unfiltered, but has some underlying issues from his past. But she gets under his skin, makes him want to be better, and makes him vulnerable. He never expected to develop any real feelings, needs to stay focused, and is good at giving mixed signals.

Sunny is sassy, sweet, independent, and spirited. She's guarded and untrusting of men. But Max has a way of pulling her in and making her want to believe that some of it is real. But her fears and insecurities keep her grounded and doubtful.

They have a connection and good chemistry. Their lives and personalities are different. But together they do have potential, if they could both see it, embrace it, and believe it. But due to their deal, it is hard to determine if it is acting or real. There is confusion, miscommunication, and misunderstandings. And there are also toxic people and threats that are affecting them as well. And the media and their rivals are watching so that just adds some more pressure.

Is he still using her for his image or does he really care? Will she ever be able to trust that he won't hurt her? Is it fake, fate, or just friendship?

This book transports you to being a college student with friends, football, parties, and making future plans. I enjoyed the fun side characters of their friends, Isabella, Ash, and Tate. Her grandmother, Mimi, was fiery and funny. The antagonists really made me angry. I liked getting their dual points of view and how there were layers to the story and some gradual realizations. The suspense and threats added some mystery and more tension. The main characters were likable and well developed. They were not perfect and that made them feel more real. The story line kept me interested and invested throughout. This was humorous, emotional, sweet, a little angsty, and a lot of fun.  I would love to see this as the first in a series and to get more with Tate or Isabella.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
The life of college quarterback and Heisman contender, Max Kent would be a lot easier if he could get the groupies off his back and build up some good PR for a change. One fight with a teammate has put a black mark on his image that he would love to get rid of. When he meets his new neighbor, a plan quickly hatches to clean up his image, if she’s amenable.

Sunny Blaine has worked hard for what she has. A confrontation with the quarterback next door is not how she planned to start out the new school term. Nor did she plan to find a fake boyfriend to get back at her ex, but she found both in the same morning.
From their meeting to their reintroduction, their fake relationship transitioning to reality, this was a fun read that kept me entertained. Their connection to each other was always in the background of my mind while I read, though it seemed to not be at the forefront for either of them (in hindsight, this is an understandable oversight on their part).

Fake relationships always have an entertaining twist to them. Watching two people pretend to have feelings that develop into true feelings always gives me a thrill. I love that moment when each begins to realize the feelings aren’t as fake as they were supposed to be.

Narrated by Max and Sunny in alternating chapters, the entire story is clear to readers, with a few final secrets held for the end. These two have so much in common that it is surprising their paths hadn’t crossed earlier in Sunny’s time at Leland, but the way their story played out was perfect for them.
It was not overly dramatic in that the drama that did happen was relatable and reasonable for the events surrounding them. The bumps in their road are more often the result of outside sources and from the origins of their relationships rather than from something the characters are actively involved in. 
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Max stalked over to the barrier that divided the stands from the football field and jumped it. The fans went nuts as he brushed past them, some not even realizing it until he was down the aisle. The Jumbotron followed him.

“Good Lordy, what’s he doing?” Mimi asked, clutching at her chest.

“I don’t know,” I said rather weakly, taking the chance to study him the closer he came. He was beautiful, his shoulders impossibly broad. To add to the distraction, his helmet was in his hand and all that dark brown hair was flowing around his chiseled features as if he had a fan in his face. My Viking.

“He’s coming over here,” Mimi commented.

He was. But why?

I stopped breathing . . .right when he came to a halt in front of me and knelt down on one knee.

Eyes the color of a wild ocean gazed at me.

He took my left hand in his right one.

“Max,” I breathed, my heart fluttering.

He gazed up at me. “Sunny Blaine, will you marry me?”

The stadium went wild. In a daze, I looked up at the Jumbotron and felt like I was watching this happen to someone else. Camera phones flashed all around us.

My first clear thought was I’ll kill him.

Aloud, nothing came out but a faint wheeze. Clearly someone had stuffed a giant wad of cotton in my mouth. Clearly I needed something a lot stiffer to drink than this Diet Coke. Clearly my fake boyfriend was a freaking raving lunatic.

He sat his helmet on the ground next to my feet, reached inside it and pulled out a small black box.

No, no, no!

The box opened, and my stomach churned at the sight of the large round solitaire diamond ring that was nestled on the black silk. I blinked repeatedly to clear my vision.

With deft fingers, Max eased it out of the lining and slipped it on my left hand.

I stared down at it. Then back at him.

I was going to murder the hottest quarterback in the country.

Kiss her, Kiss her, the crowd chanted.

We were the focal point of the entire world.

Max stood and tugged me up with him until we were standing. He slid his hand around my neck and pulled his face to mine. The sky was blotted out as he kissed me.

But I hadn’t said yes!

I wouldn’t say yes.

Not to a fake engagement.

The applause of the stadium was deafening. And his kiss—it was deadly. Despite my rage, my body craved him. His lips were hot, so hot, and my tongue met his with a vengeance. We kissed hard, and I nipped at him, my teeth scraping across his lips. But the only one who’d end up bleeding in this scenario was me.

He eased back to take me in, and with a final look at my face he gave a thumbs-up sign to the entire stadium. They went nuts, chanting his name.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered in my ear, letting his hand trail down my arm as he stepped back from me. He walked away backward, eyes on me the entire time. The announcers for the game told everyone who might have missed it that Max Kent had just asked his girlfriend to marry him, and she’d said yes. More cheers came as they replayed him on his knee in front of me with a giant YES written across the top.

I plopped back down in my seat. Frozen.

“. . . did you see her face? Shocked . . .”

“. . . most romantic thing in football . . .”

“. . . luckiest girl in the world . . .”

My face went hot. Even my ears burned. I wanted to crawl under a seat.


What a lie.

The half ended and our offense came out to the field, snapped the ball, and Max threw it straight to Tate who ran it in for another touchdown. My chest constricted and anger churned in my gut.

I didn’t care who won.

I hated football right now. Most of all, I hated Max Kent, and I was going to make him pay.
ilsa madden -millsa.jpgIlsa Madden-Mills
Wall Street Journal 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 all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword-wielding females. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Ian Somerhalder, 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 fuzzy pajamas.

She loves to hear from readers and fellow authors. Email her at ilsamaddenmills@gmail.com.



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