Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Blog Tour: Very Wicked Things by Ilsa Madden Mills

Ballerina Dovey Beckham is a scholarship student at Briarcrest Academy, determined to prove she’s more than just a girl with the wrong pedigree. She does whatever it takes to succeed in her endgame, even if it means surrendering her body but never her heart. 

Until the day she meets him, and he rips apart all her well-laid plans. Suddenly, the girl everyone thought unbreakable might just shatter.

Cuba “Hollywood” Hudson is rich, spoiled, and a star football player. With his fast cars and superficial girlfriends, he lives the high-life, hiding his secrets from the world.

Until the day he meets her, and she offers him something he’s never tasted…love.

But once in a lifetime kind of love doesn’t come easy…especially when dirty money, past sins, and old flames threaten the very fabric of their lives.

Welcome to Briarcrest Academy, where sometimes, only the wicked survive.

4.5 Stars by Lisa Kane

I adored Ms. Madden-Mill's first book in the Briarcrest Academy series, Very Bad Things. Nora and Leo had such chemistry and angst it was addictive! Cuba and Dovey are very different characters than those two. Dovey is dirt poor, and was raised (if you can call  it that) by a drug addict mother and her father- well readers will learn all about him. She is at Briarcrest because of a scholarship opportunity due to her talent for ballet. This is her ticket out of the cycle of poverty. The landlord in the slum she grew up in, Sarah, is her dance instructor and guardian. She would do anything for her. Cuba grew up in a life of privilege and wealth. His father is one of the owners of the Dallas Mavericks. His mom has issues., huge issues. Cuba has so much guilt that he lives with, all of it is self imposed. Sex, meaningless encounters, alcohol and football erase that pain, even if it's for a few moments. He is a superstar on the football team, but his goal is to be a doctor.
The moment Cuba sees Dovey doing ballet, through a window while he is at football practice, is a pivotol experience etched in his brain. He is drawn to her for some unknown reason, and he decides there and then, that he wants her in his bed, but not in his heart.
There is the makings for a relationship with these two, but there are some outside forces that work against that and they are left with only bitter memories. Cuba makes some very poor choices, and ones that hurt and sting and scar.
Maybe he'd fall in love with me and-I mentally slapped myself. Hold your horses, Dovey Beckham. This boy was wicked. One side of his mouth tilted up. "Ah, I shouldn't have said that. You're thinking dirty thoughts." "Am not."
 Dovey's life takes a dangerous turn and there is a moment in this story, when she has a choice to make that she chooses the only one that she sees opened to her. At that moment I hated the life that surrounded this girl, that she was reduced to doing something vile in order to survive. Life sucks sometimes.
Does doing a wicked thing make you bad inside? I must believe it doesn't.
I've been asked to keep this review spoiler free, and there are so many twists in this story, that there is little to be said that would not reveal a major plotline. VWT is darker and sadder then VBT. The characters in the first book certainly knew loss firsthand, but here the loss is utterly heartbreaking. These two suffer blow after blow and yet somehow, they go on. Dovey has a heart as big as Texas, and for someone who grew up with out love in her life, those she lets into her heart- she loves unconditionally. Cuba frustrated the hell out of me, the very person he needs most, is the same one he will not allow himself to have in his life. But the angst slut in me was quite satisfied with this one!
I loved this story, and am looking forward to future books with the other characters.
"We've been through hell together, and we've come out on the other side. Older and wiser.

Excerpt for Very Wicked Things
Book #2 of the Briarcrest Academy Series
by Ilsa Madden-Mills

I got out of the shower and dressed hurriedly, anxious to get back to Cuba.
The door opened, and like he did it every single day, he stepped inside the steamy bathroom.  
“Think I need a shower, too,” he said, his fingers easing off his football practice shirt.
What? Now?
Trying to play it cool and failing miserably, I moved my eyes off his naked chest and checked out his track pants and the obvious bulge he sported.
Oh. Did his lower body match the rest of him? Was it all sinewy muscle and big?
Just, yeah. That thought got stuck in my head and went round and round.
 “You staying?” he asked, a grin working his face. Pleased at my open admiration, probably.
“No,” I said, but made no move to go. ‘Cause I had no shame when it came to catching a glimpse of his muscular body.
“Good,” he said, his smile broadening.
He pivoted to turn on the shower, and my eyes betrayed me again, admiring the muscles in his back, checking out how they twitched and rippled when he moved. Football and rowing had been good to him. My fingers itched to know how they’d feel underneath my hands. Which was stupid because we had nothing in common. Not a rich Highland Park boy and a poor girl from Ratcliffe.
And most importantly, he was a player, not to be trusted.
He hooked his thumbs into his pants, paused a moment—maybe waiting to see if I’d run from the room?—but when I didn’t budge, he slid them and his underwear off. My mouth opened. Cuba Hudson, the most popular guy at Briarcrest was standing right in front of me, naked and beautiful. And like the cocky bastard he was, he posed for me, his big-ass biceps and chiseled abs making me vibrate all over. Need for him slammed into me.
Did I say he was hot?
Well, I was wrong.
He was off-the-charts, no-holds-barred, freaking going make-me-lose-my-mind-right-there delicious. The ultimate man-candy, the kind I knew to stay away from, yet here I was, ogling him.
“Still leaving?” he asked huskily.
“Any minute,” I said in a weak voice, backing up to the wall and propping myself up. “Just chillin’. Shower wore me out. I might need to hold this wall up for a sec.”
“I want you to stay,” he said, eyes at half-mast, glowing with heat.
“Why?” I said, aching to touch him. But that was crazy. I was a virgin, and I didn’t know jack about touching a guy’s you-know-what.
“Look at me, Dovey.”
I tore my eyes from his manhood, blushing.
His eyes burned. “There’s a sense of urgency in my head. Like our time is limited.”
I nodded. Yeah, same here.
“And, I’ll be honest, I don’t want to rush you, but I’m dying to sink into you. I want to set you on fire with need for me.” He ghosted his hands over the steel rod between his legs. Once, twice, and—holy shizzle, he didn’t stop.
My chest rose faster and faster, and I tried to chill-out, but I couldn’t.
He lowered his voice. “Kiss me again, Dovey.”
Oh. “That’s a terrible idea, Cuba. Cause you’re naked, and I’m turned on because you’re naked. And you’re touching yourself. And you’re naked.” I sucked in a sharp breath. “Not a good combo. Odds are we’ll end up in that shower together or back in your bed doing the double-backed monster.”
“Then join me in the shower. I’ll be good. For you.” He arched his back, his hands still doing that back and forth that was driving me insane.
Liar, liar, pants on fire, I thought. No way he would he be good.
Because he was the Heartbreaker of Briarcrest Academy. And one wicked boy.

Add Very Wicked Things to your Goodreads:
Ilsa’s website: http://ilsamaddenmills.com

Haven’t read the first book Very Bad Things? It’s on sale!!

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Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap. She spends her days with two small kids, a neurotic cat, and her Viking husband. She collects magnets and rarely cooks except to bake her own pretzels. When she’s not typing away at a story, you can find her drinking too much Diet Coke, jamming out to Pink, or checking on her carefully maintained chocolate stash. She loves to hear from fans and fellow authors.

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